Topic: Security

So, Let's consider: Guarding Against Identity Theft 0

So, Let’s consider: Guarding Against Identity Theft

Identity Theft. We’ve all heard it. Some of us have be the victims of it. It’s a royal pain in the ass when it happens to you. It’s not going away any time soon.
So, let’s consider a few things we can do to help protect ourselves in this war against identity thieves.

Memorize your Social Security Number (SSN) and leave the card at home!

Frankly, unless you’re applying for a job or have to show proof of citizenship, etc., there’s no real reason to be carrying your SSN card around with you at all. Leave it at home in a secure place. Perhaps the same place you leave your passport, birth certificate, etc.
Your SSN is THE biggest piece of identity information that a thief would want. Once they have it, there’s very little about you that they can get, find and use against you. It IS the key to your identity.


We’ve already said that it’s the single most useful key to you that anyone would want. So, don’t give it out to anyone that doesn’t have a REAL need for it.
Real needs to NOT include: Credit card application, “we need it for ID”, or my favorite: “we need it for our computer…” Trust me, their computer won’t die of malnutrition if it doesn’t have your SSN and if they want your business they’ll find another way.
One of the biggest issues I run into with SSN’s is things like doctor’s offices that think they need it to “verify your insurance.” Uh, that’s what your insurance card is for. Period, end of story. Ask them how they treat patients that aren’t US citizens and you’ll find that they generally assign them some arbitrary number – tell them to do the same for you. Having been in IT for over 35 years I’ve seen how your SSN can be used and abused against you and trust me you don’t want it out in some medical history database for any other insurance companies or vendors to be able to paw through at will.
Further if your student ID or driver’s license is your SSN, ask that it be removed and that another number be issued to you immediately.

Get a good shredder and USE IT

In getting a shredder you want one of those models that makes total confetti out of what you feed into it. The ones that just make strips of paper out of your documents are basically useless. Here what you’re doing is making the other guy’s data easier to use than yours. Thieves are generally looking for quick access to information and if you make yours hard to get then they’ll most likely go on to someone else that’s not as smart.
If you have a fireplace or a fire pit handy, use it. In my office I have 2 trash cans by my desk. One is for non-burnables (empty coke cans, etc) and the other is a paper bag for burnables…I call it my “burn bag”. When it gets full, I take it over to the fire place and strike a match to it. Problem solved.

Shed or burn anything sensitive

My personal policy is that if it has “names or numbers” on it, it gets shredded or burned. This includes credit card statements, bank statements, anything from any government agency, tax office, business associates, etc. If it’s not something I wouldn’t mind reading on the front page of the Washington Post, it gets shredded.

Use public Wi-Fi hot spots with care

Connecting to Wi-Fi in the coffee shop can be really convenient, but don’t use it to pay your phone bill. Same thing with any other public Wi-Fi connection be it at the airport, school, shopping center, etc. Presume that someone is monitoring what you’re sending across the internet, and trust me it’s not hard to do.
Further, if you don’t see “HTTPS” at the start of your web url line, DO NOT EVER trust the connection for any financial transaction security or any other connection security that you’re going to be sending someone private data to. Connections without the httpS at the front of them are presumed to be unsecure by definition.

Use common sense with your mail

OK, this may sound redundant, but don’t leave your outgoing mail in a pile somewhere. Put it IN the US Mailbox. Also give serious consideration to getting a post office box for your mail. They’re not cheap but they’re not that expensive either and they can buy you a lot of peace of mind when it comes to reducing the risk of someone pilfering through your stuff.

Treat your personal information as “need to know”

To many this is obvious but you’d really be surprised how stupid some people can be. If it’s your private information and someone doesn’t have a need to know it, don’t tell them! When filling out forms that want your whole life history and all the information they can get about you, THINK! If they don’t need it to provide the services that you’re negotiating for, then don’t give it to them! You can’t control what other people do with your information but you can damn sure prevent them from getting it in the first place!
This also extends to what you share on social media. Presume that if you post it to your page that the whole world can find out about it. It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people can be when I read “we’re going to Aruba next Sunday for 2 weeks!”….if I’m looking for a house to hit I now know I have 2 weeks to hit theirs! Wait until AFTER you come back to post your pictures from your vacation and share your good times with others. And avoid the “check in” options on social media where restaurants and other sites use the “check in at Charley’s bar and grill” feature while you’re there. You’re just telling the world where you are and making yourself a target. THINK!

Don’t share PIN’s or passwords – and don’t write them down!

