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Practical Tips For Securing Your Social Security Number

The Social Security Number (SSN) was originally devised in order to record the earnings of individuals and to monitor their Social Security benefits.

However, the SSN has far outperformed its original intent, and today it is the most common personal identifier for many record keeping purposes in the United States.

In fact, so many government agencies and private businesses request consumers’ Social Security Numbers that it has become difficult to keep track of who we are legally required to disclose it to.

Who Might Request Your Social Security Number:

How to Protect Your Social Security Number

You should do all that you can to protect your Social Security Number when its disclosure is not required. To protect your SSN:

What to Do If Your Social Security Card Has Been Lost or Stolen

If your Social Security card has been lost or stolen, you can obtain replacement through the SSA for free.

Obtaining a replacement card will not put you out of harms way of identity fraud, so if you think your identity may be at risk, file a complaint with the FTC and begin to monitor your credit reports.

Also check your Social Security records to ensure that your number is not being fraudulently used for work purposes.

How to Get a Replacement Social Security Card

If you do require a replacement, contact the SSA. Be prepared to provide documents proving your US citizenship or immigration status, as well as your age and your identity as it directly relates to Social Security.

You are limited to 3 replacements a year and 10 over a lifetime (exceptions apply), so keep your card in a safe place where it is unlikely to be lost or stolen.

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