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How To Protect Social Security

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3 Tips on How to Protect Your Social Security Information

Theres probably been a time in your life when youve wondered, Can I do this online instead of visiting a Social Security office? The answer is more than likely yes, and you can find more information about our online services on our website. Online, you can apply for retirement and disability benefits, appeal a decision, and do much more.

How And When To Apply For Benefits

When you claim your hard earned benefits will impact your Social Security payments for the remainder of your life. Early retirement can provide needed income as early as age 62, but delaying retirement until age 70 may result in much larger monthly payments. Understanding the retirement age that is right for you can help you optimize your Social Security benefits. If you’re applying for disability benefits, knowing how to prove that you’re disabled will be essential to your claim. Since many Social Security claims are initially denied, following our helpful tips can help you assemble a strong application.

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 driver√Ęs 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.

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The Bank’s Duty To Review Your Account

Here’s how it works. When the bank receives a garnishment or attachment order, the bank has two business days to conduct a review. It must identify your accounts and then determine if the garnishment order is to collect child support or federal taxes. If so, the bank may freeze your funds, even if they come from Social Security.

Tip : Beware Of Phone And Email Scams

Social Security Administrations Advice on Protecting SSN ...

Identity thieves may try to trick you into revealing your SSN. For instance, in a phone or email, they might pose as your employer or a government office requesting information. Avoid sharing your number unless youre positive its a legitimate request.

Better yet, consider calling the requesting organization at a verifiable telephone number to provide the information. Or visit in person.

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How To Protect Your Social Security Number

Basic Simple Common Sense Precautions, and How and When to Freeze your Credit

What is it:

A social security number is our default version of both a national identification number and your personal credit file number. With just a name, address, date of birth, and social security number, thieves can open various lines of credit creating havoc in your personal financial life. Therefore, it is in your best interest to protect this number just as you would the keys to your home and the checks from your bank account. Very few people should be given access to this crucial number.

Social Security numbers were first created in 1936 during the new deal with the purpose of identifying retirees that were to begin receiving social security benefits. It has since morphed into our national ID number.

Until such a time when social security numbers are solely used for social security benefits, it is imperative to protect it, as it is the key to your financial castle.

Dont Carry Your Social Security Card in your Wallet:

Dont Always Share your Number:

One suggested solution to requests for social security numbers on forms is to ignore them. In other words, just skip over the question and see if someone contacts you about it missing. Often, it ends up not mattering to many private companies and government organizations. Likely, you are not the first person to decide to not give it out.

Be Wary of Strange Phone Calls and Emails:

Thankfully, Medicare is Changing:

Just Freeze it:

Usps Address Change Verification

This feature aims to alert you if a cyber criminal changes your address at your financial institution.

In case youre wondering how this magic happens, heres a rundown. First, you must provide your banking user IDs and passwords to LifeLock. This way, they can alert you to an address change in case your financial institution doesnt.

For me, this is a deal killer and a really dumb idea.

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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.

The Bank Must Review Each Account Separately

How to better protect your social security number

The bank must review each of your bank accounts separately. That means that if you have money in an account that Social Security funds are not directly deposited into, the bank cannot protect these funds even if you transferred some of your direct deposit Social Security funds into that account after they were received. The bank is not required or permitted to trace the direct deposited funds to other accounts.

But the rules can work in your favor as well. The bank must simply protect the balance in the account receiving direct deposits, up to the total of the direct deposits made during the look-back period. It does not matter whether the funds in the account at the time the garnishment order is received are part of the Social Security direct deposits or from a different source entirely.


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Choose A Strong Password But Don’t Rely On It Alone

Choosing a strong password is necessary for all your online accounts. It should be an unusual combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t rely on your birthday or wedding anniversary, because cyberthieves know them too.

Don’t try to be clever by disguising an ordinary password choice. “ji32k7au4a83” is a fairly common password, according to Gizmodo. Sounds like it would be complicated enough to baffle any cyberthief, right? But it’s the words “mypassword” transliterated from Mandarin through a computer system. It’s only a matter of time before it’s as hackable as “password” and “123456,” which are the most frequently compromised passwords in the English-speaking world.

Usually, advice on passwords is the first advice people get about protecting their data. We haven’t put it first because while passwords are very important as a first line of defense, they’re only a first line and a strong password doesn’t make you invincible. It’s becoming clear that many cyberthieves have little trouble getting around passwords when breaking into your accounts.

Choosing a password is somewhat like shutting your door to keep out thieves. You need to do it, but you must also be aware that the door needs to be locked and monitored. So be sure to start with monitoring your financial accounts and your Social Security account rather than relying solely on a password to keep you safe.

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What Are Other Tips I Can Use For Detecting Phishing Emails

  • Verify the sender. Exercise caution when receiving email from a sender you dont know or havent heard from in a long time. Hover over the From email address to ensure it matches the displayed email or name of the sender.
  • Look for poor choices in wording, phrasing, or spelling.
  • If an email includes a business name, telephone number, or website link, verify the legitimacy of these items by searching for the official number or website in a search engine.
  • Do not respond to emails requesting personal information. Reputable businesses and public agencies will not ask you for personal information in an email.

