Lying is generally not a good thing, but as I was ordering something for my neice’s birthday I was asked to enter my date of birth and deliberately put in the wrong date. I can only imagine that the store concerned saw this as added security but I’m not convinced. The other classic question in this space is mother’s maiden name. This might have helped back in the 80’s but both facts are relatively easy to discover especially considering how free and easy people are with their personal information on sites like FaceBook, LinkedIn etc.
For each of the many sites I have to register on, I have differnet passwords, made up dates of birth and imaginary maiden names for my mum. Of course this dishonesty can go too far and we have the whole issue of grooming on social networking sites and kids pretending to be over 18 so don’t be too imaginative even if you are an old f*** like me.
A couple of other tips:
- If my bank rings me and tries to take me through security, I ask for the callers name and then I phone the bank clear security and ask to speak to them
- Check your credit card bill thoroughly. Fraudsters are smart and often take small regularly amounts off your card, so one guy I met at a recent event had lots of rail tickets bought on his card which took him over a year to pick up.
- In internet Explorer 8 (IE8) you can check that the site you’re visiting is safe by either selecting the padlock (if it’s a secure site) to validate the certificate or selecting the safety dropdown –> smart screen filter –> check this website…
If you haven’t tried IE8 then you can get it here
A lot of my friends and family are in law enforcement, so please help them to have a quiet life by being a little smarter than the people who are after your identity and cash.