If you want to protect your website against identity theft, then start by protecting your website with a social security number. The high-value target for the IF theft is your social security number. The one step which you need to consider is to form a protection plan for identity theft. A particular key of personally identifiable information is the social security number (SSN). The social security number is the one that might lead to several identity theft or fraud if identity theft gets your SSN. Things which identity theft can do with the social security number are:
In 2017, the Equifax data breach has exposed social security numbers and other US consumer information that will increase the risk of identity theft. You will not be able to do anything to a breach but a better option is to learn what you can do for protecting yourself by following a breach and before a subsequent breach. Every company or business either big or small is not immune from cyber thieves. It is the best option to learn some ways of protecting your social security number so that it will not be hacked by identity thieves. If exposure to personal information becomes low, then opportunities of stealing the identity by thieves become less. The social security number is nine digits and it is essential to protect the full number. The most crucial one is to protect the last 4 digits of SSN as most financial firms and others use those last four numbers to theft the identity.
There are some tips mentioned below for protecting the social security number and identity:
If you will remember or memorize your social security number then it can be handy and you don’t have to write and carry it everywhere. You can avoid carrying your social security card. This looks like a small thing. It also helps to protect your social security card or slip of paper in which your social security number is written. There are chances of falling the card or paper on the ground or anywhere from where identity theft can steal it. But if you memorize your SSN then the chances of stealing your number becomes less.
Just like an important thing needs a safe place, your social security card also needs a home where it can be safe. For example – a lockbox or file folder that is kept in a safe place. The important documents on which SSN appears should also be kept in a safe place. Never carry your social security card in your wallet or purse. It is easy for a thief to snatch your wallet or purse and get your social security number so never put an SSN card in your wallet.
Sometimes you need to show your social security card to someone but generally, the best option is to avoid carrying your SSN card or any other related documents that show your SSN. It might happen that you forgot your wallet or documents someplace. If you leave for social security card at home, then the chances of getting lose decrease, and scammers will not be able to get access to your social security number.
Your bank or employer sometimes needs your social security number but you don’t have to share your SSN with anyone like a pizza boy who never needs your SSN. Always ask questions to people who want your social security number like Why you need it? How will it be used? Always try to offer or give an alternative form of identification like driving license, student ID, utility bill, address proof, etc.
Some tricks can be used by identity thieves for revealing your SSN. For example – a request form information may be sent by the identity theft in your phone or email as an employer or government office so that you will reveal your SSN but never do that. Always avoid sharing your SSN on such things or unless it’s a legitimate request. Before sending your SSN, always call first to the requesting organization for confirming the fact that the email or message is sent by them or not.
One of the best methods to protect your SSN is creating strong passwords by using different numbers, symbols, and letters so that identity thieves will not able to access the personal information in online accounts so easily. The passwords which you should never use are your own social security number or the last four digits of your SSN either as a PIN or password. Try not to repeat passwords and always create a unique and difficult one.
It is a smart move to delete or shred all your documents that display your social security number. The documents that feature your personally identifiable information should be put into the trash. But you need to delete it permanently otherwise identity thieves can hack the information from garbage and use it to access your data.
The identity thieves will use your bank, credit, or other accounts after stealing your SSN which might give you evidence against them so always enable alerts of your financial institutions to flag unusual activity. For example – purchase or withdrawals more than a specific amount. Keep an eye on your changing credit score and credit reports.
The topmost priority is to protect your SSN along with your identity. The organization offers an identity theft protection service so you should always consider that enabled to protect your SSN. This will help you get an alert if your SSN has been found on the dark web. There are some features provided by identity theft protection services like credit reports monitoring, receiving an alert when any new account opened up with your name, etc.
You need to be careful while sharing your SSN via email, text, voicemail, and fax as it has some risks. For example – interception can occur in your SSN. The best and safest way to share your SSN is face-to-face that will maintain trust with an interception. The most important component of your identity is the social security number so always keep it safe and secure.