identity http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10586/all en-US 18 Surprising Ways Your Identity Can Be Stolen http://www.wisebread.com/18-surprising-ways-your-identity-can-be-stolen <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-surprising-ways-your-identity-can-be-stolen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-629293194.jpg" alt="surprising ways your identity can be stolen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most people have already been victims of the most basic forms of identity theft &mdash; having fraudulent charges on your credit card. Those even less lucky have been victimized in more aggressive ways, with criminals obtaining medical care, working, and flying in our names.</p> <p>Unwinding that mess can take years and thousands of dollars. The effect is exacerbated by the fact that the crime doesn't generally stop with the one person who stole your information. Credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and other data gets packaged and sold on the underground Internet so that different people all over the world could be impersonating you at the same time.</p> <p>&quot;It's a pain. It does cause a lot of stress,&quot; said Lindsay Bartsh, of San Rafael, California, who said that straightening out a web of fraudulent medical bills, flights, job applications, and credit applications took every minute of her free time for a year.</p> <p>How does it happen? Here's a look at both the most common ways thieves steal our data, as well as some of the newest ploys to watch out for.</p> <h2>1. Mail Theft</h2> <p>Bartsh believes this time-honored tactic is how her personal information got out into the criminal underworld. An expected W-2 tax form never arrived. Assuming it was stolen, it would have given thieves a wealth of information, such as Social Security number and workplace.</p> <h2>2. Database Hacks</h2> <p>When a large corporation gets hacked, the effect can be widespread. When the U.S. government's <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/federal-eye/wp/2015/07/09/hack-of-security-clearance-system-affected-21-5-million-people-federal-authorities-say/?utm_term=.af013608cbff" target="_blank">Office of Personnel Management was breached</a>, some 22 million people had their personal information exposed. (I was one of the many who received a warning about this, because I had a writing contract with a government agency.)</p> <h2>3. Malicious Software</h2> <p>If you have a virus on your computer, you may suffer more than a slowdown or a system crash. Some malicious programs that spread as viruses record every keystroke you type, allowing thieves to find out your online banking username and password. These programs can infect your mobile phone as well as your computer.</p> <h2>4. Search Engine Poisoning</h2> <p>This is a sneaky way of tricking people into giving up their own personal data, or getting malicious software onto a person's computer. The criminals create a fake website similar to a real one, or that could plausibly be a real one.</p> <p>One tactic is for you to click through to the fake site and try to buy a product, entering your credit card or debit card number. Another way they try to get you is for you to unknowingly download information-stealing software onto your computer.</p> <p>Where does the search engine part come in? These criminals manipulate Google and other search engines' algorithms to get their phony sites ranked high in search listings, leading users to believe they must be legit. Fortunately, Google has made progress in preventing this in recent years, but it still happens.</p> <h2>5. Phishing</h2> <p>Phishing is a term that broadly means &quot;fishing&quot; for personal information through a variety of common social interactions &mdash; so-called &quot;social engineering.&quot; The most common phishing attack happens when you get an email that looks like it came from your bank or another legitimate company. It may come with an alarming subject line, such as &quot;overdraft warning&quot; or &quot;your order has shipped.&quot; When you click a link in the email, you may see a login screen identical to your normal login, which will trick you into entering your username and password. You could also be asked for more identifying details, such as Social Security number and account number.</p> <p>Fortunately, banks have put some countermeasures into place to fight phishing. You can also protect yourself by not responding directly to incoming messages. If you get an email that looks like it's from your bank, type your bank address into your browser instead of clicking the link, sign in, and check your account's message center. Or just call your bank's customer service number.</p> <h2>6. Phone Attacks</h2> <p>The Internal Revenue Service has been warning for several years that <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/scam-phone-calls-continue-irs-identifies-five-easy-ways-to-spot-suspicious-calls" target="_blank">scammers are calling people claiming to be the IRS</a>, either claiming that they have a refund due or owe money. Fishing for information via the phone is also known as &quot;vishing,&quot; as in, &quot;voice phishing.&quot;</p> <p>If they're taking the refund tactic, they'll probably ask for your bank account number or other personal info, supposedly in order to send you your refund. If they say you owe, they may ask for a credit or debit card number, or worse, try to get a payment in a way that's not traceable or refundable, like through a prepaid debit card.