My husband and I function on different levels of paranoia. I shred all documents. I review bank and credit card statements. I lock my car doors and since I don’t have power locks, I make a loud, “BLOOP BLOOP” sound as I walk away. My husband on the other hand, lives like it’s 1975 when identity theft meant someone was wearing bell bottoms and pretending to be the seventh Brady Bunch child. He doesn’t believe that meth users will scour our trash for personal information, or that you shouldn’t stick your finger into the coin return of a public phone because someone might have put an HIV-laden syringe into it. (I know that snopes disproved the latter, but I still believe it. You never know! A nickel is not worth AIDS!)

My husband had to call the IRS today so he asked me for my social security number. I hesitated because he had to write it down. I told him to destroy the paper when he was done and by destroy, I meant use the shredder, not crumple it and lob it into the recycling bin. When I came home, I asked him if he had destroyed it, he said, “I put it out on the curb with a rock on top of it and a sign that said, ‘FREE.'”

Also, I had forgotten that Deece had asked if she could have some packages for her crafts business shipped over here since many places will not ship to Saipan. So today I received a box and inside on top of the packaging peanuts was a bill charged out to my name with items listed as different soaps. My heart stopped because I was certain that my identity had been stolen! And the thief thought I smelled and needed to shower!

Do you keep one computer for p0rn and one for banking or do you work it on all on one machine? Do you hide documents in toilet tissue tubes? Where are you on the paranoia scale?

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  1. Mamacita Chilena says:

    I used to be a zero. Then some little college weener computer nerd hacked into the entire government of Chile just to “prove that I can,” and got literally everyone in the entire country’s bank information, RUT (the equivalent of an SSN) and god only knows what else. Since then my paranoia levels have been steadily creeping upward. And I’ve heard that you get crazier as you get older, so I guess I’m headed that way.

  2. If I rip up or cut up something pretty important (like a credit card, or a check), I’ll put the pieces in separate trash bags. But not, like, separate counties.

  3. stfu? nfw. says:

    I shred everything with personal info on it. MIL rips out the address portion of catalogs that come to her before recycling… I don’t go that far.

    I have 1 email for friends and another email for all commercial stuff. This is more for my sanity than for privacy protection.

    I have three levels of passwords. One I use for message-board signups, etc. Another more complex password for stuff like Amazon. And a third, you gotta be a college weener computer nerd to figure this one out for bank/investment sites.

  4. Chickenbells says:

    Mine are rather low…but I have taken my SSN off my drivers license, and got a VERY dirty look from the lady at the DMV for it…she rolled her eyes and gave me a very heavy sigh as well…then again, she yelled at me for 5 minutes because of a mistake on the title of a car that I don’t own anymore…maybe she was angry that she no longer had access to my SSN.

  5. thecandyqueen says:

    I am not paranoid at all, but my boyfriend is over the top. It can get so annoying. Sometimes though, I’ll indulge him and put my bank statements in the fireplace (no shredder).

  6. I rip it up if it has my name/address or anything about my finances and distribute it in separate recycling bins so they can’t “piece” the papers together.

    I should probably just buy a shredder.

  7. Pickles and Dimes says:

    I’ll shred things when I’m cleaning out my file folders, but otherwise I rip things up and put the pieces into different trash bins.

    Jason is waay more paranoid than me, especially when it comes to online stuff. And my mom won’t even buy stuff online because she’s convinced someone will steal her credit card.

  8. mrs. blogoway says:

    I’m not scared at all… I never think anything bad’s going to happen to me but I draw the line at accepting ground beef off of freecycle (see

  9. Mona, I am exactly the same way. I will totally divide up a cut up credit card into three different trash bags each in a different poop diaper (that is my pearl of wisdom I leave you today…enjoy)

    My mom? Her security method is to just “throw some leftover beans on it,” and call it a day.

  10. i’m waaaay too lax. i feel like if someone is going to steal my identity / hack my computer / hack my life, the fact that i didn’t rip up that one credit card offer into enough pieces isn’t going to be the reason why. i’d have to be fully anonymous on my blog, not use facebook or myspace, and refuse to do online banking if i really wanted to be “protected”… and i’m just way too lazy.

    my dad, however, won’t use any ATM that isn’t physically inside a bank, won’t pay bills online, won’t use direct deposit, and makes up insane passwords (that he needs to keep on (another password protected) file on his computer because they’re too hard to remember).

  11. I laughed when I read swistle’s technique…I thought I was the only person paranoid enough to this. I randomly scatter my ripped up pieces between the garbage and recycle.

  12. I just realize that people in my line of work can get anything that they want, so I figure that I shouldn’t be overly paranoid, if someone has it out for me, they’ll get me. But I’ll be damned if I’ll get jacked over my computer…. I’m not that stupid! I have friends that have gotten jacked by file sharing over Limewire and such… no thanks. Illegal songs aren’t worth the hassle, thanks.

  13. plumeria*girl says:

    I’m all the way out here, but I can honestly say that I still get pretty paranoid…probably just as much as you, if not more!

    Tell me, where did your husband leave your social security number again???? LOL!!! Just kidding šŸ˜‰

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