Whenever you open a new bank account, credit card or debit card account or other account such as a health savings account, the bank or credit card company is required to send you a notice of your privacy practices under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

The notice is usually a separate page in a package that is mailed to you weeks after you open the account. It usually has a chart that lists when the bank or credit card company can “share” your personal information with others for marketing purposes. It gives you a toll free number to call if you want to “opt out” of certain disclosures.

The disclosures you can opt out of are limited, but they include opting out of allowing companies to send all of your personal information, including your Social Security number to other “business partners.” They usually don’t tell you (nor does the law require them to) who those “partners” are. However, these disclosures are often to direct marketing companies that may have access to all of your personal information through a data dump.

As I have said before, I try very hard to limit who has access to my Social Security card. So anytime I receive a Gramm-Leach-Bliley notice in the mail, I call the toll free number and limit the company’s disclosure of my personal information in any way possible. I recommend you do the same as it takes less than a minute, and may prevent your information, including your Social Security number from being disclosed to another entity that can lose it in a data breach.