personal information http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5717/all en-US 10 Ways to Keep Your Private Info Private http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-private-info-private <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-keep-your-private-info-private" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-157397600.jpg" alt="Woman making sure her private info stays private" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In a world where so many of us share everything from the birth of a child to our weight loss goals on social media, privacy might seem like a moot point. But the reality is, growing identity theft threats make safeguarding personal details more important than ever.</p> <p>The good news is, there are simple things you can do to keep yourself safe. It is just about paying attention to where your personal information could leak out, and plugging the holes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/careful-your-cc-may-be-sharing-this-private-info?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Your Credit Card May Be Sharing Your Private Info</a>)</p> <h2>1. Destroy Unneeded Paper Documents</h2> <p>Any junk mail that contains a credit offer. Old documents with your signature, Social Security number, date of birth, or other identifying details. Old tax returns. Convenience checks from credit cards. These are some of the most sensitive items that you should never dispose of without shredding. Buy a <a href="http://amzn.to/2jwjGhw" target="_blank">crosscut shredder</a> or take your documents to a business shredder to destroy, or burn the paper in your fireplace.</p> <h2>2. Safeguard Your Mail</h2> <p>The <a href="https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/investigations/MailFraud/fraudschemes/mailtheft/TipThieves.aspx" target="_blank">U.S. Post Office recommends</a> that you pick up your mail promptly after delivery and always put the mail on hold if you go out of town. Some folks take it a step further by investing in a locking mailbox or renting a post office box away from their residence. Remember to protect outgoing mail as well, by dropping it into a secure mailbox or handing it to the carrier, instead of leaving it out for the carrier to pick up.</p> <h2>3. Be Wary of Online Forms</h2> <p>You may be asked for your name, email address, home address, phone number, date of birth, and other personal information many times a day on the Internet. And often, it's legitimate to share that information &mdash; for instance, when signing up for a food delivery service. But when asked for personal details, ask yourself who's behind the request &mdash; a reputable brand, or a company you've never heard of? Is the sign-up really necessary?</p> <h2>4. Don't Overshare on Social Media</h2> <p>First of all, know who you're sharing with when you post something on social media. On Facebook, you can choose to share a post with the public, with all your friends, or only a subgroup of friends. Personally, I don't know all the people I've accepted friend requests from very well. So most of the things I post &mdash; especially potentially compromising information such as an upcoming surgery or vacation &mdash; are only shared with a select group of close friends and relatives.</p> <p>Second, there are some things you don't want to share with anyone &mdash; not even relatives. Hundreds of thousands of people each year have their <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/21/identity-theft-victims-may-know-the-culprit.html" target="_blank">IDs stolen by someone they know</a>. Never post a photo of personal documents, like a new passport or even a kid's report card. Beware of documents that may be visible in the background of snapshots, like that tax form stuck to your fridge with a magnet.</p> <h2>5. Conduct Periodic Audits of Your Online Info</h2> <p>This sounds complicated, but it's actually easy. First, Google your full name. Look yourself up on &quot;people search&quot; websites, especially <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2017/01/12/youve-probably-never-heard-of-this-creepy-genealogy-site-but-its-heard-all-about-you/?utm_term=.620bcefdccc0" target="_blank">FamilyTreeNow</a>, which allows people to search for personal data without paying or signing up for an account. A lot of the info you will find on these sites are public records, but that doesn't mean you want to make it easy for potential data thieves to aggregate all public info about you for free. Opt out of all such sites, which may take some time clicking around, but is worth it.</p> <h2>6. Be Suspicious of Everyone Who Handles Your Information</h2> <p>Your children's school and your doctor's office probably aren't out to rob you, so you might feel comfortable sharing any information they ask for. Here's the thing, though: Do you know if they're storing those documents securely or disposing of them properly when no longer needed? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-medical-records-theft?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Simple Ways to Protect Yourself From Medical Records Theft</a>)</p> <p>One way to limit your exposure to this risk is to give as little information as possible. Yes, every school form might ask for your child's medical insurance ID, but is it really necessary? At the doctor's office, decline to write your Social Security number on paperwork. They don't need it on every piece of paper in your file.</p> <p>Another way to limit your exposure is to ask staff how papers are handled and secured, and to push for better safety in the likely event that there's room for improvement.