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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Importance of Feeling Safe

I had my apartment broken into years ago when I was in my twenties and that feeling of being violated was horrible.  I was able to SEE the robber (yes he broke into my bedroom window and woke me from a sound sleep) and it was a frightening and tangible thing. But being a victim of identity theft is a deeper and more scary violation. You never see the thief, you can't pick them out of a police lineup. They work behind the safety of a computer screen and you never know it's happening to you until it's usually too late.

We try to protect our children from stranger danger, tell them to walk only on the sidewalk, be safe by wearing a bike helmet when they go for a bike ride, wear elbow and knee pads when roller blading. But how do we protect our family from this type of intrusion? Our children put out information daily online. Where they are, what school they attend, where they're going, who they'll be with. We do it ourselves. We're just as guilty. Who hasn't posted "Can't wait til my vacation starts tomorrow!!" on Facebook or Twitter? You're practically inviting someone to break into your house because they KNOW you're not going to be home. We leave ourselves wide open for someone to violate our personal space, our privacy. When you put your date of birth, your maiden name or other information that's helpful to identity thieves, it makes it that much easier for them to become you, if only long enough to open a line of credit, or try to purchase an item using your identity.

So what do we do to prevent this? Pretty simple. Disclose nothing. Show as little information to the general public as possible. Ask your child this: would you tell a stranger where you live? would you give a stranger your phone number? would you invite a stranger to come into your house and have a snack? That is metaphorically what we're doing when we put information out online about ourselves that anyone has access to.

It's extremely important to have a plan in place. Keep important things to yourself, don't divulge information that could result in someone taking advantage of you or your family. Come up with a method of keeping your family's personal information private and NOT for public consumption. Plans such as LifeLock can help. LifeLock helps prevent credit fraud and identity theft. LifeLock is a leader in identity theft protection. You can keep your family safe. You do it every day. But having a plan in place such as LifeLock only helps to give you that extra sense of safety and security when you or your family put things out online that may not be as safe as you think. Better safe than sorry.

*FTC DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT: Snarkfest aims to provide unbiased editorials. However, I wish to disclose that from time to time I may receive free products or other compensation from companies for blogger reviews.

Learn more about LifeLock:

6 comments:

  1. So true. It's just best not to disclose anything of a personal nature that you don't want everyone to know about.

    The other thing that people don't always look into is what they throw away on paper into the dustbin. There are thieves who actually collect your rubbish bags, go through them and get information from bank statements, letters etc, so it's very important that anything which has your personal details such as name, address, credit card info, receipts etc are properly shredded before being put in the bin. I

    Identify theft is big business, so let's not make it any easier for them. Nice Post.

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  2. You're right - we grownups give kids plenty of bad examples for giving away personal information online. The Facebook "look at me now" culture kind of begs it. We have to be more mindful.

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  3. It amazes me how willing and regularly people give out their personal information. Most people would be surprised to learn that our banks don't necessarily protect us from identity theft either. Great post, Teri!

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  4. blog hop newbie, now following you. And I mean really. Love the blog name, and what your blog is all about. :) Have a great weekend!

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  5. Nice post, Teri Biebel. I know how it feels like being safe and sound in our home. But, we have to come out of our comfort zone every day and work for earning the livelihood. Unless we take all the safety precaution we cannot feel safe out there.

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