I don't know when it happened, but the most important question is - how it happened.
Recently, I've become a victim of stolen identity and credit card fraud. Out-of-the-blue, my credit card company calls me at 9 PM alerting me that someone's shopping with my card in wonderful Deutschland. I laughed at it first, and told the operator how could I be shopping in Europe while I'm right here in my living room watching TV. Then it finally dawned on me, oh my gosh, this is serious. Suddenly, panic and hysteria hit me at once. I asked the operator how did this happened? The operator said the criminal or stinkin' low life could have taken my info online or some other means, but most likely online. Could it be from my blog? My social networks? I couldn't think much less breathe.
I am so thankful that my credit card company caught the unusual activity and alerted me right away; I know He was watching over me too. The fraudulent purchase didn't go through, and that my people, yes, I have people, are now watching. When I hanged up the phone that night, I had to question how safe are we really online. The online world has taken bounds and leaps with regards to information dissemination as far as education, communication and research are concerned, but as we enjoy the fruits of such technology, we should never forget that the online world has its own criminals that surf among us - just as the physical world that we walk on. The only difference is, online crimes are much sophisticated and harder to track, but it doesn't mean that they can't be prosecuted. Here's what I believe - Crime always pays. It doesn't have to be this life, but criminals will answer their crimes to a higher authority.
I am obviously upset and angry about this even to the point of even curtailing my online activities. But the point of this post is to remind everyone to be safe online and to be careful with what information we post even our personal photos (yes, even photos are being used for scamming) because anyone can manipulate and use them against us.
Be safe everyone!