Consider This: is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of internet sites. Less than three years old, the video-sharing website has become a household name. Like most information sources, YouTube can be good and bad.

Last week, we read a report about two videos posted on the site, A Beginners Guide on How to Pick Locks and Lock-Bumping Techniques. There's pressure on the site to remove these videos because large numbers of people, mostly teenagers, one of YouTube's largest group of users, were viewing them. The fear is that there will be a surge in "breaking and entering" crimes as a result.

Then someone forwarded us a link on YouTube to an important public service message about protecting your personal belongings from identity thieves. It's too long to show in this commentary, but the takeaway is that identity thieves are targeting drivers filling up their cars at gas stations, and it suggests the following precautions:

  • Keep your windows rolled up at all times, especially at service stations.
  • Never leave your keys in your car.
  • Never leave your personal items such as a purse, cell phone, or briefcase in plain view.
  • Secure valuables under the seat or in your trunk before arriving at your destination.
  • Lock your doors every time you enter and exit your vehicle.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when pumping gas or loading groceries.

Click here to view the public service message. Please watch it and tell others. You are your best defense against identity thieves.

That's what we think. Tell us what you think.