It's the time of year for reflecting. And upon reflection, I have concluded that I'm an external security risk. This is not my cyberself, who you probably know by now, runs amuck in a cyber world. This part of my identity is basically sane but tends to bump into firewalls and knowingly fans the flames.
No doubt, you know the definition for firewall. You also may know that I'm fascinated with tech terms and use them as an overlay for exploring personal experience. Here's Skillcrusher.com's tech definition. "Firewalls are systems designed to protect and secure a computer network from external security risks. Firewalls monitor inbound and outbound network traffic and determine whether or not to allow the traffic through based on a user-defined set of security standards." In Self-SEARCH terms, a computer network would include our normally recognized connections, but also, our inner connections - the inner dialogues we have with ourselves and those we often imagine having with others.
Back to the idea of concluding that I'm an external security risk. You can usually sense when you run into someone's firewall. The resistance and pushback are obvious even if words are not expressed. Emotions surface, conversations get heated, and body language is apparent. All of this has to do with securing our network of personal identity - how we see ourselves.
Firewalls are fascinating and come with different levels of security and sophistication. Some will deflect, others will defend using various levels of force, and others offer encrypted messages. There are those that blast missiles of silence, fake a retreat, create other worlds (you're not invited), and some are camouflaged so expertly that you may never know you're fanning the flames.
Over the past year, I have challenged myself to be spontaneous and honest in my encounters and relationships. It has led me to experience more than a few of the firewall descriptions mentioned. Some of my ideas and expressions, however well intended, have been perceived as external security risks. They've disrupted an identity. But, this didn't always happen with others; the most significant ones were regarding myself. I am an expert deflector and am gaining status in the camouflage technique. And yet with reflection, I'm becoming aware of the importance to manually adjust my "user-defined set of security standards," rather than to leave it in default mode. Letting my guard down monitoring inbound and outbound network traffic opens the door to opportunities. You can be comfortable and safely corralled within a firewall, but the key word here is "corralled."
Everyone agrees identity is vital. And, knowing identity changes is vital. Encouraging growth is essential. Firewalls can protect the identities of individuals, communities, corporations, and nations, and the user-defined security standards can be set to allow new opportunities and growth. The user(s) has the responsibility and the opportunity to manually define the set of security standards - it may take extra time and consideration, but doesn't take a geek to write the code. And it sure beats putting out a fire.
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