Identity Theft Blows

September 28th, 2011

I am a careful person. I wear sunscreen. I spend less than I make. I have a charge card, which I pay monthly. But I don’t have a credit card because I worry about identity theft. I am completely paranoid that someone will steal my identity and I will be stuck with multitudes of paperwork. I bank at the same branch. I use only one ATM machine. I buy gas at only two gas stations. I use my American Express for everything. I subscribe to Identity Guard, which runs a monthly check on my accounts.

Currently I’m going through my belongings that are still at my parents’ house. This is a daunting task, because I have never tossed anything (hello, second grade composition). I was hoping to get rid of my sophomore U.S. History notes by giving them to my nephew, who had the same teacher, but he switched schools. Drat.

Here is what I’m seeing: Back then, in the dark ‘80s, everything (and I mean everything) had your social security number on it. College ID… driver’s license… stock correspondence… it is on all of them, and more. That nine digit code I guard so obsessively in the digital world that I will only write it down at the bank and then take it away myself to immediately destroy, it is everywhere, on hundreds of documents, all of which now need to be shredded. And actually, I sort of like shredding. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment in a destructive way. But this is horrible and tedious. Because really, who wants to look at college transcripts now? And you do look.

I know no one could have predicted computers and other countries stealing credit card info from the DSW Warehouse Store. So I am not mad, really. Just tired.

Think about your identity and how easy it is to steal. Cut down on your credit cards and on where you spend so discrepancies are easier to spot. Use Identity Guard to run a check on your account and let you know of a breach. And invest in a good (cross cut!) shredder.



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