With all the data breaches we have seen in the news lately, I wanted to offer some help. From Target to Home Depot to old Uncle Sam, multiple organizations seemed to get hacked on a monthly basis lately. It’s important to keep our personal records as confidential as possible. We don’t want our banking info or social security numbers just handed out like Skittles at Halloween. So here is a quick list of websites and companies that can protect your data. Feel free to shop with these people, hand over your credit cards, fill out surveys revealing personal information, etc. These top ten entities will protect your data like a lioness shields her cubs.
If you’re thinking I screwed up and forgot to list the actual names you can depend on for total security of all things digital, I made no such mistake. The list is empty just as it should be. There is nowhere that is totally safe to store your personal info. If someone tells you any different, they are one of two things….a liar or mistaken.
I wish this wasn’t the case. I wish I didn’t have to worry about the security of my bank account or credit cards. But all the news on hacked businesses like Home Depot and a few friends that have had their identity stolen is hard to ignore. I know of a few people who didn’t get their tax refund because someone stole their social security number to file fake taxes for a big refund! It’s not a question of “if”, but “when” you will have to deal with some identity fraud.
The problem with security is that if someone can design a system, then someone else can break it down. The designer of the system may be super smart, but so are the hackers who are also really motivated to get through all the security features. If a person can build something, then another person can unbuild it. It’s as simple as that. No website security is full proof. No not one.
Every instance of fraud is not online so I don’t want to leave out the physical world. Thieves often get a credit card number by physically taking the card or a copy of the info. A local news story recently told of two women distracting elderly Walmart female shoppers then secretly taking their wallets from their purses. These two low lives would then quickly use the cards found in the wallet to buy a big ticket item immediately at the same Walmart, then skedaddle! Pretty clever and pretty slimy.
All we can do is be smart about our information and money. We should protect it as best we can with the tools available. There are good services that will help you fix identity theft issues after the fact. Just remember that whatever you put up online is subject to theft. Our online info is like having our wallets sitting in an aging safe far from our homes. Thieves are constantly trying to break into that safe. These thieves have plenty of time on their hands. Theft is their business and they devote plenty of time and effort toward it.