</p> <h2>7. Keep Your Computer Clean</h2> <p>Logging onto bank, mortgage, and credit accounts to pay bills, check balances, and transfer money is incredibly convenient. It can also be incredibly dangerous if you do it on a compromised computer. Be wary of what you click, whether it's an app you download or a link or attachment in email, because if your computer gets a virus, it could do more than slow it down. Hackers can use such Trojan horses to slip a keystroke logging program onto your computer, recording everything you type, including usernames and passwords. Never log onto banking and other sensitive sites using public Wi-Fi connections.</p> <p>Besides avoiding clicking dodgy links and regularly scanning your computer for malware, you can safeguard your online banking data by regularly changing your passwords, and by making your passwords really hard to guess.</p> <h2>8. Limit What You Carry Around With You</h2> <p>Stealing your purse or wallet is another way thieves can get ahold of your private information. Don't carry anything more than you need &mdash; one or two credit cards and your driver's license should do. Leave your Social Security card at home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-never-keep-in-your-wallet?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Things to Never Keep in Your Wallet</a>)</p> <h2>9. Opt Out of Junk Mail</h2> <p>You can sign up to <a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicited-mail-phone-calls-and-email" target="_blank">stop credit and insurance companies</a> from sending you preapproved offers, which could be used to take out accounts in your name. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remove-yourself-from-mailing-lists-and-eliminate-junk-mail?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Remove Yourself From Mailing Lists and Eliminate Junk Mail</a>)</p> <h2>10. Don't Get Caught by a Phisher</h2> <p>Beware of impostors asking for your bank password or other information. You may already know that if you get an alarming email purportedly from your bank, you can go straight to your bank website and log on, or call them, instead of clicking the link.</p> <p>But increasingly, phishers are reaching victims by phone as well. So many people have been tricked into installing malicious software or giving up credit card numbers by fake &quot;Microsoft tech support&quot; calls that <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx" target="_blank">Microsoft set up a page</a> warning the public about them. The Internal Revenue Service has set up a <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/irs-urges-public-to-stay-alert-for-scam-phone-calls" target="_blank">similar warning</a> about criminals who call posing as IRS agents and ask for money or personal data. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-6-phony-irs-calls-and-emails?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Beware These 6 Phony IRS Calls and Emails</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-private-info-private">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-panic-do-this-if-your-identity-gets-stolen">Don&#039;t Panic: Do This If Your Identity Gets Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-that-a-winning-notification-email-is-a-fake">6 Signs That a Winning Notification Email Is a Fake</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/phishing-scams-continue-to-plague-social-media-sites">Phishing Scams Continue to Plague Social Media Sites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data">3 Sneaky Ways Identity Thieves Can Access Your Data</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-surprising-ways-your-identity-can-be-stolen">18 Surprising Ways Your Identity Can Be Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Consumer Affairs data emails identity theft malware personal information phishing phone calls scams security viruses Thu, 02 Mar 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1898692 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Personal Things You Should Never Text or Email http://www.wisebread.com/9-personal-things-you-should-never-text-or-email <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-personal-things-you-should-never-text-or-email" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-500176856.jpg" alt="never put these things in a text or email" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Rule #1 of email and text etiquette? Don't send anything that you wouldn't post publicly for the world to see. If your messages are even the slightest bit questionable, aggressive, provocative, or sexy, they <em>will</em> make it to someone else other than the intended recipient. And when the narrative is out of your hands, you have no way to control it &mdash; which could result in unexpected consequences.</p> <p>Avoid certain disasters by minding these nine things you should never text or email. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-embarrassing-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-doesnt-talk-about?ref=seealso">13 Embarrassing Mistakes Everyone Makes But Doesn't Talk About</a>)</p> <h2>1. Anger Toward Your Partner</h2> <p>My soon-to-be ex-husband and I are on good terms now, but for a few years leading up to our separation, it was tough getting along with one another. One of the contributing factors to us never being on the same page was that we were always fighting via text or email. He preferred it because he said he couldn't get a word in edgewise if we had a verbal argument (which I don't disagree with), but texting and emailing our issues to one another only seemed to exacerbate our problems. Our &quot;tones&quot; were often taken out of context when written, and we weren't handling our marriage like adults. As such, avoid making the same mistakes that I did with your partner.