An easy guide to protecting your identity

Speak of the devil. Just a few days ago I mentioned check fraud and secure ink. Today in the mail, I received from Staples SpeakEasy, a program where they send you new products for free before they launch in hopes to get some feedback. I’ve gotten cd wallets, staplers, mousepad, etc. This month they’re featuring an identity protection theme which included 2 Uni-ball 207 Retractable Gel-Ink Pens and an “An easy guide to protecting your identity.” booklet.

The gel pens feature a “specially formulated ink – helps prevent check fraud”. I had mentioned about “secure” ink a few days ago.

I was about to throw the booklet away when I noticed it was endorsed if not partially written by Frank Abagnale. If that doesn’t ring the bell, it’s the character that Leonardo DiCaprio played in Catch Me If You Can. He’s also the real guy that cashed $2.5 million in fraudulent checks.

Flipping through the book, I was shocked to find it would be extremely useful to someone who’s not familiar with identity theft and how to protect oneself. The booklet has about 40 pages and if I wasn’t lazy, I’d scan the booklet for you to check it out.

The main topics he brings up is:

  • Checking your credit report three times a year
  • Shredding outdated personal information
  • Using tricky passwords
  • Installing firewalls and antivirus software
  • Taking in your mail as soon as it’s delivered

Of course Staples takes this opportunity to introduce you to their secure ink pens, their microcut shredder, and even their security software bundle.

Another interesting section is how to detect when your identity has been compromised. He gives examples of how to go through a credit report, how to only use 1 standard name for everything you apply for, and question why a certain individual/company would want your your social security number, etc.

One thought on “An easy guide to protecting your identity

  1. I use a blue 207 pen. I shred pretty much all paper trash that has anything more than my name and address on it. As for passwords… I’ve actually already lost track of a few because I use apg to generate passwords all the time. Lately I’ve started writing them down and locking the paper in a safe.

    As for stolen mail… we’ve had that happen 4 or 5 times already. My stepmother’s credit card was used by some guy in Pennsylvania who got arrested after I filed a police report. We’ve also lost a company checkbook so we had to request an account number change.

    I actually check my credit 4x a year and have it monitored daily thanks to the paypal link you gave us in the channel way back when.

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