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    The credit score provided is a VantageScore 3.0 credit score based on Equifax data. Third parties use many different types of credit scores and are likely to use a different type of credit score to assess your creditworthiness.

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  • Lifelock Advantage With Norton 360

    How to Protect Your Social Security Number and When to ...

    LifeLock Advantage with Norton 360 comes with more identity theft protection features for a higher price point. Youll get all the inclusions of the two lower-tier plans including one bureau credit monitoring , and youll also get bank account and credit card account activity alerts, antivirus software and a VPN for up to 10 devices, alerts on crimes committed in your name and fictitious identity monitoring.

    This tier of coverage also comes with an annual credit report and credit score from Equifax, and youll get up to $100,000 in stolen funds reimbursement coverage, up to $100,000 in personal expense compensation and up to $1 million in coverage for lawyers and identity theft experts if you become a victim of identity theft.

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    Here’s Where To Get More Information On Social Security Numbers

    Identity Theft: If you think an identity thief is using your SSN to work or to collect benefits, call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. If you think someone may be using your SSN to work, check your Social Security Personal Earnings and Benefit Statement. You can get a copy by calling 1-800-772-1213, or online at Also see the Social Security Administration’s booklet “Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number,” at

    History of SSNs: For a chronology of the laws relating to SSNs, see

    What the Numbers Mean: For an explanation of the meaning of the numbers in SSNs and answers to other questions about SSNs, see

    More on Protecting your SSN: “Fact Sheet 10: My Social Security Number: How Secure Is It?” from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, at

    Recommended Practices: For recommendations on how organizations can protect privacy in their handling of SSNs, see Recommended Practices for Protecting the Confidentiality of Social Security Numbers on the Business page at

    How To Receive Federal Benefits

    To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.

    If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:

    • Call the Go Direct Helpline at .

    If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:

    Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:

    Learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.

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    Privatizing Social Security: The Troubling Trade

    Policymakers and the public show growing interest in the idea of replacing Social Security with a private system of individual retirement accounts. It is too soon to tell whether curiosity will lead to popular acceptance, but it is already plain that many Americans are thinking about private alternatives to Social Security for the first time.

    Proponents of privatization see three main arguments, in addition to ideological advantages, for moving toward a private retirement system:

    • it can lift the rate of return workers obtain on their retirement contributions
    • it can boost national saving and future economic growth
    • it has practical political advantages in comparison with a Social Security rescue plan based on higher payroll taxes and a bigger accumulation of Social Security reserves.

    Privatizing Social Security can boost workers rate of return by allowing retirement contributions to be invested in private assets, such as stocks, which yield a better return than the present pay-as-you-go retirement system. Returns can be boosted still further if the government borrows on a massive scale to pay for past Social Security liabilities, allowing workers to invest a larger percentage of their pay in high-yielding assets. Exactly the same rate of return can be obtained, however, if the current public system is changed to allow Social Security reserves to be invested in private assets.

    Tip : Rarely Share Your Number

    How to protect your social security benefits from ugly scams

    You may have to provide your Social Security number to your bank or employer. But theres no reason your pizza delivery guy needs it. If someone asks for your Social Security number, ask questions. Why? How will it be used? What if I refuse to share it?

    You may be able to offer an alternative form of identification, such as a drivers license number, student ID, or utility bill.

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    Reimbursement For Stolen Funds

    Depending on the plan, LifeLock offers between $25,000 to $1,000,000 in reimbursement for stolen funds.

    When reading the fine print, though, youll see that this coverage is secondary to other coverage that might be offered by the financial institution. Its not quite as good as it sounds.

    For example, your brokerage account most likely already has $500,000 coverage for fraudulent transactions through SIPC. And remember, you are not usually liable for fraudulent credit card transactions.

    What Do They Know

    Does the source not have information you’d expect them to have, such as your full name, etc.? Remember, if a bank is phoning you, they should have all of that data in front of them and they will always ask security questions before allowing you to make changes to your account. If they dont, then the chances of it being a fake email/call/message are significantly higher, and you should be wary.

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    Pres Biden Asked To Stop Part B Premium Increase For 2022

    On behalf of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicares millions of members and supporters, I urge you to stop the dramatic $21 increase in the 2022 Medicare Part B premium that is driven substantially by the potential approval for Medicare coverage of the Alzheimers drug Aduhelm.

    Check Your Annual Earnings Statements

    How to Protect Your Social Security Number

    Each year, the SSA issues workers an earnings statement that summarizes their taxable wages and includes an estimate of their retirement benefits. Though both points are important, you should pay close attention to the former, because if the SSA is missing income for you on record, it could cause your benefits to shrink.

    If you’re 60 or older, you’ll get your earnings statement in the mail every year. If you’re younger, you’ll need to create an account on the SSA’s website to access yours. But pay attention to the information the SSA has on file, and make every effort to correct mistakes that work against you.

    Social Security could end up being a key piece of your personal retirement income puzzle. Do everything you can to avoid losing out on benefits so you don’t wind up struggling financially when you’re older.

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    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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