Every time you go to a new doctor or dentist and they give you a clipboard brimming with documents to fill out and sign, notice how they always ask for your Social Security number? The sensitive data of First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder, recently were posted on a website for the world to see.
So, the next time someone asks you for your Social Security number, reflect on this: In December, the Army announced that hackers stole the Social Security numbers of 36,000 visitors to Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, including intelligence officers. The private information, including some Social Security numbers, of celebrities and political leaders including FBI Director Robert Mueller and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were exposed.
Yeah, only problem with this is that no federal law requires employers to offer any work breaks for anything, even meals.
Some state laws do require work breaks, but it's not a majority.
If they call, check the credit or debit card that is the subject of the communication, call the customer service number listed on the back, and ask for the security department.
If they email or text, do the same, or go directly to the institution’s website (provided you know who they are).
They’ve always done it, and their colleagues at other companies do it, so the practice continues and spreads on the strength of simple, dumb inertia. By demanding that companies do a better job protecting our personal information, and refusing to hand out our Social Security numbers like candy at a parade, we can force them to get smarter, too.
And if they don’t think we’re serious about this and the government doesn’t finally force them off their Social Security number addiction, it is highly likely that the ultimate regulator of the American economic system, class action attorneys, will be knocking on their doors.
The moral to these horror stories is that if your Social Security number is stored on any computer anywhere, hackers will find a way to access it, or a compromised or disgruntled employee may well walk out the door with it.
If your doctor, gym, or child’s grade school claims otherwise, that their security systems can protect your private data better than the CIA, FBI and Scotland Yard, to quote Monty Python: “Run away!
Offer a next of kin who knows the number instead, and your phone number for billing issues.) Almost every day somebody asks for your Social Security Number and, like the Grand Marshal of a parade throwing rose petals or candy to the crowd, you probably give it up without giving it a second thought — because that’s what you’ve always done.