“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!” That phrase featured prominently in Robert Heinlein’s novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Many organizations — some respectable and some that have no hesitation to squeeze whatever they can out of us — are offering seemingly free services or products that are a way to convince you to provide something of value to receive them. Most things come at a price, albeit not necessarily monetary.
One of the most valuable commodities in today’s fast-paced world is information. Information about us — our shopping preferences, eating habits, medical information, etc. is the currency of the digital age. Some organizations are mostly benign, but others are relentless in their attempts to gather the scraps and crumbs that we unwittingly leave behind and exploit them to gain whatever they can. It’s somewhat sad that with all the internet has to offer, that there are some that will exploit us in any way they are able to separate us from our information and sometimes money.
You are not defenseless! A healthy dose of skepticism concerning any questionable item that might appear in your email just might prevent you from becoming a victim. To quote an old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Just maybe there is a Nigerian minister that needs your assistance, but probably not.