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BellaOnline's Missing and Exploited Children Editor


Protecting Personal Information

Our last name is not on the mailbox or the front door of our house, and our home phone number is unlisted. It is important to keep your private or personal information protected. There is no need to place the family name on the mailbox, or on address plaque. Your neighbors know who you are and the mailman can figure out the home number. In addition to not publishing personal information, consider where you park your cars, and what is visible through your car windows.

Anything visible through your car windows can be seen by anyone walking past your car or breaking into your car. Do you leave mail on the front seat where your home address is plainly visible? Do you hang your work badge from your rearview mirror? Most work badges besides displaying your work facility name, also display your first and last name, and even a picture.

Is your garage door opener clipped to the sun visor? If you park in your driveway and not your garage, you may be providing a direct entry for someone who does not belong inside your home. Many times after the family has gone to bed there are groups of thieves who will smash your car window, use the garage door opener to access your home and in the few minutes it takes to grab and run can take purses, including identities, and any other valuable laying within a few feet of the garage door. In a worst case scenario, you may be providing a rapist or pedophile a fast way into your home. If you are a single mom or live by yourself this could be disastrous.

If you use valet parking for concerts or other activities do you provide the attendant with your entire key ring or just the ignition/door key for the car? Never leave your house key on your key change. In addition do not place a tag which lists your cell phone or home phone in the event you lose your key ring. Most keys are not returned and if you put an address or phone number on the key ring you may be leading someone to your front door if the keys fall into the wrong hands. It is better to be out a set of keys than to endanger yourself or your family.

If you carry keys you cannot lose than invest in a yearly program that will return your keys if lost and eventually found. The special number on the tag only allows the company to know where to mail your keys, but if found tag attached to your keys gives out a generic company address and no personal information. It is recommended that on personal cell phones, digital cameras and other small electronics carried personally, like PDA’s, include only generic information in the area provided for lost/found devices.

If you must include a number use the main number to your place of employment without providing a last name, if necessary you can use an initial. A safer route may be to use a generic email address that does not provide personal information; both yahoo and Gmail provide free emails for the asking. Be very conscientious of what information you give out and to whom you give personal information and protect your personal information whenever possible. The information you refuse to provide may save your life or the life of a loved one.
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Content copyright © 2015 by Erika Lyn Smith. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Erika Lyn Smith. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Erika Lyn Smith for details.


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