Writing Down Your Social Security Number Increases Your Risk of Identity Theft

Identity Theft Risk Reduction

Avoiding identity theft is the easiest way to avoid the disastrous consequences that it inevitably results in. There are a number of ways to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, so let’s take a look at some ways to avoid identity theft that often never occur to us.

Why Do They Keep Asking For Our Social Security Number?

There are many times when we are asked to provide our social security number to various people or companies. One such place is the doctor’s office. I was once asked to write down the last four digits of my social security number. If you are ever asked to provide the staff at your doctor’s office with your social security number, writing it down can be slightly more beneficial. You obviously don’t want someone in the waiting area to overhear you verbally mention your social security number. However, if you do write down your social security number, or any portion of it, simply ask the employee for the piece of paper back when he or she is done entering the information into the computer. This way you can be absolutely certain that it will be disposed of properly because you can throw it out yourself. The safest way to dispose of it in order to avoid identity theft is to shred the paper.

Always keep in mind that just because a social security number is requested does not mean that you need to provide. Try to determine if providing your social security number is absolutely necessary. When filling out forms leave the line asking for your social security number blank. If the company follows up, you can always provide it then. Technically, the more times you give out your social security number, the greater your risk of identity theft becomes, so only provide this information when absolutely necessary.

As previously mentioned, always avoid verbally announcing your social security number in the presence of individuals within earshot. You just never know who might intentionally be listening in.

By reducing the number of times you write your social security number down, you will reduce your risk of identity theft. Take it from someone who has been the unfortunate victim of identity theft – the hundreds of little things we can do to prevent it are all worthwhile.

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