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Personal Information Protection

by Bill Rounds Esq. on August 21, 2009

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

magic trick

Practicing magicians do not reveal how they do their tricks.  This is known as the magician’s code.  Every student of How To Vanish has a different appetite for privacy.  Many will want the greatest protection of their personal, electronic, and financial privacy regardless of the cost.  Others will choose varying levels of privacy protection ranging from more expensive measures to using less costly, even free methods.  Still others might be content with simply the knowledge that they know how to vanish if they felt inclined to do so, but have not yet felt the need to take the steps to accomplish that.  The code for all of these people who want to know how to vanish is to jealously guard their personal information as a form of personal information protection. Jealously guarding your personal data is one foundational principle that all privacy minded individuals should keep in mind, regardless of how much or how little of your assets or yourself you want to vanish.

Personal Data Protection

We live in an age where the flow of personal data is mind boggling.  Everyone from banks to grocery stores ask for a wealth of private information and maintain or sell that information.  We also live in an age when the vast amount of data available has made profiling of individuals for marketing purposes a lucrative endeavor.  Unfortunately, there are great benefits available to those who would maliciously use the personal data available in order to steal and defraud.   Although a phone number and name alone are too vague for a fraudster to really profile a person, if they have access to grocery shopping habits, for example, they could easily link a person who regularly buys items that fit the right profile and thus have been able to identify their target.  If their shopping habits are linked to a telephone number, they now have the contact information of a lucrative target.  Some private data may simply be slightly embarrassing. I would never want anyone to know that a manly man like myself has rented the movie Elf many, many times.  They might discover that it is one of my favorites.  This is the kind of thing that my rental information might reveal.  Although most businesses claim that they take sufficient measures to protect your personal data and maintain data privacy, there are simply too many examples of compromised data to lay much confidence in those promises.  The more your data floats around in databases and in between merchants and marketing firms, the more opportunities there are for your data to leak into the hands of the unscrupulous.

Data Protection System

The most effective data protection system is not a well encrypted database with strict access controls, it is to refrain from giving out any of your personal information.  The most important pieces are your social security number, physical addresses, telephone numbers and names.  These should only be revealed to the most trusted of sources and under circumstances where it is absolutely necessary.  Remember that when you are asked for your private information, in many cases more information than is needed is asked for.  Ask a person with authority what personal information is essential and what may be left out.  If there is still too much information disclosure required for your taste, you may reconsider the reasons for disclosing the information.  Think of the disclosure of information and weakening of your privacy protection as another cost for whatever product or service you are buying.  Is the cost still worth it?

Conclusion

It should become a habit to guard your personal data as a magician guards his tricks.  There will be times when you cannot avoid disclosing some of your sensitive data.  The world, after all, has never been a very safe place but there is no need to take unnecessary risks.  With the help of the book How To Vanish you can make the habit of protecting  your personal information, become even more powerful.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bill Rounds, Esq. is a California attorney. He holds a degree in Accounting from the University of Utah and a law degree from California Western School of Law. He practices civil litigation, domestic and foreign business entity formation and transactions, criminal defense and privacy law. He is a strong advocate of personal and financial freedom and civil liberties. This is merely one article of 123 by .
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