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             22 September, 2019
 

    
Category:  Articles » Legal » Identity-Theft

 

How To Protect Your Social Security Number

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         Views: 1964
2006-07-07 23:56:24     
Article by Michael Russell

Your social security number is very important, it's like your password in life, all of your information is tied into that number. Many people don't know this, but only a few organizations actually have the right to know your social security number. Today almost everybody is requesting a social security number for access to something, schools, video stores, phone companies, health clubs, etc. The main reason for companies asking for your number is to make sure you pay your bills, to keep track of address changes and to check your credit rating. Many of these companies sell your social security number to marketing lists who then sell your number to companies. The fact that all these people having access to your social security number is dangerous because the chances of it falling into the hands of the wrong person is great. They can take your number, then use your name and your credit report to steal money from you.

Any business can ask for your social security, but what most people don't know is that there are only a few companies who can actually demand your number. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the welfare department and the tax department are a few of the entities that can demand your social security number. Social security numbers are also required to do transactions that involve taxes, so employers and banks would need it. If a company asks you for your social security number ask them if they would accept an alternative piece of identification, if for some reason they say no then it is best to take your business elsewhere. Refusing to give your social security number to whoever asks for it will protect you from allowing your number to end up in the wrong hands. Even when you go to your doctor's office, you don't have to fill in your social security number, your number is classified information and only meant for those institutions that absolutely need it.

Social security numbers exist mainly to track your earnings and benefits, they were never meant to be used by businesses as identifiers. If you feel that someone has used your social security number you should request copies of your credit reports at least twice a year. The three largest credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion and it's best to get one from all three so you can check for discrepancies.

Remember that all a criminal needs to get access to your credit cards, bank account and any other critical information is your social security number. Only a few companies can demand your social security number, so if someone demands your social security number with no relevant intent take your business elsewhere, your identity is a lot more precious than their business is.

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