8 Ways To Keep Your Social Security Number Safe From Identity Theft
1. Keep your Social Security card secure
It’s essential to store your Social Security card in a safe and secure place. Do not carry it with you in your wallet or purse unless absolutely necessary. Instead, keep it locked up at home or in a safe deposit box.
2. Be cautious while sharing personal information
Always verify the authenticity of the request before sharing your Social Security number. Be cautious about giving out your number over the phone, email, or unsecured websites. Share it only when absolutely necessary and with reliable entities.
3. Monitor bank and credit card statements regularly
Regularly check your bank and credit card statements for any fraudulent transactions. Report any discrepancies or suspicious activity to the financial institution immediately.
4. Secure your online presence
Protect your online accounts by using strong, unique passwords for each one and updating them frequently. Enable multi-factor authentication where possible, and be cautious about the personal information you share on social media.
5. Install security software on devices
Protect all devices that you use to access sensitive information with security software such as anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewalls. Make sure to update these programs regularly to ensure maximum protection against cyber threats.
6. Be vigilant about phishing schemes
Phishing schemes are attempts to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information through deceptive emails or websites. Never click on links in suspicious emails, and always verify the legitimacy of websites before entering personal information.
7. Check credit reports annually
By law, you’re entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Review these reports for any unauthorized lines of credit or inaccuracies and address any issues promptly.
8. Shred sensitive documents
When disposing of old documents containing sensitive information such as bank statements or applications that include your Social Security number, make sure to shred them to prevent identity thieves from obtaining your information.
By implementing these practices, you can take proactive steps to protect your Social Security number and reduce the risk of identity theft. Stay diligent and make it difficult for fraudsters to access your personal information.