There are a lot of ways to protect yourself from having your credit card information stolen. My personal protection method is to not have a credit card or debit card. I usually barter with chickens, eggs, and magic beans. Come on, we all have a credit or debit card and now those cards and the information they contain are even more at risk.

And you thought you were going to be able to get a good night's sleep tonight? Not so fast my friend.

Many of us are aware of the "jiggle method" when it comes to sliding your card into a gas pump, ATM, or dancer's G-string. By the way, you can't legally use the jiggle method on that last one.

The jiggle method works like this.Before you slide your card simply grasp the card reader with your fingers and give it a tug. If it jiggles, even a little bit, my advice would be move on to another pump or ATM and notify the proprietor of the place of business.

Yes, these kinds of skimmers have been found in Louisiana.

Now comes word that new evil-doer technology allows the bad guys to insert a card reader that isn't so bulky. These new skimmers are called "shimmers" and they are so small the untrained eye could never spot one. The "shimmer" slides inside the real card reader and you'll never even know you've been scammed. It's actually a strip about the same size as the magnetic strip on your credit card.

What can you do to protect yourself? Authorities suggest you monitor your bank account on a daily basis. Be on the look out for unauthorized purchases and make sure you hide the keyboard with your other hand when you punch in your PIN. Some of these identity thieves plant cameras around transaction sites to pick up your PIN via camera.

Of course, another way to protect yourself would be to just remain poor. I hate it when the thieves send me a personal message of condolence about the balance in my bank account.