You’d be surprised how obvious this is and how frequently it’s what compromises a persons security. Never tell anyone security access information unless you not only trust them BUT that they also have need to know. And, NEVER WRITE THEM DOWN in a public place – like posting them to your fridge door, under your keyboard, post it pads on your computer screen, etc. This is just asking for problems and they will find you.
These tips are not intended to be totally foolproof or to provide 100% security. Nothing can do that, but they’ll go a long way to making someone else a much easier target for someone that wants to do harm. Don’t make life easy for criminals. They’re unforgiving once they find a way to get what they want and that can be really expensive and painful for you to recover from
Finally, some companies offer what they call “identity theft insurance”. If you look at this kind of a policy, use a strong reputable firm and make sure you read all the details before you sign up. Caveat emptor.
If you feel that your privacy has been compromised, contact the appropriate agency, vendor, credit card company, law enforcement agency, etc., and get things resolved quickly. The sooner you’re aware and act the sooner things can get fixed. Be proactive at all times. Read and review all your financial statements watching for any anomalies and transactions that you didn’t incur.
Here’s hoping that you’ve gained a few items you can use from this list and that the crooks find someone else more interesting than you.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

Responding to yet another gun violence editorial… 0

Responding to yet another gun violence editorial…
I get a lot of periodicals. Frankly, I read their index and if the article(s) impress me I’ll read the articles.
I got a medical journal in today’s post and like many other editors, this one decided that it was important
for her to jump on the gun bandwagon. Actually, hers was better than most, but still leaned more away from
dealing with the real sources of violence than I would have liked. So I replied:
I’m glad to read that your comments were more balanced than most I read of late, especially in the liberal media.
We DO have a problem. Even though it partially manifests itself through the improper use of guns, it’s not per se a gun problem. It IS a VIOLENCE problem.
Guns have been around for a very long time. We used to even have shooting teams in schools and at scouting meetings. Kids would bring their own guns for target practice, have them in their cars/trucks, etc. I would
point you to recent comments by the Governor of Kentucky on this. I agree with his opinion, it’s not a gun problem(
You referred to the events at Douglas High where CLEARLY had the FBI and local law enforcement been doing their jobs instead of being politically correct or trying to oust a sitting president instead of protecting students, these events may have been prevented. Law enforcement failed Douglas.
So, why do we of recent history have an increased violence issue? Why are people using violence as their means of choice? I don’t have the answers, but I do have a few questions and concerns:
Clearly the psychological impact of the massive violence that kids are inundated with in the media, on TV, in the movies, with incredibly violent video games HAS to have a negative impact on them. Clearly we can’t have a generation being raised on the evening murder du jour or playing violent games like “grand theft auto” (where killing cops and people is encouraged) and it not have a negative impact on them.
The massive degradation of the family unit clearly has a negative impact.
The lack of church attendance and respect for church values has a negative impact.
Lack of respect for life is a problem and lessening of the value of life clearly has to be impacted by how life’s
value has no value in what kids are being given/shown/presented/bombarded with in the media/movies/games/etc.
The media and authorities are looking for a quick and politically correct “out” for the problem. To them guns are the issue and removing guns will be the global solution to the problem. Well, history shows us that just doesn’t work. I would refer you to recent events in Australia where all guns were outlawed and in theory confiscated – violent crime soared because the criminals knew that the victims were defenseless. This continued until Aussie citizens obtained weapons on the black market and started being able to defend themselves. Also, look at the UK, where also firearms are outlawed – London recently surpassed NYC in the number of murders. Clearly, violence will find the tools it wants to do the deeds it will. The question remains, will you be able to defend yourself or your family when it does? Keep in mind that when second count, cops are minutes away. And we can’t expect them to be everywhere all the time. That’s just not possible.
Guns are inanimate objects. And if you took high school physics you know that an object at rest will stay there until acted upon by an external force. Period. That’s just a fact of life. Some people just need to learn to deal with that fact.
When we have a drunk driver committing a vehicular homicide do we blame Ford? Why not? We blame the gun! Do we blame the car dealer for selling the drunk the car? Why not? We blame gun manufacturers and vendors. Do we blame the AAA or other automotive associations for the events? Nope, but liberals will blame the NRA. Same thing goes for any other crime committed with a vehicle – robbery, theft, kidnapping, etc… With these crimes we correctly blame the CRIMINAL. The perpetrator of the crime. NOT the car… The only reason guns get blamed is because they don’t fit the politically correct agendas of left wing socialist media and mindsets that would rather not deal with the causes of the real issues. Now, some liberals will respond with “you have to have a license to drive a car”… No you don’t. Consider how many auto thefts there are each week…and how many people don’t have licenses yet drive – let alone those that drive without insurance which is another law issue.
In the medical world, we would liken this to the stupidity of thinking that of giving tylenol to a patient with brain cancer as the solution to their problems, while totally ignoring the causes of the disease. America and society needs to stop ignoring the causes of the violence disease, find them and deal with them. And quickly. This continued trend of dealing with the symptoms by thinking that getting rid of guns is the solution, is only going to kill our patient, our society, our fellow man, our kids and ourselves.
Pardon the pun, but there is no “silver bullet” here. It would more than appear that the causes of why we are here and having this discussion are many and will take time and effort to change. But, we need to deal with the causes of the violence as violence will use a baseball bat, knife, machette, steak knife or whatever tools it can do achieve it’s goals. And being one that likes not only baseball but a good steak, I’d hate to see the politically correct being allowed to misdirect us from a proper and correct solution.
I’m Don Rima, and that the view, From Where I Stand.

Great Mills, Maryland High School – A good gun taking out a bad gun and saving lives! Yes, it actually works that way! 0

Great Mills, Maryland High School – A good gun taking out a bad gun and saving lives! Yes, it actually works that way!

