Ok, ok - i know. It's been a while since the last blog update but we've got a reasonable excuse for it - honest.
Since February (oops!), there's been an awful lot of work days, holidays, birthdays and the other detritus of modern working and non-working life which has put this page on hold. Also, a massive case of writers block didn't help. My suggestion of a topic such as the lunacy of digging up every road in the North East simultaneously was met with sceptical looks from various parties...
Also, it seems to be a traditional thing to use your own blog to promote yourselves and what you do to the Nth degree. It's kind of difficult to do that when you've been around for 40 years and nearly everyone know you...
However, inspiration came in the form of a telephone call (cold, naturally) from a company willing to monitor the website and blog on our behalf. So that got me thinking about security these days and who actually has our personal and business information and how they've gotten it.
There have been quite a few high profile security breaches from websites storing personal details this year and that's to be expected - hackers will always do this because, you know, they're hackers.
(incidentally, visit http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/worlds-biggest-data-breaches-hacks/ shows by year, the breaches or hacks or inadvertant data releases carried out - interesting stuff).
A lot of private personal information is harvested by companies and sold on as bulk file packages to third parties without our knowledge. These are then responsible for spam e-mails, cold calls, junk mail - the irritants in our lives.
Then there are the sneaky ones which we sign up to willingly but don't actually realise. These are the ones hidden nicely in amongst all the "terms and conditions" which we scroll past to get to the information we want.
There is even an internet anti-virus company carrying this out (although i'd be remiss not to point out that the information they pass on is "anonymised" and "non-personal information" but at the end of the day, the company that provides your security for your information against hackers and the nefarious in general are selling users information on to unknown third parties.
(Insert Alanis Morissette song title here).
The point of all this? We should all be a lot more careful in who we give our personal information to. Think about why you are being asked for certain information. Check the terms and conditions - if not thoroughly, at least glance through them before clicking "next". If the information is optional, don't give it out.
In the words of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus from Hill Street Blues - "Hey, lets be careful out there".
PS - in the interests conforming with tradition, Dobson and Surrey Ltd would like to note the following;
With the dark nights coming in, please check all of your external lights at home and places of work and ensure they are functioning correctly.
If not, you know who to call to fix the problem.