As numbers go, it’s probably the most important one you’ll ever have. It’s not your birth date, your bank account number or even your credit card number. It’s your Social Security number, and everyone seems to want it. But in this age of identity theft, you’re usually better off just saying no.
Your Social Security number is a unique identifier. For example, if two people have the same name, birth date, and hometown, their Social Security numbers will still be different. Because the number is assumed to be representative of only one person, any other person who gains access to it can virtually become you in any context where it is used.I strongly suggest you to visit SS card application to learn more about this.
When to use it
That’s why you should only use your number on limited occasions. For example, you often need to use it when dealing with financial institutions, employers, and government agencies like the DMV, welfare offices and the IRS.
Other groups that may require your number include some government health plans, group health plans, insurance companies, and credit card companies during the application process.
When these organizations request the number, you usually must disclose it. In fact, you even need to provide your number to stop credit card offers from coming in your mail! Any time an entity requests your Social Security number, however, it must provide a statement indicating whether the number is indeed mandatory, along with how the number will be used and protected.
When to refuse it
Private entities may demand your Social Security number, but it’s generally in your best interest to refuse giving it to such parties. But keep in mind that some businesses may refuse service to you if you refuse to give your number. Often, providing your driver’s license number, which is another number linked only to you, is an acceptable compromise.
If you decide to provide your Social Security number to a private entity, be sure the company takes careful steps not to publish, sell or otherwise disseminate your number.
The best plan is to share your number only with legitimate agencies and when absolutely mandatory. If you have any doubt, don’t share your numberSS card application