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The Bottom Line

The plain, hard fact is that the more places that have personal information about you, the more risk of identity theft you face. Much identity theft originates with criminal employees of legitimate companies stealing information to which they have ready access. And it just stands to reason that the more places your information is found, the more places exist for identity thieves to find it. Whether these identity thieves are company employees or hackers from outside the company makes little difference to you. The result is the same. Your identity is stolen. But you can reduce your chances of becoming the victim of identity theft by merely “opting out,” telling the Big Bad Financial Institutions that at least to the fullest extent that the law permits, you do not want them to share your information with anyone. The Big Bad Financial Institutions that have your information depend on all of us being too lazy to read the interminably boring, small-printed notices they send us that tell us about our rights to opt out of information sharing. They do not want us to be the victims of identity theft, but they do want to use and disseminate this information for business and marketing purposes. And when it comes to protecting our privacy or increasing their business, which do you think is their priority? So opt out. Opt out now. Okay, you can wait until you finish the book, but then opt out; go directly to opt out. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go directly to opt out.


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