I’ve always marveled at the law enforcement motto, “To Serve and Protect.” While honorable, it’s essentially a slogan that presents our government representatives’ best intentions because in reality they can’t proactively 100 percent protect us the way we believe or expect them to do so. “Where’s a cop when you need one?” people say.
But it’s really not law enforcement’s job to protect everyone, everywhere, all day. We’d need a cop in every driveway all day long to really protect us. And even our government at its highest levels can’t effectively do the job in fully protecting us.
The ParamusPost does a fine job summing it up by pointing out, “The US federal government is taking steps to help consumers protect their identities. In 2006, the President’s Task Force on Identity Theft was created. This organization is tasked with the job of improving law enforcement abilities, improving consumer education, and setting governmental safeguards to protect against identity theft. Additionally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act provides consumers with access to information contained on credit reports, which were once off-limits to the average consumer. This law also puts requirements in place for accuracy in reporting, such as the ability for a consumer to report inaccuracies and potential identity theft to the credit bureaus. While this is a good start, it is ultimately up to the consumer to take actions to prevent the loss of personal identity.”
Yes, ultimately this is your problem.
Here’s what I suggest:
- Shred. If it’s got your name, account numbers or address, don’t throw it away—destroy it.
- Lock your mailbox. Buy a locking mailbox so your mail is safe from theft.
- Antivirus. Protect your PC with all the software necessary to prevent spyware.
- Identity theft protection. Invest in services that will monitor your identity and restore it in the event it’s stolen.