Cheating Online Bites You Back

Today I’ll talk about email, privacy and the gut dropping feeling people get when they get “caught” by their spouses.

A woman contacted me freaking out because her husband “found” some personal email of hers. The messages were harmless out of context, but did bring things into a fair perspective when coupled with behavior.

She called me asking for help. “Here’s my passwords…. delete my email and my MySpace stuff!” etc.

Ok, I helped out, and going forward I only needed to try to sanitize the web-based public reputation she has created for herself.

The problem she faced is that although I could help sanitize the web, I had no control over her behavior. It would be impossible for me to guarantee her husband wouldn’t learn of the other adulterous affairs not part of this initial issue.

The point is this. If you’re playing around, telling lies to your spouse and fear the whole truth will come out, don’t make your actions known to anyone. No web guy can save your reputation. We can always try to help minimize damage, but your behavior and actions are facts that can haunt you forever. And while disturbing, publishing the truth isn’t defamation – anyone can bring the truth to the world about you.

I give up on this person. It’s impossible to “hide the truth” for her and I only hope that when the whole truth is presented to the spouse that her stories match the facts ❗ Time would tell to see how clever she was, or blind he is.

If you’re trying to be sneaky, DON’T share your passwords with the one you lie to. If you get caught cheating, it’s better to tell the whole truth than just selective parts – the truth has a way of catching up.

In the end, if you are so morally bankrupt that you would even have to find yourself in a situation where you want to cover up several extra-marital affairs :mrgreen: , then you are most likely a bad person and deserve what happens to you. I only feel bad for the poor guy that thinks he’s finally learned the truth. (Sadder if he does learn and still accepts it – grow some….)

So what are the rules of privacy in these situations? Case law changes quickly as the net evolves – but the rule usually backs those that are duped, not those that betray. Cops, lawyers and employers use google to learn about you – what is published is recorded forever. Wayback archives and screenshots freeze every regretful moment in time and who knows where past email, photgraphs, flight itineraries, love letters and more may be lurking.

If you must lie, cheat and betray, use a proxy, get unknown addresses and don’t use the family computer for E-sex or use your real name. This is online – offline, hiding is even harder. Just grow up, tell the truth or get out. You will be happier and your spouse won’t be the fool you have made him to be for years.

If anyone contacts me for reputation management, I’ll help. But DON’T contact me to clean up the personal mess you have made for yourself. Your actions and decisions were yours, and I cannot associate my work with your ethics.

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