</p> <p>This kind of scam is also known as &quot;pretexting,&quot; and the really good scammers make it seem realistic by having some basic info about you on hand before they call, like your address and date of birth, which are pretty easy to find online.</p> <h2>7. Text Attacks</h2> <p>In another twist on phishing, &quot;smishing,&quot; or SMS phishing, sends you a text message encouraging you to click a link that will either trigger the download of malicious software or direct you to input personal information.</p> <h2>8. Fake Wi-Fi Hotspot</h2> <p>Also known as an &quot;evil twin&quot; hotspot, this is a Wi-Fi connection setup in a public place, like a cafe, with a name that leads you to believe it was provided by someone trustworthy, like the cafe owner. The evil twin Wi-Fi hotspot really connects you to the Internet, just like a legit connection. The difference is, the evil twin is provided by a hacker, who uses specialized software to eavesdrop on information you're sending out &mdash; like your bank password or Social Security number &mdash; or to direct you to a malicious website like those described above.</p> <p>When a hacker interrupts your attempt to access a legitimate website and steals the data you're trying to send, it's called a &quot;<a href="https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Man-in-the-middle_attack" target="_blank">man in the middle attack</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Dumpster Diving</h2> <p>Another low-tech but very effective method is simply pawing through recycling bins, looking for discarded credit card offers, bills, medical records, and other paperwork that could have personal information on it. Not only can identity thieves hit you at home, they could also search dumpsters outside of medical offices, schools, and banks.</p> <h2>10. Workplace Theft</h2> <p>A U.S. Department of Justice survey of convicted identity thieves found that a third of them <a href="https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/219122.pdf" target="_blank">accessed victims' information through their jobs</a>. The criminals worked for mortgage companies or at government agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, where they had access to treasure troves of client information. Others lifted information from job applications.</p> <p>Back in 2000, just one guy was responsible for stealing 33,000 people's credit reports at his credit industry help desk job. He sold the reports to thieves who, according to news reports, used the information to steal up to $100 million.</p> <h2>11. Burglary</h2> <p>When someone breaks into your home or car, it may not be the loss of your jewelry, cash, or laptop that hurts the most. If they find your credit cards, Social security card, or tax returns &mdash; or get such information off a stolen computer &mdash; you could be in for severe identity theft.</p> <h2>12. Pickpocketing</h2> <p>Another old-fashioned crime that has thrived in the era of high-tech data theft, pickpocketing nowadays commonly leads directly to identity theft. In fact, a major ID theft ring busted 10 years ago targeted crowded events to steal wallets and convert the information inside to valuable dossiers of information, which they would later resell.</p> <h2>13. Mobile Phone Theft</h2> <p>If you have authorized your phone to make payments on your behalf, saved passwords for banking and retail sites, or saved other personal data on it, having the device stolen could cost you a lot more than the replacement cost. Phones that aren't password- or fingerprint-protected are most vulnerable.</p> <h2>14. Mobile Phone Account Hijacking</h2> <p>Another form of ID theft targeting phones happens when someone gets ahold of your account information and uses it to <a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/identity-theft-mobile-phone" target="_blank">order a new phone or line</a>, with the bill going to you.</p> <h2>15. Shoulder Surfing</h2> <p>This technique involves watching over someone's shoulder as they enter a password at the ATM, or using a camera to steal the information from farther away. This could also be a tactic for getting someone's phone password before physically stealing the phone.</p> <h2>16. Skimming</h2> <p>This nefarious technique involves stealing credit or debit card information with a card reader that may look just like a legitimate card reader. Skimming devices have been found at gas station pumps, on ATMs, and at retail store registers. Or, waiters in restaurants can put your card through a skimmer when they take it to the back to finalize your bill.</p> <h2>17. Friend and Family Theft</h2> <p>Also known as &quot;familiar fraud,&quot; this crime happens when the ID thief is your child, your parent, even your spouse. Sadly, it's not uncommon for parents to abuse the identities of their own minor children in order to get credit. In a <a href="https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/587/the-perils-of-intimacy?act=0#play" target="_blank">disturbing story broadcast on <em>This American Life</em></a>, Rachel Rosenthal couldn't figure out how her identity thief kept catching up with her, no matter how many accounts she closed &mdash; until she realized that the thief lived in her own home and had access to all her mail and documents. It was her boyfriend, who had been &quot;helping&quot; her financially, with money he withdrew from <em>her</em> bank account.