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How safe is your personal information?

How safe is your personal information?

Personal financial information is as good as gold. Companies mine it, trade it and sell it. Scamsters use it to steal your credit -- or in some cases your entire financial identity.

Think you're doing a reasonably good job of safeguarding your personal financial information? You might be surprised. Take this quiz and find out just how safe your personal information really is:

  1. You get a call from your credit card company. A strange charge has shown up on your account for a $400 office phone system. After assuring the rep that the charge is not yours, he offers to take the bogus charge off your bill. He also must verify that you are still in possession of the card via confirmation of the security code on the back of the card. You:

    Give the numbers and be glad that your card company was on the alert.
    Refuse to share the number -- but give some other form of confirmation -- and ignore the bogus charge when your statement arrives because you know you've already handled it.
    Hang up on the guy and call your card company.
  2. You found those one-of-a-kind Lucy and Desi salt-and-pepper shakers online that would make the perfect anniversary present for your parents. To pay for them you reach for a:

    Credit card.
    Debit card.
    Pre-loaded credit card.
  3. Which of the following should not have your Social Security number on it:

    Driver license
    Medical insurance card
    All of the above
  4. You get an application for a great new pre-approved credit card. But, wise consumer that you are, you decide you already have enough plastic, thank you. Instead, you:

    Toss it in the first trash can you see.
    Take it home and toss it in the trash.
    Take it home and run it through the shredder
  5. You've got a stack of bills to mail. You:

    Stick them in your mailbox and put the flag up.
    Drive to the post office.
    Give them to one of the kids in your office mail room.
  6. You regularly use online checking and bill paying:

    At the office.
    At home.
    At home and at the office.
  7. Your bank is allowed to share your personal information like account numbers, average balance and shopping patterns:

    Regardless of what you do.
    Only if you give them permission.
    Unless you tell them otherwise.
  8. Your Social Security card is:

    In your wallet.
    In one of your dresser drawers (under a stack of clean underwear).
    In a locked file cabinet.
  9. You check your credit reports:

    Almost never.
    Once a year.
    When you're getting ready to make a big purchase, like a home or car.
  10. You're looking for a new job. On the Internet you post your resume:

    On as many sites as possible.
    On as many sites as possible, but with limited contact information.
    On carefully screened sites, and with limited contact information.


-- Posted: March 31, 2004



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