Stacked in Our Favor

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Internet safety

My favorite teenager took an out take test in technology class this week. Said teen didn’t think much of the answers. I inquired as to what exactly was troublesome. Here’s the objectionable question and answer:

Which of the following is safe to post on the internet? Your:

1.) First name

2.) Last name

3.) Address

4.) Phone number

While this darling teen agreed that the best answer was 1.), there was quite a bit of grumbling a out the real safety of using your first name. After all, I make sure to introduce my loved ones to resources like Net Smartz.

Our conversation made me think. This idea that our first names are generalized enough to be safe seems odd to me. In the last few years I have had students who have had first names which were so individual that there is little chance of them finding someone else with the same name in their lifetime. Some of these individuals have family names which are relatively common. So in reality, wouldn’t using the last name be a safer bet?

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