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Crazytree said:   Don't worry... your info is probably inadvertently released every single day without your knowledge. Someone trying to steal it from the mortgage processing department of a Federally-chartered bank is not very likely.See the Groupon thread that is active right now. One of thousands, or tens of thousands, of security breaches that the retailer or processor is never going to cop to.

My most recent security breach that I was aware of was from the Asus website. They never admitted to it, and I'm not going to bother contacting them because they just don't care.

SUB said:   NEDeals said:   
I agree that it is nuts that just knowledge of a number in the wrong hands can cause so many problems, but that is the way it is. I have been vigilant about protecting my numbers and so far have not had identity theft. I would prefer to prevent the hassle proactively, rather than wait for a problem so I can see it on my credit report.

That's confirmation bias.

Gmail (and a lot of competing services) uses https for user access, but this only protects the final link between you and gmail. It doesn't protect the message and documents as they flow across the Internet or are stored on any other server along the way.

https is supposed to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks by encrypting the entire content - of course, it is possible these days to break the SSL encryption.

TLS is secure, but only if you know who you connecting to. It doesn't do much good to secure a connection with fantastic encryption, but you are connecting to a guy in Nigeria when you think it is your broker.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   The Point I'm making is that these numbers , in connection with your name dob etc have been used publicly for decades . They were never private, and even today they are out there. Old court records , old deeds, birth and death certificates etc

My college id had my SSN name and dob on it , so did my insurance card . As you note , there is liability for unauthorized use so why should I be scared ? And why should you? And btw since I authorized you to open a credit account for me , that would not be considered Id theft . I would simply find a new card in my mail. I didnt tell you to divert the card to your house , that would be id theft

Trying to protect other personal info like dob address etc is really pointless . There are numerous data services online that have this info on you. New ones are popping up every day . Most people share their name and dob on Facebook . If you have an uncommon last name you can be located in seconds on the Internet . It's fruitless to waste your time trying to protect all this

Let the financial institutions implement whatever procedures they want, or dont want. its the FI who take the loss when id theft occurs. I have no interest in helping them do their job or reducing their liability

I don't think we disagree in principle. But thinking beyond a mere SSN, unfortunately there have been numerous cases of identity theft that cause large amounts of hassle and lost time, even if the victim was not liable. I don't use debit cards, but I would much rather have a credit number stolen than a debit number, because there is more potential hassle in getting your own bank account money back than the credit issuer's money. People have lost job opportunities because of identity theft issues, by the time it gets sorted out that position is long filled. Time fixing this stuff is time that can't be spent refilling BB cards, buying Cadbury Eggs, or even assisting the US mint with coin distribution back in the day.

As far as liability due to negligence (a company sends tax returns, W2s, etc around unencrypted), how would you establish cause and effect? You have no idea who had access to the data somewhere on the Internet, neither does the party who sent it, and a fraudster could do something years later. That's why companies shouldn't send stuff without protecting it. It isn't hard for them to do.

The discussion in this thread is interesting. Recent article in PC World that discusses sending private information over the internet: here

I don't have the technological expertise to weigh the likely risks of not sending vs. sending, but it sounds as if it may be like roulette.

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