Opinion: Invitations to thievery


Each day, it seems our technologies deluge us with an array of would-be crooks, ready to steal our hard-earned cash or even our very identities. Through subterfuge and guile, they get us to give that which they could not get, at least not without our agreement: personal information. This kind of crime, as could be supposed, is the same as many others in that the criminal employs deceit and manipulation rather than pistol and dagger. Theft by prevarication may do no less harm to the victim than one at knife point. Sure, most of us would rather suffer the humiliation of an empty bank account than suffer a stab wound, but the emotional damage caused should not be underestimated.

Almost all the Hallmark Channel movies remind us of the danger of a “stolen” heart. Some handsome Lothario or lovely Maleficent wiles their way into the good graces of the naïve, assuming hayseed. Ultimately, the ruse is exposed, and hard lessons learned.  The cardiac muscle is not actually taken but the trusting nature of the mark is forever changed, hardened. We wrongly give away our hearts. They are not robbed.

It is said that once educated, no one can take the knowledge from us. But does the nature of what it means to hold knowledge shift as time passes? Can we go from being a computer expert until a decade later becoming obsolete? Can Father Time steal our skills just as easily as our youth? Or do we have the opportunity to replace our waning talents by updating or new learning? Is vigilance always required? Clicking on a link in a random email, falling in love too hard or too quickly, and believing that we have completed our education once the degree is in-hand – each opens us welcomingly to invited thievery.