4 Ways To Protect Your Social Security Number

Your social security number is one of the most important pieces of information that you possess. It holds the key to your state and federal earnings, tax and pension information. It is also frequently used to document employment history, medical history and numerous other vital records. Health and life insurance companies usually use these magic digits to identify you. The simple message: Guard your social security number and keep it as private as possible.

Here are a few simple things that you can do to help keep your social security number secure:

1) Safeguard your social security card. Never carry your social security card in your wallet or purse. It should be kept at home, locked in a safe location such as a fire-proof storage safe along with other important documents such as deeds, titles, wills, etc.

2) Safeguard any documents that list your social security number. Any documents that contain your social security number such as tax returns, health and life insurance statements, medical records or other legal documents should also be locked away in a safe place. When these have become dated, they should be shredded and disposed of properly.

Any of these documents contain enough information for a thief to create false identities and open new accounts using your credit and identity as the foundation.

3) Never include your social security number in an e-mail. Be wary of the information you send over the phone or internet. E-mail accounts can be hacked by outsiders. Even legitimate e-mail recipients frequently forward or copy e-mails without much thought about what information may be erroneously distributed to others. Your information can easily end up in a number of different hands and could make you vulnerable to identity theft.

4) Monitor your credit reports and statements. Consider monitoring your bank and other financial statements along with the social security statements that you receive periodically and review them for errors or suspicious activity.

When it comes to identity theft, your social security number should be considered the golden goose. It’s important to take necessary measures to keep your identity safe. Other than safeguarding your physical social security card and number, the use of a credit monitoring service like PrivacyGuard can go a long way toward helping prevent the theft of your social security number from turning into identity theft.