Friday, August 21, 2009

It's a truism that burglary can result in insecurity, fear, even panic whilst in one's own home. I expected not to be particularly susceptible, but it appears I was gravely mistaken.

News from tonight's discoveries - the intruders took one of the hard drives out of my computer. Not too fussed, since that, too, contained an encrypted filesystem, as did the laptop. But it's interesting. Drives don't have a lot of resale potential. Their only real value is the information they contain. And since they unplugged it while the machine was on, I know from the affronted system logs exactly when they were there - 2:36am Tuesday morning.

I took that to mean that they'd had time to hunt around for things at leisure. I'm not sure if that's still true - on the one hand, an empty home at that hour is a reasonable indication of a night away. On the other, that's also prime Goths-returning-from-Death-Guild time. On the gripping hand, nobody said there was only one visit.

At any rate, that sharpened my fears about the absent spare motorbike key. They'd pulled out the folder containing the bike's paperwork and left it on the bed, and when I looked inside, right on top was a rental receipt for the parking space. So they had the key and the location. My stress levels soared at about this point.

It isn't that I'm particularly attached to the motorbike (although I am), more that I was pretty confident in being able to shake off the losses to that point. But if the bike vanishes as well, I'll be very, very upset.

Then I realized that another, older laptop had also gone missing - this one without an encrypted filesystem. Oops. So between that and their rifling through paperwork, they definitely know who I am, meaning that they've very possible read this blog entry.

And here's my real problem - my post-burglary security discomfort is running smack into my ostentatiously public lifestyle choices. I've (cowardly) disabled GPS tracking for the night, to at least let me sleep without fretting about the bike vanishing even from this top-secret safe-house (shh!). I'm tempted to lock down Twitter and Facebook streams, stop advertising my residences quite so publically, and generally go stealth(-ier). But (leaving aside the manic over-reaction) I can't honestly imagine it making a difference - I'm still only going to be home at best 50% of the time, and it's vastly more likely that somebody will stumble onto the opportunity for mischief purely based on those odds than through any act of malicious stalking.

The better solution is housemates of a less nomadic persuasion. Which is an idea that I've flirted with more than once, but it's hard to imagine finding ones compatible with my current rampaging and regurgitating co-residents. But given just how stressed I feel tonight, there seems to be only one option. When I get back from NYC, the cats and I will have to part ways.

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