What a sad statement I am about to make - that every home should have a copy of Johnny Mayís Guide to Preventing Identity Theft alongside their dictionary, thesaurus, emergency rescue manual and religious text of choice. But in a society becoming rampant with such crimes, this book is a must-own, filled with usable and important information about how identity thieves operate, and what you can do to stop them, or minimize the damage if indeed you do become a victim.
Johnny May is an independent security consultant and trainer who specializes in identity theft prevention, and in this book, he shares his abundant knowledge, beginning with what exactly constitutes an identity theft crime. He then shows us who is at the highest risk of becoming a victim, how our personal information often ends up in the wrong hands, and even how the Internet and e-commerce has contributed to the growing wave of crimes involving identity theft and fraud.
There is an entire chapter devoted to the Social Security number, a favorite with identity thieves, with tips on when you should and should not give out your number, and how thieves use our SS numbers to do their dirty dealings. There is also plenty of information about the exact steps to take if you become a victim, including contacting creditors and banks, how to keep solid documentation for possible legal needs, getting off of marketing lists, and watching your identity information in the workplace where personnel info can often get into unsavory hands.
The large appendix includes tons of information and resources designed to keep you on top of who has your personal info, how to keep credit reports accurate, and what state laws and statutes do to protect you from fraud. There are also templates for affidavits and letters of dispute that you can use if you get victimized, making your job that much easier when it comes to contacting credit card companies, banks, and legal entities.
Ultimately, even with all this powerful information at your fingertips, the job of protecting your identity comes back to you; making sure you shred personal information, never giving out certain information over the phone, using your SS number with discretion, being aware of what companies you do business with especially over the Internet, and just becoming more aware of the many little things we often overlook (like leaving your purse or wallet in a place where it can easily be swiped).
Johnny Mayís book is a great addition to every home, and just may save you from a whole lot of pain and aggravation. Like your handy CPR manual, read it, memorize the info, and make use of it, so that you donít become the next victim whose sad story appears in the next Johnny May guide to protecting your identity.