Privacy protection

"Dear Diary, I hope Mom and Dad haven't figured out how to get past your USB code ..."

Published February 1, 2006 3:43PM (EST)

I don't know why I find it so hilarious that there is a new product designed to keep parents out of kids' diaries and IM exchanges. "The ThoughtSafe is an encrypted USB memory stick with its own version of MSN Messenger: it's marketed to young girls who want to keep a private diary and prevent their parents or others from spying on or controlling their IM activity."

I don't think of myself as a Luddite, but in this case I've got to say: Ladies, if you're going to be spilling your "private" teenage soul, give yourself some peace of mind! If you want to write a public blog, go right ahead, but if there's stuff you'd like to keep to yourself, don't do it on the Web! Maybe give some thought to pen and paper. They even make diaries -- albeit with little kittens and hearts on them, yech -- that have metal locks on the side with their own keys.

OK, that officially makes me sound like a great-grandmother, right?

By Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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