Are Any Of You…

… as paranoid about identity theft and information misuse as me?

I wasn’t, till I read about it in Joanne Harris’s The Lollipop Shoes. Till then, I hadn’t even thought of the concept. Now, it is scary to think about the fact that someone can get to know everything about you from your garbage can, from the papers that you throw away so recklessly. For instance, a discarded courier receipt can give so many details about you to an interested party – your name, where you shop from, your phone number, your address, etc. etc. etc. After the book, I started paying careful attention to the paper that I trashed. I began shredding the papers that could divulge details about us before throwing it in the recycling bin. The OH also started doing the same, after I told him what I had read.

These days, we order a lot of stuff online. Clothes for Bubboo, bed protectors, books, diapers and so on. Some things are cheaper than their MRP when bought online, we have discovered – how we don’t understand. Anyway, all this online buying business does generate a lot of trash. I go through each carton we receive carefully, shred the necessary labels and papers before I discard them.

Better be safe than sorry, me thinks. What is your take on this?

ETA on January 19, 2016: This piece. This is just what I meant.

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20 thoughts on “Are Any Of You…

  1. I used to tear up the address labels initially, but later the cartons and boxes kept piling up and I started throwing them out with the labels. I got lazy 😐

    Even a simple registration in any website leads us to getting so many junk and useless emails πŸ™‚ Our data is out there already I believe, no need for anyone to sift through junk πŸ˜€

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    1. @Visha

      I wasn’t really talking about people going through our junk, though that is what a particular character in the book does.

      You are right about the websites – it is for this reason that I hesitate unnecessarily registering on any. Also, I don’t fill up details in lucky draw coupons that are usually handed out in fairs and other events.

      Yes, a lot of our information is already out in the open, but we can’t help some of that. We can do what is in our reach, though.

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  2. I am not paranoid (but then, I haven’t read the book either). I’ve tried instilling some paranoia in myself, infact. But my efforts fail to scare me adequately. Forget shredding receipts and papers, there is ENOUGH information people can get about us if they read our personal blogs, even if we don’t divulge names of places and people.

    A new study apparently said pics uploaded from smart phones can give away your exact location and more. Even if we crop, blur or do whatever to them, they still give away a lot of information. Surprisingly, it still doesn’t shake or terrify me too much. The day it does, I will either lock my blog and make it private or stop blogging completely. I don’t know.

    But the fact that so many of us blog and end up giving away so much of information about our lives and that some of us even put up pics (even if they are faceless), shows that we are not as paranoid as we claim to be. Either that, or we are ignorant (or maybe stupid, lol).

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  3. Yep. I have been extremely paranoid throughout-mailers, couriers, deliveries from e-commerce sites, ATM cash receipts get shredded and I still believe there could be someone who might piece it together and use that info :(.

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  4. I am quite paranoid of other stuffs…I am planning to buy a lap top on Amazon next year but not so sure. I have apprehension of buying online stuffs. But, agree that we need to be extra careful when we throw away some documents, better make sure that they are without reach and tear it.

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  5. I was just thinking about this yesterday. Due to some login issues I could see the search history of this girl who worked on the same computer and that got me so paranoid! I think it is high time I start tearing up the name and address papers in delivery boxes too!

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    1. @Zarine Mohideen

      Oh, yes, that scares me too – the fact that people who use my office computer would be able to see every single thing that I have stored on it or have used. Also, the fact that Facebook has made it possible for us to see someone’s friend’s cousin’s cousin’s wedding or birthday pictures!

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  6. I am pretty paranoid about the identity theft & yes also about ensuring all courier labels & receipts be shredded before the land in the trash can. We live in a scary world where all our information is out there in open to be used.

    I agree, better safe than sorry is the way to go!

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  7. ya true….my mom always used to ask us to tear the name/address region of envelope before throwing it, even before giving to raddi wala we used to sit and tear the first page of our notebooks into bits…I remember. Somehow I didn’t understand the meaning then…but even now I tear the information giving page more out of habit.
    Its a good practice…I beleive

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      1. I used to do this a lot before. Somehow I have ignored this for a long time now. Looks like I have to start doing this again. Hope you are enjoying time with Bubboo.

        Take care

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  8. I have never thought of this before. The question that comes to my mind is, who would want to go through my trash to find out about me?! But if someone should actually do that, its real scary.

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    1. @Greenboochi

      I don’t think anyone would actually go through your trash to find out more about you, unless someone is stalking you. That said, you never know where your trash ends up – it might go to a recycle shop and then god knows where. The thought of personal information out there in the open is scary, right?

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