OK folks, so here we go again. Someone in a school thinks that the way to solve their problems is through VIOLENCE, VIOLENT ACTS and, yes, once again they used a gun. However, as everyone with half a brain has been saying for a long time, to take out a bad guy with a gun, you need a good guy with a gun. Unlike recent events in Florida where the local sheriff’s department decided to go on coffee break during the shooting, the school safety officer at Great Mills actually decided to DO THEIR JOB and took out this murderous thug! At the same time probably saving many from injury and death! This guy deserves a hero’s welcome.

However, I kinda doubt this officer wants to be considered a hero. Every GOOD cop I know of sends up a prayer every time they strap on their sidearm that they won’t be faced with a situation where they would have to use it. That they won’t be faced with a situation where they would have to take another life to save themselves or others. That’s the sign of a good cop…and yes, there are a few of them out there!
Interestingly enough, I’ve yet to see CNN and their corp of crisis actors crowing about gun violence and how all guns need to be removed.

I’m really happy that I DON’T see the likes of idiots like David Hogg or his skin headed gal pal, running their mouths and claiming to be students here, there, and everywhere, and pushing CNN and the socialist media’s anti-gun agenda. What amazes me even more is that the likes of ilk like CNN’s gun carrying Anderson Cooper haven’t called it an “assault gun” yet….but to them, anything that doesn’t fit their socialist, anti-2nd amendment, anti-American view, is called an “assault weapon”. Makes you wonder if CNN didn’t have enough time to plan for this one(pardon the sarcasm!).

We still are no closer, thanks to the liberal lame stream media and all the socialist sycophants in congress, to finding out the root causes of all this recent violence of the past weeks, months and years… And, until we find out WHY THE VIOLENCE EXISTS, it will continue.
People think they can point to countries like Australia and the UK that banned guns…but they don’t tell you the rest of the picture that the major crimes, armed robberies, assaults, etc., ACTUALLY INCREASED DRAMATICALLY…until people bought guns on the black market and were actually able to defend themselves once again. The UK actually had a “turn in your knives” campaign for a while as violence with knives was so high! Yeah, it failed.

It’s interesting to realize that in a city like Kennessaw Georgia, where the local law is you MUST have a gun in your home, major crimes are substancially lower than in cities that ban guns…with I think only one murder…in like 6 years…Hmmm…wonder why?

The socialist lame stream media like to point to statistics of how guns are used in murders in the US and at a much higher rate than the rest of the civilized world…but if you remove just five cities (which also have the strongest gun laws) of DC, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago and NYC, all cities that have been run by liberal management for a long time, the US finds itself at almost the BOTTOM of the same statistical report. Anyone wonder why?

Clearly the left wing lame stream media are more interested in pushing their socialist agenda, hyping up unfortunate events and in short, not giving a damn about anything but their own agenda.

So, it’s up to us to figure this out on our own…clearly CNN, The FBI, et al, are to busy attacking Trump to care….

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.

School shootings – more gun laws aren’t the answer and never will be! 0

School shootings – more gun laws aren’t the answer and never will be!

OK Anti-gun liberals and the rest of your pansy liberal pals… – so, how are new laws going to fix anything???

The NRA has been around LONGER THAN YOU HAVE! and longer than you have been twisting the news to fit your biased liberal views… So have guns… I bought my first one when I was in high school at a K-Mart…18 round semi-auto…fired all of them in under 2 seconds…Gee, NO MASS SHOOTINGS ON CAMPUS! Uh, do you have an answer for that????

You and your pavlovian liberal pals need to wake up and realize IT’S NOT THE GUNS…IT’S NOT THE NRA… IT’S HOW SOCIETY HAS BEEN DESENSITIZED TO KILLING!!! The sources of this are plenty! Start with your local TV, Violent Movies that Hollywood makes $BILLION$ on agrandizing uber violence, then go to uber violent VIDEO GAMES….and work the list from there!

You’re SUPPOSED TO BE a smart guy, the path is OBVIOUS!

You probably studied physics at one time. You should remember that it’s a LAW OF PHYSICS that an object at rest WILL STAY AT REST UNTIL ACTED UPON BY AN EXTERNAL FORCE! Simply put for liberals, GUNS DON’T KILL UNLESS A HUMAN USES THEM TO KILL WITH!

So, let’s ask the obvious question you liberals want to avoid: WHY ARE HUMANS KILLING??? Oh, thinking about that means we have to come up with REAL answers to REAL problems…Hmmm…liberals don’t like that….

Add to this the break down of the home, society morals in general, the lack of respect or value for life….and the list grows…

Don’t blame guns for killing anyone any more than you should blame a car for vehicular homicide! …unless of course, you want to wake up and realize that there are THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS MORE
KILLINGS each and every year done by cars driven by drunk drivers…and no liberal seems to care about that! ….I wonder why….

This problem of horror we get faced with on a fairly regular basis isn’t going away and it isn’t going to go away with the outlawing of guns any more than drugs have with the outlawing of drugs. WTFU! This is going to take a MAJOR MINDSET CHANGE in the part of society. Back to respect for each other and for live and human values.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.