Cut up your cards.

There is plenty of paranoia these days about the government getting all of our information. Let’s go over some of it. Some of the precautions actually are worthwhile, but for other reasons.

If you are afraid of the NSA tracking your every move, then delete your Facebook and email address. Keep in touch the old fashioned way – by phone and by mail. Oh, and as for mail, get a P.O. Box, that way nobody can steal your mail. It is always safe and clean and dry.

Don’t use any “loyalty” cards either. All those keychain cards are worse than the NSA. You don’t have to worry about “them” getting into your information. Those deals and savings you get are the rewards for giving your information away. You are letting them track you. It may not be the government, but it certainly is a bunch of strangers knowing your business.

Remember Santa Claus – “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake”? With loyalty cards it is more that they know when you are buying cat food and they know how often you eat out and where. With Facebook and email and it is the same – strangers know more about you than your friends. They can see the big picture.

How about this too? Dump your smart phone with the GPS. They know where you are that way too. Every picture you take is geotagged. Every time you look up an address they know what you are doing and where you are going.

But this alone will call attention to you. Suddenly stopping doing all these things will create a sort of information void around you and that will look odd.

Then what about this – there are a lot of credit card scams these days. Target, Nordstrom’s and Michael’s just got hit by hackers. Thousands of credit cards essentially got stolen from their owners. All the information was quietly taken electronically.

The answer? Cut up your credit cards. Go back to using cash. Even checks can be tracked. Now, you can’t go in debt with not using credit cards. You can’t spend what you don’t have. So there is a legitimate reason for not using credit cards. It is a great way to stay on budget and be mindful of what you are buying. It also severely minimizes your exposure to identity theft.

So sure, you can live your life paranoid. Plenty of people do. But there are some really good reasons to stop using some of the modern conveniences we take for granted. Most of the reasons involve being mindful about what you spend and who you give your information to.

What is the point of having a security system on your house if you leave the front door wide open?