Personal Safety And Security

10 Tips On Not Being A Victim Of Crime.

3 responses to “Personal Safety And Security

  1. The truth about telemarketer and robocalls. How to stop them.
    In my opinion:
    I have a copper landline for my home phone service. Every day I receive between 2 to 7 telemarketer and Robocalls. I registered my phone number with the Federal Trade Commission DNC registry (do not call registry). This was a big mistake, because it immediately increased the number of calls I received. I purchased a call blocker however it soon proved to be worthless because the telemarketers would constantly spoof or changing their numbers. I called my phone company, that was also a waist of time.
    I had a conversation with a telemarketer and she openly admitted that her company got its phone number from the DNC Registry (do not call registry) and the Public Housing Authority.
    The DNC registry (do not call registry) is not only worthless; it is a means for telemarketers to get our phone numbers.
    Public Housing Authority is also a phone number source for telemarketers.
    Why is the phone company, the DNC registry and Public Housing Authority culpable? Answer; Follow the money. Probably profit, revenue, employment, etc. Company’s get paid for selling phone lists. Phone companies also overcharge for generally ineffective landline call blocking options and equipment. Everyone profits except the phone customers.
    How to reduce the number of telemarketer calls:
    1. Do not believe anything the DNC registry, a telemarketer or the phone company tells you. Have your phone number completely remove from the DNC Registry. Never report your phone number to the DNC registry.
    2. Contact your Public Housing Authority, file a complaint and have your telephone number removed.
    3. Hang up right away. Never reply to any questions or prompts from a telemarketer. Example, “Press 2 to have your phone number removed”. Don’t do it, this will only add your phone number back on to their call list as a live person.
    4. If you have a cell phone, VoIP, cable or FiOS phone service your provider or others may be able to offer you an app or software to block telemarketers. Try no mo robo, ,it’s free. You can also try (Hiya, RoboKiller, PrivacyStar, YouMail, TrueCaller). Copper landlines are often more difficult to control telemarketer calls.
    5. Never give out your phone number on government forms, contest, voter registration, etc.
    6. A call blocker will only be of use if the callers are using the same phone number. However most of the time telemarketer constantly spoof or changing their numbers.
    7. Do a 77 option once a week on your copper landline. With some phone company’s you can try Block Anonymous Callers (77) however this may also be of limited use.
    Pass this on to other telemarketer victims.

  2. Mandatory privacy breaches: Months after my cancer treatments ended I started receiving disturbing advertisements and clinical trial offer in the form of post cards and letters. I contacted the SEER database staff and my state cancer registry. After some investigating I learned: 1. By law cancer reporting is mandatory 2. By law your cancer records can not be deleted or sealed and are often not protected. 3. HIPAA has numerous exceptions and loopholes. 4. Anyone with a reason can apply for access to all cancer records in the database. Multiple names with unknown backgrounds can be submitted by one person. 5. Researchers and others can have immediate access to your records however if you want a copy you will be required to fill out forms and verify your identity. 6. Registry WebPages will tell you “Your information is safe” and “you information is de-identified” and how very important your privacy is to them. However the convoluted disclosures, advertisements and clinical trial offers will indicate otherwise. The only deterrent a patient can try is submitting a formal opt-out request for clinical trials to the cancer registry, however this may only give partial confidentiality. The responsibility will be left to the patient to submit the request, the patient will not be informed or contacted by the registry otherwise.

  3. in my opinion: Your privacy and confidentiality is just an illusion: Under the HIPAA law all access to your records is allegedly by a “Need to know” basis only. This is a lie. Cancer reporting is mandated by law. All cancer patient (and probably many other patients) can have files duplicated (downloaded) numerous times by multiple databases. HIPAA has loopholes and exceptions. Many privacy statements are convoluted and confusing. By law cancer registry files can not be sealed, deleted and may not be protected from access.
    Most of the time a patient has no idea who has access to medical records or why the records are being looked at. Probably everyone that works in a medical office or building has access to the records, except you (often you the patient may have limited or no access without a formal request). File access may include non-medical employees, office workers, bookkeepers, janitors, insurance companies, college or high school interns, etc. This may include other facilities, programmers, cancer registries, researchers (clinical trial), drug companies, college students, government agencies, etc. Often records are placed on a Health Information Exchange (HIE) or servers. Dozens, sometimes even hundreds or thousands or more people may have access to medical records. Major databases like SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) and its contractors, partners, institutions, etc are linked to Medicare records to determine “end results” for researchers, studies, drug company clinical trial offers, etc. Almost anyone could have access to your records. SEER is just one of many databases. Servers, both government and private are sharing information.
    Also “health surveillance” and “data mining”. Health information may be shared by millions of entities and servers all over the USA and sometimes the world. Records may be packaged with others and offered for sale, this does often happen on “the dark web”. If a doctor, patient, insurance company or lab is involved in a criminal or civil case; medical records may become public court or law enforcement records. Financial and medical Identity theft is a growing problem, often expensive and difficult to correct. Hacking and Ransomware is also a growing problem. Your records can be accessed by any one (trainees, volunteers, college or high school interns as young as 16 years old) “for training purposes” or any other reason, all without your knowledge or consent. They can also read records about your prostate problems, your wife’s hemorrhoids and your daughters yeast infections and all files for any patient, all within the HIPAA guidelines. These people do not have to be employed by the facility or have a background check. Would you like to have a high school student that possibly lives in your neighborhood or attends school with your children read over your extensive family member’s medical records and personal information?
    All patients should avoid supplying unnecessary information whenever possible. Supply relevant information only when filling out forms. In the USA identity theft is common, growing problem and is often financial devastating. Medical forms can be a good source of information for thieves. A pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) can track your prescriptions. Drug companies use major databases to solicit people for clinical trials and products. Even without violations, records can be accessed by multiple people and appear in multiple databases.
    Sometimes medical phone calls are recorded. The medical field has little regard for our privacy, especially if it is in conflict with training, research, studies, profit or other objectives. If you are a celebrity or you are known to anyone with access to your records (neighbor, acquaintance, co-workers spouse, etc) they would possibly (or probably) want to have a look at your medical records. In May, 2017 Dear Abby did an article on this subject, “Snooping into medical records”. Sometimes your paper records end up in the trash for any dumpster diver to recover. The best way to protect information is not to divulge it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *