Only you can prevent cybercrime. Or, maybe that’s forest fires.
George Collins, a safety analyst with COX Safenet in New York City, a firm that helps consumers prevent having their identity stolen, has written a new book with tips he’s gleaned from his long career to help protect consumers from identity theft. Here are the things he says you can do to protect yourself in his book, which is available on Amazon.com:
Tip 1: Never buy anything off Amazon. “I don’t trust their security on their site. I don’t trust anybody’s security on any site. Only pay cash for items face to face. It’s much safer.”
Tip 2: When you get a new credit card to replace your old one, spend at least 45 minutes cutting the old card up, and throw the pieces in no fewer than a dozen different garbage cans. “Back in the 1990s, I would take cruises each time I got a replacement credit card so I could toss sections of my cut up cards over the side of the ship out in the ocean. Like in that that old ‘Columbo’ episode where Robert Vaughn tosses those latex gloves overboard after shooting the singer of the cruise ship band. SPOILER ALERT: Columbo nabbed him anyway.” Collins said in his book that even if you can’t take a cruise each time you get a new card, you should at the very least spend close to an hour cutting up your old card into as many small pieces as you can, take a road trip to no less than six cities in three different states, and throw the pieces of the card away into at least 12 different trash cans. Even the most ambitious identity thief would be hard pressed to piece that card back together.
Tip 3: Give your significant other a fake PIN number. “You can’t trust anybody. You’ll know they’re trying to steal your identity when they tell you the PIN isn’t correct. George Costanza had the right idea. I’ve never told any of my six wives my actual PIN, and it’s served me well.”
Tip 4: Make your internet passwords as convoluted and hard to crack as possible. And don’t write them down ever. “I use symbols, numbers, even symbols from foreign languages, and I am constantly forgetting them, my passwords are so well-constructed. It takes a little more time whenever I have to go personally visit customer service to reset my password at my bank, but it’s well worth it.”
Collins said he can personally help you ensure your identity will be totally safe. He can be reached via e-mail, and all you have to do to get his personal service is send him your date of birth, social security number, mother’s maiden name and the name or your childhood best friend. Just allow 4-6 weeks for his services to kick in after that. Continue reading