Why Buy a Paper Planner in the Digital Age? Part 2: Your Information is Always Within (B)reach

Scott Brown

This post is part of an ongoing series entitled Why Buy a Paper Planner in the Digital Age.

Check out our previous entries:

Often, plans involve somewhat-sensitive information - professional details, contact information, etc.. An oft-overlooked aspect of planning is an expectation that this information is for your eyes only until you decide otherwise. Unfortunately, the internet age has shown us that when we enter data into an internet-enabled device, where that data is stored somewhere in the "cloud," we have no reason to expect such privacy.

According to an April 22, 2020 Security Magazine article, there have been over 10 billion data breaches in the U.S. since 2005.  Most of these are password breaches, which blow the door open for hackers to access the information that the password was designed to protect. How could hackers use planning, contact, and appointment details?

A few years ago, my grandmother received a phone call by a man claiming that he "had" my brother (a policeman), and would only release him if she was able to wire him a few thousand dollars. Well worth the price according to my grandma, as was the agreement that she wasn't to tell a sole about the arrangement, likely to keep her more tech-savvy friends and family from sniffing out the scam. She wired them the money, and eventually did tell some of her family about the incident, but it was far too late to trace anything back to the conman at that point.

What made the scheme work was that the perpetrator had a few details--just a few--about my brother that convinced my grandmother that he was in the man's custody.

Would any of us have been fooled? Maybe not. But data breaches aren't going anywhere, and there is ample opportunity for information to be used in some way that the app user didn't intend. This is why many companies don't even allow their employees to enter work-related info into well-known cloud-based planning apps such as Trello and Google Calendar, instead offering hyper-secure, less user-friendly options that keep the data on a secure server the company-issued device itself.

What all of this data-talk boils down to is this: keeping a paper planner is the best way to keep your plans and info where it belongs: at your fingertips and out of the hands of anyone else.


This post is part of an ongoing series entitled Why Buy a Paper Planner in the Digital Age. Read part 3 here!

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