We’ve all gotten them, those privacy notices from your financial institutions that you get in the mail or receive electronically. Usually they are mailed out once a year or you receive one when you open a new account. Let’s be honest, most of us do not take the time to actually read them and they end up being filed away and forgotten about. Well we recently came across an article on My Money Blog that pointed out exactly what those companies are sharing about you and why it’s important for you to take the time to opt-out if you do not want your personal information shared with other companies.
Here is an example of a privacy notice:
The information that they share includes:
- Social Security number
- How much you make (Income)
- How much money you have (Balances)
- What you buy (Transaction history)
- How much you borrow (Credit and payment history)
The amount of sharing varies widely:
- For our affiliates to market to you = We can share with companies who are under the same ownership or control.
- For non-affiliates to market to you = We can sell your information to anyone! They don’t even have to be financially-related companies.
Most of us are busy with our everyday lives and won’t take the time to opt-out and this is what the financial institutions are counting on. If you are tired of receiving unsolicited offers for credit cards or other services and are worried about your personal information being shared it only takes a small effort to contact your financial institution and opt-out. Most of these privacy notices can be found online when you log in to your account or you can call the company directly. Just imagine the amount of trees you will be saving when you stop getting 5 unwanted credit card offers in the mail a day. Not to mention the peace of mind you will have knowing that your information is not being sold.