The internet is an awe inspiring thing. On it, people are able to make contact and do business with everyone from their favorite singer or musician to discuss a medical question with a world expert on a certain condition. At it's best, it is a wonderful tool for commerce, an encouragement for those who need it, and an educational modality. At it's worse, it has resulted in stalkings, death, cyber-bullying, and in a few families losing their children for a time, when on a bad day, they confided their feelings which were a little too dark for a social worker somewhere. It is a powerful tool which is worthy of our respect and with which we must take good care.
Overall, my experiences with the internet are good ones. I am pretty careful about things I write, and although I give truthful information, identifying information could be hard to get, and this allows me to enjoy a fair measure of comfort.
Periodically though, I run a quick search on each of the members of my family using their real names. Most of the time, accurate information from long ago pops up, although I must admit, most of it is from the home we have not lived in for sixteen years. I ran a recent search on myself using my full and correct name this week, and I learned something interesting. I am apparently the CEO of a preparedness company with a net worth of 25 million dollars. This is great news, since I don't have too much saved, haven't been working fulltime in a while, and still have two more kids to get through college.Perhaps my husband doesn't need to give me grocery money. Perhaps I shouldn't need to clip coupons, if I am the heir apparent to a preparedness company. I apparently have a phone number and address and the information has been confirmed by 17 people at the business itself. It's near a place where I would like to vacation, so perhaps I could just come by the store and kick everyone out overnight and stay there free. Maybe I should have a "Going Out of Business Sale" because I could use a few things. After all, the internet says the business is mine. The reality is that although I am active in preparedness, I own no such business and I am not even an investor in one. Some type of directory has either snared my name from an article I have written, and married it up to one of the advertisers of preparedness supplies which may have appeared on an article I wrote somewhere, or this is an attempt at setting up a scenario for identity theft. In either way, I am pulling a credit report. I hope the IRS doesn't pay any attention to the internet. I wouldn't be half this frugal if it weren't a necessity !