How Careful Should I Be?

A few months ago, someone emailed me to call out the fact that the pictures in my posts had GPS information stored in their metadata. He suggested that was a bad idea and I should change that. So, should I?

After thinking about it, I decided that I didn’t want to lose that information about my pictures, so any risk wasn’t worth it to me. Does it matter to someone if my picture was taken in West Des Moines, Iowa or Vero Beach, Florida? I can’t see that it does. But that information might be valuable to me someday when I lose my mind completely and wonder, where did I take that picture?

I realize you can probably never be too careful, but is there such a thing as overkill when it comes to that? I have a friend who didn’t want me to include her address when I scheduled an event at her house on Facebook. I understand and it’s no big deal, but I should have told her I could get her address in a minute some other way. So, what does that accomplish?


Within the last week or so, someone has been trying to log into my blog site. Almost every day I get an email telling me someone was locked out after so many failed attempts. I installed a plugin that would allow me to determine how many failed attempts resulted in a lockout and for how long that IP address would be blocked. The problem is, whoever this is has been using multiple IP addresses. I traced a few of them and they all seem to be in South America.

So, why would someone want to log into my measly little blog? Why would they keep trying so hard? I don’t get it.

I’ve also been subject to having copies of my Instagram profile duplicated. Again, I don’t get it. What does someone gain by pretending to be me? Can you explain that to me?

So, how careful do I need to be?

Tell me, how should I be more careful, or does it matter? Can I ever be careful enough?

I used to never let Google on my laptop or my iPhone or iPad store my passwords, assuming I was being careful. But lately, I’ve let laziness take over and now have most of my passwords stored. Is that bad?

I also use a lot of the same passwords over and over and rarely change one unless I’m forced to. I know someone will tell me that’s not good. But how much risk is there? I know, all is good until something bad happens. I’ve witnessed that mindset when what’s right isn’t the chosen course of action, either because of cost or inconvenience. I guess I’m guilty of that now.

I worked in a corporate environment where cybersecurity was stressed a lot. But I also know policies were violated, justified in terms of practicality. How many executives share their passwords with their assistants? I get both perspectives. But why have policies and stress diligence if they can’t be enforced?

Maybe I should stress more about it, but I just don’t. I don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking it always happens to someone else. I know something could happen to me just as easily.

It’s tough to keep up with all the scams and hackers out there. As soon as one thing is secured, they find a new way to get to you. It’s endless and keeps the security companies in business, I guess.

Please share what you do to be careful when it comes to cyber security by answering my latest poll. It will only be open for voting until March 31. You can vote for as many answers as you like, and even add something I didn’t think to include. I’m very curious to see how what I do, or don’t do, compares with others.

I hate that we can’t just do our thing without always having to worry about some bad person out there. 😡

12 thoughts on “How Careful Should I Be?”

  1. I’ve always hoped that by staying small in terms of my digital footprint & following, I’ll avoid unwanted attention. I do a fair bit on security & am relatively knowledgeable on the subject, but still rely on my hope holding true. The thing is I really don’t want to tip into paranoia either, otherwise this all stops being enjoyable.

    1. Yes, that’s the issue. How far is too far? Or when it comes to this, is there such a thing as too far? I wish I had the answer!!

  2. That someone tried to hack into your blog is concerning. That hasn’t happened to me… yet. I did enable whatever “two-step” authorization WordPress suggests that involves a text message to my phone, so I guess that’s some level of security. But your rhetorical question if all of this is something we should be concerned about, I guess I have no real answer either.

    I’m sensitive to those who have suffered from identity theft, and I know that’s no laughing matter. It’s admittedly a tough balance.

    1. Identity theft is scary and definitely something I want to avoid. I typically avoid the two step authorization process when I have a choice because it’s annoying but maybe I should be doing that too. I guess annoying is better than dealing with identity theft!!!

  3. I try to be safe but I’m sure there are holes in what I do. I back up everything in multiple places and change passwords frequently. On one hand I figure that I’m small potatoes and who whould want to hack me; on the other hand, I think the cyber jerks (to put it way more politly than they deserve) out there just enjoy screwing with people because they can.

    1. I think you’re right. They seem to get a thrill out of messing with people, simply to disrupt your life. I’ve become so skeptical of everything to the point where I’ve called a bank when we got something that didn’t seem legit. Turns out it was but better to be safe.

  4. Good questions, but no answers here. I’ve had photos stolen and content stolen. I’ve had relentless spammers and oddball commenters who made me worry. I just keep on doing my thing, trying to stay lowkey, knowing I can end my blog if need be. I do it for a goof, not for money or fame.

    1. I’m not aware that I’ve had anything stolen. 🤞

      I decided to pay for my anti spam plugin when the number of spam comments skyrocketed. The last thing I wanted was to spend all my time manually deleting them.
      Thanks Ally!!

  5. I ask myself these very questions all the time. What is the right line to draw with regards to all this?

  6. Great bunch of questions, and yes, we should all be concerned about hackers and make sure we have the best security possible on our computers. Just last week my neighbor was “swatted.” If you haven’t heard about it yet, you will. It’s just a matter of time before it happens to someone you know. My neighbor’s Comcast account was hacked and the hijacker demanded ‘ransom of $10,000 to ‘go away.’ My neighbor told the guy to take a hike, and the hijacker retaliated by calling 911 and reporting a shooting at my friend’s residence. Our local SWAT team responded, in full force – can you imagine being greeted by policemen in full armor shouting commands at your front door? Apparently, it happened 5 times that same day in various locations around the county. Anyway, after hearing the news, I came home, verified our security software, backed up some files and changed a bunch of passwords.

    As far as your Instagram profile and photo -most likely that is an individual or group who makes big money by stealing accounts and creating Bots to sell to aspiring Instafamous wannabes. I just saw a documentary on that topic a while back. I’m not sure if that activity would cause a security threat, but it is very inconvenient to have to recreate an account you have curated.I

    I get a lot of spammers on my blog, but those seem to get caught by the SpAM file or by ‘comment moderation’. It’s easy to spot those and delete them.

    Unfortunately, cyber attacks are happening all the time and will continue to escelate. Banks, electric companies, water plants, etc. – so much scarier than Covid. Good topic. Sorry to be long-winded.

    1. Wow. I hope I never hear of that happening to anyone I know!! Does make you think twice about being careful.

      You’re very knowledgeable on this topic. I think I need to pay more attention. 🥴

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