</p> <p>Also keep in mind that &quot;anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.&quot; While our marriage is ending amicably, not all relationships do &mdash; and if there's a paper trail of indecency toward one another, it can certainly be used as evidence against you.</p> <h2>2. A Relationship Break-Up</h2> <p>Listen, if you've been in a relationship with someone for more than a few weeks, especially if you've consummated that relationship, you owe it to the other individual to break it off in person. It's common decency. Personally, I'd rather get dumped over coffee than wake up to a text message that says, &quot;It's over.&quot; Because then I'll be like, &quot;The hell it is,&quot; and show up at your office a few hours later with a rabbit in a pot.</p> <h2>3. Firing an Employee</h2> <p>Firing an employee is just like a breakup, and it should be handled with the same amount of sensitivity. Sending a text or email to tell someone they're fired is cowardly and disrespectful, no matter how old they are or what length of time they've spent at the company. Call the employee into your office, tell them point-blank that they're being let go, provide reasons for the dismissal, and discuss the professional uncoupling procedure.</p> <p>This also provides you an opportunity to manage the removal of the employee's personal property, whereas telling them by text or email will give them plenty of time to pilfer company information since they'll still need to physically come back to the office to claim their belongings. Things can go off the rails very quickly in these situations, which plenty of corporate security guards can attest to.</p> <h2>4. Your Nude Photos</h2> <p>Listen, you're an adult and you can do what you want, but you can't start boo-hooing when your boss or your mother discovers the nude pics and videos you've been sending to strangers on Tinder. Not everyone out there is a nice person &mdash; and the sooner you recognize that, the less apt you'll be to put all your goodies on the Internet.</p> <p>If you want to engage in this type of activity, at least do it with someone you trust. Otherwise, keep identifying physical aspects of yourself out of the shots, including your face and tattoos. I'm doling out this advice as someone with experience in how awry these heat-of-the-moment decisions can go... and it won't end the way you want it to.</p> <h2>5. Personal and Financial Information</h2> <p>If someone asks for your Social Security number or credit card information via text or email &mdash; even if you trust them implicitly &mdash; politely decline. If you send the information over unencrypted or unsecure networks, hackers and identity thieves may snatch it. Instead, pick up the phone to have the recipient of the information manually take it down. Ask that they destroy the evidence in many pieces afterward, too.</p> <h2>6. Messages That Make You Look Illiterate</h2> <p>Sometimes I read emails from professional people with high-paying jobs and I think to myself, how did you graduate high school? You know what I'm talking about. There's this scourge of society who can't compose a proper sentence or place punctuation appropriately. Some people write a whole paragraph with nary a comma or period. Drives me crazy, and it makes me question their literacy.</p> <p>Home-school mom and counselor Nicole Dean is on my side.</p> <p>&quot;Sending incomplete emails or emails that are not proofread is the worst &mdash; especially to potential employers or professional/business contacts,&quot; she says. &quot;When composing an email to a professional or when composing an angry email (complaining about something, offering criticism), do not put in the person's email address until you have typed the entire email. Then, read through the whole email. I also find it helpful, as a habit, to attach any files to the mail before writing the text. Never reply all. If you have several email addresses, always check which one you are using before you start typing. Some people have sent mass replies or single emails using a second or third 'throwaway' email address that is either unprofessional or inappropriate.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Apologies and Confessions</h2> <p>Apologize in person for whatever you did wrong. Likewise, if you have something to confess, sit down, tell the truth, and move on with your life.</p> <p>&quot;Whatever bad thing you did to warrant a heartfelt apology or remorseful confession requires more than just a 146 character, black-and-white response,&quot; adds author Mark Babbitt, founder of a social resource for young professionals. &quot;Sure, it's easier to deliver bad news while hiding behind your device, but this is the time to be a real human being &mdash; which means an abundant amount of eye contact, positive body language, and a reassuring touch.&quot;</p> <p>Unless they don't want your grubby hands touching them anymore. Keep your devil-paws to yourself if that's the case.</p> <h2>8. Inappropriate Questions</h2> <p>If a question seems invasive, awkward, or weird, and you're having second thoughts about whether or not you should send a message containing that question, don't do it. Trust your gut. It usually does a good job of letting you know when you're about to act foolish.</p> <h2>9. Resumes From Your Work Email</h2> <p>Let me break this down for you right quick: If you send your resume to a potential employer from your current employer's email, you deserve to be fired. You're using company time and resources to look for a different job? Get it together!