The Security of LoveBy Greg Harris
My wife called asking for advice on how to send a fax. For years we had a fax machine in our home office. The microwave size appliance was once the envy of all but quickly sucked the space out of the room, and we've been without the chirpy communicator for a few years now.
"Why do you need a fax machine?" I asked.
"I have to sign some paperwork for the bank, and they need it faxed to them," she replied.
My wife apparently asked for an email address instead, but was told by the bank that email was not an option. Her options were fax or sent by mail. We know that the bank understands the concept of technology and no doubt has the capability of using the thirty-plus-year-old technology of email. I assumed that they considered email to be an unsecure form of communication for this important document.
I know there is such a thing as secure email but that's not widely in use. What I don't understand is why as a society we haven't improved our approach to email and universally require that everyone use secure email. We should be able to validate the sender, we should not have to worry that our emails can be intercepted. Maybe my expectations are too high to expect that a 1900s technology (email) should be as secure as the competing 1700s technology (mail) or 1800s technology (telephone).
"Why don't you just scan the forms, email them to me here at the office and then I'll fax them." I suggested.
"But that's not secure!" my wife protested.
Extra points were awarded to my wife for knowing that email is not secure. And while she was correct, I wasn't particularly worried that out of the millions of emails whizzing around the world that one PDF attachment with my wife's horrible handwriting was going to catch any bad guy's attention.
So I came up with a plan. "Here's what you do. Write an email to me filled with lots of lovey dovey smoochy stuff and then attach the PDF bank document. That way when the NSA, the North Korean Government or the Russian syndicate are scanning our emails, they'll assume that there is nothing of interest to them.
She did just that. I must say that it felt good to get a love note at the office from my wife. I didn't worry too much about the lack of sincerity. I guess it had been a while since getting a love note. I replied with an equally gooey response.
Just to be clear. No, I'm not convinced for a minute that this strategy made our email communication any safer, but you can't deny the positive impact it had on our marriage!
So for those still reading, the moral of the story is that if dishonesty and corruption are getting you down, take some extra time to at least love your spouse.