Identity Theft Protection With Lifelock

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of LifeLock Twitter for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

AmeliaIZEA | skitch.com

My very first experience with identity theft was when I had just turned 18 years old and went to get a job.  The interviewer asked me how long I have been in this country and asked me for my green card.  They did a credit check and that said that I wasn’t me.  I had to schedule a new interview where I had to bring my social security card as well as my birth certificate and my California ID card to prove that I was me.  That was in 1988.  I wrote about this experience in my book.

My second experience was in 2004 when I tried to get our utilities turned on with PG&E, they told me that I had to bring in my ID card and my social security card because according to their credit check, I wasn’t who I said I was again.  This time I asked and they told me the first name was Marsha.

Many years had gone by and I started seeing these commercials where a man was telling the world what his social security number was and daring people to steal it.  That company was LifeLock.  I decided that I did not want my prior experiences to happen again, so I signed up with Lifelock.  I only pay $10 a month and my name and social security number has never been safer.  I have been a member since January 2008.

As a member, Lifelock will send you a credit report every year and they will put restrictions in place so not even you can sign up for a credit card or buy a car without showing proof.  They will send you email and/or text alerts when someone is trying to use your credit.

Here are some interesting and alarming stats.  Households that make $100K per year have the highest fraud rate at 7.4%.  The average cost per person who loses their identity is $1,513.  11.6 million adults were victims of identity theft in 2011 and $18 billion dollars was lost.  6.6% are smart phone users, 6.8% are people who interact with apps in social media websites, 8.2% “checked in” on websites with their smart phone with GPS and 10.1% are LinkedIn users.

How hack-friendly is your password?  If you have a password that is only 6 characters without any symbols, a hacker will figure that password out in .000224 seconds, but if your password is 10 characters and uses a symbol (&%$#@), it could take them 20 days which gives you enough time to change your password every couple of weeks.  How safe do you feel now?  If they can figure out your email password and send emails on your behalf, imagine them stealing your bank account password and draining your account without you even knowing it.

If I were you, I would sign up with Lifelock today.  Check out their website and LifeLock on Twitter.  It’s nice knowing that my credit is safe.

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Mister Steamy

I’ve seen the commercials for this steaming pile er um I mean ball and decided I would give it a go.  I really bought one because I am always forgetting about the last load that I do and it always ends up sitting in the dryer for days before I remember it’s in there.  I end up having to soak something then put it in there so it gets everything else wet so it dries everything so there are no wrinkles.  I thought this might be easier and faster.

So I bought one today and I didn’t know they are hard plastic, almost hard as a rock.  It has a sponge inside of it and you pour 2-4oz of water in there, you can’t just pour it from the tap like the commercial (or picture) shows because it says do not over fill it.  So I used a measuring cup because I don’t want to disobey a direct order from the directions lol.

The dryer only had 3 dress shirts in there and I tossed the rock hard ball in there and turned the dryer on.  Oh my goodness, it was banging in the dryer and it was freaking me out so I went into the bedroom so I wouldn’t have to hear it.  I go back in the kitchen and the dryer isn’t even going anymore.  I open the door and to my surprise everything is wrinkle free.  So all is well afterall.

So I guess if you put it in a dryer filled with towels and shirts and what not then it will be enough to keep it from banging all over the place, I highly doubt it but you never know.

I think what happened was it was so unbalanced that it just stopped.  Thank goodness it has that function to prevent the dryer from breaking down.  So I think from now on when I use it, I’ll only use it on a full load, not just 3 shirts.  Good to know.

The box was $15 at the grocery store and it comes with 2 balls.  I guess if you’re buying something with balls you need a complete pair otherwise you feel off balance.  Hmmm maybe that’s why my dryer shut down, it didn’t have the balls to finish it’s cycle.

Target Commercials with Maria Bamford

wwwvh.youtube.com/watch?v=NCLyOdoBcE0

Ever wonder who this lady is in the new Target commercials?  She is comedian Maria Bamford.  I think I’ve seen all of her stand up specials on Comedy Central over the years, although she hasn’t had one in a long time.

What I love about her is her voices.  Her “normal” voice is like a little child, or at least that’s the voice she uses as her regular voice but we all know that it’s part of the joke.  She does these other voices that I’m pretty sure is her real normal voice.  I think she’s hilarious and I’m glad she’sworking at least even if it is for Target.

The Colorado Kid

I started watching the show Haven on Syfy when it began at the beginning of Summer mainly because according to the commercials it had some supernatural stuff happening. Anything supernatural is right up my alley.

The show is based on the Stephen King novel “The Colorado Kid” which made it even more exciting because anything that Stephen King writes is a success right?

I should have read the novel before the show came on the air just to get a feeling for what I can expect in the show but it never really occurred to me to do that. I finally did buy it this weekend and just finished reading it and I am even more confused about everything than I was before I read it.

In the book, Vince and Dave, who are the 2 brothers who work at the newspaper, are telling the story of the Colorado Kid to Stephanie, a 20-year-old intern, how he was found, how they found out who he was and everything else about his death from 1980.

According to the book, these “old” men are well into their 90′s and this was in 2005. Well, in Haven they are much younger, at least in their 70′s right? And the story of the Colorado Kid happened 25 years ago which would be 1985 not 1980.

I know the show Haven is only based on a book and that it’s “only a story” but when you are interested in a story, you have to know what’s going on to understand it. Even if it’s all make believe.

I was hoping this book would help me to understand Haven but it ended up confusing me more than I already was. I thought that the book was going to have all these strange occurrences that the show has but instead it’s just 2 men telling a story to a woman.

