A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided we needed a little time away from the office so we got in the car and headed north into the mountains. My computer was safely packed out of reach in the back and I placed my cell phone in the cup holder with no intention of touching it. With life as busy as it is, it seems like we have our longest, single topic conversations when we are “unplugged” from technology and alone in the car!
I am working on a new book and wanted to get his feedback on some new ideas I had. We spent the trip enjoying the gorgeous desert scenery and talking about my book. When we arrived a couple of hours later, I grabbed my phone out of the cup holder. I was feeling proud of myself as I hadn’t touched it once the entire trip!
There was a notification waiting for me. Now, that didn’t surprise me, but what it said did!
There on my phone screen was this notification: “Want to be a famous author? Save 40% on ghost writer services at www._____” (some website I don’t remember.) I was stunned. It wasn’t a message from a contact, an email, or Facebook telling me I had been tagged in a post. it was a notification. Once I read it, it was gone. I really was horrified and angry. I felt like I had been violated. How could this possibly be? I hadn’t touched my phone once the entire trip. I hadn’t done any google searches on how to get a book published. It really got under my skin. I was so upset thinking that my phone must have been listening to us. Who exactly might have the ability to “listen in” to my conversations. Was I crazy? Can this really happen?
After venting this experience on my Facebook page, I couldn’t believe all of the comments and responses of others who have had a similar experience. I decided to ask my friend, Sam Bocetta, a cyber security analyst who has written a couple of articles for The Well Armed Woman, if this were possible, could he write an article for me on the subject and if it were true, give some tips on how to protect ourselves. Of course he has come through and you can read his article here. If something like this has happened to you, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.