Thursday, May 19, 2022

How To Protect Social Security Number

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Control Access To Ssns

Protecting your Social Security number
  • Limit access to records containing SSNs only to those who need to see the numbers for the performance of their duties.
  • Protect records containing SSNs, including back-ups, during storage by encrypting the numbers in electronic records or storing records in other media in locked cabinets.
  • Do not store records containing SSNs on computers or other electronic devices that are not secured against unauthorized access.
  • Do not share SSNs with other organizations or persons except where required by law.
  • Prohibit third parties from using SSNs, except as required by law.

Protect Your Identity From Stolen Social Security Theft

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Ask Why They Want It And How It Will Be Handled

If the business insists, ask questions. You have a right to know why its necessary to provide your SSN and how it will be handled. Ask questions such as:

  • Why is having my SSN necessary?
  • With whom will you share my number if I provide it?
  • How will my number be stored?
  • Do you have a privacy policy, and may I see it?
  • Will you cover my liability or losses if my number is stolen or compromised?

Unfortunately, if you are asked to provide your SSN to a business or an institution that doesnt need it, and you say no, it can refuse to provide services to you or put conditions on the servicesuch as requiring a deposit or additional fees.

Also Check: Where To Go If I Lost My Social Security Card

Self Lock Helps Protect You From Employment

Self Lock is the unique feature that lets you protect your identity in E-Verify and Self Check by placing a “lock” on your Social Security number . This helps prevent anyone else from using your SSN to try to get a job with an E-Verify employer. If an employer enters your locked SSN in E-Verify to confirm employment authorization, it will result in an E-Verify mismatch, called a Tentative Nonconfirmation . With Self Lock, you are always in control – you can unlock your SSN any time a new employer needs to verify your employment authorization in E-Verify. Your Self Lock remains active as long as your account remains valid and you have not unlocked your SSN. The Self Lock feature is only available to myE-Verify account holders.

Consider Locking Your Social Security Number For Employer Searches

Social Security Administrationâs Advice on Protecting SSN ...

Many employers use E-Verify, a service run by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to confirm the employment eligibility of potential hires. If youre not looking for a job, . Anyone using your SSN to apply for a job with an E-Verify employer will come up as a mismatch, and alert you and the employer of attempted fraud. You can unlock it any time a third party needs to verify your eligibility.

Read Also: Can You Get Your Social Security Card Online

Free Ways To Protect Your Social Security Number

Is you Social Security number at risk?

For better or for worse, the nine-digit numbers have become a core part of our identities and thus a key element of identity theft.

This is why some experts recommend a for folks whose personal information is believed to have been compromised. This drastic protective measure stops thieves and anyone else from using data like your Social Security number to open fraudulent financial accounts in your name.

However, the Social Security Administration reports there are other protective measures you can take to protect your nine-digit identifier. So, consider taking these actions in addition to or instead of a credit freeze.

Check Employer Verifications At My E

You can also check for the names of employers who have verified your eligibility to work in the U.S. if they went through the Department of Homeland Security E-Verify system. To do that, go to the myE-Verify webpage. If you see an employer whose name you do not recognize, someone else may be using your number to work in the U.S. The site also has a self-lock feature that lets you place a lock on your SSN.

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The Social Security Number: Legal Developments Affecting Its Collection Disclosure And Confidentiality

While the social security number was first introduced as a device for keeping track of contributions to the Social Security program, its use has been expanded by government entities and the private sector to keep track of many other government and private sector records. Use of the SSN as a federal government identifier was based on Executive Order 9397, issued by President Franklin Roosevelt. Beginning in the 1960s, federal agencies started adopting the SSN as a governmental identifier, and its use for keeping track of government records, on both the federal and state levels, greatly increased.

Section 7 of the Privacy Act of 1974 provided some limits on compulsory divulgence of the social security number to government entities. However, exceptions in that statute and succeeding statutes resulted in only minimal restrictions on governmental usage of the SSN. Today, an individual needs an SSN to pay taxes, obtain a driverâs license, and open a bank account, among other things. The continued use of, and reliance on, SSNs by public and private sector entities and the potential for SSN misuse, including identity theft concerns, has led to increasing efforts by governmental entities to limit the use and disclosure of SSNs. However, no single federal law comprehensively regulates SSN collection and confidentiality.

