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Dawson PPD General Manager Gwen Kautz

Gwen Kautz

Dawson PPD General Manager

There’s no such thing as a private life if you are registered to any social media sites. A Google search of my name came up with no less than 403,000 results. While a great majority of the results were related to work, there were many reflecting my personal/private life. The saying “you can run but you cannot hide” never rings truer than it does today.

It’s disturbing to search online for a specific product only to have that product show up on your social media outlets. That’s how sophisticated marketing online has become. Between this and the wide-span video cameras placed strategically at homes or businesses, covering your tracks is not an option. We see good and bad in video surveillance but like the other things mentioned before, has it gone too far?

While the internet can be beneficial and provide fast information, it can also be dangerous and mislead people. It’s very easy for entities and people to create sites that propagate false information. We do our best to keep our kids safe but the truth is, it’s becoming more apparent that you need to keep adults and companies safe. I’ve changed my approach and now believe only half of what I see and maybe a tenth of what I read, unless multiple credible sources are used.

No longer is a picture worth a 1,000 words or “proof” of an event. Photoshop and other digital manipulation software allow even novice users to remove one person and put in another with little trace of the switch. It’s easy to insert a sign or book that takes the picture context and moves it to something entirely different. I thought I could believe a video clip until I took an online class and learned that this venue is also easily duped. Now you can’t even believe what you see.

Pictures taken from a specific location can now be tracked online using metadata. It doesn’t seem to matter to some of our teens when we tell them how damaging some pictures will be to their safety and even their future. Prospective employers are now using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok and other apps to determine if you are a good fit for their company.
I ask my readers to exercise great caution when catching a headline that seems either amazing or ridiculous. I’m beginning to think shady people are outnumbering the credible ones online. It feels like everyone has something to sell – whether it’s a product, a political ideology, a religious perspective or a plea for goodwill. Blanket trust is a thing of the past.

A company that’s been around as long as Dawson PPD is not immune from scams. If you ever get a call from someone asking that you urgently take care of your electric bill or risk being disconnected…hang up. Call our office immediately or log in to your SmartHub account to check your balance. If you fall victim to the scam, we encourage you to contact your local police department or sheriff and report it. Unfortunately, once the money is out of your hands and into the thieves’, there isn’t much anyone can do.

Dawson PPD has a policy that protects your personal information from your name to your mailing or physical address, any energy usage and your phone numbers on file. We will not give out that information unless a legal and written summons is provided.

What can you do to protect yourself online? There are companies with paid services that protect your identity but make sure you are getting what you paid for. Many of the introductory prices give you a Kia price with a Lexus promotion. After you’ve signed up you discover the protection is minimal and you must “level-up” to have the promises they led you with.

Although online privacy may be a thing of the past, rest assured that there are steps that can minimize your exposure. Dawson PPD remains diligent in protecting its customers’ information now and in the future.

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