November 24

Packratitis

By Ron Woerner 

Stop everything you’re doing and get your wallet. Open it up and look at its contents. What’s in there? Do you still need it? (I’m refraining from saying, “What’s in your wa….?”)

I admit it, I suffer from packratitis. I like to save stuff just in case. Am I really any different than any other American? I think we all have a little packrat in us. While packratitis is not deadly, it can be uncomfortable. Especially if you store sensitive information and it gets lost. Plus, it’s a dangerous practice. What if I lost my wallet or it got stolen? Would I even know what I lost?

To combat my “illness,” I do a wallet check, once a year before Thanksgiving. I review all the crap I’ve accumulated over the past year and remove anything that’s no longer needed. I also take inventory of what’s left. That way I’ll know what I have to lose.

Another place we often find a case of packratitis is our personal or business computers. What’s on your laptop? Is it really necessary? Why are you keeping it? What if you lost your laptop or the hard drive crashed? Would you even know what you lost?

Packratitis can happen to anyone. It also has an easy cure. The short term solution is to take the advice from OnGuardOnline and “Stop Think Click.”

  1. Think about what you’re putting in your wallet or on your computer. Is it really needed? What if it got lost? Don’t store it if you don’t really need it.
  2. Have a backup. Safely store a copy of each of your sensitive items whether in your wallet or on your PC.
  3. Periodically have a time to clean-up. No matter how diligent we are, crap still enters our life. Plan in advance to have a clean-up time.

Minimalism is a basic concept for security. The less sensitive items you have, the less you need to protect. Keeping the minimal amount increases security.

Together we can stomp-out packratitis. By working together, we all become stronger.


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