Protect Yourself from Identity TheftWritten by Scott Hawksworth
Millions of Americans use credit cards, take out money from savings and checking accounts, write checks, and open new bank accounts everyday. By completing these everyday tasks, many Americans put themselves at risk for identity theft. However, there are many steps that one can take to protect oneself from being an identity theft victim. In addition, knowing how an identity thief gets his or her information will allow a person to be safer.
How Do Thieves Get Their Information?
An identity thief can do many things to retrieve things like your Social Security Number, and credit card number. Some thieves steal mail, which often has bank statements and credit card numbers. Thieves may get information from an institution or business by stealing records while they are on job. Some thieves use false advertising to get victims to give out their credit card numbers over phone. Thieves can also implement a process known as “skimming,” This process is where a thief uses a computer to track what buttons you pushed at an ATM machine.
How Do They Use Information?
How an identity thief uses personal information is a whole different ballgame. Identity thieves may change account numbers, or access all money in your account electronically or otherwise. Identity thieves may also open up various credit card accounts and run up charges. Some identity thieves go so far as top change billing address for a credit card account, so they can run up bill, and it will be some time before you realize it because bills are being sent to a different address. Some thieves get jobs, or file false tax returns using someone else’s name and Social Security Number.
It's All Up to You (Nobody is Coming to Save You!)Written by Tony Davies
As painful as this realization may be, it is absolutely true. Wherever we are in our lives and whatever we are doing, it is because we have put ourselves there. It is our choices and decisions (either conscious or not) that have brought together circumstances resulting in our current reality. If we want to change our reality, then we must begin to make different choices.
It’s an easy thing to say, but much more difficult to actually do. Why? Because most of choices we make are not actually choices at all, but are based upon conditioned responses! The vast majority of people (estimates range as high as 95%) do not actually choose their responses; they simply react to outside stimuli. For absolute proof of this, simply take a drive in a large urban area and watch for incidents of road rage! "Flipping bird" at another driver is nothing more than a conditioned response - and is a sure sign that driver is not self-aware.
The old adage that “we are product of our environment” is absolutely true – as our parents, teachers, clergy and other role models acted, thus do we act. Children learn from observing actions of their role models, rendering expression “do as I say, not as I do” totally irrelevant. It is this principle that explains, among other things, why children of abusive parents often become abusers themselves.
So how does one break destructive cycle of stimulus / reaction? First, by recognizing that we, as individuals, are problem: only through taking responsibility for our actions can we come to crossroads and begin to take charge of our lives. Once we have made this leap, then answer is easy (although not necessarily easy to accomplish), and can be summed up in one simple word – THINK!