Your Social Security number is essential to getting a loan, opening a bank account, and getting your Social Security benefits. Your Social Security number is used to confirm your identity and it is a very important part of your identity. If someone gets your Social Security number, it is easy for them to open accounts in your name and your identity can easily be stolen. Protecting your Social Security number is crucial and you have to make sure that you only give it out when you have to so that you don’t become a victim of identity theft.

Avoid Giving Out Your Social Security Number

You don’t have to give your Social Security number to everyone who asks for it. If you are opening a bank account, getting a new job, filing your taxes, applying for government benefits, or applying for a loan you will need to provide your Social Security number. Other businesses might ask for your number but you don’t have to provide it. Keep in mind that you might have to pay a deposit if you decline to provide your number to utility companies or phone and cable providers.

If a business wants your number you can always ask to provide different types of identification. The more people who have your Social Security number, the greater the chances that you end up being a victim of identity theft. Negotiate with the business that wants your number and find out why they need it. You can also ask for a copy of their privacy policy.

Keep Your Social Security Card Safe

There is no reason to carry your Social Security card in your wallet. You won’t ever just need to show it to someone and when you do need to present it, you will know in advance. Your Social Security card is small and it is easy to lose it. Just memorize your Social Security number and keep the physical card somewhere safe in a drawer. Your card is just too valuable and too many things can go wrong if someone gets it who shouldn’t have it. You have to make sure that your card is protected and this means keeping it at home.

If an identity thief gets your Social Security card it is easy to get multiple loans and not pay them back. You will be the person who gets into trouble and you will have to prove that your identity was stolen. While you are trying to get the situation figured out, your credit score is going to drop and you won’t be able to open any new accounts. You will also be hounded by creditors who might even try to sue you.

Becoming a victim of identity theft is a huge problem and it is going to take a lot of time and effort to clear your name and restore your credit score. If you carry your Social Security card around in your wallet you are taking a huge risk with your finances so leave it at home.

Always Shred Documents

Identity thieves will go through trash and discarded mail to get Social Security numbers so you want to make sure that you keep your Social Security number protected by shredding any documents that have your number on it. Never throw a piece of paper away that has your Social Security number on it because someone is going to find it and you will be a victim. Criminals go through the trash just looking for these numbers and you could end up being in real trouble if someone gets your number.

People go through the mail all the time and they will even go through the mail in your mailbox so make sure that you bring in your mail each day and don’t leave it sitting in your mailbox so that a criminal doesn’t get it. Criminals are just waiting to get your Social Security information and once they get it they are going to create a lot of problems for you.

Don’t Send Your Social Security Number In Emails Or Messages

Never send your Social Security number in an email or instant message because these messages can be easily intercepted and your number can be stolen. Criminals monitor emails and messages all the time for Social Security numbers and it can be stolen in a flash. There is no reason to ever email someone your Social Security number and if you do this you are just asking to become a victim of identity theft because someone is going to get your number and start using it and you will find yourself in financial trouble. You should never leave your number on a voicemail either.

Consider Using Identity Theft Protection Services

Identity theft continues to increase and if you don’t want to become a victim, you need to protect yourself. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself is to use an identity theft protection service. While you do have to a pay a monthly fee to take advantage of these services, you will have peace of mind because you won’t need to worry about your identity being stolen. The service monitors all of your accounts and prevents criminals from opening new accounts in your name. They also provide legal services if you do end up with a stolen identity.

You can find out about these services online. Make sure that you spend some time comparing the different services and read the reviews of the different services so you find one that works best for you. There are a variety to choose from and you want to make sure that you are getting the right plan. You also need to compare prices so you end up with the best pricing plan for your needs.

Your Social Security card is an important document and you need to protect it. Keep it in a safe place where no one can get to it and memorize your number so you never have to use your physical card.