It’s Only Your Identity…Do You Care?

Your identity is the most important possession you have.  It is the very essence of who you are. Without it, you are no one.  It is your name, your family, your career, every single detail and historical record of everything that has every involved you, past and present.  Yet, it has become the basis of the fastest growing and most all encompassing crime surge to hit this planet since the beginning of time.

But do you care?.  You should!  The obvious answer – of course you do, at least on the surface. Six years of extensive research, speaking to thousands of people across the country and dealing with various individual’s challenges and concerns after they have been compromised has caused me to ask this question.  However, it appears that apathy wins out almost every time.

When asked, the average answers remain the same… “I’m careful with my information… therefore it can’t happen to me”.  “No one would want my identity”,  “They can have my credit”, and my personal favourite, “I’m a mom, I no longer have an identity”.

It comes down to “identity”, “identity theft” or “identity fraud” being vastly misunderstood.  The majority of people travel in an unconscious and complacent world of denial, where old habits die hard.  To be in a state of awareness takes work and why would we want to do that when our demand for pleasure and entertainment is stronger.

Ask yourself this question.  “Is identity theft and the related abuses created because of it, worth a little of my time and effort to begin my understanding that lowering my risk and decreasing the vulnerability of my family and my career, worth a little consideration?”  A little awareness can go a long way, after all, as people, we do what we do, we don’t know what we don’t know, and we cannot fix that which we first refuse to acknowledge.

The great philosopher Master Yoda said it best: “You must unlearn what you have already learned” because what you already know [your careless or thoughtless ID habits] will get you in trouble.” Statistics prove it to be true. “Reckless you are”, said Yoda, “Mind what you have learned from me. Save you it can.”  {Star Wars V – The Empire Strikes Back}

There are seven basic areas in which you need to be more conscious of your actions.  These are: Your personal ID, Your finances, Your workplace, Your communication, Your Vehicle, What you do while out and about and Your travel. Next week we will look at what we typically do with our personal identification items.

Identity theft can be beaten by raising our awareness.  Unfortunately, the time most people are ready to discuss this subject is after they have been compromised and become unsuspecting victims of the identity thief or have been the subjected target of a fraudster.