</p> <p>Often, these crimes take place in the context of real relationships, where one party happened to turn on the other party. But there are also crooks out there who look for partners specifically to steal their identities, especially on dating sites and social media.</p> <h2>18. Social Engineering Targeting Companies</h2> <p>You don't have to work for a credit agency or mortgage bank to get customer information if you are skilled enough to trick employees into giving it to you. Thieves may call an airline, posing as a secretary who needs her boss's trip information, or call a company pretending to represent a client or supplier. A friendly fast talker may be able to get employees to skip security protocols and give out information they shouldn't. Every call the thief makes is a little easier, armed with the information from the last call</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-surprising-ways-your-identity-can-be-stolen">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-17"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/phishing-scams-continue-to-plague-social-media-sites">Phishing Scams Continue to Plague Social Media Sites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-making-these-8-risky-password-mistakes">Stop Making These 8 Risky Password Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-panic-do-this-if-your-identity-gets-stolen">Don&#039;t Panic: Do This If Your Identity Gets Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-private-info-private">10 Ways to Keep Your Private Info Private</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Technology hijacking identity identity theft phishing skimming stolen identity tech news Wed, 08 Mar 2017 11:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1905168 at http://www.wisebread.com Logos 101: Designing Your Business Identity http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/logos-101-designing-your-business-identity <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/logos-101-designing-your-business-identity" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/logos-101-designing-your-business-identity</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/logos-101-designing-your-business-identity" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000017657212Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Creating a unique and polished logo shouldn&rsquo;t be the province of only large companies with big marketing budgets or in-house creative teams. As the primary image that represents your company in the marketplace, a successful logo is the distillation of the very essence of what your company represents. It&rsquo;s almost as important to your company&rsquo;s identity as <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/how-16-great-companies-picked-their-unique-names-1">its name</a>. But how do you get there? What are the key ingredients of a good logo and what identity creation tools are available to companies on a shoestring budget?</p> <p><strong>Characteristics of a Good Logo</strong></p> <p><em>Simple</em>: Successful logos are founded in simplicity. In a marketplace filled with competitors and store shelves brimming with products, the goal is to get the consumers&rsquo; attention and convey a host of complex product or service information with clarity and speed. Refining the design down to a simple, yet memorable and unique visual statement, as discount retailer <a target="_blank" href="http://www.target.com/">Target</a> has done, is half the battle.</p> <p><em>Memorable:</em><b> </b>Still, a good logo shouldn&rsquo;t be so simple that it&rsquo;s rendered unremarkable. Balancing simplicity with uniqueness helps to strike a chord with consumers and create a visual imprint that can be recognized later. The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.apple.com/">Apple logo</a> is immediately recognizable due in part to its ruthless simplicity and how that simplicity is leveraged in a unique and memorable way.</p> <p><em>Timeless:</em><b> </b>The very best logos stand the test of time and transcend the ephemeral notions of fashion and trends. Coca-Cola&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.coca-cola.com/en/index.html">logo</a> is an example of durable design. Since the goal of your mark is to create some equity in the marketplace, constant change and updating shouldn&rsquo;t be required. As you consider and develop your logo, ask yourself, &ldquo;how will this look in 20 years? Are there any elements which might not age well or could seem outdated in a decade?</p> <p><em>Flexible:</em><b> </b>Potentially, your logo will be produced on large and small scales, in print and online. The best marks can adapt to any media and still look great. Consider FedEx, the overnight package delivery service. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.fedex.com/">Its logo</a> must be identifiable across scores of media and contexts, from web banner ads to airplane wings. Specifically for print considerations, think about how your logo will look in a single color, in black and white, in reverse color, and reduced to thumbnail size. Can it adapt and still be clear and easily recognizable?