Some say that privacy’s really dead — that no matter how hard we try, everything about us is out there.  If that’s true, and I’m not totally disagreeing, then what can we do?  Equally important, should we care?

The answer is “of course we should care” and we shouldn’t let the specter of “Big Data” keep us from following practical steps.  And yes, some of these are the “good old fashioned” approaches like shredding the address parts of envelopes on mail sent to you.

And here’s a reminder about another safeguard that we all need to remember.  I got an email from my credit card about a “fraud alert”.  I hate getting those since I have had this experience before — someone tried using my credit card to buy goods.  And yes, I had to get a new card.

So when I got this recent email, I stopped before immediately calling the number listed since thieves have gotten incredibly adept at creating emails that look so legitimate it’s scary.  Instead, I compared the email’s “800” number against the “800” customer service number on the back of my credit card.  They were different and I was suspicious that I was being victimized.  I called the “800” customer service number on the back of the card; got ahold of the automated “Fraud” service and okayed the 2 charges that had raised questions.

But I then asked to speak with a customer service rep to ask about the “800” number in the email.  Turns out this was a legit email but the customer service rep agreed that, when in doubt, call the “800” number on the back of your card.