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An Erosion Of Privacy

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 accounts, 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 a 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

ICE POP STICKS

Dear Heloise: I save the ice pop sticks after my kids have finished enjoying the frozen treat. I wash them and reuse them to scrape mud from shoes, spread glue for craft projects, to scrape off newly applied grout and much more. Then I just toss them out. — Patty in Rhode Island

EARRING BACKS

Dear Heloise: I was at work yesterday when I realized I’d lost the back to one of my pierced earrings. It was a favorite pair, so a co-worker suggested I use the eraser end of a pencil. I cut the eraser off and stuck it on the post behind my ear. It worked! — Carol, via email

PACKING HINT

Dear Heloise: One of my favorite recycling hints is to use empty plastic water bottles (with the caps on securely) instead of packing peanuts. I place them around the gift to be mailed. They are light and keep the box and gift intact, and they don’t scatter all over when the gift is removed from the box. — Donna in Maine

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