Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Stop & Chat: January 8-10 - Tin Foil Hats

I played a fair amount of UO today. So much, in fact, that I thought it warranted me dusting off my old UO-based blog and writing a post about it. No problem, right?

I grew up in the internet era of "who you are behind the screen is your most precious possession." My dad had a very serious talk with 9-year-old me on the day he introduced me to Ultima Online. He told me about the dangers of other people and how precious my identity and personal information was. That talk stuck with me, and I stubbornly withheld that information from the world for many years. It wasn't until I was 16 that I admitted my real age to my online group of friends. I was 19 before I let that group of friends know my real name; until then, I had used Facebook with them under my online alias. I became very good at keeping my online and "real" life separate, even when social media became a prevalent part of everyone's daily lives.

Nowadays I'm a lot more lax about my "real" and "online" life merging, but I still maintain a huge distrust of the internet in general. I'm wary of over sharing on certain media outlets, and even on this blog, the place where I'm the most open about my life, I choose to omit or delay the release of information that I feel would compromise our safety. There was a very calculated decision in starting my Stop & Chat posts - what information would be disclosed, when I would allow it to be disclosed, and how I would protect the information of anyone who wasn't involved in the making of this blog. It's not an accident that I remove the faces and names of anyone besides myself.

Part of that internet distrust means I do certain things to either protect my information or make it harder for people to social engineer their way into my accounts. If I want to sign up for something but do not want my real name or contact information to be associated with it, I use one of several "sock puppet" email addresses to sign up. (PS it's a great way to figure out which services/websites sell your information to spam/ad lists) I try to keep as many accounts as I can completely separate from one another. That way if someone gets into any website here's servers and accesses my login information, they'll get an email that is a dead end. "Who is this Onetime Usegal and why does it appear that this email was solely created for the website I discovered their email from?"

When I made my UO blog, I wanted that blog's "author" and identity to be based around my main moniker I used on UO. I couldn't make it under the same account I used to make this blog, because the author would always be "Liz" when I wanted to be known as "Kammie." That meant I had to create a brand new email address for the purpose of writing on that blog. In our move to Korea, I completely forgot that login information. Today, while trying to remember that account, I accidentally uncovered three other email accounts I had made over the course of the past decade. Don't worry, I finally did uncover the account that blog was tied to, but it took a long time and going through lots of internet/email security to get back into that account. You know the security is tough when the account's real owner is having trouble showing they own the account!

Does all of this sound crazy? Do I sound like one of those tin foil hat people? I've decided I'm okay with sounding a little crazy when it comes to this topic. :)

Back to the real world, I decided to train up a character on UO and that left me with a lot of free time. I ended up setting a recurring five-minute timer and started cleaning the house. Every five minutes I would check on my character and make any changes I needed before returning to cleaning. This brought back some nostalgia to Spring 2012, in the dorms, where I would train up my characters and use that down time to clean the room and wash laundry.

Pebbles has settled in nicely for her stay with us. She's a very talkative little kitty, and I spend many a morning listening to M and her have long chats as he gets ready for work.

"Yes, Pebbles?"
"It's too early to feed you. The sun hasn't even come up yet!"
"You still have food from yesterday!!"
"Get out of there, you don't belong in the shower!"
"I love you too."

M has always considered himself a dog person, so it's been a combination of adorable and hilarious watching him fall for Pebbles. Now's my chance to spring a cat adoption on him, muahahaha! LOL!

I took some pictures of various sticker orders that have been sitting on my desk for a while now. I'm not sure how I want to address these. Should I do hauls or vendor reviews? I don't want to take pictures of all of the stickers because it might encourage someone to use those pictures to steal the images and use them, which is a big issue in the sticker/planner world, but I'm also a sucker for pictures and want to share this crazy little hobby I've fallen in love with. Bah, I'll figure something out. It'll probably be done on a case by case basis.

How do you feel about the share-everything-online culture? Do you have long lost accounts you've forgotten the information to?

P.S. Yes, yes you do see a very special change in the web URL. I'm a big girl now!


  1. I'm not overly worried about people tracking me down to rob me or murder me but it did take me forever to start paying bills online. I still get nervous about that! I'm not one to make extra email addresses either because it drives me insanely nuts how everything is connected to everything else, and by signing up here you're now signed up to ten other things but don't know it. I got so pissed when I got my phone because they wanted a gmail addy to get started and I said I didn't have one, so the girl just made one up for me. I was like 'What? Waaait!' Now I don't even remember what it is, don't know where to look to find out, and can't do bloggy stuff on my phone because I apparently can't get logged out of whatever she logged me on as. Or some dumb tech crap.

    Thanks, Liz. Now I'm all riled up. =P


    1. That is crazy Deb! She should not have done that to you. You can log out of your gmail account she has you in and log in to your blogger one and do it that way.

    2. I've tried that a while ago but I'm phone challenged. It just keeps me logged in on that other one...or something. *cries and whips phone across room*


    3. That's horrible that the phone person up and made an account. Like Julie said, not cool and she should not have done that!
      Perhaps you can get in contact with your phone company to force wipe/reset the phone so you can log into your real account and not one created by some woman at a store?

      There are times when I crave my old flip phone from '06 and the simplicity of staying detached from the Internet when out in the real world.

  2. I used to be very protective of my online stuff back in the Myspace days. And even on FB I have my controls pretty tight. Only IG and the blog are public but I do think really hard about if I am going to share certain photos of my girls or what not. I did have my Target account hacked and the manager told me to set up a new one under a different email address but I don't have another one that I actively use. I have used my AOL one from day one in middle school :-( But even certain companies won't recognize AOL email accounts anymore they are so outdated. I am tempted to great a gmail but I don't really want to juggle two accounts #lazy. But I am thinking I should by now.

    And the answer is.... GET A KITTY. Yes. Do.

    We have a rosy boa coming to join our family here in a few days. Scarlette's new pet since her gerbil Sunshine died. :-(

    1. I'm sure I have an AOL account somewhere, right next to my MSN and AKO account. I wonder if AIM is still a thing?
      Ah, Myspace. When your profile plastered with glitter graphics and everyone posted melodramatic notes/journals/diaries/whatever they were called every other week.

      As much as we would love to have a pet in our life, we still feel we aren't ready. So much responsibility, and I want to make sure we take the proper time and care to love them like they deserve.

      :( I know you mentioned recently that you didn't think Sunshine had much time left, but it's still a sad thing. I hope the family is taking the loss well and everyone is excited for the new addition!