personal information http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5717/all en-US 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-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-must-freeze-your-credit-report">5 Times You Must Freeze Your Credit Report</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/7-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-beyonc">7 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Beyoncé</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/8-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track">8 Morning Mantras That’ll Help Keep Your Finances on Track</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-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</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/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</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/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now">The Easy Way to Cure Chronic Procrastination You Should Try Now</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/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</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