et alia: So you want to write RAcy fanfiction? Caveat Scriptor: Learn how to password protect files

NoPrivacy-300x240

I have long since given up any expectation of privacy in my house. I have a husband, two children and two cats…suffice it to say, I am rarely alone and when I am, it is a transitory state. Case in point: One day this week, I was in the bathroom (ah, not taking a bath) when my daughter bursts in carrying my iPad. The conversation goes something like this…

Me: “Can I help you?”

Mini Me: “I wanna show you something!”

Me: “Can it wait until I have pants on?”

Mini Me (as if she didn’t hear me): “Look at this kitten…it’s a mini Oreo (one of our cats)”

Me: “Yes, it does look like him, but…”

Mini Me: “Look at this one…it’s a mini Cinnamon (the other cat)”

Me: “Yes honey, can you please get out? Now!”

She looks at me again, perplexed as to why I’m not more enthusiastic about the kitten pictures she’s recently discovered on Craigslist (I’d like to take a moment to thank my sister for turning her on to this!) before she shrugs and heads out, leaving the door wide open. *SIGH* It is a day in the life around my house.

My son is a bit more cautious since becoming a teenager, but it doesn’t stop him from barging into my room to ask a question and then shrieking about whatever state of undress he found me in…UM, the door was closed dude – ever heard of knocking?

The lack of physical privacy has become so routine that I hardly notice it anymore. Maybe I never did since I grew up in a household that didn’t place much of a prohibition on family nudity. Shocking, I know, since I’m American, and moreover from the Midwest. My East Coast husband is much more uptight about it….maybe it’s because he’s a Catholic and I’m a prostitute – I mean a Protestant – I’m not sure πŸ™‚

I will admit that despite my slightly hippie upbringing in the nudity department, I was completely at a loss the first time I went to the beach in Greece with my Scandinavian digmates…I didn’t know where to look as bikini tops went flying and the guys were swimming in white cotton boxer shorts…that’s a lot of information!

Anyhow, physical privacy aside, I’ve found out recently, that I need to take more care to protect my digital privacy – not from hackers or identity thieves, but from a much more pernicious threat – my family. Despite the fact that there are personal personal computers in the house for each of us, in addition to the smart phones and tablets, everyone, at one point or another everyone ends up on my laptop. I’ve thought about password protecting the whole thing, but that just gets to be a hassle everytime Mini Me wants to watch I, Carly in the kitchen or Obsurus needs to check his bank balance and his laptop is taking too long to boot (I warned him about Vista!). Sooner or later they will end up where I’d rather they not be…in my fan fics.

I’ve talked here about the *dangers* of allowing one’s spouse to read one’s RAcy writing. A whole second danger is the voracious early reader. My fourteen year old son is completely skeeved by any and all notions of parental sexuality, so he avoids any evidence of it like the plague. My soon to be eight year old daughter hasn’t gotten to that point yet. She is an avid and inquistive reader, and anything she happens across is fair game. So far it’s only been Christmas lists and other “secret” missives, but I would really rather not have to explain the contents of some of the files on my hard drive to her just yet. So, if you don’t want unauthorized readers of your RAcy fanfics, Caveat Scriptor: just say yes to password protect!

Here is the process in MSOffice - Mac users, you're on your own...

Here is the process in MSOffice – Mac users, you’re on your own…

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37 comments on “et alia: So you want to write RAcy fanfiction? Caveat Scriptor: Learn how to password protect files

  1. phylly3 says:

    Good advice! i couldn’t stop laughing all the way through it! Your family is a hoot !

  2. Leigh says:

    Oh, yes, password protect any and all documents in which you don’t want familial noses. While you’re working on fanfic, keep a bland (but half-full) spreadsheet open behind your document so you can toggle to it when prying eyes get too close. You can also resort to hiding your laptop when you don’t wish to share. “Oh, you want to use my laptop? I put it away for now. I’m busy right now, but I can get it for you in 20 minutes, okay?” Or “I’m working right now. I have to meet my deadline” used to work for me.

    • obscura says:

      All good suggestions…I’ve started working on them mostly in outside of the house spaces for logistical purposes, but I store a copy of everything on my personal laptop, so I’m protecting folders now…could probably do a future post on workspace πŸ™‚

  3. kelbel75 says:

    hmm, I guess I’m the meanie in the bunch because NO ONE uses my Netbook! *laughs* my husband messes with it to download software and install patches etc., at which point I always hold my breath waiting for him to stumble across something he shouldn’t *blushes* luckily, he is not the inquisitive type & would never just “take a peek” without my permission (he’s too scared of what he’ll find!) I do always keep more than one tab open at a time though, so that I can jump to something else in a flash *winks*

  4. katie70 says:

    LOL I got tears running down my face, this is so funny. To live with children, there space is private but not mom and dad’s. My boys have gotten over the barge in the bathroom bit but not always the bedroom. I am glad we are pass the extra person or two in bed in the morning, got a bit crowded at times in only a double bed.

