Top Tips on How to Protect Your Social Security Number

You should start by safeguarding your Social Security number if you want to assist prevent identity theft. For identity thieves, your Social Security number is a prized target. One thing to think about is getting an identity theft protection package.

One of the most important pieces of personally identifiable information is your Social Security number, or SSN. Your Social Security number may be used in a variety of identity theft or fraud schemes if it falls into the wrong hands, such as those of an identity thief.

How can identity thieves use your Social Security number? Here’s a sample:

● Open bank accounts
● Open a new credit card or line of credit in your name to make purchases
● File tax returns to obtain your refund
● Create new accounts for utilities or internet service in your name
● Put you in major debt
● Destroy your credit score across all three credit bureaus

It’s a good idea to discover what you can do to protect yourself after a breach and before a subsequent breach even if there is nothing you can do to stop a data breach that could reveal your Social Security number. No matter how big or little, no business or industry is safe from online criminals who might be planning identity theft.

As a result, it’s imperative to understand some of the ways you can prevent your Social Security number from ending up in the hands of identity thieves and how to defend your identity if your SSN is compromised. The possibility exists that fewer opportunities for identity theft could result from less exposure of this sensitive personal information.

It’s crucial to safeguard your complete Social Security number, which consists of all nine numbers. However, it’s also crucial to safeguard the last four digits as many financial institutions and other organisations frequently utilise those four digits to identify you. These details are used by lenders, student loan servicers, credit card firms, and credit bureaus.

How to Use Your Social Security Number

You should treat your Social Security number (SSN) with extreme caution because it is one of your most private and important pieces of identifying information. Don’t carry your original social security card around in your wallet or pocketbook; instead, store it in a closed filing cabinet at home.

Practically no situation in daily life will require you to show someone your SSN card. And be selective about with whom you share the number because there are very few occasions in which you should do so besides with banks, government organisations, and other financial institutions.

When to Provide Your Social Security Number

We are all accustomed to providing any personal information that is needed while opening an account or engaging in business transactions. However, are you required to provide your social security number to anybody who requests it? Contrary to popular belief, the majority of businesses that might ask for your SSN do not actually need it; rather, they may be utilizing it as a quick and easy, albeit highly insecure, method of tracking or identifying you.

Only companies that submit information about you to the Internal Revenue Service require access to your SSN. Your social security number can normally be given to your bank and investment companies without much risk, though. So, if your bank asks for your SSN, give it to them; if any other company asks for it, first find out why they need it read the complete blog to learn about Top Tips on How to Protect Your Social Security Number.

Top Tips on How to Protect Your Social Security Number

1. Don’t use your SSN as a password

A crucial action you can take is to refrain from using your social security number as a convenient login or password. Using your SSN alone or in conjunction with other characters falls under this category. Any personal number, such as your birthday, anniversary, or phone number, should not be used in your passwords.

2. Keep your Social Security card and number in a safe place

Your Social Security card is a valuable item that deserves a place of its own. This could be a file box maintained in a safe location or a lock box. Additionally, keep in mind that vital documents may contain your SSN. They also need a secure location.

Keeping your Social Security card in your wallet or pocketbook is a mistake. Your SSN is at danger if you misplace these items or if they are stolen. When stealing your wallet or handbag, a criminal may think getting your Social Security number is a huge benefit.

3. Shred mail and documents with personal details

Even while you might be accustomed to simply tossing all of your mail into the garbage, it’s dangerous to do so when the paper contains sensitive personal data like your social security number and account details. Invest in a cheap paper shredder and routinely use it to shred any documents that could be used to steal your identity or access financial accounts.

4. Monitor your accounts and be aware of new accounts

You might discover proof of improper usage in your bank, credit, or other accounts if someone gets your SSN. With your financial institutions, think about putting up alerts to detect odd behaviour, such as withdrawals or purchases exceeding a specific threshold. Check your credit score frequently for changes. Check your credit records as well. Every 12 months, each of the three major credit reporting companies must give you a free credit report.

5. Beware of phone and email scams

It’s possible that identity thieves will use deception to get your SSN. For instance, they might ask for information through phone or email while pretending to be your company or a government agency. Share your phone number only if you are certain the request is real.

Even better, think about giving the information over the phone to the inquiring company at a verified number. or go there in person.

6. Leave home without it

You might occasionally need to present your card to someone. However, it’s a good idea to keep your card and any other documents that reveal your SSN at home. You can misplace your wallet or forget to take your papers with you.

Your Social Security number won’t be sought after by all thieves, but many will. The less likely it is that these fraudsters will obtain your Social Security number by leaving your card at home.

7. Memorize your social security number

So that you don’t have to take your SSN around with you, commit it to memory. You won’t need to know your number frequently, but you will need to be able to provide it occasionally throughout the rest of your life, starting in your teen years. It should be something you can say without thinking, and most definitely without looking at anything you’ve written down, just like your home address.

8. Be careful sharing through electronic devices

Your Social Security number can be misused if you voicemail, fax, email, or text it. When you email your information, for instance, it could be intercepted and read. Using a VPN on an unsecured Wi-Fi network is one technique to help keep your data safe in some situations. However, speaking face-to-face with a person you know and trust could be the safest way to share.

Your Social Security number carries a lot of weight and is an essential part of your identity. It’s possible that you have no influence over whether it’s disclosed in a data breach. You can still contribute significantly to keeping it safe, though.

9. Consider an identity protection service

Numerous identity protection services are available that may automatically maintain a careful eye on your vital personal information, monitoring changes in your credit score, warning signals of password breaches, warnings about stolen SSNs, and other personal data breaches. For roughly $10 to $15 each month, these services can provide you with peace of mind. LifeLock, Identity Guard, and IdentityForce are among the services.

10. Don’t use your SSN as a password

A crucial action you can take is to refrain from using your social security number as a convenient login or password. Using your SSN alone or in conjunction with other characters falls under this category. Any personal number, such as your birthday, anniversary, or phone number, should not be used in your passwords.

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