Is it safe to give your Social Security number?

Is it safe to give your Social Security number?

It's actually rather dangerous if you do. While no sane cybercriminal would pass up the opportunity to steal your credit card information, there's an even larger prize: your Social Security number, which cybersecurity experts believe is now the single most valuable piece of information in terms of stealing your identity. It's far more important than bank account numbers or home address, because it can be used to open new accounts in your name.

There are two ways that someone can use your Social Security number: they can sell it or they can rent it. If you report it lost or stolen, any company that receives it may start using it instead. The good news is that these incidents are rare, but when they do happen, it's serious because now anyone who uses your number can also get into trouble with the law or have their own problems reported by a credit bureau. There are measures you can take to protect yourself including not giving out your number public or online, and only giving it to companies you trust.

In conclusion, yes, it is safe to give your Social Security number. However, like everything else related to technology, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Only share your number with institutions you trust, and never give it out publicly or online where it could be captured by hackers.

What can people do with your Social Security number?

A thief with your Social Security number might use it to obtain additional sensitive information about you. Identity thieves can use your social security number and good credit to apply for further credit in your name. Then, if they use the credit cards and do not pay the bills, their credit suffers. Your information may also be used by foreign governments to verify American citizenships or immigration statuses.

Social security numbers are used for many different reasons - some legitimate, others not so much. Here are just a few examples of how your Social Security number could be used illegally:

Tax fraud: Some criminals will use your Social Security number to file false tax returns claiming benefits to which they are not entitled. The IRS says this type of crime is called "tax identity theft."

Employment law violations: It's common practice for employers to require new employees to provide a valid form of identification when hiring them. If someone provides a fraudulent document or lies about their identity when being hired, they could lose their job. This would not only be illegal but also cause more problems for the employee because now they cannot get any other jobs in America.

Protection from discrimination: If you believe you have been discriminated against based on factors such as race, gender, religion, national origin, age, or disability then you may be able to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Is my online Social Security account safe?

Not only is there a chance of sensitive identifying data being stolen, but there is also a possibility of actual advantages being obtained. Almost all Social Security benefits are now sent electronically, and fraudsters can divert electronic funds to their own accounts. The concern is that cyber criminals may use stolen accounts to petition for benefits. They would not be able to receive any checks, but they could cause problems for other people by requesting large sums of money, causing delays in receiving benefits, etc.

There have been several high-profile cases of Social Security numbers and personal information being stolen, resulting in victims being hit with spam emails and having their names passed along to insurance companies as alleged fraudulent claimants. These incidents have caused many people to ask themselves whether their Social Security number is safe. The answer is that nothing can completely protect your Social Security number, but you should take every precaution possible to prevent its theft.

If you have a social security number then it is likely that you have done something wrong or irresponsible with it at some point in time. Either you have used it without verifying its authenticity, someone you know has, or you may even have sold it to someone else. Whatever the case may be, if you feel like your social security number is at risk of being stolen then it is best to change it immediately.

Social security numbers were originally designed to identify citizens when they applied for a job.

Why is it important to protect your Social Security number?

It is critical that you take precautions to keep your social security number safe from theft. Someone who acquires your Social Security number can use it to gain additional personal information about you, such as your bank or credit card information. Taking your wallet, purse, or mail is a crime. If your social security number is stolen, report the incident to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA will not charge you for another year if your number has been stolen.

In addition to protecting your number, it's important to protect all of your personal information. Do not give out any information about yourself online. Never send an email or make a phone call using information you find on social networking sites. These pages may seem like a good way to contact people but they are not a secure form of communication. Anyone can eavesdrop on conversations via internet chat rooms or voice messages and these actions are not limited to individuals on social networking sites!

If you have been the victim of identity theft, contact the SSA immediately so that you do not receive further notices in the mail.

Additionally, if you want to remove your name from national lists used by the government and other organizations, you will need to file an "SSN withdrawal" form with the SSA. This form can be found at http://www.ssa.gov/privacy/withdrawal.html. Be sure to include your reason for withdrawing your number.

About Article Author

Michael Patillo

Michael Patillo is a former FBI agent. He likes reading books on psychology, which helps him understand people's motivations and what they're thinking.

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