</p> <p><em>Adaptable: </em>We all know businesses are dynamic and the marketplace is ever-changing. One product line might take off while another withers on the vine. Think about this phenomenon as you brainstorm your logo. The best marks communicate what your business is about today and can adapt to how it may change over time. Marks that are too specific pigeonhole businesses or become irrelevant as products and services evolve. For example, while <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ebay.com/">eBay&rsquo;s</a> lowercase &ldquo;e&rdquo; may link the online bazaar with the early days of Internet commerce, the logo remains dynamic as ever, even as the company has grown and evolved.</p> <p><em>Appropriate:</em><b> </b>Perhaps the strongest design urge business owners have is the urge to create a logo that&rsquo;s too literal. A bakery owner wants a rolling pin in the logo; a law firm wants the scales of justice, etc. But great logos don&rsquo;t have to be self-explanatory to be appropriate. The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.starbucks.com/">Starbucks logo</a> is one of the most recognizable on the planet, but it doesn&rsquo;t feature a cup or a coffee bean. Well-crafted marks use color, scale, font, and image choice together to create distinction that&rsquo;s appropriate without necessarily being literal.</p> <p><strong>Choosing a Logo Designer</strong></p> <p>For a business that wants to create or recreate its identity, there are a wide range designers and online services like <a target="_blank" href="http://www.logomojo.com/">LogoMojo</a> available to help. Logo creation is big business and the options are as varied as the price point and the results. For the best product, choose someone who will work one-on-one with you to create a mark that&rsquo;s rooted in an understanding of what makes your business unique. Here are a few things to look for when choosing a designer or an online logo development service:</p> <p><em>Portfolio and experience:</em><b> </b>Does your designer have experience that includes a strong portfolio of work? Pay attention to the ratio of real logos to hypothetical ones (i.e., is the designer creating logos that are actually being used or just conceptualizing?)</p> <p><em>Customer testimonials:</em><b> </b>Does the designer or design service offer testimonials from satisfied customers? If so, contact a few of the client companies and check on their level of satisfaction.</p> <p><em>Awards, recognition, and affiliations:</em><b> </b>Has your designer won any awards for identity and branding work? How well recognized are they in the industry? For talented new designers who may be just starting out, what are their professional affiliations?</p> <p><em>Communication:</em><b> </b>As you research services or designers to work with, gauge their responsiveness and level of professionalism and communication. Do they get back to you quickly? Are they asking questions to learn more about your business and your vision for the logo? Do they protect their work and their clients through sound contracts?</p> <p><em>Timing:</em><b> </b>Ask questions about timing to get a sense of how much effort and customization will be put into your logo. The creation and refining process typically takes three to four weeks, but can last months, depending on complexity.</p> <p><em>Price:</em><b> </b>In identity work, as in most fields, you get what you pay for. The fee for most online logo creation services start around $175. Of course, the cost of working one-on-one with a designer varies by experience and recognition, but there are many young and hungry designers looking to create a body of work who may be flexible on price.</p> <p>Take a look all around you&mdash;what marks get your attention? What labels and logos are on your clothes, on your desk, and in your wallet? With a fundamental knowledge of good logo design and by exploring a few creative resources online, your company can develop a lasting mark that represents what it&rsquo;s all about.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/logos-101-designing-your-business-identity">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 2</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-the-job-you-want-with-the-right-professional-image">Get the Job You Want With the Right Professional Image</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center branding business identity identity logos marketing small business Mon, 19 Dec 2011 00:04:46 +0000 Kentin Waits 825737 at http://www.wisebread.com Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/SocialSecurityTN.jpg" alt="SSN" title="SSN" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="189" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">It seems that nothing is safe any more. And now your Social Security Number, the lynchpin to you credit score, taxes, government benefits and more, is under attack. It can be guessed, with a staggering degree of accuracy, using simple information you probably have on sites like Facebook and MySpace.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We have all heard the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-taking-jack-how-to-deal-with-identity-theft">stories about Identity Theft</a> and we all take precautions to be careful with our SSN. In fact, these days I&rsquo;ll only put it down on a form if I absolutely have to; that includes medical forms that you often have to fill out when you visit a GP or specialist.