Some people think I'm paranoid when I shred certain documents, or when I lock my doors, or when I dart erratically down the street to avoid giving the snipers a clear line of sight. But if you've ever needed convincing that a little paranoia is good for you, especially when it comes to how you dispose of those annoying credit card applications you get in the mail, here's a great story from the folks at cockeyed.com: The Torn-Up Credit Card Application.
Basically, the guy took an application ("pre-approved credit line - just sign here and return!"), cut it up into many pieces, reassembled it with tape, filled it out with a change of address and change of phone number, mailed it in, and got the approved, ready-to-use credit card back in the mail at the new address.
Most people probably don't tear those things up, let alone shred, incinerate and bury them like I prefer to. And while I don't want anyone constantly living in fear that their identity will be stolen, there are some reasonable precautions to take. After all, it's not paranoia if they're really after you.