Please allow me a moment to step away from th subject of food for a message that I feel is important for anyone who shops online.
[[Steps on soap box ]]
I’m sure that most of you have heard of LifeLock, the company that “relentlessly” protects your from identity theft. They have asked me to share some information that can affect your security and your life. For me this is a personal story as much as it is a post representing a long-time supporter of cbsop, so please, read on.
The reason I feel this subject to be vitally important is that I have been the victim of identity theft. I never, EVER, want you to know the gut wrenching feeling of seeing your account wiped clean, or to see your credit rating riddled with late fees and delinquent accounts that you have neverd hear of, in places you’ve never been.
I’ve known that feeling. I know what it can take o prove that it wasn’t you who made the charges. I know what it feels like to explain to your landlord that you’ll pay as soon as you cna unfreeze your account. I know what it’s like to worry if you’ll be able to buy food for your kids. because someone, somewhere decided that they were more entitled to yur money than you were and had enough programming skills to figure out how to get it.
How secure is your password?
Most of us have passwords we use for more than one thing. It’s a normal human thing. We try to make it a good password, sure, but you really need to wonder if it’s good enough. There are folks out there who want your password. They also want your money, and they have the tools to try to get it… At least if you make it less than difficult for them.
For instance: if your password is only 6 characters long (the minimum for most providers, banks and other institutions) and contains only letters and numbers, but no symbol (i.e. @ # $ % ^ & *), a professional password hacker can probably crack your passord in about .000224 seconds.
Assuming you have a 10 character password with just one symbol in it, a professional hacker will probably have to work for around 20 days to crack your password. I’m guessing that most won’t be willing to waste that kind of time. They have easier marks to fleece.
Pretty scary numbers, aren’t they? Where does your password fall? Is it on the short list for shady types? It bears the question: How hack friendly is your password?
Are you a social media maven or a smartphone superstar?
You are? Unfortunately, that puts you at a higher risk for identity theft than your average Internet user. According to current data, 6.6% of Identity theft victims are smartphone users, 6.8% are social media users who click on random apps offered, 8.2% of victims are smartphone users who “checked in” using a mobile device and a whopping 10.1% of identity theft victims are Linkedin users.
Not great news, is it? I didn’t think so.
Who you are matters
Here’s the real kicker. The greater your average income, the more at risk you are.
- Households making over 100,000 per year have a 7.4% rate of identity fraud. That means peple are watching you if you do well.
- The average cost of identity theft: $1,513. I don’t know about you, but that’s about $1,513 more than I want to spend again
- $11.6 Million adults were victims of identity fraud in 2011. The total cost: $18 BILLION
It’s not something anyone should have to go through.
In the end, LifeLock can help. Check out their website. Follow LifeLock on Facebook. Consider the cost of NOT protecting yourself. then look at ways to do so.
I won’t tell you what the best alternative to your security is. That’s completely up to you.
But; As a victim of identity theft, I encourage you to stay informed. I want you to know everything that you can to protect yur family’s finances.’
I want you to be safe, well fed, happy and secure. We all should be.
[[Steps off soap box]]
Have you had a brush with identity theft? If so, please do leave a comment. Your experience might just help someone else.