Protect Your Personal Information
Will: GAAHHH! This... this cannot be happening! My mom is gonna ground me for life! LIFE!
Officer Williams: Son, I'm going have to ask you to calm down. What's the problem?
Will: I was at the arcade and put my laptop bag on the floor for just a second to play a quick game of Info Defender Three. Nine hundred and fifty thousand points later, I look down and it's gone! My laptop bag is gone!
Officer Williams: Officer Parkman here is locating the security footage from the arcade. Did you have any personal information saved on that laptop, son?
Will: My whole life is on that laptop!! All my games, pictures, videos, all my homework and papers, PLUS all my passwords are saved! Whoever stole it could get into all my stuff!!
Will: Hey! That's my little brother!
Will: MOM! It's not my fault!
Mom: (to kid) We'll talk about this later. (to officer) I am so, SO sorry, Officer. It has not been a good day. My youngest son managed to get away from me and, apparently, taking off with his brother's laptop was just his latest escapade.
Officer Williams: He's a busy little fella, isn't he?
Mom: You have no idea.
Officer Williams: Well I'm glad to hear that the personal information stored in that computer is safe again. In the wrong hands, it could cause a number of problems for your family—including identity theft.
Mom: Believe it or not, I do try to be careful with our personal information. At home, we keep all of our Social Security cards, birth certificates, and passports locked up, plus I shred old mail that has personal information instead of putting it in the garbage where someone could find it. Our laptop is password protected, and it does have a lock, which I HOPE was being used. I told my son to NEVER let that laptop out of his sight, but after this incident, maybe I should never let my SON out of my sight.
Officer Williams: Well ma'am, I'm glad to hear you've taken so many steps to deter ID theft. If I could suggest one more, it's checking your credit report, which will let you see what's going on in your name. It's your right to get a free copy from each of the consumer reporting companies each year, which you can only do by going to Annual Credit Report dot com. Don't get confused by sound-alike sites, though. Annual Credit Report dot com is the only place for free annual reports under federal law.
Mom: Free? Really? That's good news.
Blue kid: ID thief! AHHHHHHH!!!
Mom: Excuse me... SAMUEL DAVIS MCCALLESTER, YOU GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!
Officer Williams: Wow.