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>But that may now be a moot point, because two Carnegie Mellon researchers have basically reverse-engineered the SSN formula to gain access to that most precious and private number.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/07/social-insecurity-numbers-open-to-hacking.ars">John Timmer of Arstechnica.com</a> reported yesterday that these two bright sparks used two practices that had been designed to protect the number, and make it fraud-proof, as a way to discover the code from those two simple facts &ndash; date of birth, and place of birth; two facts that are on most public profiles.</p> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p>&nbsp;</p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">To know how they did it, you need to know the basic structure of the SSN. As John describes it, it splits into three zones:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i>The first three digits are based on the state where the SSN was originally assigned, and the next two are what's termed a group number. The last four digits are ostensibly assigned at random. Since the late 1980s, the government has promoted an initiative termed &quot;Enumeration at Birth&quot; that seeks to ensure that SSNs are assigned shortly after birth, which should limit the circumstances under which individuals apply for them later in life (and hence, make fraudulent applications easier to detect).<o:p></o:p></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> From there, the article gets pretty heavily into some technical data and statistics that I won&rsquo;t bore you with here. If you&rsquo;re interested, read all the details of the <a href="http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/07/social-insecurity-numbers-open-to-hacking.ars">algorithm that reconstructs your Social Security Number</a>. But all you really need to know is that if the SSN code has been cracked, or hacked, then it won&rsquo;t be long before that information gets into the wrong hands.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>So, should you be worried, and what can you do?</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Well, as John Timmer explains, although some of the SSN digits are relatively easy to obtain, others are more tricky:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> <i>Getting the last four digits right was substantially harder. The authors used a standard of getting the whole SSN right within 10 tries, and could only manage that about 0.1 percent of the time even in the later period. Still, small states were somewhat easier&mdash;for Delaware in 1996, they had a five percent success rate. <o:p></o:p></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal">BUT, and this is a big but, it seems as though modern security systems and automated forms DO NOT REQUIRE the whole SSN. As long as it is cross-referenced with the date and place of birth, up to two numbers can be incorrect. John continues:<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i>They often allow several failed verification attempts per IP address before blacklisting it. Given these numbers, the authors estimate that even a moderate-sized botnet of 10,000 machines could successfully obtain identity verifications for younger residents of West Virginia at a rate of 47 a minute.<o:p></o:p></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> Think about it: 47 a minute! Considering how prevalent ID theft is around the world, and how sophisticated thieves are becoming, I think this is enough to cause concern for the average US citizen. And as such, it may be time to start taking precautions. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">First, see if you can remove your private information, or replace your place and date of birth with something more vague on your social networking sites and other public profiles. That one should be relatively easy, if a little time consuming. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Second, continue to practice good personal security. Shred any important documents that you are throwing out, and don&rsquo;t leave sensitive data in a place where thieves could easily find it. I know a lot of people throw things in the car and forget about it, but if the car were stolen or broken into, it could be the start of much bigger problems. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Third, keep on top of your credit reports. You are allowed one free each year from each of the three major credit bureaus. DO NOT use freecreditreport.com, they charge. Instead, go to <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp">Annual Credit Report here.