Preventing Identity Theft (A Reminder)

by Larry Buford, Christian Examiner Contributor |

Jesus! There is so much identity theft taking place these days. According to two recent studies, about seven million people became victims of identity theft over a 12-month period. That calculates to 19,178 per day, 799 per hour, and 13 per minute! It is also reported that it takes victims an average of 600 hours to recover from this crime; often over a period of years.

Some suggested preventive measures for identity theft include: limiting the amount of confidential information carried in your wallet; carrying no more blank checks than needed; keeping home files of bank and credit card accounts as backup in the event your wallet is stolen; (when traveling) keeping a list of the 800 numbers to your bank and credit card companies in a place other than your wallet in case of theft (that way theft can quickly be reported); never giving out your social security and credit card numbers nor any other personal information over the phone unless you initiate the call, and it is to a reputable, well-known institution. In addition, destroy all vital information by shredding or other means before trashing. More information on identity theft and prevention can be found online, or by calling a credit bureau.

There is also identity theft of another sort – one for which I have no statistics, but doubtless, affects countless people all over the world. Remember the "black lights" – those ultraviolet lights used at dance parties that show up stains and speckles on you that are unseen in the natural light? Well, from a spiritual perspective, that is how we are viewed outside of our Savior Jesus Christ – sin-stained. Since God is sovereign and holy and cannot look upon sin, He cannot identify us as His children if we are in a false light. It is only by being in Christ, who is the true light of the world, that God can recognize us as His own. Walk in the true light, and don't let the false light of the world rob you of your identity with the living God. More information on spiritual identity may be found in God's word, the Bible.

In both cases, identity theft is a serious matter. Give some thought today on how you can secure and protect your identity before it is too late!

–Larry Buford is the author of the book Things Are Gettin' Outta Hand, from which this passage is an excerpt. He is also author of Book To The Future (Amazon and Barnes & Noble). E-mail: