No. 735



We live in the age of technology. This may be the understatement of the century. Of course the century is still young, and assuming the world does not come to an end we still have plenty of time left to create some new and even better things. Relatively speaking, I am still in the horse and buggy days when it comes to technology. The only reason I got a computer is because of this column and it’s worked out pretty well. Most of my friends, and the vast majority are much younger than I am, have all kinds of technology in their offices, their homes and even their cars.
A few months ago my friend John Berry and I, were on our way to play golf, and during the trip to the course he turned on his GPS system. We were traveling close to the Arkansas River and I could see every little road, where it started and where it stopped. This was most impressive, especially for a country boy who grew up in a town where they didn’t get the Grand Old Opry until Wednesday night.
Technology is wonderful. However, most technological inventions that have positive benefits attract unsavory people who flunked potty training, and they look for ways to scam and take advantage of unsuspecting people. A friend of mine who works for our local police department sent me something the other day that every person who has a GPS should know about. This supposedly true story begins, “A couple of weeks ago a friend told me that someone she knew had their car broken into while they were at a football game. Their car was parked in one of those lots adjacent to the stadium and specifically allotted to football fans. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which was mounted on the dashboard.
“When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen. The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. Then they used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry into the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew the time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents.
“Something to consider if you have a GPS – don’t put your home address in it. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.” My police department friend also sent me a story about mobile phones that space does not permit me to go into detail, but basically it involved a lady whose purse was stolen that contained her mobile phone that contained all kinds of personal information.
Shortly after her purse was stolen, her husband called to find out what happened. The thief had already sent him a text message to ask for the pin number to access their bank account. When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money had already been withdrawn. This dastardly deed only took about 20 minutes. Moral of the lesson: Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list.
As I said earlier, technology is wonderful, but we have to be smart enough to use it wisely. Sorry about the play on words there, but you get the message. To be sure, we live in a different day and time than when I grew up, and I don’t like a lot of what I see.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)