</a> If you see anything suspicious or just plain wrong, contact the bureau immediately. <o:p></o:p></p> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p>&nbsp;</p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Finally, consider some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-bitten-twice-shy-what-is-credit-security-worth-to-you">ID theft protection</a>. I use <a href="http://www.lifelock.com/">LifeLock</a> because I got <a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/view/lifelock.com">a great deal on it</a>, and although not 100% effective, it does cover me if anything should happen. But LifeLock is basically just a method of putting 90-day fraud alerts on your credit reports, which you can do yourself for free. You can find the information for each bureau here:<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://www.experian.com/consumer/cac/InvalidateSession.do?code=SECURITYALERT"><strong>EXPERIAN</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.equifax.com/answers/set-fraud-alerts/en_cp"><strong>EQUIFAX</strong></a></p> <p><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.transunion.com/corporate/personal/fraudIdentityTheft/fraudPrevention/fraudAlert.page"><strong>TRANSUNION</strong><o:p></o:p></a></p> <p class="MsoNormal">For further reading, <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/defend.html">visit the FTC&rsquo;s site</a>. It has some great information. Stay safe folks. <o:p></o:p></p> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--></p> <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><h2 style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fyour-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FYour%20SSN%20Can%20Now%20Be%20Accurately%20Guessed%20Using%20Date%20and%20Place%20of%20Birth.jpg&amp;description=Your%20SSN%20Can%20Now%20Be%20Accurately%20Guessed%20Using%20Date%20and%20Place%20of%20Birth" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Your%20SSN%20Can%20Now%20Be%20Accurately%20Guessed%20Using%20Date%20and%20Place%20of%20Birth.jpg" alt="Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/search-online-for-a-fix-before-you-toss-that-broken-gadget">Search Online for a Fix before You Toss that Broken Gadget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-surprising-ways-your-identity-can-be-stolen">18 Surprising Ways Your Identity Can Be Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/phishing-scams-continue-to-plague-social-media-sites">Phishing Scams Continue to Plague Social Media Sites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-customer-service-phone-number-fast">How To Get A Customer Service Phone Number, Fast!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs General Tips Technology crack fraud guard hack ID theft identity online safety thief Wed, 08 Jul 2009 16:29:57 +0000 Paul Michael 3364 at http://www.wisebread.com Lose Your Job Without Losing Your Identity http://www.wisebread.com/lose-your-job-without-losing-your-identity <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/lose-your-job-without-losing-your-identity" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/micahs portrait.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="263" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal"><em>[Editor's note:&nbsp; If you recently lost your job, take a look at Wise Bread's collection of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">tips and resources for the recently laid off</a>.]</em></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Getting a pink slip can cause more distress than just a shrinking income.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It can also give you a sense of insecurity and may make you question your place in this world.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Here are three effective schools of thought for keeping your sense of self (long after the paychecks quit coming.)<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">Keep it &ldquo;Seasonal&rdquo;</b><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I&rsquo;m from a farming community, which means that most people I know are farmers.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I bet many of you wonder what farmers do in their downtime, however.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(Remember that the growing season doesn&rsquo;t go all year in <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Nebraska</st1:place></st1:state>, and you can only fix your tractor so many times.) Some relax during the winter, but many more will pick up jobs in town.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Joe may schlep bags of seed at the farm supply store.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Dave may do some mechanic work for the neighbor.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>If you caught either one doing their &ldquo;off-season&rdquo; jobs and asked them what they did for a living, they would both reply with &ldquo;farm.&rdquo;<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The same situation occurs with teachers and students.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Ask a teacher doing a summer job about their profession, and they won&rsquo;t stray from their insistence that they &ldquo;teach.&rdquo;<span style="">&nbsp; </span>College students can spend up to 6 years taking classes, but if you bumped into them serving coffee at a Starbucks, they would let you know that they were &ldquo;students.&rdquo;<span style="">&nbsp; </span>And so it goes.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you&rsquo;ve suddenly (or not so suddenly) found yourself without the job you know and love to identify yourself with, don&rsquo;t feel that you have to betray your longing with a complete acceptance of the task that pays your bills.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>If you&rsquo;re an out-of-work accountant who has decided to tend bar until better job prospects arise, do it with grace and confidence.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(In other words, when a patron asks you about your bartending status, tell them you&rsquo;re an accountant.