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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Spotlight: Charisma Knight


Identity Theft

I remember, back in the day when my mother would bring out her large plastic bins containing old bills and payment receipts. I’d sit on the edge of mom’s bed, watching her fret over the abundance of paperwork. Now mind you, back then there was no such thing as identity theft, hence the reason why mom threw away old bills WITH full name, address, etc into the garbage can without worrying. The only thing you really had to worry about protecting back then were social security numbers.

I can’t even imagine chucking out paper in this age. Dumpster divers would have a field day! I have two diamond cut shredders in my house, and prefer electronic billing as opposed to receiving paper bills. Your name, address, and account numbers are printed on several different places on the paper bills, so dispose with care, if you don’t have a shredder. Even when you are so careful in disposing of paperwork, you still must be on the lookout for hackers! 

As authors, we must provide our name, address, and social security numbers to publishers so we can be compensated for our books. Do any of you only provide only EIN numbers? I’m secure in the fact that our publishers are very protective in safeguarding their computers.

Also, when purchasing ebooks from different publishers, do you only use PayPal? There are some publishers that don’t use PayPal, so do many of you provide your debit or credit card, without worry, or bypass pubs that don’t have the PayPal option?

Just for the record, we can’t sit around worrying about every little aspect either, or we’ll drive ourselves crazy. The key thing is to protect ourselves as much as we can.

I remember when my debit card was hit four years ago. It was shocking to see an oil charge on my checking account. I never lived in a house where I had to use oil heat. Well, lo and behold, someone had gotten their grubby little paws on my debit card number. I went over everything with a fine tooth comb and realized it must have happened at the Ruby Tuesday. I say that because it was the first time we ate at that restaurant, and the first time I let my card out of my sight. Thank God, I was able to get my $300 back, but I did raise holy hell with the oil company. Now remember, people are paid a pretty penny to provide debit and credit card numbers, so I’m thinking that’s what happened. It is a booming business, unfortunately.

Anyway, I would love to hear everyone’s opinion on this matter.

1 comment:

Victoria said...

I have one cc I use online that has a online garnetee. If the number is stolen, all charges (except for the first $50, which is some sort of industry standard) are not my problem. It would be a pain, but I have check with them a couple of times and it is still in effect. Supposedly all cards are like this, but this one is set-up for 'ease of use.' Still don't want to test that!!