Ssn Use In The Private Sector

Protecting your social security number

Private sector use of the SSN is widespread,104 including activities such as using SSNs for data exchanges to assess credit risk, tracking patient care among multiple providers, locating bankruptcy assets, and providing background checks on new employees. One may be asked to provide one’s SSN for such diverse activities as taking out an insurance policy, checking into a hospital, applying for a store charge account, buying a car, setting up a utility account, or joining a club.

Section 7 of the Privacy Act 1974105 and related federal statutes do not impose restrictions on private sector use of the SSN. Thus, private businesses and organizations may, in most circumstances, request an individual’s SSN in exchange for goods or services, and no general federal law regulates such transactions. Although an individual can refuse to give his or her SSN to a company or organization, the business can also refuse to provide the goods or services unless the SSN is provided. If the company insists on receiving a customer’s SSN, the individual can refuse and take his or her business elsewhere. In some cases, an accommodation may be reached whereby a business agrees to use an identifier other than a person’s SSN, but there is no federal law that prohibits the private entity from requiring a person’s SSN as a condition to providing goods or services.106 State laws may, however, restrict private sector use of SSNs, and should be consulted.

Recommended Reading: How To Check Someone’s Social Security Number

If An Organization Asks For A Sin And It Is Not Legally Required

If you believe your SIN isn’t required, ask why it is being requested, how it will be used and with whom it will be shared.

If your SIN is not required by law, explain that you prefer not to provide it. Offer different proof of identity.

If the organization refuses to provide the product or service unless you provide your SIN, ask to speak to the person in charge. Many organizations don’t know about the appropriate uses of the SIN. Once they understand, they may willingly change their practices.

If you are not satisfied with the organization’s response, you may formally complain to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada or 1-800-282-1376. There is no fee for making a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner.

You can also contact the organization’s industry association, ombudsman or complaint office. For example, the Canadian Marketing Association and the Canadian Banking Ombudsman handle customer complaints about their member companies.

For more information on laws about your privacy and the Government of Canada, visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Beware Of Phone And Email Scams

Some tricks can be used by identity thieves for revealing your SSN. For example a request form information may be sent by the identity theft in your phone or email as an employer or government office so that you will reveal your SSN but never do that. Always avoid sharing your SSN on such things or unless its a legitimate request. Before sending your SSN, always call first to the requesting organization for confirming the fact that the email or message is sent by them or not.

Recommended Reading: How To Apply For Social Security Jobs

Limit How And When You Share Your Social Security Number

There are specific circumstances such as filing your taxes where its necessary to use your SSN when filling out forms. However, you may find yourself in situations where youre asked to share your SSN even though its not necessary.

  • Identity Verification When a business or organization requests your Social Security card to verify your identity, ask if you can provide alternative forms of identification such as a passport, drivers license, or proof of residence.
  • Administration If a business insists that you provide your SSN, you have the right to ask questions such as why its necessary for them to have your SSN, how will your number be stored, what their privacy policy is, and what their liability policy is if your SSN is compromised.
  • Job Application Some employers may ask you to provide your SSN on a job application, but most wont actually need it until you are hired and need to fill out tax forms. If an employer requests your SSN before you are officially hired, ask why they need it.

Remember Your Social Security Number

How to protect your childâs Social Security number from ...

If you will remember or memorize your social security number then it can be handy and you dont have to write and carry it everywhere. You can avoid carrying your social security card. This looks like a small thing. It also helps to protect your social security card or slip of paper in which your social security number is written. There are chances of falling the card or paper on the ground or anywhere from where identity theft can steal it. But if you memorize your SSN then the chances of stealing your number becomes less.

Also Check: What Age Apply For Social Security

Protect Your Medicare Card And Social Security Number

Many people ask why the ID number on their Medicare card is identical to their Social Security number . The Medicare ID is more than an identifier. Its proof of insurance. Beneficiaries need to show their Medicare card at the doctors office and the hospital on their first visit in order to have Medicare pay for treatment.