</p> <p>Send your resumes when you're not at work on your work computer, please. The IT department can see everything you send, remember, and some of them are looking for faux pas just like this to forward to HR. You'll really kick yourself when you start feeling unhireable because nobody has responded to your applications while also being unemployed.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-personal-things-you-should-never-text-or-email">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-not-to-delete-your-emails">5 Reasons Not to Delete Your Emails</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ways-blazing-internet-speeds-can-save-you-money">5 Ways Blazing Internet Speeds Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-technologies-we-wish-were-never-invented">8 Technologies We Wish Were Never Invented</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs">9 Things You Can Do Online Besides Watch Cat GIFs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-private-info-private">10 Ways to Keep Your Private Info Private</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Technology emails leak personal information private information text etiquette texting work emails Thu, 05 Jan 2017 10:30:26 +0000 Mikey Rox 1868725 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Personal Issues No One at Work Needs to Hear http://www.wisebread.com/10-personal-issues-no-one-at-work-needs-to-hear <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-personal-issues-no-one-at-work-needs-to-hear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_93735987_LARGE.jpg" alt="don&#039;t talk about these personal issues at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most Americans spend way too much time at work. In fact, according to a 2015 study by Gallup, the <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/175286/hour-workweek-actually-longer-seven-hours.aspx">average work week for a full-time employee</a> in the U.S. is 47 hours. Amid all that team-building togetherness, it's easy to blur the line between our professional and personal lives &mdash; and jeopardize our careers in the process. Protect your future by avoiding topics that can knock you down a rung or two on the corporate ladder. Here are 10 personal issues no one needs to hear about at work.</p> <h2>1. Legal Troubles</h2> <p>However unfair or inaccurate it may be, your ongoing legal issues imply two things to employers: You have poor judgment, and a litigious personality. Whether you're on the right side of the law or the wrong side, it's good policy to keep legal battles private.</p> <h2>2. Relationship Disasters</h2> <p>Messy divorce? Cheating boyfriend? Breakup that you just can't seem to get over? They may be part of life, but not part of appropriate workplace conversation. Rehashing your relationship disasters communicates that you have difficult time separating your personal and professional worlds &mdash; and that's a career-limiting trait.</p> <h2>3. Previous Employment Drama</h2> <p>No surprises here. Skip the stories about the boss who hated you, the coworker who stole your promotion, the office party that got out of hand, or the six-week strike you initiated. Employers tend to frown upon staff members with dramatic work histories, and they're rightfully concerned that certain types of employment issues might be contagious.</p> <h2>4. Sex Life</h2> <p>Tempted to break up a boring afternoon at the office with a tale of romantic misadventure? Abstain. Save the intimate details of your life for close friends, a night out with the guys or girls, or the journal in your nightstand. Beyond the TMI factor, you never know who's listening to your story or sharing it at the water cooler. Those amorous tales could be disastrous for your career.</p> <h2>5. Family Crises</h2> <p>Never-ending family issues suggest that you have a difficult time managing your personal life and setting clear boundaries &mdash; two qualities directly related to professionalism and productivity. Granted, nearly everyone deals with a sick kid or childcare challenges from time to time. Just make sure controlling the chaos at home doesn't become part of your daily work schedule.</p> <h2>6. Money Matters</h2> <p>Sure, we've all had a lean month here and there, but broadcasting persistent money problems at work won't get you very far. Besides making employers question your discipline and ability to manage budgets, chronic money issues hint that you may soon be looking for a higher-paying job.</p> <h2>7. Political Positions</h2> <p>Politics is a divisive topic, especially during a contentious election cycle. Though everyone has strong opinions, it's smart strategy to stay neutral from 9-to-5. We're all human; sharing partisan views can directly or indirectly offend someone and limit your prospects for advancement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-financial-reasons-to-keep-your-political-views-private?ref=seealso">4 Financial Reasons to Keep Your Political Views Private</a>)</p> <h2>8. Religious Views</h2> <p>Like politics, religion is a hot-button topic. It's extremely easy for a casual comment to negatively affect our professional opportunities. Assume nothing about the religious beliefs of those around you, exercise a high level of political correctness, and keep your personal beliefs out of the workplace. