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CNET Top 5
Worst places for your Social Security numberThese are the entities least likely to protect your Social Security number.
Top 5: Worst entities to share your social security number with, unless of course you just have too much money in which case this video just got renamed "top 5 really cool ways to lighten up your finances" Either way, the list was compiled by the folks at McAfee Security after analyzing reports of SSN breaches from Jan 2009 to Oct 2010 using data from three major clearinghouses. #5 is any of those medical businesses, like diabetes or invalid care supply houses you see advertsing on daytime TV. Turns out they're leakier than an off brand adult diaper. But note this ranking is not the same as for hospitals -- we're still getting to them. #4 Government. Yep, whether its local, state or federal, the folks who should know better are among the worst with protecting the SSN you hand over. A big part of this is the huge number of systems and agencies that collect and share that data, how WOULD they know what they're doing with it. #3 is a hospital. Yeah head in there sick and come out a little less so, broke and very possibly with your identity ripped off by some credit scammer as well. Small wonder adverse health events are a leading cause of bankruptcy. #2's ironic: Banks. But just try not giving them your SSN. No problem, you can just skip bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages or direct deposit and just live off the grid. In fact, there's a nice refrigerator box down in the alley by CNET you can set up housekeeping in. Before we get to the #1...know that you'll find little help in the law when you refuse to divulge your SSN to the weird little man behind the counter at the local video rental joint. Federal law throws you to the wolves saying your SSN -- shall be recorded for just about any license, from medical to marriage and that it can be recorded by creditors. Its relationship to Social Security benefits is now almost a footnote. #1 place to share your SSN and kiss it goodbye BY FAR is a college or university. Apparently such institutions are new to concepts like restricted database access, really good network security and even shredders. But I wonder how many of them also offer courses in data security?