Yes, this is a time of peace, humanity and generosity, but only what and when we choose to give.
This is a time to protect yourself and your family members. Again, I want to suggest you minimize exposure to prevent
fraud and identity theft. The easiest way is simply to keep the junk from coming into your life. Here are a few options
you can initiate:
Sign up for the Colorado No Call list for both your home and cell phones. "http://www.coloradonocall.com">www.coloradonocall.com or (303) 776-2678.
Register with the National Do Not Call Registry at www.ftc.gov/donotcall.org or call (888) 382-1222. Don't forget
to reregister every five years.
Make direct requests to charities and companies with whom you do business to put you on their Do Not Call
list. Notify companies to cease sending you catalogues in the mail.
Stop the preapproved credit card applications by opting out of credit reporting agencies' credit card solicitations
at www.optoutpre "http://www.optoutprescreen.com">screen.com or (888) 567-8688. Also, call your current credit card customer
service number on the back of your card to opt out of all of its marketing programs, including convenience
Request a preferred service provider freeze" by calling (800) 922-1879 to prevent unauthorized changes to
your phone service.
Reduce e-mail and junk mail through Direct Marketing Association at "http://www.dmaconsumers.org">www.dmaconsumers.org.
specialists said a simple shredder is no longer adequate. There are actually thieves who will take the time to patch
together an entire document that has been single shredded. Please shred anything that has personal information, even
something as simple as your name and address. This includes old bank statements, applications for credit cards and any
documents that have personal information.
Recently, a resident was duped by someone pretending to be her grandson on the phone.
It hurts to think someone would have no conscience and willingly take several thousand dollars from an elder. Emotions
trump logic sometimes. Whether it's someone who wants personal information or someone who claims he needs to verify any
personal account, don't give out information unless you positively can confirm the caller's identity.
Are you doing more and more on the computer these days? Is your computer network protected by a firewall? This can help
to keep out intruders by shutting out unauthorized people and letting others go only to the areas they have privileges
to use. You can purchase firewalls at any computer store (or online). Another option is to install a small router.
These often have firewall protection capability.
More and more, I am amazed by how cavalier some employees are as to sharing their co-workers' personal identifying
information. Repeating information loudly or allowing the computer screen to be viewed by anyone is careless and
potentially expensive. Ask your co-workers to be sensitive with your information and to keep it private.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 247-4355.
Wendy Rice is family and consumer science agent for the La Plata County Extension Office.