How to Protect Your Social Security Number

The Social Security Administration suggests that you do not give your number to anyone, except when authorized by law. You should ask why your number is needed, how it will be used and what will happen if you refuse. The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give out your Social Security number.

Keep your Medicare card and any other document that shows your Social Security number in a safe place. DO NOT routinely carry your card or other documents that display your number. Most healthcare providers already have your information in their electronic systems. However, if you feel more comfortable having your Medicare information with you, you can make a photocopy of your card and block all but the last four digits. This is sufficient most of the time. However, you will need your actual Medicare card with you the first time you visit a new health care provider, who will make a photocopy of it for their files.

Lost or Stolen Cards

Sources: AARP, Medicare,

How To Apply For A Replacement Social Security Card

If you lose your Social Security card, you may be able to apply for a replacement card online through the Social Security Administration website, if you meet certain requirements. Review them here. Otherwise, youll need to follow an application process that involves providing documentation and completing an application.

Here are 3 simple steps to prepare to apply for a replacement Social Security card:

  • Learn what original documents you need to verify your citizenship, age and identity. Youll find a list at the Social Security Administration website.
  • Fill out and print a Social Security card application.
  • Take or mail the documents and application to the Social Security Administration. Make sure to bring in the original documents. To locate your nearest Social Security Administration office, use the agencys online office locator tool.
  • Read Also: What To Do If Lost Social Security

    Fraud Alert: How To Protect Your Social Security Number

    In an effort to stop criminal activities, security experts are warning people to use their Social Security numbers only when necessary.

    Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that just wont seem to end, it appears that scammers have made noticeable efforts to ramp up their game.

    We continue to see scam artists use the pandemic to steal money and information from honest taxpayers in a time of crisis, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

    We provide this list to alert taxpayers about common scams that fraudsters use against their victims. At the IRS, we are dedicated to stopping these criminals, but its up to all of us to remain vigilant to protect ourselves and our families, he continued.

    According to AARP, an interest group focusing on issues affecting those over the age of fifty, fraudsters are apparently trying to get their paws on your Social Security number, which they can combine with other personal details theyve obtained about you to open credit accounts, collect unemployment insurance, circumvent your benefits, commit crimes and unleash a whole lot of misery in your name.

    Protect Sensitive Information

    In an effort to stop such criminal activities, the Social Security Administration and other security experts are warning people to use Social Security numbers only when necessary. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America, according to the SSA.

    Using Tech to Ones Advantage

    Image: Reuters.

    Tip : Create Strong Passwords

    Protect YOur Social Security Number

    Strong passwords that use a unique combination of numbers, letters, and symbols can help prevent identity thieves from accessing your personal information in online accounts. Heres one password you should never use: your Social Security number. And dont use your SSNs last four digits as a PIN.

    Finally, dont use the same passwords repeatedly. Even if its a strong password, and its one that you can easily remember, all a hacker has to do is crack that password once. The thief will then be able to access all your important accounts that are protected by that password, even ones that contain your Social Security number.

    Also Check: Does Social Security Pay Attorney Fees

    How To Protect Your Childs Social Security Number From Synthetic Identity Fraud

    One of the most prevalent forms of attempted fraud that we see in the credit card industry and elsewhere in digital settings is synthetic identity fraud. While it has existed for years, it exacerbated initially in response to the move from magnetic stripes to the EMV standard on credit cards, which improved security and helped prevent physical point-of-sale credit card fraud. That left fraudsters looking for opportunities online, in a card-not-present environment. The fraud landscape deteriorated further last year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as businesses increasingly shifted to digital-only environments.

    What To Do If Your Social Security Card Is Lost Or Stolen

    In the digital age, the notion of losing your wallet or purse with your Social Security card lodged inside may seem like a low-risk or no-risk affair. But people do suffer lost or stolen wallets all the time. Pairing that experience with a lost Social Security card only doubles the pain.

    While there are dependable ways to avoid losing your Social Security card like locking it away in a safe place and keeping the card out of your wallet or pocket people still lose their Social Security cards. Make no mistake, getting a card back can be a bit of a process. This article covers everything you need to know and answers the big question: What do I do if I lost my Social Security card?

    Read Also: How Do I Apply For Social Security Disability Online

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