Protecting Students Social Security Number from Abuse
This article post was made possible by one
of our long time subscribers who recently
shared with us an experience involving
requests for their child's social security
It seems in this era of computerized databases
and the numerous cross linking exchanges which
take place amongst marketing partners sharing
consumer information, the need for a univeral
reference id has become all to frequent of
a request of companies for you to supply your
social security number.
In many instances these companies are
working from outdated procedures
which may no longer even be legal
in many states requiring you or especially
minor age students to supply social security
numbers on forms simply to make it easy
for firms to trade the personal data they c
ollect with other firms.
For example, as our subscriber shared with us,
kids today who take the PSAT tests as a pre-
condition to enrolling into college, are faced
with multiple requests to supply their
social security number (ssn).
Additionally, we've found from further research
these same testing companies who're requesting
student social security numbers, frequently
also capture other sensitive personal
information such as gender and ethnicity.
Our subscriber raised a very valid point, in that
how many high school age kids are that savy to know
the ramifications of releasing their social security
number when it's really not necessary?
Minimally, the act of releasing your personal information
will result in a flood of un-wanted direct mail.
Plus, with the threat of identity theft coming from
hackers who've targeted universities and medical
institutions as easier opportunities than commercial
firms, it's always a latent time bomb waiting to
blow up your financial future when you needlessly
release your social security number to entities who
practice data sharing.
So, our tip for today is to advise your children
to not release their social security number
without your prior review of the forms -
especially those which are on-line. Secondly, as
a parent, companies with out-dated data collection
procedures requesting social security numbers or
other highly sensitive information may not
necessarily be your first choice to conduct
Remember, your rights to protect your
personal information are guaranteed
under laws such as the GLB and FCRA which
expressly limit data sharing and accessibility
to only those special instances where it's required.