JJ Luna

Best way to open a bank account

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Not to break JJ's rice bowl, and I do recommend you buy his book and keep it on hand as a ready reference, but one of the most important things you can learn from him about privacy is that you have a right to privacy.

The most difficult part of obtaining and maintaining privacy is learning to keep your personal matters and information private.

We, as Americans, have a very nasty and harmful habit of being open and honest with just about anyone who asks us anything. We'll spew personal information at the drop of a hat. We've been brought up that way, perhaps out of naivete and a societal paradigm far, far different from most of the world.

Up until recently, our government tended to leave us alone and neither asked for lots of personal information nor abused that which they had. Our representatives have historically been very protective of our privacy as citizens.

But all that has changed, particularly since 9/11, and now the government knows more about us than the KGB knew about most Soviet citizens, and has instant, computerized access to just about everything we do, including all our financial transactions.

But this does not mean that we have to capitulate.

The most important habit you have to break is giving people information that you are not legally required to give them.

So, when people ask you nosy questions, ask them politely if they have legal authority to compel you to answer, and if so, to cite the statute. If they don't then politely decline to answer, citing your privacy. Do this with everyone, all the time, till it becomes a habit to KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.

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