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview?ref=seealso">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a>)</p> <h2>9. Health Problems</h2> <p>Ideally, every workplace would be filled with compassionate team members genuinely concerned about each other's well-being. Sadly, that's not the case. Discussing ongoing medical issues at work may garner some sympathy and even a more flexible schedule. Still, it comes with its own set of risks. Managers tend to offer new projects and promotions to folks who they believe can handle the extra responsibility, workload, and associated stress.</p> <h2>10. Obsessions</h2> <p>Revealing a bit about ourselves and our personal interests can help build stronger work relationships. Still, there's a fine line between mentioning a hobby and endlessly talking about a time-consuming obsession. Being too focused on personal pursuits may lead employers to think that your career is a third or fourth priority.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-personal-issues-no-one-at-work-needs-to-hear">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-career-moves-youll-never-regret">6 Career Moves You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work-despite-your-chatty-coworkers">How to Stay Focused at Work Despite Your Chatty Coworkers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family">5 Ways to Say &quot;No&quot; to Friends and Family</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building General Tips career communication job tips office etiquette personal information personal life private matter TMI Tue, 11 Oct 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Kentin Waits 1810476 at http://www.wisebread.com When Is It Okay to Share Your Social Security Number? http://www.wisebread.com/when-is-it-okay-to-share-your-social-security-number <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-is-it-okay-to-share-your-social-security-number" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012525442_Large.jpg" alt="the dos and don&#039;ts of giving out your social security number" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your Social Security number should be among your biggest secrets, but there are times when you'll have to give it out. If you accept a job, your new employer will need a copy of your Social Security card on file, and you'll be asked to provide your number when opening a bank account or applying for a loan. But although it's common practice to share your number in certain situations, you don't have to give your number just because you're asked to do so.</p> <p>If your Social Security number falls into the wrong hands, someone could open credit accounts in your name and steal your identity. Once your identity is compromised, your credit score can suffer the consequences, and it could become harder to purchase a house and get other types of financing.</p> <p>The good news is that there's plenty you can do to keep your number safe. Here are a few dos and don'ts for giving out your Social Security number. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-comprehensive-guide-to-identity-theft-everything-you-need-to-know?ref=seealso">The Comprehensive Guide to Identity Theft: Everything You Need to Know</a>)</p> <h2>1. Don't Respond to Emails Asking to Confirm Your Social Security Number</h2> <p>This is one of the oldest <em>phishing </em>tricks in the books.</p> <p>Here's how it works: You receive an email from a company claiming to be your personal bank or credit card issuer. The email will state that the company needs to update your account information, at which point you're asked to click a link and confirm your Social Security number and other information. Some thieves may even call your house phishing for information.</p> <p>No matter how real or official an email or phone call appears, remember that your bank or credit card company will never call or send an email requesting your personal data. Ignore these correspondences and report fraudulent activity to the Federal Trade Commission. Let your bank or credit card company know about the fraud, and you can forward phishing emails to <a href="mailto:spam@uce.gov">spam@uce.gov</a>.</p> <h2>2. Do Ask About the Reason for Requesting Your SSN</h2> <p>There are many reasons why a company might ask for your Social Security number. In some cases, the reasons are legitimate. For example, if you're getting a home security system, the security company may ask for your Social Security number. This is likely because the security agreement is a two or three-year contract, and the company needs to run a credit check to see if you meet the credit requirements. But this doesn't mean you should hand over your number without a fight. Make sure you understand why a company needs your personal information. If you don't agree or feel comfortable with their explanation, don't give out your number.</p> <p>This rule also applies to family and friends who ask for your Social Security number. It doesn't matter if it's your parents, your brother, or your favorite cousin; there are few reasons why anyone would need your number. One example of a legitimate reason is if a relative names you as the beneficiary on his or her life insurance policy. The insurance company will need your Social Security number.</p> <h2>3. Do Offer an Alternative Way to Identify Yourself</h2> <p>Some companies rely on Social Security numbers to identify account holders. If you call your utility company or your cable company's customer service, the rep on the other end may ask for your number to pull up your account faster. This is a legitimate and innocent reason. But before you give out your number, ask the customer service rep if there's another way to find your account. You might be able to skip giving out your Social Security number if you have your account number handy, or you may only need to provide the last four digits of your SSN.