Those Who Hide What They Are

DISGUISES. I was thinking about this theme for a post and I was not sure exactly which direction to go in. So, I thought I would think a little bit about internet security.

When I checked the definition of disguise – it was along the following lines:

“to alter one’s appearance or conceal one’s identity”

incognitoI was thinking about how important anonymity has been to me while I have been blogging on WordPress. I have written about lots of people and events in my personal life. But I do all sorts to maintain my privacy. I change names. I am very obscure about locations. There are all sorts of things I would never share on my blog for security reasons.

In addition, I only feel comfortable talking about my personal life, within the privacy that being incognito brings. That is important to me, and I also seek to protect Jack’s identity.

In a way, I conceal my identity with a disguise. I do so with a clean conscience. I am very security conscious. I have absolutely no intention to mislead of deceive others for sinister reasons.

But that made me think of everything I have read about internet security. There are people who disguise who they are for malicious, sinister reasons. I think that most bloggers are sensible and have that sense of caution with regards to personal information. But I am very conscious that there are some very young bloggers and others who perhaps are a little too trusting.

incognitoI don’t to be gloomy here, or frighten anyone, but I would appeal to anyone blogging and sharing information from their personal life to be careful! Be cautious! There are people, perhaps bloggers, who are disguising themselves, not for security reasons, but for sinister reasons.

It is so easy to find yourself drawn to bloggers who are friendly. Most of that interaction is fine. But please please be careful. The internet can be like a big city. There are lots of people, most of them just enjoying themselves. But others with ill intent. And those who do have sinister motives are usually very very clever at disguising themselves. They might be men pretending to be teenage girls. Or people pretending to be all sorts of things they are not, in order to get your attention and try to win your trust.

caution.pngSomeone might have a sad story and be asking you for money to help them with their problems. They might ask you for personal photographs, or lots of personal questions. They might say they are lonely and that they feel especially drawn to you, that you seem very special.

In fact…maybe I am a tad suspicious, but any stranger who starts telling me I am “special” or giving me an unreasonable amount of flattery – my alarm sensors immediately trigger.

careful3.jpgDisguises are not always bad in themselves. People wear disguises for fun like at fancy dress parties. They wear disguises to remain incognito to protect their privacy. They may seek to maintain their anonymity because they are security conscious. Here on WordPress there are many bloggers who prefer to remain anonymous for all sorts of reasons. They may want to express their creativity or their feelings without others from their “real life” identifying them.

But the worst disguises are those worn by those who pretend to be something they are not in order to deceive, degrade and damage. Some disguises are worn by those with very harmful sinister motives. Some cleverly hide what they are, presenting themselves as something entirely innocent, when the reality is, they are seeking an opportunity to take advantage of someone trusting and vulnerable.

There are some lovely bloggers out there. They are usually very sensible and cautious themselves and are unlikely to ever compromise your security. But please remember that there are some internet users who are basically predators.

Enjoy blogging – but be cautious. Be safe! Remember there are some out there who are very clever at disguising their true motives.



This post was my response to the writing prompt from Sarah Elizabeth Moore

Walk This Way

walk dark1I do love the walks in the dark that these autumn evenings are making possible for me and “Jack”. We have talked and talked. But it’s all good. Just when I find it’s becoming a bit intense (we have had a lot to discuss), he seems to be able to read my face perfectly. So he changes the mood with something to make me laugh.

Little by little, all sorts of questions are being answered. Although at times I have been scared of how much I have trusted him – I’ve felt vulnerable at times, when I realize how quickly we have ended up so so close. Yet I think he is giving me every reason to trust him. It is unimaginable after the intimacy we have shared this past month, he would walk away now.

Time together is so important! Talking things over is too. If we are going to stay together. If we are going to be together and forge a lasting unit, it’s so important. Our lives as volunteers mean travelling extensively. We will be working with all sorts of other people, a lot of people. Living conditions can be tough. It is physically and emotionally demanding. We will be tired. I know what it is like to live with him when he is tired and a little irritable. I don’t really become irritable myself. However, I can become very quiet (and a little unnecessarily fearful) if I don’t know how to deal with the tension around me.

braver.jpgSo it is good that we are sorting so much out now. I like walking in the dark with him for so many reasons. It’s good for my heart. And it’s romantic. Cold evenings, wrapped up in jumpers and scarves. Walking along whilst holding hands, swinging our arms. When people are headed towards us…he will just pull his scarf up a bit more. For my sake mainly. He doesn’t care who recognises him. He is hiding for the sake of my privacy. But it’s not fair to expect him to do that long-term.

There is a little lane that runs down the spine of the hill. During the day, you see an occasional car racing up or down, some idiot who has realized it is a short-cut. The residents hate that. But at night it is very quiet. I think I have had a hundred kisses from him on that little lane…my spine tingles thinking about it.

It’s darker earlier and earlier. It’s also getting colder and colder. I’m becoming braver and braver about walking with him along the quiet lanes and pathways that wriggle out all over this part of London. I am nervous about the busier streets, bustling with restaurants and bars. But what I have realized is that there will come a point when I won’t be as anxious. Because all that will matter is being with him. I can feel myself becoming entangled with him. Do you know what I mean?