When Things Don’t Seem Right

It’s always amazing to me how the consumer has to watch every penny. There was a free item that I received in my email this week. I clipped the coupon to my card and went to pick up the item. When I checked out, the cashier told me the total, and I thought it was a little high. The cashier retorted that was the price, and I asked to see if the discount was applied. It turned out that the system didn’t recognize the coupon, but because I could pull it up on my email, they honored the item. But this experience made me think of so many other instances where I’d had to prove that the system wasn’t giving the correct information.


The more I’m studying data analytics, the more things make sense. Everything we do in this life has some data attached to it. I mean, think about it. How many breaths do we take in a lifetime? How do you quantify things that we believe are inconsequential? Look at the trips that Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos just took to space. No, they didn’t go to the ISS (International Space Station), but they took years of data and specialists and broke barriers that we are just cracking the surface of in our lifetimes. Their actions are proving that there are no limits in this world. The only obstacles are the ones we create within ourselves.
Every action we have in this world creates different types of data. When we see counselors, they take notes on our behaviors and input that information into charts, files, or electronic systems. Big Brother is everywhere. Our cellphones and computers contain data through cookies that read back to other systems about our preferences and histories. I think that’s one of the reasons that I’ve found we are all responsible for what we allow technology and other folks to know about our habits and preferences. There’s a commercial airing now about people needing to protect their information. I find it interesting that the ad talks about how easy it is for the wrong types of groups and organizations to get hold of your personal information. My job has had a couple of break-ins recently. What angers me is that I’ve had concerns about some areas that upper management didn’t address. Criminals targeted those same places. The customers hold me accountable for something I had zero control over. The only thing I can do is to keep the peace. I’m working with upper management to get solutions to the problems that should never have escalated to the point that they did. Unfortunately, there are things in this world you won’t be able to control, but you can manage the after-effects.

It’s always amazing to me how the consumer has to watch every penny. There was a free item that I received in my email this week. I clipped the coupon to my card and went to pick up the item. When I checked out, the cashier told me the total, and I thought it was a little high. The cashier retorted that was the price, and I asked to see if the discount was applied. It turned out that the system didn’t recognize the coupon, but because I could pull it up on my email, they honored the item. But this experience made me think of so many other instances where I’d had to prove that the system wasn’t giving the correct information.

The more I’m studying data analytics, the more things make sense. Everything we do in this life has some data attached to it. I mean, think about it. How many breaths do we take in a lifetime? How do you quantify things that we believe are inconsequential? Look at the trips that Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos just took to space. No, they didn’t go to the ISS (International Space Station), but they took years of data and specialists and broke barriers that we are just cracking the surface of in our lifetimes. Their actions are proving that there are no limits in this world. The only obstacles are the ones we create within ourselves.

Every action we have in this world creates different types of data. When we see counselors, they take notes on our behaviors and input that information into charts, files, or electronic systems. Big Brother is everywhere. Our cellphones and computers contain data through cookies that read back to other systems about our preferences and histories. I think that’s one of the reasons that I’ve found we are all responsible for what we allow technology and other folks to know about our habits and preferences. There’s a commercial airing now about people needing to protect their information. I find it interesting that the ad talks about how easy it is for the wrong types of groups and organizations to get hold of your personal information. My job has had a couple of break-ins recently. What angers me is that I’ve had concerns about some areas that upper management didn’t address. Criminals targeted those same places. The customers hold me accountable for something I had zero control over. The only thing I can do is to keep the peace. I’m working with upper management to get solutions to the problems that should never have escalated to the point that they did. Unfortunately, there are things in this world you won’t be able to control, but you can manage the after-effects.

I get many different products and samples because I registered for them, but my data is out there for many other companies and parties to steal. In the last few months, I’ve gotten better at safeguarding information. The problem is that different companies have already gathered my information. So how can I help myself in the future? Here are some helpful tips that I found online.  

  1. Create strong passwords. This item should be a given. We all have moments where we come up with a password that is easy for us to remember. The problem is that it’s also easier to hack when it’s simple passwords. One of the companies I worked for years ago used the password (password). They eventually changed it when their system got hacked, but the point is that hackers are everywhere. More people have learned to code and explore the dark web than we care to admit. What’s important is that we take the proper steps. Change your password frequently. Make it challenging to be discovered, and take the precautions necessary.    
  2. Don’t overshare on social media. When people say that they are away on vacation, it’s easy to know that they aren’t home. It’s a perfect time for criminals to break into a person’s home or property. The less you share, the better.  
  3. Use free Wi-Fi with caution. Just because something says it’s free, that doesn’t mean it won’t have consequences. Free Wi-Fi is great, but it comes with a price of security issues. Don’t do confidential transactions over Wi-Fi if you can avoid it.
  4. Watch out for links and attachments. Phishing has become one of the biggest problems out there. They have these links that look like it’s a great deal, and wham! Once you enter your information, it’s out there. Years ago, I had a Paypal account, and I received an email from what I thought was PayPal. It turned out to be someone that was phishing, and they got my information. Fortunately, I caught it in time and have started learning how to protect myself. If you receive an email from a company, make sure the company name is in the email. Otherwise, it may be phishing for your information.  
  5. Check to see if the site is secure. If it doesn’t look safe, chances are your information isn’t either. We live in a world that data is too accessible. Never take anything for granted. If people want your information bad enough, they will find ways to get it. Remember that you don’t have to make it easy for them in the process.  

Protecting yourself and keeping an eye on what you know is right is your responsibility. No one will fight your battles for you. No matter what happens, learn how to protect yourself from identity theft and from letting others charge you too much. It all goes hand in hand. Have a great day, everyone.  

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