</p> <h2>4. Don't Shout Your Number in Earshot of Others</h2> <p>If you go to the bank to make a loan payment and ask the teller for a payoff amount, the bank may require two methods of identification, such as your driver's license and your Social Security number. It's important to be aware of your surroundings when giving out your number. You'll want to keep your number private and still get the information you need. Some banks have keypads, which allow customers to type in their own Social Security number so they don't have to speak the number out loud. If this isn't an option, ask the teller or representative for a scratch sheet of paper. Write down your Social Security number so that the rep can enter the number into the computer. Once your number is entered, ask for the paper back and then scratch out the numbers and shred the paper.</p> <h2>5. Do Check Your Credit Report</h2> <p>It doesn't matter how careful you are with your Social Security number, there's always the risk of your information falling into the wrong hands. Hackers can break into a company or organization's computer system and steal account holder information. For that matter, don't ignore checking your own credit report at least once a year. Pulling your own credit history doesn't hurt your credit score. You can order a free copy of all three reports annually from AnnualCreditReport.com.</p> <p><em>Have you given out your Social Security number before and it turned out to be a mistake? How do you protect yourself today? Let's chat in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-is-it-okay-to-share-your-social-security-number">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-after-losing-your-social-security-card">What to Do After Losing Your Social Security Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-must-immediately-do-after-losing-your-smartphone">8 Things You Must Immediately Do After Losing Your Smartphone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-credit-repair-scam">How to Spot a Credit Repair Scam</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-private-info-private">10 Ways to Keep Your Private Info Private</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-mugged">How To Get Mugged</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks fraud protection identity theft personal information social security number ssn Thu, 11 Feb 2016 12:00:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1653874 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Not to Delete Your Emails http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-not-to-delete-your-emails <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-not-to-delete-your-emails" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3475417696_9565941ee0_z.jpg" alt="woman using laptop on grass" title="woman using laptop on grass" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Never deleting emails is a lazy way of keeping organized. By saving and archiving emails, I have information at my fingertips without having to figure out ahead of time precisely what I'll need and how I'll use these messages.</p> <p>Recently, my emails saved me over $300. When signing up for a new service, I captured information relating to service features, pricing, and contract terms via email, beginning with sending the content of a live chat to my email address and continuing throughout my conversations with company representatives. When the company failed to deliver as promised, I was able to reference emails with their commitments, address billing issues, and even get compensation for my troubles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-what-you-want-on-customer-service-calls">How to&nbsp;Get What You Want on Customer Service Calls</a>)</p> <p>But even when the emails don't save money, they help me to deal with situations like these below.</p> <h3>1. Finding Important Documents</h3> <p>Are you looking for a certain version of your resumé? Can you remember the date of your child's band concert or end-of-year picnic? Can you put your hands on presentation guidelines for an upcoming speaking engagement?</p> <p>Very often, these files are attached to an email that you sent or received.</p> <p>If you saved your emails, you can easily find the cover letter and resumé that you sent three months ago when the HR person finally calls and requests an interview. Instead of frantically searching on your computer for the precise version you prepared to apply for this job, you can spend your energy researching the company and getting ready to talk to the hiring manager. (Alternatively, limit the versions of your resumés as described in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-case-for-not-tweaking-your-resume">The Case for Not Tweaking Your Resumé</a>.)</p> <p>Likewise, you may be able to locate guidelines for a contract assignment, calendars of events for professional groups, dates of your child's school activities, etc.</p> <h3>2. Remembering Promises Made</h3> <p>Are you trying to remember exactly what you committed to for a project, presentation, special event, or meeting? Did a coworker, boss, or friend assure you that she'd give you some information or handle a detail for that project? Can you spontaneously recall the details of these promises? Is there a conflict because you remember a conversation differently than your colleagues?