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Then look them in the eye and ask if they want their drink shaken or stirred.)<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">Search for Meaning</b><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">All too many of use wake up one day and find that we hate what we do.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We go to work from then on with a bitter taste in our mouths, a scowl on our face, and feet that drag along the carpet of our stale, cubicled offices.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We dream of ways we can escape the doldrums (non life-threatening car wrecks, a falsely triggered fire alarm, or possibly corporate bankruptcy).<span style="">&nbsp; </span>The reality is far worse than the romanticized alternatives we dream of, but we are too fearful of the future to do anything else.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">What better opportunity to make a change than to lose your job!<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Yes, I said it!<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I&rsquo;ve been there, my husband has been there, and while the sting may take a while to wear off, eventually you decide to do something different.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It may not be better, but it is different, and it can inspire you to move forward with that small business, trade school, or stay-at-home parent dream.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Those who don&rsquo;t have a dream in the wings can take the opportunity to think carefully about what they want to do.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>They can form a new identity, in their own time and on their own terms.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">Make a Separation</b><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">There is a final group of people who have decided to throw all their professional aspirations as far from their &ldquo;identity&rdquo; as possible.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Either by necessity or desire, they refuse to define themselves as what they do for a living.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I have to admire these people, because as hard as I&rsquo;ve tried, I find this especially difficult.<span style="">&nbsp; </span><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Before marrying my husband, I&rsquo;d had opportunities to date gentlemen from various professions:<span style="">&nbsp; </span>auto mechanic, pilot, military police, and trust-fund brat (among others).<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I chose instead, to marry my soul mate (a man who had many jobs at once, loved almost everything he did, and did it with compassion and integrity.)<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Because he (and I) found value in him as a person (and not an employee), we were better prepared for long college semesters, corporate downsizing, and starting our own small business.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We took turns with the &ldquo;stay-at-home&rdquo; calling, and still share many of the household responsibilities.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">While we are very blessed to share our goals of keeping career from defining who we are, many don&rsquo;t have the full support of their spouse or family when deciding to make the separation.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I read of so many stay-at-home Dads who find themselves feeling less-than-valuable.<span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Mothers share in this dilemma, and have for some time.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Both feel societal pressure to equate their &ldquo;dollar per hour&rdquo; worth with their human value.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Whether you choose to keep it seasonal, try something new, or remove the stigma altogether, losing your job can cause a tremendous disruption in your personal life.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Finding a community that shares your beliefs can be vital to your survival (and believe me, they are out there!)<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">While it only matters to me that our professions are honorable and legal, some may not share in our acceptance.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>If all else fails, you can always do what we do, and say that you are &ldquo;a consultant.&rdquo;<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(It sure beats telling everyone you&rsquo;re <a href="../../../../../../7-ways-to-spot-a-social-media-snake-oil-salesperson">a social media expert</a>!)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lose-your-job-without-losing-your-identity">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">Getting by without a job, part 1--losing a job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-interview-lessons-learned-from-horrible-interviews">Five Interview Lessons Learned from Horrible Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income Career Building career How-To Guide identity job Mon, 23 Mar 2009 02:58:32 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2952 at http://www.wisebread.com