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Document Defense

There are three points where bad guys can get your documents: on delivery, in storage, or during disposal.


Thanks to package theft, the market for secure mail/package dropboxes is expanding.
(See online!)


(Image used under: Fair Use doctrine)

At work, it's a bad idea to leave important or sensitive information lying around where just any delivery person or cleaning staff can see them and your home is no different. With family ID Theft being common, it's best to keep your documents stored in a locking file cabinet, a safe, or (what I do for non ID document) just scan them to a computer and then destroy the originals. HOWEVER, if you go with the scan option, make sure to encrypt the files…. especially if you use any kind of cloud storage or backup (make sure any cloud services encrypt your data BEFORE uploading so your files are never exposed).

For local encryption, do your research on available tools to find the right fit (though I use Veracrypt if you want a recommmendation) and avoid using Windows built-in encryption Bitlocker… Windows isn't exactly known for it's robust stability and the last thing you need is for your data to suddenly become irretrievable due to a glitch, errant update, or activation goof.


Though this is far more an issue for offices and worksites, dumpster-diving is still a threat. Bottom line, you should never assume that someone isn't willing and able to go through your garbage to find documents and information they need.

Have you ever read about the guy who ripped up and then taped together a pre-approved credit offer, filled it in with a change of address, sent it in and still was approved for credit? Give it a read... it will blow your mind.

Make sure you get a good shredder which (means cross-cut or microcut) or burn/pulp/destroy important trash in some way. For example, it's not a bad idea to split your shredded papers or cut-up credit cards among multiple trash loads to make sure that even if they wanted to put them back together, they wouldn't have all the pieces.


Exercise by Nick Youngson - Alpha Stock Images
(Image used under: Creative Commons 3.0 [SRC])
Though this will take some time and effort to put together, the more of the above you can do, the safer you are!

Course Guide for: Goodbye Identity Theft

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Online Defense

The Internet is an incredible resource, but also a big risk. Besides the various hacks and scams, data thieves (which includes data brokers like Facebook) are using your data against you. To defend against these risks, I have a set of simple countermeasures that will vastly improve your defense online.

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