Your Social Security Number or SSN is a number that is connected to all your legal transactions. You use it to open a bank account, for your employment and tax records, and when you apply for a loan among others. When someone gets access to this number, the likelihood that you will turn into an identity theft victim is really high. Identity theft is something that should be taken seriously because of the number of cases recorded each year. It follows that a number of victims suffer from the consequences of something that they did not even do. Thieves have become resourceful in acquiring this piece of information about you. They might break into or hack the records of business and financial institutions. They also bribe and con people who have official access to records. getting a social security or itin
It may be too late before you realize you have been victimized. The following are tips that will help minimize the chances that other people will target your SSN:
1. Only you can tell when releasing your SSN is absolutely necessary. A new employer will most likely ask for it for tax purposes. Financial institutions also require it when opening accounts and applying for loans. Limit the number of persons and organizations who know your number.
2. If a private company with which you are doing business asks for it, verify why it is needed via a manager or written policy on SSNs and offer an alternative.
3. On the other hand, if it is a government agency, know your rights and read the Privacy Act notice. This will tell you why the SSN is needed and how this information will be used.
4. When applying for a job, do not supply your SSN right away. It is best to wait until the interview or when the company conducts a background investigation.
5. Do not write or print your SSN on your checks. Likewise, tell the merchants never to write it themselves.
6. Practice safe handling of your number by not saying it out loud by you, or other persons, in public. Instead, write it down and make sure you properly shred and dispose the sheet of paper later on.
7. Keep your SSN card in a safe and well-hidden place in your home. Carry it in your wallet only when you must – during the first day of work or first visit to a healthcare clinic to claim insurance, are examples. Writing it down and keeping that paper in your pocket is also risky.
8. Do not share your SSN to anyone over the phone.