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Protect Your Social Security Number (SSN)

Tips for protecting your Social Security Number (SSN)

  • Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
  • Avoid carrying cards with your SSN, particularly health insurance cards, unless you need them to receive care.
  • Request that your driver's license number is not the same as your Social Security number.
  • Never give out your SSN, credit card number, or other personal information over the phone, unless you have a trusted business relationship with the organization and initiated the call using a verified phone number.
  • Avoid including your SSN on job applications.
  • Provide your SSN only when absolutely necessary—for tax forms, employment, student records, stock and property transactions, etc.
  • If your financial institution attempts to use your SSN as an account number, ask them to change it immediately.
  • If a government agency requests your SSN, look for a Privacy Act notice. This will state whether a SSN is required, how it will be used, how it is protected, and what happens if you don't provide it.