Just the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number Please…

I am sure you hear this at least once a month unless you are dead!
Do you think you are safe and/or more secure by verifying yourself with countless services by using the last 4 digits of your SSN?
I am here to explain to you why this makes things less secure!

Why do most non-social security, non-banking services even have it to begin with. It has nothing to do with my taxes or SS so why do you keep it stored in a Database somewhere that it is even more exposed to hackers?
The answer I normally get from company’s is that we are using it to verify your credit.
My response is… OK, you verified me and I Passed ! Now get it out of your database !

Oh… you only want the last four digits, not the whole thing?
Think about this. So everyone now only needs the last 4 digits of your SSN to change something in your account or in one case I remember so well, to pay my AT&T wireless bill. I can only suspect the reason for so much security with them is because they have been hacked more than once.
So now those that would do you harm do not need get or remember the whole 9 digits of your SSN, just the last 4. That’s all they want. