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Privacy is a right; online privacy is a myth. When it comes to online privacy, a man’s home is his castle, but the castle is a tear down.

Jim Naugler

Jim Naugler

Today, sending an email or text is like sending a postcard or sharing thoughts on a cave painting or talking on the old telephone party line with the neighbors listening. The only way to talk privately anymore is with two cans and a string.

Naturally, the guarantee of privacy is strongest when we don’t need it. Like being abandoned on a tiny island without cell service or lost in the Sahara without cell service or pinned between two rocks in the mountains surrounded by gophers that have cell service but only speak gopher.

Ultimately, billions of emails spanning the world each day provide safety in numbers. As the sage Klondike Q. Fosdick used to say, “Pigeons fly in flocks to confuse the eagles, falcons and hawks.”

In the end, we’re left with the humbling but comforting thought that our privacy is safe because no one cares to read our emails. The same five-second rule that applies to eating food dropped on the floor applies to most emails -- toss after five seconds.


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