If a Hacker Steals Your Identity Are You Still You? Part 2

If a Hacker Steals Your Identity Are You Still You? Part Two

By Charles McCain

Originally appear on Cannon Financial Institute’s website November, 2017

You post photographs of your children, relatives, and friends from your recent family vacation at Sea Island, GA on one of your social media sites. These pics are great. Digital cameras make every shutterbug a pro. Someone could use these photos in an advertisement they’re so awesome! Unfortunately, someone might do just that since these photographs now belong to the site you have posted them to.

“You grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any intellectual property content that you post on PenguinPostsAntarctica.”

I copied and pasted this sentence from the Terms of Service of a large social media site (except for the bit about penguins). You will find similar language in the Terms of Service of almost every social media site. What does it mean exactly? You post something to a social media site, and they can use it in any way they see fit. Anytime, anywhere in the world for as long as they want without paying you a dime or getting your permission. Talk about identity theft.


Eight Ways to Protect Your Identity

1) As noted above, be cautious of what you and your family members post on social media sites. In fact, your UHNW clients should consider not using social media until stronger security protocols are in place.

2) If you are flying commercial, never toss your boarding pass into the trash.  Take it with you and shred it when you get home. Besides your frequent flyer number which is usually good enough to hack your airline account, boarding passes contain enough personal information in the barcode for any hacker to steal your ID. How can hackers read a barcode? That’s easy. All one need do is scan the barcode and load it onto a site which reads barcodes. In seconds you have all the info you need to steal someone’s ID. You can get the details from the top internet security blog here:   https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/08/why-its-still-a-bad-idea-to-post-or-trash-your-airline-boarding-pass/

3) When you use an ATM machine, always take your receipt with you, and shred it when you get home. Your ATM receipt has your account number on it so never toss it into the trash bin by the machine. In fact, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse says never toss any paper or document with your name on it into the trash before shredding it.*

4) If asked for your Social Security number, the Social Security Administration says you are entitled to ask why it is needed; how it will be used; what happens if you refuse; what law requires you to give your number. **

5) If you make a purchase using a credit card, merchants cannot ask you for your Social Security number. In their merchant agreements, neither Visa, nor MasterCard, nor American Express requires a cardholder to give a merchant their Social Security number as a condition of sale.  ***

6) Once you put your trash out in a public space such as the sidewalk in front of your home or public alley in the back, anyone can legally comb through it. That’s why you want to shred everything. Privacy Clearinghouse recommends using confetti, cross-cut or diamond-cut shredders and not strip shredders. ****

7) For marketing reasons, store clerks and others will often ask for your address. You’re not obligated to provide this information nor is it a condition of using a credit card. If someone insists, several security experts suggest giving this address: 9800 Savage Rd, Fort Meade, MD 20755; the address of the National Security Agency. (This is the contact address listed on their public website).

8) One last yet very important point. When in public refrain from discussing your finances, romantic life, or any aspect of your life you don’t wish to see on the front page of the newspaper. Keep in mind the World War Two adage, “loose lips sink ships.”  Why? Consider this. On  September 19, 2017, two attorneys on President Trump’s legal team had lunch on the patio of a popular Washington, DC restaurant. They discussed legal matters in which the President was involved. Because the men were in a public place, it was perfectly legal for the New York Times reporter sitting with his back to the men to take down everything they said and write a story about their conversation. Isn’t That Trump’s Lawyer? An Accidental Scoop

Copyright ©2017 Cannon Financial Institute – All Rights Reserved


  • https://www.privacyrights.org/
    ** https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10002.pdf
    *** https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/what-info-merchants-ask-for-when-using-credit-card-1282.php
    **** https://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/financial-tuneup-what-you-need-to-shred/


Contributing Writer: Subject Matter Expert Charles McCain

COMMENT FROM CHARLES McCAIN: Cannon Financial Institute is the “gold standard” for wealth management training, development and consulting. I worked at the firm for many years and my colleagues were the most talented people I have ever worked with.  Last year the firm sought me out to write articles for them which I started doing in January of  2016. After a hiatus of nine years, I am pleased to report that my colleagues continue to be the most talented people I have ever worked with and it is a pleasure to be working with them again.  I take them directly from the Cannon website and the links work.  I will post the articles I write for them on my blog after they appear on Cannon’s website. https://www.cannonfinancial.com


Family of Austrian Naval Hero Von Trapp Inspires Sound of Music

Heroic Austrian naval officer Baron Von Trapp and his family inspire musical Sound of Music


Austrian Baron Georg Johannes von Trapp

commanded Austrian Uboats in World War One

(photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Austrian Navy? How is that possible? Isn’t Austria is landlocked? Yes, but it wasn’t when the Austro-Hungarian Empire existed. That multi-ethnic state  collapsed after World War One. Territories ruled by the Austrian Emperor included Slovenia and Croatia which bordered the Adriatic thus giving access to the sea.

Emperor Franz Josef of Austria, in uniform, undated. Credit: Library of Congress

Above is the longest reigning Austrian Emperor, Franz Joseph I,  who reigned from 2 December 1848 – 21 November 1916. He was also King of King of Hungary and Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Lodomeria and Illyria; and retained the heriditay title of King of Jerusalem one of the kingdoms established by the crusaders in the Middle Ages.

