Monday, August 9, 2010

Caution is the better part of valor... sometimes

Back in Ohio, we used to pass a street sign each week that said: "Right turn with caution." (Which was probably safer than "Right turn with abandon.")

My impression is that accountants are a cautious bunch. We like to look before we leap. When we learn in the news of a disaster that could have been avoided with more safeguards, we point to it and say: "See, that's why we need to be careful."

For example, Key Bell shares a report of Donald Bren's $1.4 million federal tax refund stolen by an ID thief. She writes: "While Bren and others at his rarefied income level are an identity thief's dream target, any of us can become victims."

Kay is (as usual) absolutely correct.

David McClure recently wrote on CPATechViews:
I have dropped out of FaceBook, don’t Twitter or Tweet, and refuse to give real information to any web site. And I wipe my cookies and tracker caches every single night. Because I do not want to let advertisers know who I am, where I am or what I am thinking about. That may seem extreme, but you should consider it as well. I’m a pretty stable guy, not a privacy lunatic by any means, but I am scared.

And so as with all things in life, we find ourselves dealing with the gray area. I understand McClure's position, and at the same time am not taking the same position. Perhaps I am setting myself up for trouble by staying active online. But I keep thinking of the Spanish proverb quoted in one of my favorite movies ("Strictly Ballroom"):

"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

I'm not about to go sky diving or anything, but I'll stick around on Twitter, and hopefully not have my tax refund stolen. (To any ID thieves out there: there's not a whole lot of money to be gained from swiping my name.)

1 comment:

  1. Seems you can't be too careful these days. I would say he is paranoid, but just maybe concerned.