Did you see The Bachelorette last night? One of the bachelors has been wearing a creepy looking black mask under the guise that Ashley, our bachelorette, should judge him based on what is on the inside and not the outside. She should listen to his words spoken, his statements made. She should do everything she can to avoid judging a book by its cover. The fallacy of this bachelor's proposal is that he has put on a big evil looking mask to cover the book that is him -- a mask that hides the wrinkles that might appear when he smiles, the confidence his face might exude when speaking about himself, the reaction his face may have when she speaks to him about her goals and desires. All of these things combined would have showcased this bachelor as the person he is and helped determine whether Ashley would feel a connection worth a rose. And yet, this masked bachelor insists that he is a decent human being with a heartwarming story to tell. In essence, he insists that Ashley should trust him.
So why are we talking about the creepy mask of this unknown bachelor? Whether you are dating online or just using the Internet for many of its other purposes -- emailing, shopping, connecting with friends, sharing photos -- you can become the unsuspecting prey of a criminal who sits masked by a computer screen destined to gain your trust. Once trusted, this criminal may want to meet you for a private encounter that turns tragic, may want you to update your bank info to protect your savings account, may want you to click on a link to a really cool site that has a drive by download (virus waiting to infect your computer), may want to sell you something that is really nothing in exchange for your credit card number. Every step of the way, this person will want you to trust without showing you the lines on his face, the whites of his eyes, or the undulations of his voice. He will want you to trust this book without a cover.
Will you do it?
Let's see what lessons about the digital world next week's episode of The Bachelorette brings to us.
Until then, just remember -- don't trust a book without a cover.