Identify theft is very serious; it dam­ages your credit report and makes it hard to find a good paying job.

Did you ever wonder why suddenly you get in the mail or online all those coupons and advertisements on shoes, clothing and food? The interesting part of coupons and other information that floods your spam box, emails and snail mailbox is that these people know your favorite food, clothing style, furniture, household products and color. When I get CVS coupons with my receipt I’m like a kid in a candy store.

I finished reading a book last week called “The Broken Window” It’s a novel about Lincoln Rhyme, a detective pretty much like Sherlock Holmes. The Broken Window was written by Jeffery Deaver.

I have to admit the author is a genius. I urge everyone to read this book if you like mystery stories or if you always wanted to read a good mystery story. Deaver dis­cusses identity theft and the fact that if someone were to get a hold of your per­sonal data he would have the power to give you lifelong misery or happiness.

A while ago, I was skimming through my emails and kept saying to myself, “What ‘s all this stuff in my email box? How do these people know I’m interested in these products?” Well, it’s data collected when you shop online or at your favorite super­market and you swipe a store discount card… they know exactly what your taste is in everything you buy.

How safe is my personal data online when I am shopping? I am a very trust­ing person and as long as I see the word­ing, “Secure Socket Encryption (SSE),” I feel safe to type in my personal data. But when it comes to data, it doesn’t re­ally matter if you are online or not. Ev­ery time you fill out an application for a driver’s license, food stamps, in-store credit card, birth certificate, or marriage license, it generates data about you, even if you change your name legally. The question that everyone should be asking themselves is, is my personal data safe once someone gets it?

I want to give thanks to all my custom­ers and readers who buy the Street Sense newspaper from me. I am aware some of my customers haven’t seen me lately but I’ve been really busy trying to get into school so that I can obtain certification in my field, while updating my resume and looking for work. Trust and believe me, looking for work and going on interviews is a job in itself.