Consider for a moment the scope of private, personal information accessible to virtually any clever, computer literate person with an Internet connection and you’ll begin to understand why it is expedient to minimize your vulnerability.
- Plastic trails. Every time you hand a retail or grocery store clerk your bank debit card, credit card, or savings club card, you are leaving a detailed account of your buying habits that may be sold to other marketers.
- Just say, “No!” In order to track sales and marketing demographics, many retailers have gotten into the habit of asking all customers for their phone numbers or other personal information at the checkout counter. Remember, you have every right to refuse to divulge personal information, no matter how insistent the clerk may be.
- Use the tools to protect yourself. To block potential telephone, pager and cellular intruders, request security codes (either a number or a password) for your accounts and do not reveal them to anyone.
- Whenever you fill out any application or questionnaire, always look for a checkbox which states that you do not want any of the information on the application to be disclosed to a third party. If there isn’t a specific area to indicate your desire for confidentiality, write it boldly on the application, initial it and date it.
Preserving your privacy and protecting your identity and accumulated assets has taken on a new urgency since the onset of the age of instantaneous electronic profiling. Every precaution you take today may help to prevent a ton of regret at some point later in your life.