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11 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Social Security Number

Don't give out your social security number unless you know that it going to be safeguarded by the person or company you are giving it to.

Your social security number is vital to everything you hold near and dear. It should be protected as though it is a top secret government document. No one should be allowed access to it unless you are absolutely sure that they will not use it for illicit purposes.

In other words, your social security number should be your top secret. It is the path to your credit history, credit cards, personal and legal information, and your bank accounts. With it, a identity thief can take control of your life and do such harm that it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars and take years to repair.

Once you are given a social security card, the number on it is yours to use when needed. Throughout your life, you will be required to give it out for one reason or another. It is very important that you keep it safe. It should be locked away or kept in a secure location.

Children are particularly vulnerable, especially babies. An identity thief can take your child's social security number and use it for years before anyone catches on. By then, the damage is done and someone, probably the parents, will have to undo the mess.

But it's not just children who are preyed upon. The elderly are also at a greater risk of having their social security number hijacked. Con artists and identity thieves often target the elderly, especially those who are sick and feeble and can't defend themselves.

Not everyone is out to take advantage of you by using your social security number for ill gotten gains, but they may inadvertently pass it on to someone who is not so honest. That's why it is imperative that you do not get careless with it.

Listed below are just a few things that you can do to protect yourself by keeping your social security number safe.

(1) Learn your social security number by heart and keep the card under lock and key or in a safe and secure location. Over time, after your name and address, your social security number should be one of the things you can remember immediately.

(2) Don't make it a habit of carrying your social security card around in your wallet or purse. If you lose your purse or wallet and someone finds it, they will be po session of social security card, driver's license, and other important documents. You may have to carry your driver's license or other forms of identification by law, but not your social security card.

(3) If someone asks you for your social security number, don't be afraid to ask them why they need it. In many cases, they ask for it, not because they need it, but because it's what they've always done in the past.

(4) If you have to give out your social security number for any reason, ask the person you are giving it to what security cautions they use to guarantee it's safety.

(5) If at all possible, don't give out your social security number over the telephone, especially if you are using a cell phone. Cell phones are easily monitored and personal information, such as your social security number, can be gathered from cell phone conversations.

(6) Don't use your social number on the internet, especially on facebook or other social media outlets, and if you have to use it online for any reason, make sure it is sent over a secured connection or that the number is encrypted.

(7) Never put your social security number on an envelope, postcard, package, or box that is being mailed. By the time it gets to it's destination, it will have been seen by an untold number of people.

(8) For whatever reason, some people feel that putting their social security numbers on their checks is a good idea. It isn't!! Never put your social security number on checks, money orders, cashier's checks, or other bank drafts. 

(9) Never use your social security number as a password or an identification code, especially on luggage or anything that other people will be handling.

(10) For a baby or young child, keep their social security cards in a safe place. Talk to them about why it is important to keep their numbers private.

(11) Shred all documents that have your social security number on them. Never put anything with your social security number on it in the trash.

If you lose or misplace your social security card, contact your local Social Security Administration office immediately. You will need to file Form SS-5 (Application for a Social Security Card). This service is free.


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