I used to think one’s safest quality was their reputation. Of all the potential harm someone could inflict, certainly your reputation is untouchable. Right? Apparently not. It’s unnerving to think how much information is readily available to any random person. With the advent of the internet, we’ve got to revisit our personal information security.
We’re all about being a connected society, but I’m in favor of a little more security or safety when it comes to my name and reputation. With a few keystrokes, someone can pretend to be you.
Before you can blink, you’re facing damage to your reputation, thousands of dollars in credit card charges, and no end in sight.
My co-worker recently lost her wallet near our office. She searched everywhere for the small change purse which contained all of her cards and a few bucks in cash. Her first thought, thankfully, was to call and cancel her debit and credit cards. A day later, her wallet was found, half-flushed in the public restroom next to our office. The cash was missing, but she was just happy that all of her cards and her driver’s license were left behind. She still had everything replaced, but for sanitary reasons. She said she never thought about how much information was out there until she lost her wallet.
I regularly type my name in search engines to make sure it isn’t appearing in strange places due to theft. I’ve even resorted to using a shredder on important documents and items with my name or contact information. Whether online or “real life”, things can happen. It’s a very real threat. Some may call it paranoia. I call it being smart, aware of the world in which I live.
If you’d like information on how to protect yourself against identity theft and credit card fraud, visit these sites below. Be sure to post in “comments” if you’ve ever been a victim or have an interesting thought.