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.