So today’s post is about preventing identity theft. In my relatively short time using a bullet journal and being a part of the fantastic community I have witnessed several horrifying spreads. No, I’m not being cruel and talking about individuals designs, I’m talking about Password Spreads.
Now I fully understand that it’s hard to remember your passwords for everything; social media accounts, work computer passwords, various email accounts, application passwords or even gaming passwords but, and this is a big BUT, in what crazy universe did you imagine they would be secure in your bullet journal??
If you’re like me, you take your bujo everywhere. If you keep a spread for your passwords and then lose it or have your bujo stolen what do you imagine will happen? In an ideal world if you lost it, some kind soul would hand it in to the shop/cafe where you left it or even into the authorities. This is not an ideal world that we live in. Imagine that the person who finds it is less than kind, what will they do with your bujo? Have a flick through to see that juicy, personal information is ripe for the taking? Now try to think about ALL of the personal details you’ve got in there, birthday trackers, period trackers, your name and address…
Now this questionable individual not only has your bujo with your password information but also knows where you live. Anyone store their bank details in there too? Great, this person now has everything they need to commit fraud and potential burglary if you had your bag stolen with keys-or without, this persons morals isn’t about to care for a smashed window or broken in door. A quick whizz around your house, they know where to go because of the cleaning/decorating spread you created, pick up your electronic devices and this person feels like they’ve won the lottery. Let’s face it, they might well have done. You made it so easy for them.
Now you’ve lost everything. You’ve been burgled. The criminal stole only a few items but your house no longer feels like the sanctuary you spent ages trying to create. You don’t feel safe in your own home. Your bank has cancelled all of your cards but with technology today, they don’t your cards to take your money. You try to put a post up on Facebook for friends and family. You want to let them know that you’re ok but if they have any information, maybe a neighbour saw something, that they could contact you somehow, but you can’t because the criminal has now changed your Facebook password and claimed your identity. They’re going though all of your pictures and statuses trying to piece together the person they’re stealing from, so they can become you. You’re now the victim of theft, burglary and identity theft all because you left your passwords in your journal.
Now obviously I am painting a worst case scenario here. Yet it could happen. I hope you can understand just how dangerous it is to store all of your passwords in one place. You run the risk of all the above and possibly something even worse, like being held accountable for all of their spending, losing your home etc. Because you felt like trying to remember all of your passwords was too hard a task.
So, how can you securely find a way to store them all? Firstly, there is no secure place to store your passwords. Your mind is the most secure place. If you do not trust your own mind to remember, ask a responsible family member.
If you really must have a hard copy of your passwords, don’t store them all in the same place. You could also try to find a way to encrypt even your written copies of them. Take a look at this website for a few ideas – Life Hacker
If you want to keep them digitally then you can save passwords on your electronic devices, but again if you lose it or it’s stolen they have easy access to your passwords. There are even password apps that can store all of your information but I personally wouldn’t use them. If you are considering it, do your research. Make sure the creators of the apps are genuine. I believe you can check with Apple or Android if your not sure.
There are so many useful websites and articles out there to help you to stay secure on-line. Here are a few handy ones:
I’m not going to claim to be an expert on on-line safety. Far from it. But I do know enough to protect myself from worse case scenarios. I know that bullet journals are not the place for your passwords so please do not store them there. If you have already consider destroying the page somehow. Remove it and shred it. Glue the two pages together or glue something in over the top of it. Anything that will destroy the page if they try to unstick it will work. Use permanent marker to black it out but black out both sides of the page as some pens ghost or imprint depending on the pen or paper you have.
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to worry about this kind of thing. I truly hope this post has helped people to understand. I hope you you can see the danger you place yourself in if you keep these kinds of personal details in your bullet journal. Bullet journals should be fun and functional and I would hate to lose mine, but if I did I know I can rest assured that there is very little in there that a criminal can use- unless they care for detailed recounts of child birth and breast feeding!
Thanks for listening,