Should I give out my SSN to the VA or other

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by tshrimp, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. tshrimp macrumors 6502

    tshrimp

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #1
    I occasionally must work at hospitals for my job. I am not employed by the hospital, but my company sometimes does work for them. Here is my question. I am being asked to do some work at a VA hospital. The VA is asking for every piece of personal information you can think of. SSN, DoB, Hospital of Birth, Mothers madden name, etc. And they want this sent through non secure email.

    I will not send via non secure email. I would forfeit my job first. However, my question is this. Should any place I am sent to work that is not my company be asking me for this information? Since the VA is asking me to send via non secure email, my trust they will keep my personal info safe is not very reassuring.

    If the answer is, "this is normal and a must to do work at a VA facility", then are there any recommendations on getting them my personal information securely?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Zenithal macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #2
    I wouldn't. I generally don't hold the VA in good light. Nothing good can come from this, IMO.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    You need to decide, whether providing the information vs. working is important. If you can deal without working there, then don't give the info. If you need the job to pay bills and there's nothing else on the horizon to take the place of the VA work, then you have to supply the info.

    I don't think you can compare government bureaucracies with other businesses. This by the way is unusual, but then gov't jobs have unusual requirements.

    The bottom line is the VA has provided you with a requirement to work for them (even as a contractor), you either play by their rules, or you move on
     
  4. Gutwrench Contributor

    Gutwrench

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #4
    I (my entire company) was mandated to provide my (our) SSN (and basic identifying info) to the VA in the same circumstances. We accomplished it via a secure VA website.

    As I recall it was part of the VA compliance obligations.
     
  5. rhett7660 macrumors G5

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #5
    This. Welcome to working with the government and working for the VA.

    While the VA has had some issues in the past with handling sensitive information they have come a long way, a very long way. Over half of my family works for the VA in Long Beach CA.

    When the wife started working there as a contract employee in their Labs, she had to do the same. However, she didn't do via computer she had to go in and go through their badging process which also entailed filling out heaps of paperwork. Which incidentally was done all over again when she was picked up by the VA as a full time employee.

    She had to do the same for the local hospital, Long Beach Memorial, prior to working for the VA, but prior to her contract with LBM and LBVA she didn't have to provide this level of information to her employers.

    Will you be doing work on site or will you be VPN'ing into their systems?
     
  6. tshrimp thread starter macrumors 6502

    tshrimp

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #6
    I doubt I would get fired for not providing the VA with the info, but probably make my boss a little upset. It is never good to have your boss upset, but also not good to have your identity stolen. Already happened once, but more on the credit card side, so not as bad as some people have gone through, but enough to make me paranoid.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 15, 2018 ---
    This is how we have done this in the past with others. But in this instance they state they have no secure upload location. Unsecured email and a shared fax machine :).
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    Its up to you, as noted it seems like a requirement by them
     
  8. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #8
    Non-compliance and government contracts generally do not mix. I would be extremely surprised if the VA allowed you to work on their sites without providing the necessary documents/identification.
     
  9. Allyance macrumors regular

    Allyance

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2017
    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    #9
    If your boss approves, I would provide info in person to HR Dept or via secure web site mentioned above.
     
  10. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    #10
    Could you encrypt it, email that to your contact at the VA, and then tell that person your password over the phone?

    Something like http://encipher.it
     
  11. Gutwrench Contributor

    Gutwrench

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #11
    I have a great idea. Send me your full name, DOB, SSN, mother’s maiden, oh and the pin to your debit card and I’ll log into the VA through my secure website.
     
  12. SRLMJ23 Contributor

    SRLMJ23

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    In between Syracuse, NY and Albany, NY
    #12

    I would ask your boss if there is a way you can send your information securely online to the VA, like someone said they did earlier in the post. Just explain to your boss you do not feel comfortable sending your SSN/Personal Info via non-secure mail, as you have already dealt with one instance of identity theft. Surely he, or someone in HR will be able to help you out with this and give you a better answer than any of us.

    Personally, I would not send my SSN via non-secure mail...but it is your job.

    :apple:
     
  13. D.T. macrumors G3

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #13
    I would definitely not use a non-secure method to provide this information, however - and I'm not trying to spook you - organizations that make requests like this are usually very loose when it comes to distribution of that kind of PII. I bet if you deliver it securely, it gets forwarded in an email and/or printed and left of someone's desk :D

    I do some occasional security work, and, no I don't sleep well at night ...

    Side story: I was trying to help a family member with some insurance issues - this was going to require me to be added to this particular account, and part of that was the rep asking me to email them my SSN (and other personal info). I passed, I said I'd just work around their system :) Funny enough, setting up an online account (for this and a number of systems) required some identifying information, I could get on anyone in about 24 hours. Scary.
     

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12 March 14, 2018