In Haven, there is a newspaper clipping of Lucy who is Audrey Parkers mother*. I don’t understand what that clipping has to do with the Colorado Kid considering they are looking up in the sky and the Colorado Kid was found dead by a trashcan. I tried looking for the newspaper clipping on the Haven page of the SyFy website but it’s not there. I tried doing a Google search but found nothing. I was hoping that I could get a closer look at the clipping to see what I needed to see to get the story but there’s nothing.

Apparently I was wrong about them looking up at the sky. They were indeed looking at “the Colorado Kid” but he’s not by a trash can in the picture in this article. In the book the 2 people who found him, the now Mayor of the town and his wife when they were teenagers, were not photographed looking at him. In the tv show Haven, it’s a woman and a little boy looking at him. Here is that clipping:

Image courtesy of Alastor from YouSayToo

I start to think of the Colorado kids wife and child but the wife was contacted a year after his death and flew to Maine from Colorado. The child however would have only been 2 years old considering he was 6 months old when his father went missing. This child is a bit older than 2 but the wife’s name wasn’t Lucy anyway (in the book).

I did a search in the book and it couldn’t find the word “Lucy” anywhere. I also did a search for the word “Haven” which came up with 3 but it was followed with a “‘t” which spells “haven’t.”

Oh, and what also confused me is that I thought this book was written in the 70′s or 80′s because the picture on the front cover of the book looks like an old picture. It’s supposed to be Stephanie, the 20-year-old intern right? Well, again, it looks like an older picture. Look at her hair and dress. Not something you’d expect to see an intern reporter to wear to work.

At any rate, I found the book to give me no answers but I still enjoyed reading it. I think that if a person wants to know more about Haven they are not going to find any answers in this book. The show is just an extension to the book, the book isn’t going to answer the questions about what’s going on in Haven.

* Update 2011-10-01: When I wrote this in 2010 I thought Lucy was Audrey Parkers mother but at the end of the 2nd season we all find out that Lucy and Audrey Parker are the same person.  Mind blowing.

Video Professor Free?

I see these commercials all the time for Video Professor where the “chairman” talks about how he gives away his lessons on CD for free.  Well, I hate to disillusion anybody but it ain’t free.

I ordered my “free” lesson and when it finally came in the mail I saw the fine print.  It’s free for a certain amount of time.  After that specific time is up they automatically charge your credit card $70.

I got the Frontpage lessons because I thought I was getting it for free for the cost of shipping.  I saw the warning and immediately called the number and told them I am sending it back the next day as soon as I wake up lol.  There is no way I am rich enough to be able to afford $70 for lessons for a program that I’ve been using since 1997 that I am clearly able to use without any of their lessons.  I just thought that they would be able to tell me something I didn’t know but every lesson in there was something I am aware of lol.

It would be one thing if they charged $20 plus shipping for a lesson, that’s at least reasonable but $70 that’s a bit much.  Is it false advertising that they say it’s free then you find out it’s $70?  I think it is.

Ok I have to admit something.  This happened like 2 years ago lol.  I just saw the commercial and it jogged my memory and so I thought I would blog about it lol.

YouTube Movies and TV Shows

I’m a bit behind in the news.  I know that YouTube has movies and TV Shows or they just added that recently.  Yesterday I watched “The Blue Lagoon”.  I never saw it.  It came out in 1980 and I was 10 at the time so I wasn’t able to see it for obvious reasons.  It’s rated R.  Not only that but I’d have to be an adult to really get it.  So I watched it and really understood it.  Such a sad and happy ending.

Anyway, they don’t have a whole lot of movies and TV shows yet because they just started but I’m sure they will have every movie and TV show ever made available for all to see.

I usually watch TV shows on Hulu because they have them like the very next day usually after airing on TV.  Sometimes I have to wait a few days after the show airs on TV but it’s not too long.  And you can subscribe to TV shows on Hulu so they email you to let you know a show is on their website so you don’t miss it.

This will certainly put Netflix out of business if people are able to just watch their movies right from YouTube.  Netflix is going to have to think fast and lower their prices and offer unlimited viewing through their website to compete.

The movies and tv shows you watch on YouTube do have commercials.  I was thinking that perhaps watching YouTube movies is like stealing from the actors and the production companies but the commercials probably make up for that.  The Blue Lagoon had like 10 commercials, it was all the same commercial just played every 10 minutes or so.  So that probably pays for it all so YouTube can continue showing them for free.

It’s the same thing as watching regular TV, you still have to watch commercials, but only 1 commercial, not 2 minutes worth of commercials.  More like 1 30 second commercial.  I think that I can handle being interrupted every 10 or so minutes by a 30 second commercial and be able to watch it for free than have to wait for the movies to come in the mail via Netflix and have it scratched and unplayable or have it come to me broken or never even receive it at all.  Which has happened to me by the way.  But that’s another blog post for another time.

All in all I give YouTube a big thumbs up for making it available for free.

Oprah’s New Format

Every couple of years Oprah gets a new format for her show.  It’s like her show is evolving with time.

I can recall in the 80’s that her show was just like any other talk show.  It was like Jerry Springer (early 90’s Jerry Springer) or Phil Donahue or even Sally Jessie Raphael.

Over the years she has started talking to more stars than regular people.  Well, that I know of.  I mean, I really don’t watch her show.  You know, cause I’m a dude.  But sometimes as I’m channel surfing and I’m passing that channel I stop for a few minutes and look to see whats going on.

Well, now the format she has is a table with 3 other people.  They have their little coffee cups and they are chatting about whatever.

It’s like she is copying this new show called The Doctors where all these doctors are sitting at a table talking about medical stuff (not that I’ve seen it but I’ve seen commercials).  Or they are copying The View.  Who knows.

I guess it doesn’t really matter what Oprah does because no matter what she makes way more money than God himself (you know, Ryan Seacrest).