Read Answers to Questions: Security

My Social Security number was compromised

April 5, 2018

Dear Consumer Ed:  I recently purchased a home and the closing attorney's office did not send my documents via encrypted mail, which resulted in the exposure of my personal information, including my Social Security number. What guidelines do attorneys who practice in the real estate area have to follow regarding the safe handling of consumer's personal information?

Hotel keeping copies of driver's license and debit card for 3 months

February 2, 2017

Dear Consumer Ed:  I stayed at a hotel in Georgia that required that I provide them with my driver’s license and debit card. It made me feel uncomfortable because I’m concerned my information will be compromised.  The manager said they will keep a copy of my license and debit card for three months and then shred them.  Is that legal? If it is, it shouldn’t be.

How to keep your computer from being hacked

October 22, 2014

Dear Consumer Ed: My husband keeps clicking on every pop-up ad that comes up on the Internet.  As a result, he has downloaded malware, which has slowed down the computer and created unwanted toolbars, coupon services and even an unwanted security software program.  Short of barring him from the computer entirely, what is the best way to protect our computer from being hacked?

Can a credit card issuer share my Social Security number?

June 7, 2013

Dear Consumer Ed: 

I have a department store credit card issued through a retail bank. I recently received a privacy policy form in the mail.  The policy states that the personal information they collect and share can include things such as Social Security number, account balances and credit history. Does the department store/retail bank have the right to share my Social Security number with other people?  This seems like a huge security risk and invasion of my privacy. 

How do I know if a website is secure?

August 24, 2012

Dear Consumer Ed:  When I started shopping online and banking online, I was told that if I saw a closed padlock symbol on the screen that the site was safe for me to use because it is encrypted. Is that still true with all the stories I read about online hacking?