Your correspondent once had his online identity stolen.
They hacked Facebook. They hacked my personal email. I stored credit card account numbers there. That was dumb.
The hacker impersonated me, told my friends I was in Ireland and asked them to please send cash ASAP. My friends, bless their besotted hearts, saw right through the ruse.
In the end, damage was minimal. Nobody was ripped off. I recovered my accounts, switched out passwords and set up new security.
I was lucky.
You might not be.
So read this: Tales from the Encrypted: 13 Ways to Protect Yourself from the Internet, our guide to staying safe and private online.
Now, nothing in this post-Snowden world is truly 100% iron-clad private.
But: you can get damn close to bunker-like protection. And fairly easily, too.
We’re talking armored password managers, military-encrypted browsers, legitimately private chat services and even self-destructing social media posts.
So get to reading.
The fate of my Irish doppelgänger depends on it.
(Keyboard image by Marcie Casas/Flickr Creative Commons)