With the latest news that social security numbers are not as random as we once thought people are trying even harder to find ways to protect their privacy and their social security numbers. Identity theft is as common as the common cold these days and once a perpetrator has access to your social security number they mind as well have opened the door right to your identity. Here are some tips for protecting your not so random social security number from fraud and protecting yourself from identity theft.
Protecting Your Social Security Number: A Not So Random Set of Digits
The very best way to protect your identity and prevent fraud that is based on your social security number is to prevent perpetrators from getting the number or any vital information related to the number. You say, oh but my social security number is random…but this is not true. If a person knows where you were born and what year you were born in then they have a chance of being able to figure out your social security number. To best protect your social security number, you should protect important information such as your place and date of birth.
Protecting Your Social Security Number: Keep Vital Information Secret
Anybody that learns of your vital information can begin trying to crack the code to your social security number. If you are not sure who you are dealing with, never give out your birthdate to a person. A piece of information that seems so simple as a birthdate can help a crook determine the middle two numbers of your social security number. Information such as your state of birth will help the crook to determine the first set of numbers. What you are left with at this point is a crook that has to randomly try to figure out the last four digits of your social security number in order to crack the code. 9 Digits are a lot harder to figure out than a mere 4!
Protecting Your Social Security Number: Maintain Records that Don’t Include Last 4
These days, there are many different services that include using the last four digits of your social security number as a security or reference. Unfortunately, it’s already determined that the first 6 numbers of a social security number are based on the year and place of birth so if you use the last four as a security clearance then you have essentially just given your entire social security number away! Whenever possible, choose a four digit pin or some other code that can be used for security purposes when addressing bills or other issues. Most companies will allow you to use an alternative four digit code upon request in order to maintain the secrecy and the privacy of your social security number.
Following this advice and keeping your social security number in a safe place locked away from everyone will help to protect not only your important 9 digits but also your identity!