    I have made it pretty much known that my computer is for school ( well it gets used for that too) and that I can’t have the boys playing games on here. Son2 just got his older brothers hand me down and is happy to have his own that he stays off everyone’s now. Son3 is not on-line and his desktop might be dieing so he is looking to get on someone’s, when son2 was gone he was on his dad’s on e-bay screen shopping ( can’t call it window shopping). Son1 has a desktop, laptop and a smartphone and don’t bug anyone. My husband has out desktop, well his desktop these days. They still all are nosey and want to know what I am looking at, I don’t like anyone reading anything over my shoulder. I always go to the Weather Channel to check the weather, I could care less if they see that. I would hate to see what I would be like if I tried to write fanfic, lock myself up I think and then hide the computer. It is funny that Son1 set up my computer and don’t remember the password he gave me, but the rest have somehow found out my computers password and they remember it. It makes me wonder if they spy on it when I am gone.

    • obscura says:

      You think that’s funny, you should hear how I found out that the iPad has cameras on both sides! I’m glad to hear it’s not only going on in my house! My husband has this irritating habit if reading over my shoulder…it really bugged me until I figured out that Mr. Magoo can’t see a thing without his readers on – just goofing on me.

      • katie70 says:

        My husband can’t see without glasses or contacts so he see’s everything. I don’t even like them reading the paper over my shoulder. Son1 is always asking if I am looking at porn, really no not I.

  5. […] Armitagemania teaches Obscura about Internet security. […]

  6. I’m howling at this!! I started writing Lady Oakenshield stories about a week ago after discussing it with her. I let a friend read one and she thought it was “great.” (Little back patting here.) Today she’s says to my husband, “Did you like Deb’s stories?” He was quite puzzled. He had and still has no idea I am The Arkenstone. LOL

    • obscura says:

      Thanks! I don’t know if hubs has picked up on my screen name or not…after an initial period of interest, he’s really tapered off to, “that’s your thing”. He really wants me to finish an original novel length piece – he’s suddenly a literary agent (really, he just watches too much Ellen πŸ™‚ )

  7. I solved that problem by getting a used 1st generation iPad for Little M and a Kindle Fire for Mr. M. I didn’t even care if it broke the bank as long as no one messed with my stories. The laptop is mine, all mine…unless Little M wants to go to the Thomas and Friends website, that is. Wish Flash worked on the iOs 😦

    • obscura says:

      That lack of Flash is really a drag! It has to be a proprietary thing doesn’t it? I can’t imagine Apple can’t make it work technically.

      • Don’t quote me on this, but there’s always been an argument that Steve Jobs didn’t want people to have access to “porn sites” and Flash allowed it,and at that time some security issues. Apple will probablynever allow Flash for mobile units.

  8. Oh, for Mac users out there using Pages, here’s the way to Password Protect your work

  9. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh my goodness I have the same problem! While my children are still too young to read, my husband seems to be “lurking” behind me lately if I am on twitter or online at all actually. I think he suspects all kinds of evil deeds all in the name of Richard Armitage. As an IT guy he casually informed me yesterday that he could – if he really wanted to – put a program on my computer that would record every key stroke. He hastily added that he would never do it but perhaps it was a warning that I need to behave myself!? I don’t know what I would do if he found my fanfics!

    • obscura says:

      Ah yes…the “I could if I wanted to, but I never would…” Very subtle ;). I could do a lot of sketchy things when my husband annoys me, but I never *would* or would I? I could put all my fics on a dedicated thumb drive, but I lose those all the time…I am currently in a semi frantic hunt for the one that has the most recent version of my doctoral dissertation database on it!

      • LOL I basically said to him that if he wanted to spy, he could go right on ahead but he would never be able to tak to me about it cause then I would know he was spying.
        I really need to do something with my fanfics – the majority of them are basically dwarf porn!! LOL

      • I have a thumb drive I carry on my keychain. It looks innocent enough…mwhaaaahaaaa….

  10. I loved this whole post and comments thread. :} Just, yesyesyes to everything here. lol

    • obscura says:

      :D. My husband has this weird thing about secrets…of any kind – because he is an open book, he has this irrational notion that everyone is equally so. Au contraire mon mari…I am an enigma πŸ˜‰ (it’s part of my charm!)

  11. guylty says:

    Yep, yep, yep, yep. You tick all the boxes, Obscura. Just the same in my house. Both Mr Guylty and Master Guylty like to have a quick look over my shoulder. Miss Guylty asks outright “What are you reading???” (“Eh, just a story, my dear” *frantically scrolling the page down to where there are no keywords like “wet, folds, nub, nipple, hardness” jumping out with jazzhands from the page*) I don’t write fanfic, so I needn’t worry about such unsuitable materials to pop up anywhere. But what about the browser history??? *eeeek* So my desktop and my laptop (the only two computers in the house, used by me for work, by hubs for playing Freecell and by kids for social networking and gaming) all are administrated by me and have a password protected profile for me. I just suspect they know my passwords. Time to change them. And no, they are on to me and therefore “richardarmitage” is out as a password. They’ll probably try sirguyofgisborne and thorinoakenshield next, so I am gonna have to make this really obscure… I hope I won’t forget them myself…

    • They’d never guess Arkenstone….

    • katie70 says:

      To many passwords these days. I was asked to today what the password to my GoPhone was (still to cheap to get a regular cellphone as I hardy use it). I don’t know I set it up 3 years ago and son1 takes care of putting money on it, but was having problems and wanted the password. I think I might remember, but not sure. As for my user name I am an idiot as I used my childhood nickname, no surprise it’s me if you know me.

    • Leigh says:

      In the past, I have used 22Aug1971, Gisborne!, NorthXOX, QEDPorter, and similar.

  12. Joanna says:

    πŸ˜€ I got the hiccups from laughter…Thank you Ladies!

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