Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Answers to #10-12

Here is the card: So cute!

10. T/F Anyone may find out my mother's maiden name - This one is tricky. Obviously there are many ways one may get this information. There are also these online personal information pages that associate your name with past addresses, and then match up that data with others who lived at the same location the same time you lived there. This is one way to match up personal associations you have had, or possible family members. Don't forget about obituaries, that very helpful family member who loads onto the Internet your family tree, including the living family members, and a hundred different alternate possibilities.
I guess the main reason I include this question is to get people thinking about personal security. What question are you asked when you call the bank? Try, "What is your mother's maiden name?" This one backfired on me years ago. I had a family member with my SSN, my mother's maiden name, and enough information to create some financial trouble for me. What did I do? For starters, I told my bank a different name. Nothing says you have to give them your ACTUAL mother's maiden name, so I made one up. Technically, no, this information SHOULD not be accessible at first glance, but then, if someone knows where THEY were married...
11. T/F Anyone may find out my parents' first names - As mentioned above, once someone has your maiden name (if you are female) and knows where your parents were married, well, it doesn't get much easier than that. If you are the oldest child in the family, that sets a marker for the time period in which one should search for your parent's marriage license, give or take a couple of years. Once they know your last name or maiden name... it all depends on other known data.
12. T/F Anyone may find out how much money I spent on my home - True. Land records are very accessible. This is how title companies work with title insurance. They stroll down to the county courthouse and start searching. Land records are often available online, too. Now, let's jump down to question 14.
14. T/F Anyone may find out if I obtained a second mortgage - Also true! Along with the land records are records of who technically owned the house and the purchase amount. This may be easily located again, either online or at the courthouse.
Okay, now for #13. Doesn't everyone dread this question? How safe is your Social Security Number? Well, this depends on you and a whole lot of other people. Have you ever given blood and had then ask for your SSN? Have you ever had your SSN on your health insurance card? Have you ever tossed an old health insurance card in the garbage? Is your SSN on your Driver's License? Who sees it? Fact: The Red Cross does NOT need your SSN. Your SSN does NOT need to be on your insurance card. Your SSN does NOT have to be on your Driver's License.
Unfortunately, we are so used to handing it out, that we just do it without questioning why. You may request a different number be used to identify you on an ID card, and you may refuse to put your SSN on your license. SSN's should not be on identification cards in the first place, for everyone to see. Obviously these are needed for reporting income, financial purposes (credit, banking, etc.), and for employment. Obviously, there are a hundred other ways to get SSNs, but refusing to hand it out when unnecessary may help.


  1. In MA you could have your SS# as your license # up until a couple years ago. I JUST got mine changed and I was kinda pissed. Lol. They said it was a security risk and etc.

    I told them if an identity thief could get farther in life with MY bad credit, they were welcome to my shitty life. ;-)

  2. LOL! Well, I also used to love it on there, I confess. Once upon a time I put my DL# on my checks, which is also kinda scary, come to think of it... Just one more number to memorize, now, I guess! :D


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