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Not misusing your social security numbers

social security numbers

Protecting your family

When you think about keeping your family safe, you often think about alarm systems, and talking to your children about strangers. Many don’t think about other types of danger though. You may think that your credit rating is not as important as keeping everyone safe from bodily harm, and you would be right about that, but it is important that you keep things to yourself, and you protect your children from those who might steal their identity. One of the best ways you can do this is to keep everyone’s social security numbers under lock and key.

Identity theft

There are people who do nothing all day but look for information so they may steal someone’s identity. Once they get a credit card in someone’s name, or any type of account, they can get almost anything they want, and not have to pay a dime. In some cases, all they need are birthdates and social security numbers in order to accomplish this feat. It happens all the time, and it doesn’t just happen to adults. If a thief can get a hold of your children’s social security numbers, they are going to use them, and you may not know it for quite a while.

Don't give away your social security number unless you have too

Once you secure social security numbers for your children, lock the cards up. Don’t use their number for anything unless you have to do so. If you have a savings account in their name, you may have to supply this number, but only do so if you have to. Don’t allow any other accounts for them to be opened with their numbers. You should use the same caution with your own numbers as well. Though some companies are waking up to how dangerous it is to use social security numbers as account numbers, some companies still do it.

Shred important documents

Make sure you shred any documents with your social security numbers on them, and never leave your checkbook lying around in your car where someone might see it. I once had a memo passed around at my job, and they told me to sign my name and my social security number to ensure that I had seen and read the memo. I refused. When I explained why I would sign the paper saying I saw it, but I would not put my number on the paper, they decided to change their policy. It was a security measure they hadn’t considered.
Published: 2007-10-02
Author: Isabelle Chartrand

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