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Out and About Defense

Let's just get your SSN, a few fingernail cuttings, an elbow-print, a sample of saliva, and fill out this form of all your deepest fears and personal secrets!
(Image is in the Public Domain)

Defending your information doesn't stop when you walk out the front door. How many times when you're at the store, at the doctor's office, or otherwise out and about does someone ask for your private information? Do you provide it? Should you? How can you know?

The defense is simply this: ask. Why do they want to know? What will they do with it? How do they protect it? Ask and depending on the answer, decide what to do. For example:

Fun fact: I quite literally stopped the nurses at the birthing ward to ask them why they wanted a SSN on the admission paperwork while my wife was in active labor in the wheelchair behind me. Due to the impending baby, we agreed to handle the paperwork later (spoiler alert: they didn't need it either).


By being stingy with my data, I have avoided letting people put my information into yet another computer system and be at risk from abuse and hacking. It's not a 100% solution of course, but it costs me little other than some time and confused looks from employees who've never been challenged before. For my effort, my data is harder to find, harder to lose, and harder to exploit.


Exercise by Nick Youngson - Alpha Stock Images
(Image used under: Creative Commons 3.0 [SRC])

This section doesn't lend itself well to exercises. Just be careful out there ok?

What you can do is check out the resources page (next in the guide) and make sure to click any remaining orange-colored dots next to the lessons in the guide. This will mark them complete and once all are so-marked, you will receive a course-completion badge in your profile. Congrats for making it through 🙂

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