Reading Progress:

Thinking Outside the Box

Coloring inside the lines and following the rules were taught at home and school when I was a child. About the time I graduated from high school and times were changing with Viet Nam and women’s liberation, thinking outside the box was taught. The first time I saw it was a 9-dot puzzle to question assumptions by linking the 3 by 3 pattern of dots by never lifting the pen, which required drawing a line outside the boundaries of the dots.

To think outside the box was to generate new ideas creatively.

I received another notice today from an international keeper of my privacy letting me know my personal information had been breached again, and what the FBI is doing about it.

The hackers have invaded inside the boxes of servers repeatedly in order to think inside the boxes of businesses, governments, and computer systems.

None of our patient or financial data has ever been compromised.

We have safety on our computer boxes and a new block against those who want to get inside our box for ransom or extortion.

The comic book villains of my childhood had the option to work inside the box using their talents for good, or to think outside the box to accumulate wealth or power illegally.

People can still choose.

Too much of my time is typing information into tiny boxes on my computer screen, and, if the mouse’s pointer is not inside the box first, then my password, name, or date of birth is lost typed outside the box.

Have you ever wondered where all those lost keystrokes went before you looked up and saw nothing you had typed was inside the box?

I have. I was on hold with a medical insurance company for 34 minutes this week listening to their instructions to press different numbers on the call tree to move to the next higher branch where they play their commercials to their captive audience. Such times give me opportunity to wonder.

I’ve heard of the dark web from some of my patients who use it for searching outside the browser boxes which would have recorded everything typed in, then sold what was inside the box to another company.

What if the commies, big 4 tech companies, and “they” (the ones always out to get us) collect our keystrokes from outside the box on forms?

If I type into a box the name of an item I want to buy, the next day, the item shows up in many advertisements on the computer, and those keystrokes were the right ones in the right box.

What happens to the keystrokes lost outside the box?

Algorithms are instructions for computers to process data. When we check inside the box, like the store where I searched for an item, we accept the unread rules of a website written by and for attorneys, which have algorithms to search for gold inside my information to sell to advertisers of what I wanted.

Thinking outside the box here on the web may be a paradox.

Anyway, algorithms threaten our privacy and freedom from what we intentionally type inside the box.
I wonder who might be collecting and using the keystrokes not typed into the box?

I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m an Eagle Scout. We were taught to be prepared. “Look before you leap” helped us prepare to dive into the water, not think outside the box and land down on the rocks. I was prepared for life, leadership, and altruism. Pretty much inside the box of the Scout Oath, Law and 12 principles. Bill was another Eagle Scout from my troop. Bill went to college, tried thinking outside the box with LSD trips, and has been mentally disabled for 50 years.

Healthy Counseling Center is careful with what is typed into the boxes in our offices.

I’m going to be more careful to think and to type inside the boxes on our computers, no matter what might happen to those poor lost keystrokes living outside the box. My bifocals let me see the screen clearly and I will look at the box before I leap into typing keystrokes I cannot control if they land outside the box.

I’m not going to click inside the boxes from emails phishing for my information, push the green button to answer a call labelled “Spam Risk” on my cell phone, nor am I going to think outside the boxes of legal, biblical, ethical, and moral best practices for our staff and the people entrusted to our care. I hope to lead you to think inside the box of what is your next right step. I wish Bill had thought inside the box.

On the other hand, Carl Jung departed from Sigmund Freud to think outside the box of psychiatry. The new issue of Counseling Today has a cover story about nontraditional counseling interventions like culinary therapy, which hopefully is not about food fights for couples. The BBC ran a story on psychedelic therapy to reset the brains of depressed people using a powerful hallucinogenic drug from a shamanic ritual. Those treatments are way outside the box of my scope of practice.

Please go ahead and express yourself safely. Color outside the lines. Be creative. Look at it another way.

For what’s most important in your life, be prepared to use the rules inside the box as tools for what is best for all concerned.

Our financial advisor told us:
Data breaches have become a regular occurrence so the need to be protect your identity is higher than ever. Freezing your credit with the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Transunion, is an important piece to fighting identity theft. It will ensure no one can open up a new line of credit in your name. Here’s what you need to do immediately to safeguard your information.

Freeze your credit

If you have not done so already, it is imperative you freeze your credit immediately at each of the three credit bureaus.

A security freeze, also called a credit freeze, locks your credit file at each bureau with a special PIN only you know. That PIN must be used in order for anyone to access your credit file, or add new credit in your name.

A security freeze gives you complete control of your credit file. Unlike credit monitoring or fraud alerts, a security freeze stops an identity theft from happening rather than alerting you to potential fraud after it has happened.

How to do it

To set up a security freeze, you must contact all three of the credit bureaus individually. This process can be done online or over the phone. You will be asked some questions to confirm your identity but it only takes a few minutes.

You can freeze your credit by using the following phone numbers and links:
Equifax: (866) 349-5191
Freeze your credit
Experian: (888) 397-3742
Freeze your credit
Transunion: (888) 909-8872

To lift your freeze, you simply contact the bureau used by the lender and provide your PIN to lift the freeze for a certain period of time. This can be done online or over the phone. It may take a few days for the freeze to be lifted so be sure to do it a few days in advance.

Know your rights!

You have the right to a free credit report from all 3 credit bureaus every year. Visit https://www.annualcreditreport.com/ for your free report. Reviewing the report is the best way to see if there’s unusual activity, like a new account or new or different personal information or inquiries from lenders you don’t recognize.

So, be prepared to protect yourself from those villains thinking outside the box to harm you.

 

Sources:
https://ct.counseling.org/2021/02/counseling-outside-the-box/
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-56373202

 

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