Do you use protection?

I am the last person to tell anyone what to do or what not to do. I am also not the morality police. I have never claimed to be. Effectively I don’t care what you do, as long as it does not impact me negatively.

I also believe the majority of hashers I have met feel similarly.

But a well placed piece of advice here and there can potentially go a long way. Are you ready?

Protect yourself. Be mindful of what information you post on your personal and social Web sites. You may be amazed how much information you leak out every time you post to your social networking sites. Given enough time and determination someone with the desire can know an awful lot about you. Information you would never discuss if a stranger approached you on the street you gladly give up to the world online.

And remember, that stuff never goes away. No, it doesn’t. You might think deleting it makes it go away. It doesn’t. Posted your physical address once? It’s still there. Phone number? Yup, that too. Directions to your house or work? Uh-huh.

But what do you care, right? You live a boring existence and no one would ever be interested enough to ever want to harass you.

Not so fast there, Tex. The following is from an e-mail making its way around hash kennels:

“Let me start off with I don’t have all the details, but did want all members of any Hash House Harrier kennel to know what is going on out west and feel free to pass this to other kennels. Also, check your passwords and privacy settings on all your social web pages. Here is why…
“By now you have all seen the news on Chelsea King, the 17 year old girl, that was raped and murdered while running on a trail in the San Diego, CA area. This was not a hash run nor was Chelsea a hasher, but the mother and step-father of the accused are hashers, and therefore, all hashers have been under fire for this.
“Apparently, there is a group of cyber stalkers (not sure what to call them) with good intentions to help track down child molesters, sex offenders and pedophiles. They came across Humpin’ Hash Harriers’ website. Like most kennels HHH post pictures and list their up coming events with sexual innuendos.”
The e-mail continued, “This cyber group then googled the hashers name and found personal information. A few hashers in the SD area are being harassed by this group or by people that follow their forum on-line. This group has contacted their local police and FBI. I am not sure of the outcome of that. The newspapers and news channels are now trying to contact any hasher that will talk to them.”

Bluntly stated these hashers are being harassed because of their association with the hash. Not because they are interesting, rich, poor, high ranking, boring, male, female, black, white, gay or straight, but because they are hashers. And those doing the harassing found them by spending a few minutes on Google.

The bottom line is this: Be mindful of the information you post online. As soon as you hit the submit button everyone can see it.

For more information about protecting yourself online visit www.getsafeonline.org and www.whitehouse.gov/blog/protecting-yourself-online

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