Safety and the Single Lady
So, some person online has offered to "assist" you, and for free, no less...
“Why wouldn’t I let someone revamp my resume?”
Recently, I had a friend of my column come to me with a request. Brian, my right hand man and virtual security guard, checks out anyone I have more than a two sentence conversation with, and for very good reason. I have in the last 30 days watched people I personally have communicated with be accused of sexually charged conversations with minors, sending illicit photos to minors, and other things that will have me testifying under oath, and we’re just not having that on Ask A Bitchface.
I’m fortunate. Brian is one of the best research and dirt digging people I’ve come across. If he ever decided to write White Papers, he wouldn’t be hanging out with advice columnists any longer, that’s for sure. He is thorough, and I feel much safer with him looking into the characters that write to me.
However, I digress. The young lady, *Lia, says she has been approached by a man, and he has offered some assistance to her as far as life coaching, resume prep, job searching, etc. Awesome. “He’s offered to help me for free”. Wait a second.
Brian is my chief of research and intel. There is no dirt digger like Brian.
Hold the phone, homegirl. Something smells suspect.
If I were a referee, I would have thrown a flag on the play. Probably mine, and another refs’ flag.
I am in my 40’s. I have not come across anything in this life, especially during the times I was down on my luck, that was free. Everything has a price associated with it, be it word of mouth advertising, or a fixed cost, or whatever IOU some nitwit tries to cash in at the end of the transaction. I know Lia, and I know she’s been facing some financial hardship, and a few other things in her life haven’t been peachy. This is the reason behind my concern.
Sometimes, as women, we can get so caught up in the immediate problem, we don’t see ourselves creating 4 or 5 other problems for ourselves with the quick fix or band-aid we’re trying to apply. By not thinking a “bit of assistance” all the way through, we’ve now set ourselves up to receive an IOU. Not only that, but in resume services, what are you providing to someone? Your address, your phone number, your full name, your work history, your hobbies, education.
The number of men in my email acting as though we're lifelong friends is disturbing if I think about it.
Not everyone is a predator. But, how good is your ESP?
I’m not comfortable giving any of that information to a stranger who approaches me with an offer of assistance because he has seen my comments online about being behind the 8 ball. He knows I’m vulnerable, and unable to pay him, and that screams of a scenario where I will be left owing someone something that I don’t have. I also now am indebted to someone who has all of my information, and that is not a situation I am comfortable with.
I’m not saying that everyone is out to take advantage of our vulnerability. I’m sure that there are some people out there who genuinely just want to help other people. When it is a man 15 years your senior, and you are a woman in your 20’s with financial issues? Nothing about that says father figure or friend to me. It sounds like a problem waiting to happen.
Do you have an online security man? There is a reason that I do.
Ladies, I urge you, please, think about whom it is you’re giving your information over to. I know, it seems like a good idea to let someone help us. It seems like they have no ulterior motive. It seems they won’t use our information in any way they see fit at any time. Do you know that for certain?
We don’t all have a Brian keeping the gate and making sure that whomever is on the other side of our phone screen or laptop is who they say they are, with the intentions they say they have. Believe me, I wish it wasn’t necessary for me to have someone keeping the gate. However, I can assure you, it is necessary, and it is not something I take lightly. I share my life with my readers, and it can be a frightening experience at times. The number of strange men that show up in my email and speak to me like we’re old friends is sometimes a thought I don’t like to sit and explore.
Either be safe, or get yourself a Brian.
We're watching who our children communicate with, but giving everyone our information...
Online safety isn’t just for our children. You don’t know who that person is, really. You don’t know that I’m not a 22 year old man, or a 13 year old girl. (I assure you, Brian has properly vetted me). The point is, before you give a stranger a map to your life, do your homework. Check his Facebook and Twitter. See if how he says he found you is really how he found you. It’s just like not giving your address to the weirdos on Marketplace. Stop giving your information to people that may not have your best interest in mind.
Just be safe out there, ladies. If not, you had better get yourself a Brian.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 MsMacon