Social Security Numbers FAQ

Fact Sheet 10aSocial Security Numbers FAQ

A company I do business with recently called and left a message on my answering machine asking for my SSN and date of birth. I've heard one should never give out this information over the phone. Can they do this?  Is it normal to ask for this information?

I gave out my Social Security number over the phone and now I am worried that it is a scam. What should I do?

Someone knows my personal information and Social Security number, but I do not trust the person. What can I do to protect myself?

Learn the answers to these and other questions by reading our Fact Sheet on Social Security Numbers Frequently Asked Questions. Learn how to guard your Social Security number and what to do if you accidentally give it out.

From Cradle to Grave: Government Records and Your Privacy

Fact Sheet 11From Cradle to Grave:
Government Records and Your Privacy

Checklist of Responsible Information-Handling Practices

Fact Sheet 12Checklist of Responsible Information-Handling Practices

Coping with Identity Theft: Reducing the Risk of Fraud

Fact Sheet 17Coping with Identity Theft:
Reducing the Risk of Fraud

Protecting Financial Privacy: The Burden Is on You

Fact Sheet 24Protecting Financial Privacy:
The Burden Is on You

Financial Privacy FAQ

Fact Sheet 24dFinancial Privacy FAQ

Disasters and Your Privacy

Nobody likes to think about the possibility of a natural disaster or a terrorist act.   But as victims of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina can attest, it’s important to prepare for a disaster before it happens.  Certainly, your first concerns in an emergency should be your safety and basic needs such as shelter, food and water.  While there are many resources that can assist you with those concerns, this alert will focus on protecting your privacy and personal information during and after a disaster.

It’s important to realize that different types of disasters are likely to result in different consequences.  You may be asked to shelter in place, to evacuate to a facility in your own community, or possibly to relocate to a far-off location in another state.  Or you may choose to stay with a relative or friend.  Likewise, you may be able to return to your home after a short while, or there may be an extended period of absence.  In the worst case, your home and its contents may be completely destroyed.

Spring Cleaning Your Personal and Financial Records

Now that tax season is over, many people are wondering which personal and financial records they need to save for tax and other purposes. Some of us are packrats and like to save everything forever. Others can't wait to discard unwanted papers.

So what's the best way to decide whether to save or discard a record? Here are a few tips and information sources to help you decide what records you need to keep and for how long.

Comments on HHS Request for Information: Voluntary Storage of Personal Data in Preparation for Emergencies

The notion of a 21st Century vault for storing personal data for emergency use has a great deal of initial appeal. However, just below the surface lurk multiple concerns about the ability of any existing system -- or even one that could be constructed -- to ensure the public has adequate data privacy and security.

Keeping Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) Private: Comments to the FCC

Consumers expect that their telephone calling records will remain private and unavailable to third parties without the customer's knowledge and authorization. Yet, it is clear that this expectation is unrealistic, evidenced by the findings in the Petition for Rulemaking submitted to the Commission by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).3

EPIC's Petition as well as recent news reports, state and federal legislative proposals, and government lawsuits against data brokers all point to a disturbing situation: Not only are current safeguards for customer calling records inadequate, but those that exist are being blatantly ignored.

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