In 1806, the Holy Roman Empire in central Europe, a very loose federation of Germanic states and principalities, finally collapsed. Since the Habsburgs had usually supplied the Holy Roman Empire with its Emperor,  the Austrian Empire, ruled by the Habsburgs, became the successor state. There is an old saying in history that the Holy Roman Empire was neither “Holy” nor “Roman” nor an “Empire,” all of which is substantially true.

Whenever you come across a historical figure whose title was “Elector” then that person was one of the seven princes and kings who elected the Emperor.


Austro-Hungarian main naval base at Pula shown by red arrow on map above


The Austrian Empire or Austro-Hungarian Empire had a substantial navy with almost 36,000 officers and men and a large number of ships, including dreadnoughts and submarines. They did well considering that there wasn’t a common language in the Habsburg Empire. Educated people spoke German like the Austrians do today of course but others refused out of sense of nationalistic identity, the Magyars in Hungary being some of the most uncooperative.

singing von Trapps in Vermont in 1946. While pictured as a sweet and loving person in the Sound of Music, Mrs von Trapp was something of a dragon and ordered everyone around.

The most famous officer of the long defunct Austro-Hungarian Navy is Baron von Trapp. He and the singing Von Trapp family were made famous in the movie “The Sound of Music” which is loosely based on their story. Baron von Trapp was an outstanding Austrian submarine commander in World War One. He made 19 war patrols and sank 11 cargo ships, a French cruiser and an Italian submarine.

After the proclamation of the Dual Monarchy in 1867 with the Emperor of Austria becoming the King of Hungary as well as Austrian Emperor, the fleet was known became known as the “Imperial and Royal War Navy.”

That phrase in German is “kaiserliche und königliche Kriegsmarine,” abbreviated as k.u.k. which how the fleet was known. The k.u.k. operated mainly in the Adriatic Sea but during World War One also positioned itself as a “fleet in being” which could enter the Mediterranean if so chose and dispute French, British and Italian control.



Austro-Hungarian Dreadnoughts At Pula before World War One.

Photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum


Austrian battleship Viribus Unitis


The fleet was based at the port of Pola, now Pula, in Croatia, then part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. After its defeat in World War One and the collapse of the empire, Hungary was deprived of all of its territory along the Adriatic and hence no longer had ports for Imperial and Royal fleet which was dispersed.



Austro-Hungarian fleet on maneuvers circa 1912

(photo courtesy Wikipedia)

A former commander of the k.u.k. was Admiral Horthy who proclaimed himself Regent of Hungary after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This is how a land locked country of Hungary came to be ruled by an admiral for decades.

If you have an interest in learning more,  substantial detail on the k.u.k. can be found here:


Dunkirk British Army Retreats from Germans

DUNKIRK 1940 (HU 1524) British troops during the evacuation from Dunkirk, 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205260329


DUNKIRK 1940 (HU 1528) British troops in the sand dunes at Dunkirk, 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205222016

Comments Charles McCain: while regular army and elite regiments such as the those comprising the Brigage of Guards, held together, support units and formations of untrained reservists sent over from the UK tended to break under the intense stress of conducting a fighting retreat. Officers sometimes abandoned their men and men sometimes abandoned their officers.

Many people take a certain pleasure in condeming the French for collapsing in World War Two. It bears pointing out that the French rearguards at Dunkirk fought off the Germans until all British and French troops waiting to evacuate could be withdrawn. Only then did they surrender to the Germans.


DUNKIRK 1940 (HU 1531) British troops in the sand dunes at Dunkirk, 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205260322


DUNKIRK 1940 (HU 1520) British troops during the evacuation from Dunkirk, 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205260326



DUNKIRK 1940 (HU 1137) Men of the 2nd Royal Ulster Rifles awaiting evacuation at Bray Dunes, near Dunkirk, 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205086985
DUNKIRK 1940 (HU 1519) British troops during the evacuation from Dunkirk, 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205260324


DUNKIRK AND THE RETREAT FROM FRANCE 1940 (HU 1530) An officer rests in a trench dug into the sand dunes at Dunkirk, May 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205227524

Comments Charles McCain: the sand tended to absorb a portion of the explosion of German bombs. Second, while sharpnel from bombs could be deadly, it blows out and up and not down. If you were in a trench, you were usually safe from bombs and sharpnel unless they landed on top of you.

DUNKIRK 1940 (HU 1529) British officers in a trench dug into the beach at Dunkirk, 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205086988


DUNKIRK 1940 (HU 1152) Rescued troops on board the destroyer HMS Vanquisher, May 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205222774


DUNKIRK 1940 (HU 1147) A lifeboat with survivors from the Isle of Man steam ferry SS Mona’s Queen, mined off Dunkirk, comes alongside the destroyer HMS Vanquisher, 29 May 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205222770
DUNKIRK 1940 (HU 1148) A lifeboat with survivors from the Isle of Man steam ferry SS Mona’s Queen, mined off Dunkirk, comes alongside the destroyer HMS Vanquisher, 29 May 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205222771