How To Protect My Social Security Number From Identity Theft? Protecting Your Social Security Number from Identity Theft has been something people out there, want to do at all costs. On the issue of identity theft, lots of people in America have become victims. This happens when someone steals your personally identifiable information and pretends to be you. That’s a bad one!
Whenever you fall victim to this Identity theft, they can use your personal details to open bank or credit card accounts, file taxes, or make new purchases in your name. So, to prevent this from happening, this article has gone a long way to provide you with guidance on how to protect your SSN.
How To Protect My Social Security Number From Identity Theft?
It is very important to take steps to protect your SSN from theft. If someone steals your Social Security number, they can use it to steal from your bank account or credit card.
Mediums to which your Social Security Number can be Stolen
Someone can steal your Social Security number through this medium:
- Stealing your wallet, purse, or mail.
- Getting personal information you provide to an unsecured site on the Internet.
- Rummaging through your trash.
- Posing by phone or email as someone who needs information about you.
If someone requests your number, endeavour to ask the person why, how it will be used, and what will happen if you refuse.
To minimize the risk of identity theft, kindly keep your Social Security card and any other documents that show your Social Security number in a safe place. And do not carry your Social Security card or other documents with you that display your number unless you need them.
10 Ways to Minimize the risk of your SSN Identity Theft
Here are ways to safeguard your SSN;
Offer an Alternative Form of ID
If you’re asked for your SSN, by a business or an organization, offer your driver’s license number instead. However, other alternative forms of ID include a passport, proof of current and previous address (such as utility bills), or even a student ID from a college or university.
Ask Why They Want the number and How It Will Be Handled
If the business insists you provide the number, ask questions. So you have a right to know why it’s necessary to provide your SSN and how it will be handled.
Leave Your SSN Card at Home
Don’t carry your Social Security card with you in your wallet or purse. And don’t enter your SSN into your phone, laptop, or other devices. Just keep the number in your head and the card locked up at home.
Shred Mail and Documents With Personal Details
Discarded mail and documents are a magnet for identity thieves. So don’t just throw out papers that contain personal details such as your SSN. You can get a paper shredder and use it on a regular basis. While you’re at it, don’t leave mail in an outside mailbox for too long. Stealing mail is another way thieves can make off with your details.
Don’t Use Your SSN as a Password
Don’t use the SSN as a password. The password file can be stolen and decrypted, or someone can just watch you type it in from over your shoulder.
Don’t Send Your SSN Using an Electronic Device
Make you don’t type your SSN into an email or instant message and send it. The majority of such messages can be intercepted and read. And also, don’t leave a voicemail that includes your SSN. So, if you need to contact someone and give them your number, it’s best to do it in person. Or reach them on the phone and do it live.
Monitor Your Bank and Credit Card Accounts
Keep an eye on your bank and credit card balances. It is one way to make sure your SSN and identity have not been compromised. Lots of banks let you sign up for account alerts. They will send you text messages or call you if transactions exceed a certain amount or if someone tries to use your SSN to access your account.