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Money Savvy Weekend

Financial Planner

March 17, 2000|LIZ PULLIAM WESTON

Checklist: Protect Your Privacy

Things to do this weekend with your money: Your private financial information can often be shared or sold without your knowledge, and the risks grow as banks and other financial companies merge and form new affiliations.

4 Today: Contact your banks and brokerages or visit their Web sites to learn about their information-sharing policies. The institutions should also provide an address you can write to if you want to opt out of information-sharing agreements with affiliates or other companies.

4 Saturday: You often can't prevent your name and address from being sold to mass mailers and telemarketers, but you can ask not to be contacted. Write letters to Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Assn., P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008, and to Telephone Preference Service, Direct Marketing Assn., P.O. Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014. Not all mass marketers will honor your request, but it should cut down on the volume of mail and calls.

4 Sunday: Likewise, you can't prevent marketers from viewing your credit report. But you can cut back on the number of credit card solicitations you receive by calling (888) 5-OPT-OUT. You'll be asked to provide your name, address, Social Security number and birth date.

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