The good opinion of others about us or our good reputation is destroyed in a split second and as fast as our contacts and others receive a spoofed email looking like a legitimate email sent by us suggesting to buy drugs, visit some websites, or fill out an application. The trust that some people place on our character is the basis for their action to open that spoofed email or click that link. But what about the integrity factor? Isn’t integrity part of the trust factor? If we consider integrity to be a big part of the trust we place in other people, then emails appearing to come from people whom we know and trust, proposing products, services or actions which we know almost for sure can not come from our trusted contacts should be flagged as spoofed email spam, never be taken seriously or forwarded to others, and deleted immediately while we notify the spoofing victims to help them start their damage control process as soon as possible. On the other hand, we should not place a heavy reliance on our reputation trying to please everyone either because if we think that our reputation or what others think of us is important to us and our business, then, we are constantly readjusting our identities and once our good reputation is destroyed, we lose everything including our health.
Our good reputation can be destroyed because of our own mistakes or because someone else does something in our good name by committing an identity theft crime. First, for a reputation to be destroyed, we have to assume that our reputation is a good one and it is important for providing us with a good life such as great friends and business deals. In such assumption, we then do everything to please others and be a perfect picture based on how we think others should think about us. This assumption is flawed in many fronts because our assumption of what a good reputation is may be wrong when considering all different opinions people have, and, we have to constantly change to please as many people as possible.
Second, even if we are correct in our assessment of a good reputation, this image of a perfect person in the eyes of many can be destroyed as soon as those having a good opinion of us receive a nasty email with our name stamped as the sender or someone commits a crime with our stolen identity. When people place high importance on the way others perceive their reputation, then they are quickly demoralized when others stop trusting them, speaking to them, and liking them for the wrong reasons. There is no doubt that people who place high importance on the good or bad opinion of others inflict pain upon themselves and are as quickly destroyed as their good reputation is destroyed. We should just try to be the best version of ourselves including someone whom others can trust, worry about what we can control, and ignore what we can not control.
Spam emails, defaced business websites and other identity theft related crimes are part of today’s evil realities and sooner or later everyone will experience them in one form or another. The key for confronting identity theft and its undesired consequences is to be prepared and not emphasize too much on reputation because someone else can take that away from us at any time. We should not focus on what we cannot control and identity theft is one of those events that can still happen even when we do everything to minimize its occurrence and impact. Remember, if integrity is not part the trust formula when we deal with others, small incidents such as a spoofed email suggesting to buy a weight loss drug can quickly destroy the relationship because it is built on a weak foundation whereas solid relationships will not be moved by a few identity theft and spoofing incidents.