Shasta College Student Essay: ‘Where Did You Get That?’

There are so many ways to give out your personal information and put it right into the hands of the wrong people. How many times have you entered your personal information into those pop-up adds for sweepstakes? Or how many times have you registered for a magazine or newsletter? Or how about online shopping, do you partake in that? Well if you answered yes to at least one of those questions, chances are that you have or will have some sort of identity theft or invasion of privacy in your life.

Life, it’s an open book for all the world to read. The fact of the matter is that there is always going to be someone peeping in on your everyday activities and trying to obtain your personal informantion. Have you ever walked into a gas station, grocery store, or bank and tried to count how many cameras were in there, or at least the ones you could see? The thought that even good-ole Betty Sue from down the lane could be watching me while I take my morning run is an eye-opening fact that makes me wonder how private is my life? A woman in Redding writes to the Record Searchlight regarding an automated call she received about a checking card being compromised. However, when Katie Charley called the toll free number back the young female “Crystal” on the other line was asking for her credit card number and eventually more personal information that she knew Wells Fargo would never ask over the phone. Charley immediately hung up and canceled her credit card (Charley). We are selling ourselves out with the click of a mouse and the scribbling of our names. We are openly saying “hey, here is my information, would you like to steal it?” And that is implied in ink.

We also give our personal information out ourselves. We are all guilty of willingly handing out our personal information as if it was food stamps. Again have you ever given out your social security to a place such as a business firm or a offline/online store? Well most of the time they ask for your social security. The thought of that may make some of you to think, “I’m not dumb you know!” but in reality it happens more than you know or could even imagine. The Document Fraud Institute (D.F.I.) actually has posted some do’s and don’t’s on their website that has helped protect people from identity theft. They suggested that a person should rarely give out their information “unless it is absolutely required that you do so,” and continues with the explanation that whenever you go to open a bank account or apply for credit cards, “the financial institution that is handling your account will always need that information.” The D.F.I. goes into sharing that if for any reason you feel hesitant about the privacy of the personal data that you just gave out that the individual is more than welcome to ask for a copy of it to look over (Document Fraud Institute). The backing of the facts about willingly giving out information makes me, and I hope you, see that it is probably best if you keep your personal info to yourself.

There is no way to escape it, all we can do is be aware that the vultures are out there, and they are waiting for the easy access so many of us give them to take away what is personally our own.

Work Cited

Charley, Katie. “Scammers Claiming to be Wells Fargo Fraud Protection” Record Searchlight. 14 June 2011. Web. 15 November 2011.

“Do You Really Need to Give Out Your Social Security Number?” Document Fraud Institute. 12 April 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.

Click here for an explanation of the Shasta College student essay project.

Hello, my name is Cheyenne Buchanan,18, I am in my first year of college and writing this to make sure my voice is heard.

Avatar
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Insanity Prevails says:

    Great article and one we need to heed as this practice, whether innocently gathering marketing information or sneakily attempting to steal identities, has been going on for decades. I never share my SSN, drivers license #, maiden names or passwords with any request to do so. If my bank emails me I do not use the links, I open a new window and go to their site. I have slipped a few times and I change my password immediately.

    So far I have not had an account compromised, thankfully.

  2. Avatar rmv says:

    Thank you Cheyenne! 🙂

  3. Avatar Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    Excellent article. I have said, in the not too far past, "Why do you need that information when you already have it?" to a "bank official" on the phone. I have also deleted, on a weekly basis, a plea to help my SP clean up their files by providing all of the information about my account. I can see training in identity protection starting in kindergarten along with "Stop, look, listen before crossing" and "Stop, drop, roll".