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  Category: Articles » Home & Family » Home Security » Article

Identity Theft & Biochemical Contamination - Are you at Risk?

By Marie Eaton

As we find ourselves in a new age of global terrorism and terrorism in our own homeland, the responsibility of protecting ourselves from harm lays squarely on everyone's shoulders. Should we trust the government to protect us from violations against our personal lives and safety? People should take stock of their personal safety, family safety and the safety of their business.

We all know that the government is spread thin trying to protect our borders and keep the war on terrorism confined off of our shores in the United States. There are certain things we can do for aiding our ability to personally defend our family, business and ourselves.

Identity Theft
Let's start at the home. Realization of identity theft in our everyday lives should have a priority in protecting your assets. Buy yourself a crosscut paper shredder and use it. Have your bank checks sent to your bank branch to be picked up when they arrive. The bank will call and notify you when they have been delivered.

And always, always shred any document that has any PIN numbers on it, your social security number, bank numbers, credit card numbers, credit numbers, utility bills, credit card offers and any fake or real/expired credit cards that are sent to your address.

A case in fact: While my husband was on duty for the Army in Iraq, a woman in New Mexico somehow opened a MBNA charge account using his information, without his knowledge and using an address in a trailer park in Tularosa, New Mexico. She also attempted to open an account with CapitalOne but that account was denied.

CapitalOne and MBNA both sent possible fraud alert letters to my husband. Thus started a very long, lengthy, and tedious effort to have the fraud reported and removed from my husband's credit report. This happened in August of 2005 and one of the credit reporting agencies still has it on their credit report. To add insult to injury, MBNA turned the account over to a collection agency, which found my husband's address from the fraud report papers.

The closest my husband had been to New Mexico was when he was in sergeant major academy at Fort Bliss in El Paso. Apparently the woman may have come across some old garbage somewhere with enough of my husband's information to open up a charge account in his name sight unseen.

Do you really want to go through what we did? To report the fraud you must report it to the Federal Trade Commission and obtain a case number, then you will go down to your local law enforcement to report the crime and receive a case number from them. You will have to phone the credit company(s) to report the fraud and notify them in writing of your FTC case number and criminal case number. You will also need to request a freeze on any account activity in your credit reports with Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

It has been a year and we are still working on clearing my husband's credit scores. We found out after applying for a home loan six months after the fraud was reported. Be sure to check your credit reports by at least using your free credit report available to you free of charge each year ( and more often if you have had problems in the past.

Biochemical Contamination
Biochemical contamination can occur either at your home or at your place of business. Not withstanding a biochemical terrorist attack, your home or business could be at risk of biochemical contamination through a chemical spill or leak. This applies to any home or business along a trucking thoroughfare, railroad route or living within a radius of an industrial business using biochemical agents.
Handling products in your home or business could contaminate you.

Proper protective gear should be at the ready. Biochemical masks are available in adult, child and infant. Child and infant chemical protection have special needs and requirements.

A child hood protector is available for small children who cannot wear an adult mask; this includes children ages 2 to 12 years. This hood operates on lithium or alkaline type batteries, which power the blower that pulls contaminated air into the filter and pumps filtered air through the hood. It is a loose fitting hood with integral vest, blower and drinking system. The hood is made of see through material that provides all around vision. It has a plastic water bottle that is kept in side the vest in a small pocket. This child hood protector vest is designed for immediate use after long-term storage.

The baby hood protector is suitable for infants and children up to the age of 2. This baby hood protector runs with the same system as the child hood protector but also provides a loose fitting hood, integral carrying frame and feeding system. Easy to use and designed for immediate use after long-term storage as is the child hood protector. Transparent material is used so the baby can be seen at all times. Adjustable straps hold the baby snugly inside and inside zippers open easily to secure the infant.

Adult chemical masks are available and suitable for children 12 years of age and up. Two of these are: Venus: The Ultimate Protector, and the Civilian Full Face Mask. Both of these are available on our web site as are the child and infant protectors.

Not only should a chemical protective mask be available for people at your home or business, a biochemical protective suit for an adult is also an excellent companion to the chemical protective mask.

One such chemical escape suit provides a 100% barrier again chemicals and acid agents. These come with an attached hood, attached boots and elasticized wristbands with a zipper front. This chemical escape suit is relatively inexpensive and is also available on our web site.

A reassessment of our security against identity theft and risk of biochemical contamination should be a priority in our self-defense strategy for our families and businesses.

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About the Author
Married to a command sargent major whose areas of expertise include training reservists in nuclear, biological, chemical protection and defense.

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