It's My Birthday! (And I'll Lie If I Want To)
Posted 01 January 2009 - 06:44 PM
New Yearís Day 2009 came in today with a few added surprises: Automated birthday wishes from a couple of web sites, and even some personal birthday messages from Facebook friends who I already know in real life. But my birthday is in the summer, so their early wishes, thoughtful as they are, landed today as part of my hush-hush plan to control my private information.
In my opinion, some of the key personal information ďbitsĒ that aid in the practice of Identity Theft are: Social Security Numbers, Birthdates, and Motherís Maiden Names. This is because the use of SS numbers has been mutated by firms large and small to serve as the single identifier for their clients. And in how many places have you been asked for Motherís Maiden Name as an identifier as well?
Iím perfectly okay with the year that I was born (some people refer to this as ďtheir ageĒ), and Iím proud of the several decades of wisdom and experience that piling on the years have wrought, but I decided some years back to ďde-identifyĒ myself by using somewhat generic information for these often asked questions and varying them across online sites that request it. I now have several Social Security numbers in use, that easy-to-select New Yearís Day birthday (face it, I donít have to scamper through those huge pull-down menus to choose Jan 1), and my mothersí maiden names point to several possible maternal links if anyone was to try to check.
The Better Business Bureau has plenty of good information about Identity Theft: http://www.bbbonline...eft/protect.asp
So, to Laurie, Bill, Ruben, and Bryan, many thanks for your exceptionally early Happy Birthday wishes! (Iím hoping for remembrances from the rest of my Facebook friends now!)
Enjoy! (And a very Happy Birthday to you, whenever your birthday might be!)
January 1, 2009 @ 6:45 PM
You can subscribe to "The SilverMarc Quasi-Periodical Send-Sheet" (sent not too often and purposely kept short and to the point): Click Here to Subscribe: http://tinyurl.com/sendsheet
View the other Send-Sheet Articles at this link: http://silvermarc.com/email
Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:08 AM
The only time I have ever not been able to get around the mother maiden name thing is with a bank and if you lie to them, you could have serious problems. Why? You signed on the line saying that the information is true and subject to penalties of the law. Other than that, there is no reason to select that info as a way to recognize yourself. I pick something else.
Happy Birthday Marc!
Posted 03 January 2009 - 10:11 AM
A long time ago, before we all had personal computers actually, a friend of mine commented on the loss of privacy and the worry people had about protecting their information. He said one of the best things I've ever heard: Instead of trying to "hide" yourself and your information, create a deluge of it: Use dozens of names - "Marc M. Silverman", "Marc D. Silverman", "Mark Silverman", "M. B. Silverman", "M. Robert Silverman"... Instead of trying to "protect" your info, put it out there in as many ways as possible, and "hide in plain sight!"
January 3, 2009 @ 10:09 AM