Freeze your Credit Before Your ID is Stolen

Over a year ago I was informed that my information, once again, was involved in a data breach. Thanks, T-Mobile, Experian, and Home Depot. I appreciate how well you treat your loyal customers… But I digress.

Freeze your credit and prevent identity theft.No one wants to have their identity stolen and go through the hours and hours it takes to get everything cleaned up. Around the same time I also read Brian Krebs’ post on how to freeze your credit so no one can open a new account in your name. So instead of signing up for “credit monitoring” which can ONLY be reactive, and waiving all legal rights, I decided to be as proactive as I could. I froze my credit.

Now, no one can open an account in my name in any of the 4 (Yes, I meant 4) largest credit agencies, Equifax, ExperianTrans Union and Innovis, not even me. Trust me, I tried once. It failed miserably.

So if I can’t even create a new credit account, I’m rather confident that no one else can either.

So let the next information breach come. My credit’s safe. I don’t have to worry anymore.

It could cost you up to $60 and 1 hour of your time. But how long would you have to spend on the phone trying to get your name cleared if there’s a real ID theft using your name, Social Security Number, and address? It all looks legit so convincing the company that loaned the money to the thief won’t be easy. Securing your credit is much easier to do BEFORE there’s a problem than AFTER the problem has occurred.

 

The Best Career Test I Ever Took

A while ago I was floundering around after a failed business venture and wondering what path I should take. I took this personality test and that job recommendation test. They all sucked. Then I discovered Sokanu.

Sokanu, pronounced like “So can you”, was the first site that actually had relevant and exciting career choices for me. It listed some things I’d already done and some that just sounded exciting. Here are my top 6 matches.

My top Sokanu careers

After you’ve answered their extensive questionnaire, they recommend different careers and most of mine, as you can see, went toward 1 area, computers. That’s not shocking at all because they’ve always been a passion of mine.

Admittedly, the idea of becoming a commercial diver is new for me. But I think it’d be fascinating and constantly changing so I agree that it belongs there.

If you’re looking for a new career direction but aren’t sure where to turn, I highly recommend Sokanu. Their tests can really drill down into what you like and dislike, and it will almost certainly provide you with some new ideas as well as help you to consider some old ideas differently.

And best of all, the service is free. There are some advanced features that you can pay for but I haven’t paid for them and I’m not entirely certain what you get for your money. The free reports and list of careers were enough to get me thinking and eventually moving in a new direction.

I’ll probably take you 30 minutes to complete all the questions but if it helps you find a fulfilling career, it could be the best 30 minutes you ever spent. Give Sokanu a shot.

Learn How Encryption Works

I don’t know about you but I’m fascinated by cryptography. I want to know how it works, how it can be tested, and most importantly, how it can be used to keep my data private from prying eyes.

In recent years, you’ve probably heard FBI Director Comey talking about the evils of the world “going dark” where the government can’t track everything we do. Personally, I think that’s a great thing. In the United States, we have the Constitution which, in the 4th Amendment, secures us from illegal search and seizure by our government.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (what was until recently a secret court making secret interpretations of law) has essentially decided that we no longer have those rights. This is what the FBI, CIA, and NSA absolutely love. They (and their governmental contractors) love knowing everything you do online and on your phone. They track just about everything we do online.

But with encryption, we can keep our text messages, emails, and other personal information safe from the government, schools, and even your family. Encryption is how you keep secrets secret.

If you’re also interested in encryption and cryptography, here’s a free course from Khan Academy that teaches you the basics of how cryptography works.

https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/computer-science/cryptography

Body Posture and Positivity – Helpful Hints

Every Monday of this year, I am going to post something that has helped me and I want to share with you. It may be a video, blog post, realization, supplement… It may be about life, coding, spirituality, anything… If I genuinely find it to be helpful, it’ll get posted in this space.

Today’s share is a video from TED by Amy Cuddy. This video encouraged me to simply change posture and that changed my outlook on life.

In this video, Amy talks about how your mind responds to your body’s physical posture. You can influence your hormones, increase confidence, and influence how others respond to you by adjusting your posture. Since I found this, I’ve had some of the best times in the last few years. It’s truly helped me beat some of my depression. I still struggle, but not as often.

Thank you Amy!