Stolen Purse

My purse was stolen yesterday night – keys and checkbook and everything. I filed a San Jose police report but I don’t expect much to come of that. For the last three years, my husband John and I have volunteered as teachers for 2 hours a week at an after school program about a mile from our house. Yesterday, toward the end of the session, we left the front door unlocked so that parents could pick up their kids. Someone walked in and took my purse plus a 4th grade boy’s backpack – probably to hide my purse in. The boy lost school books, his reading book, and a library book that he has to pay for. What a depressing experience.

I spent last night calling our bank and credit card companies to put holds on our accounts.  I am entirely sick of telling phone customer service staff the last four digits of my Social Security Number, my birth date, mother’s maiden name, zip code, etc. to get them to talk with me.   I got up early this morning to go to the California Department of Motor Vehicles to request a replacement driver’s license. $25 and one hour in line later, I went to the bank for two hours to open up new accounts and sign up for an identity theft watch service. I am using an old purse, spare comb, and John’s keys to my car. John, sweet man that he is, bought me a new iPhone today so I don’t go into technology withdrawal. Costing out everything that was in my purse, my phone, camera, and surprisingly, replacement smart keys for our cars came out most expensive. It will take weeks to get everything replaced. Trying to remember what was actually in my purse has been a challenge.

I am more than ever a fan of mSecure, an “ultra-secure 256bit blowfish encryption” software application that keeps all of my private information. I bought mSecure for both my iPhone and my MacBook. Over the last year, I typed all of my codes and passwords and identifications into mSecure then backed it up by synchronizing with my MacBook. Since I ran sync just a few days ago, very little information was lost with my iPhone. My iPhone had a password and AT&T disabled that account last night.

My husband has pointed out that my carrying around three Apple computers (iPhone, iPad, and MacBook) plus my Dell work laptop while calling myself a technology minimalist is perhaps inconsistent. I really love technology that works well and for me that means Apple products. (I think I just came out of the closet as a Apple Geek.)

The other volunteers last night were wonderful. Luis and Roberto came home with us to be sure no thieves were in our house (a real and scary possibility). I am glad we have two big dogs. I sent email to our neighborhood list to ask everyone to keep an eye on our home just in case. We have received many supportive and encouraging emails and suggestions.

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