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Has your identity been poached?

These days with cell phones taking the place of laptops and laptops taking the place of tower computers – not to mention tablets and MP3 players – it’s safe to say technology is moving much faster than anyone thought it would. You can be driving down the highway at 75 miles per hour talking to your hunting buddy on the phone, getting driving directions to the closest fuel station on your GPS, listening to your MP3 player and checking your draw results for Wyoming sheep, moose and mountain goat all at the same time. I would say this is the definition of multitasking. In fact, it’s down right dangerous, because you are not paying attention to the thing that threatens your life. Driving!! So please concentrate on driving and do everything you can to do that safely.

Technology is a great thing; it allows us to do more things at the same time, get updated information at light speed and communicate with people all over the world at the same speed. There is a hitch in technology, though, when companies, people or agencies don’t keep up with the changes.

I was talking to my sister the other day, who works for our local school district. She mentioned that she has been busy inputting a stack of reports at least 24 inches tall from teachers. Being the entrepreneur that I am and the admiral for efficiencies, I asked, “What program do the teachers give it to you in and why can’t they just input it once and it uploads to the other required places?” Her non-verbal response was a deep sigh and a roll of the eyes. Her verbally response was, “A different program.” Then she went on to complain how inefficient the district is, because they have to do so many reports in so many systems, and all of it is for track-ability to the State and Federal government, but it’s the same information over and over again in each database. The entire time I was thinking that with all of this technology, why can’t they make this more efficient? It seems like in these times you either move with technology or you get left behind.

Later that day, I got on the Wyoming Game & Fish website to try and apply for my resident antelope, elk, and deer tags. I kept getting a message – “ERROR – Browser not supported (Requires Internet Explorer 6.x or Netscape 7.x)”.

The Wyoming Game and Fish website needs a little more than an overhaul.

So I asked the guys in my office who would know what this means and they get this blank look on their faces and say, “I’m not sure we have a computer in the office that old!) OLD, what does that mean? Apparently Netscape is not even supported any longer (for those tech-deficient people like me) that means it isn’t really in use anymore. They have changed it to something else. Microsoft Explorer is upgrading all of their customers to Explorer 10.x. So I ask them, “You are telling me that I have to go down in the basement and get a computer that has not been in service for two years, hook it up and then apply for my licenses on it?”

What did I do last year? Apparently we had one computer in our shipping and receiving that still had the old Explorer on it. It has since been upgraded for security reasons -which, by the way, according to what I am hearing, there are some serous security issues with Explorer 6 – 8.

So as I am using this old system, which is like going back to blue-screen technology, it dawns on me that I have to put my personal information, credit card number and mailing address into this archaic system. So I ask the question, “What would it take for some smart hacker, somewhere, to break into this system and steal the personal identity of hundreds of thousands of hunters?” I also asked the question, “Why would a department that is 100% self-funded by the sale of hunting tags and fishing licenses make applying and purchasing those licenses so hard to complete? Does this scare or make sense to anyone else?

I wonder what is going to happen to my identity? Well at least they are making it harder to apply, which could mean my draw odds will be better, because not everyone has a computer in their basement that OLD.

As always, thanks for your support and I hope you find yourself with a great tag in hand this summer and a true trophy this fall.

About Ike Eastman

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Ike Eastman is the President of Eastmans’ Publishing and oversees the daily operations of Eastmans’ Hunting TV, Eastmans’ Hunting and Bowhunting Journals, Eastmans’ Live Events including the Trophy Deer Tour, films in the fall and is hands-on in all facets of the company. Ike’s hunting knowledge and expertise has been shaped by more than 25 years of pursuing trophy big game across most of North America.

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