McAfee, an antivirus software company, recently released a list of the most dangerous places to give out your Social Security number. Many of the places will surprise you. It has seem common to give out your social security number as means of identification. However, that should not be the case. As a result, you unfortunately have to give your number to receive the following services:
- Universities & Colleges
- Banking & Financial Institutions
- State Governments
- Local Governments
- Federal Governments
- Medical Businesses
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Technology Companies
- Health Insurers & Medical Offices
Why are these dangerous?
Any institution that extends any type of credit is going to need the following information: name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number in order to verify your identity and complete a credit check.
Criminal hackers have mastered hacking into databases that contain Social Security numbers then using that information to open new financial accounts. Hackers can then use that number to obtain mobile phones, credit cards, and bank loans.
When you should and should not provide your Social Security number:
According to the Social Security Administration, you should:
- Show your card to your employer when you start a new job so your records are correct
- Provide your number to your financial institution(s) for tax reporting purposes
- Keep your card and any other document that shows your number on it in a safe place
- Do not routinely carry your card or other documents that display your number
In a world where it’s become all-too easy to lose your identity with a simple mouse click or telephone call, it’s important to protect your Social Security number and your livelihood. Contact us today for more information.