Keeping your social security number safe

Given the fact that a your Social Security Number is the principal way you are identified from everything from government forms to applications for just about anything, protecting your SSN should be a top priority for everyone. The Social Security Administration points out some areas to watch out for to make sure your information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands:

“Identity thieves get your personal information by:

  • Stealing wallets, purses and your mail (bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks and tax information);
  • Stealing personal information you provide to an unsecured site on the Internet, from business or personnel records at work and personal infor­mation in your home;
  • Rummaging through your trash, the trash of businesses and public trash dumps for personal data;
  • Posing by phone or E-mail as someone who legitimately needs information about you, such as employers or landlords; or
  • Buying personal information from “inside” sources. For example, an identity thief may pay a store employee for information about you that appears on an application for goods, services or credit. “

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