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An erosion of privacy

Heloise

Today’s Sound Off is about loss of privacy:

Dear Heloise: Everywhere you look today there is a camera watching us. Stores have them to catch shoplifters, intersections with traffic lights have them perched high enough to see who isn’t obeying the law and every airport has them, just to name a few places. Even our computer cameras can be used to spy on us. I’m not paranoid, but I feel we have lost our privacy. Companies sell our name and addresses to other companies and gather information about our purchases, likes and habits and store this information. Our privacy is being eroded.

Some people will say they’ve done nothing wrong, so why should they care. But they should, because loss of privacy and the glut of information out there makes it easier for thieves to gain our personal information, such as banking account, Social Security and credit card numbers.

We’re told this is to combat terrorism, criminal behavior and safeguard our security. However, I think Ben Franklin said it best: “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Carolyn in California

FAST FACTS

New uses for old coffee cans:

* Paint a bright color, then cut a slit in the plastic lid and give to a child as a piggy bank.

* To store leftover paint.

* Use a small one as a scoop for dog food or bird seed.

* To store batteries.

* To store glue sticks with glue gun. — Heloise

DEBT SCAMS

Dear Heloise: Please tell your readers to be aware of debt collection scams. They may receive a call from a scammer saying they are about to issue a warrant for your arrest for an unpaid bill or they’re going to garnish your wages, and they will insist you need to pay them via a wire transfer or prepaid card. Don’t give them any information or money! — Mike in New Jersey

EDITOR’S NOTE: Send your great money-saving or timesaving hint to to Heloise at P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, Fax to 1-210-HELOISE, or email to Heloise@Heloise.com. She can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in her column.

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