How to Secure Your Social Security Number

A person’s Social Security number has been associated as a national identifier. Although the federal government in 1936 ( when the Social Security number was first issued) assured the public that the Social Security number will only be used for Social Security programs, it has since been used by other private establishments for other purposes.

The SSN (Social Security Number) has become a means for a private business to obtain information about the individual. The SSN has since been used for employee files, medical records, credit and banking accounts, health insurance accounts and many more.

The Social Security number has become synonymous to an individual’s personal identity. This is because most private as well as public institutions have depended on the Social Security number as a convenient way to distinguish unique identities of individuals that their given names alone may not provide. But the way that SSN’s have been abused lately through identity theft has made this assumption quite dangerous.

A Social Security number can be used in many ways by criminals. It can be used to apply for loans using the individual’s SSN. This number can also be used for credit card applications by identity thieves, used the credit cards and then fail to pay the bills. The individual will only later find out of the identity theft when he or she is surprisingly turned down for credit or getting calls for unknown bills not being paid for. These instances can cause a lot of headaches and may become serious problems later on.

There are many ways in which identity thieves can get your personal information through your Social Security number. Stealing your wallet or your mail can provide thieves with information about your SSN. For people not too careful on the Internet a bogus website can easily retrieve Social Security numbers by tricking people into entering their personal information online.

Criminals can pose as someone who might need to get hold of your Social Security number such as employers or landlords. Bigger and more established identity thieves can also do this by "buying" people’s personal information through private sources.

It is always important that people learn how to safeguard their SSN’s. This will help prevent their identity from being stolen and used for illegal purposes. The best way to do it is by carefully safeguarding the SSN by not readily giving the information to just anyone. Share only this information to trusted people such as an employer or an established institution.

It is also important to keep your Social Security card in a safe place other than your wallet or purse. Although one may not be able to completely protect and safeguard one’s SSN from being misused, safeguarding it well personally is the next best thing to protect it.

 

Posted by Ardent Editor on Apr 9 2008 in Social Security

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