Wild West

In the classic western movie, the lone cowboy sits by his nighttime campfire cooking a little dinner, or heating some coffee, when he hears approaching hoof beats.  Not expecting anyone he asks, “Who’s there?”   Then, “What brings you around these parts?”  The implied question is, “Can I trust you?”  Right or wrong he can then invite the person into the light of the fire or tell him to move on. 
Sometimes we seem just as exposed in our Internet interactions as that cowboy out on the plains all by himself. Just this week I got the following communications regarding my company, my author’s website – AGuyNamedBob.com
“Dear bob, Employee at aguynamedbob.com Company, We are deeply saddened to inform you that your term of employment at aguynamedbob.com company has come to an immediate end. Due to the affect of covid-19 epidemic in our company, we have no choice but to end your employment with us because we cannot service all the employees anymore. This decision is effective immediately and the original documents for the cancellation of your employment will be given to you in three days time. Note! this is just like a redudant leave. Find attached your 2 months salary receipt. We thank you for your service and we wish it didn’t have to end this way. Sincerely, Human Resources Manager cc: CEO    Click on the link to obtain your final check.”   
It would be pretty hard for the CEO and the Human Resources Manager to terminate my employment because I AM the CEO and The Human Resources Manager. I may be slightly schizophrenic but I’m not THAT schizophrenic.
This is a fine example of hacking, and of course I did not click on the link as much as I would like to have seen how much I’ve been paying myself. 
I have almost quit accepting new Friend requests for everything from Facebook to LinkedIn.  Ninety percent of them are attempts to breach my security on those sites which would give the hacker access to my 500+ real friends.  Now when I get a request, I just call the person and ask if he or she sent it. 
One of my favorite emails came from a woman that needed to deposit $5,000,000 in my account because she was being pursued by the illegal “puppet government” in her native country.  It was compelling how she described the cash arriving in $10,000 “bales of twenties.”  I could almost smell the money forcing its way out of the “steamer trunks” which she had filled.  As an author I respected the mental images she created.  Hopefully it improved my writing craft because the funds never showed up.
Isn’t it interesting that we can fight the evil lurking in social media by using older technology like the phone to have an honest conversation with a real person?  The hackers may be helping us stay in touch after all.

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