Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Being wise as serpents...

Let's face it, there are alot of serpents out there. Someone is ready, willing and able to scam you, lie to you, steal from you, be you. Have you been a victim to identity theft? A few years ago, I was one.

As Jesus was talking to the 12 about upcoming persecution against them, He said "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves..." Matt 10:16 They couldn't begin to imagine what evil would come out of men against them, just because they were doing what they believed to be right. Jesus wanted them to know about the evil around them, but take no active part in it. They were to be lights in dark times.

One important thing we can do is to have awareness of the wiles by staying educated. To walk around thinking "nothing can happen to me" is not being wise. We live in a day where technology has become more than convenient and people don't have to step foot out of their house to do much of anything anymore. Door to door scammers don't have to look at your face anymore. They can do their evil virtually. We are overrun with media, computers, internet access, cell phones, GPS, scanners, coders, cameras, text messaging, twittering, and blogging. So, if we put out too much info about ourselves in those arenas, we place ourselves at risk.

Is there an escape? Maybe if you live in those remote areas where the cell phone maps show no coverage. Even still, serpents are there because man is there. The human nature wants to bite and retaliate. To get something for nothing. It is a consequence of the fall. And it is not going to get better. Sometimes it is hard to be harmless a dove when you have been bitten. We may be more wise than we were yesterday, but so is the snake. It is never ending.

We cannot hide forever; that is not our mission. We do have resources. The same venue that can do so much harm is also a great tool. A fabulous site to use is wikipedia.org You can search out just about anything in there and get facts. Just like going to the biggest, most current encyclopedia in the world. Let others know about what you have learned. Be a light. Expose the serpent.

Stolen identity can ruin your financial life. One big thing to keep in mind is that you do not give out personal information (like bank account numbers, social security info, passwords, etc) to ANYONE who is asking for it in a virtual setting. This is a RED FLAG scenario. Don't be fooled. Legitimate companies will not ask for ANY personal information, ever. Ask your homeowner's or renter's insurance agent if your policy has coverage for losses. Check with your bank as to their procedures if your account is invaded. Take action by knowing what resources you have and don't have for your family's protection.

Stay smart. Stay safe. You may still get bit, but will be able to recover. These are shaken times and we must be wise.

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