The amount of effort people are willing to put into that kind of disturbing and pointless invasion of privacy will never cease to amaze me.
I agree that no one has any right to invade someone’s privacy in that way. But as most of our grandmothers would likely say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
You need to decide if something like that is worth the risk. It’s definitely not unheard of or a shock at all nowadays for people to take provocative pictures of themselves, but if you’re going to do that you have to realize there’s a possibility someone’s going to find them. And share them with others on the Internet. Because that’s the kind of horrible people we have living among us these days.
They’re taking a risk. Just like I take a risk by writing what I really think of our annoying new ad sales guy at the news office, who single-handedly destroyed the dynamic of our all-female power team I had affectionately dubbed the “Estro-Fest Press.” But I digress.
If there’s anything to be learned from this, it’s to think very carefully about any actions you take that could potentially be used to blackmail and/or humiliate you in the future.
But there’s a solution – one that’s worked well for me since I got duped into eating a moldy cookie in Grade 3.
Trust no one.
Spending a Sunday afternoon having tea with your grandma? Don’t leave the room without taking your iPad with you. Sitting on the bus next to a seemingly harmless mother of three? Keep your iPhone in sight at all times. Staying the night at your bff’s place? Better make sure that laptop has a good password on it (hint: the name of your crush or the year you were born are both not the best choices. The aforementioned horrible people may be, well, horrible, but they aren’t stupid).
It’s a lesson Rob Ford has learned very well. If you want to do something unwise, illegal or potentially embarrassing, make sure there’s no photographic evidence of it.
I’ve kept a journal since I was seven years old, writing about anything exciting, annoying, dramatic, funny or aggravating that’s happened to me over the last couple decades. There’s a big risk taken in doing something like that, but I take that risk because I’m fairly confident no one actually cares enough about what I think to read any of my journals. (That’s right, people. Write about all that crap you feel the need to share with everyone online in a notebook instead. You’ll feel just as satisfied and probably won’t make as many people hate you for sharing an opinion they disagree with or venting publicly about something no one really cares to know).
If there’s anything we’ve learned from all those ultimate heist movies, it’s that nothing is ever completely safe from ending up in the wrong hands. You can lock it up in a titanium safe surrounded by lasers, security cameras and blood-thirsty werewolves and someone will still find a way in if they’re determined enough to get a hold of whatever is in it.
The only way you’re safe is if there’s nothing inside. Otherwise, take a chance and don’t worry about it.