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5 Tips to Keep Your Social Security Number Secure

Byozfetch

Oct 25, 2018

Identity theft is rife in the United States. Your Social Security number is one of the major targets of identity thieves. If an identity thief gets your number, they can use it to commit various kinds of fraud, including opening credit or bank accounts, filing bogus tax returns, and making purchases in your name.

So, to minimize your risk of identity theft, you should start by protecting your Social Security Number. Here are five simple but effective ways to ensure your number is secure.

  1. Be Inquisitive

You don’t have to give your Social Security Number (SSN) to everyone who asks for it. If a business or organization insists on having your SSN, you should find out why you have to provide it and how it’s going to be used.

You need to know with whom they’ll share your number if you give it. Likewise, you should ask about their privacy policy. You should also find out if they will take responsibility for damages that will arise if your SSN is stolen or compromised.

  1. Carry Your SSN in The Mind

It’s not a good idea to keep your Social Security card in your mens wallet or purse. You shouldn’t save your SSN in your phone, tablet, or laptop either. Jotting it down on a piece of paper is also not advisable.

The safest way to carry your SSN is by memorizing it. That way, you’ll always have it when you need it, and no one can steal it unless you give it out. While you can easily replace a lost SS card, the damage that may result from the loss would take you years to fix.

  1. Review Your Credit Report Annually

Someone could have your SSN without your knowledge. A good way to find out is by checking your annual credit report for suspicious changes in your lines of credit.

Moreover, you’ll be able to know if someone has inquired about your credit using your SSN. It’s worth noting that you’re entitled to a free credit report every year from the three major credit reporting agencies.

  1. Always Shred Documents

Identity thieves can also get your SSN from discarded mail and documents. It’s not advisable, therefore, to carelessly discard papers that contain your SSN and other personal details. You should invest in a shredder, and remember to always shred paper before discarding them.

  1. Avoid Sharing Your SSN Electronically

Many people share their SSN through electronic devices by text, email, fax, and voicemail oblivious to the fact that their number could get intercepted along the way.

If you have to send your SSN via an electronic device, there are several ways to ensure its security, including using a VPN on an unsecured Wi-Fi network. Otherwise, insist on sharing your SSN face-to-face with someone you trust.

Conclusion

You may not be able to protect your SSN from being compromised completely, but the above tips will help you minimize the chances of it ending up in the wrong hands.

By ozfetch