</p> <p>The details of the commitments may be contained in one or several of your emails. You may be able to quickly find the following information:</p> <ul> <li>Description of the project, presentation, event, or meeting</li> <li>Requirements and suggestions of project components, venues, and agenda items&nbsp;</li> <li>Specific assignments of team members and groups</li> <li>Dates of planning sessions and project updates</li> <li>Important deadlines along with timelines for accomplishing certain tasks</li> </ul> <p>Just as importantly, you'll be able to recall conditions on promises. For example, I may state that I will be glad to edit your proposal by April 30 if you can forward the script to me by April 15. This record helps me to honor commitments without being taken advantage of, particularly when weeks or months pass between the time that the agreement was made and an action is required.</p> <p>When I have received a commitment, I feel more confident prompting someone to complete a task, send me a report, etc. &mdash; basically, adhere to her promises &mdash; if I can recall the details of our conversations.</p> <p>Having this information doesn't guarantee that others (or I) will behave in the precise manner promised. But it does help to remember what is expected, untangle any misunderstandings, and gain insight into who is reliable among friends, coworkers, bosses, etc.</p> <h3>3. Finding Documentation of Past Events</h3> <p>Do you need to prepare a report with a recap of events and activities? Do you want to pull up records of interactions with sales prospects, committee members, program participants, or volunteers? Are you looking for a receipt for the purchase of conference passes, theater tickets, school yearbooks, or something else?</p> <p>You can pull together all the information you need by looking at multiple email conversations that have occurred over time.</p> <p>For example, recently I learned that I needed to compile information about scout service projects. Sure, I could make several phone calls and extract this information from the organizers, who may then have to dig through their files before getting back to me. I could supplement this activity with a search of my own records, stored in a file folder labeled &quot;scouts&quot; and perhaps scattered amongst my son's school records and a few other places in my house or office. However, pertinent information about the projects are also stored in a few emails.</p> <p>Just as easily, you can access information about conferences, trade shows, business dinners, out-of-town trips, fund-raisers, etc. Typically, you will be able to find these details:</p> <ul> <li>Event and travel dates</li> <li>Names and contact information of clients visited, event hosts, and administrators</li> <li>Vendors you met at business meetings</li> <li>Guests at dinners that you'd like to meet again</li> </ul> <p>And you should be able to easily find receipts for purchases along with any warranties, return policies, and guarantees.</p> <h3>4. Locate Contact Information</h3> <p>Are you scrambling to find the phone number for a new friend who hasn't made your phone contact list yet, a client you are meeting for the first time, a recently signed-on volunteer, a contractor who is traveling to your home soon, or anyone else? Your acquaintances, prospects, etc. contact information (email addresses, phone numbers, Twitter handles, LinkedIn pages, etc.) are often stored on a email message. Sometimes, you may find what you need in a conversation directly with that person. At other times, this info resides on an attached roster or directory.</p> <h3>5. Give Yourself a Clue</h3> <p>Do you need some tidbit of info that you are absolutely sure is NOT in your email box?</p> <p>Much of my day-to-day life is captured in some way in my email box: conversations with clients and vendors; messages from scout leaders, youth leaders, coaches, and band directors; dinner plans with friends; or compilations of notes and files for a year-long project. But not everything is contained there. However, I can get clues to where a file, invoice, etc. is located based on information gleaned from an email.</p> <p>For example, you may not be able to remember the year in which you completed a certain financial transaction, so you can't easily locate a confidential document that you need. But you may recall that the transaction took place about the same time that you went to your cousin's wedding. You still have messages about the wedding, which then gives you the information you need to easily find the document offline.</p> <h3>Dealing With&nbsp;Inbox Clutter</h3> <p>One way that I deal with email <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">clutter</a> is to limit the emails landing directly in my inbox. I set up filters to send sale alerts, certain newsletters, etc. to &quot;Trash&quot; and then check my trash folder on a regular basis; in this way, these items are purged automatically every 30 days.</p> <p>The emails that I like to keep are the ones that deal with personal or work-related conversations. I delete emails that contain confidential or sensitive information.</p> <p><em>Do you keep all of your emails? Or do you have a better system for keeping up with loads of information? Share in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-not-to-delete-your-emails">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-automate-your-everyday-life">4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Everyday Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-online-tools-that-help-organize-people">Free Online Tools That Help Organize People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-deal-when-youre-way-behind-at-work">6 Ways to Deal When You&#039;re Way Behind at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better">These Checklists Will Make Your Life Better</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Productivity emails personal information planning Thu, 15 Mar 2012 10:24:15 +0000 Julie Rains 909643 at http://www.wisebread.com