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Identity Theft

Sat 02 January 2010

So the colder weather I wanted for the Christmas - New Years holidays has now arrived here in Vero. The temperatures for the next 15 days are going to be on the cool side meaning I'm not sure the highs will get much above 70 and the lows down in the 40's or perhaps even 30's. For me, a bit of colder weather makes things seem more 'normal' after the cold winters I experienced in Atlanta for 43 years. I remember one Christmas when it was about 0 on Christmas day - so cold you couldn't even get your key in a car door to open it. So cold that diesel fuel turned to jello thus cars would not start. With the wind-chill factor, it 'felt' like -12 degrees. With all the glass in my Atlanta house, my furnace was running 24 hours a day trying to heat my home. Vero is not like that - that's a good thing.

Earlier today I was going to a Facebook page of one of my Facebook friends and all of a sudden my security software through up an alert blocking access to part of the page's data. The alert said my MasterCard number was being sent out of my computer without my permission to an unsecured site. Actually what happened is the URL of a picture that was to load on the Facebook page had a sequence of numbers which matched the last for digits of my MasterCard numbers - it was not an evil attempt to steal my card number.

These security alerts are very rare and in each case in the past were either legitimate or a false alarm like the one today. This alert was a good reminder as to why I have security software to protect my computer and protect confidential information from being stolen from my computer. In today's environment of identity theft, you can never be too careful IMO. The software I have will block any data I chose from leaving my computer without my permission - data like credit card numbers, social security number, passwords, username, or anything else I want it to watch. I've had this feature for sometime now but never paid much attention to it until my last AmEx credit card compromise about 6 weeks ago. This security feature is in my software so why not use it? If you have software which will do this blocking, I'd suggest you might want to use it - it certainly can't hurt.

If I wanted to be a thief, identity theft is the way I'd go. This sort of illegal action is non-violent and seemingly rather easy with as much of it going on as there is. Heck, I'm cautious with my credit cards yet my AmEx card has been compromised about 4 or maybe 5 times in the past few years. When I use it online, it is always on a secure (https) website with encryption and when I use it in person, the card almost never leaves my hand as I just swipe it through a card reader. Yet the card number - never the card itself - has been stolen. I don't like jail so I think it's best for me to stay on the right side of the law.

The best bowl game thus far has been the Auburn - Northwestern game in which Auburn won 38 -35 in overtime. What made it particularly great is all the strange plays - when you thought a play was good, it got called back. The Florida game was boring so I didn't watch much - I'm happy Florida did win. The ACC teams have lost 2 out of the 3 bowl games in which they played - I hope Georgia Tech can improve on the win - lost record Monday night.

Posted at 10:38 am in General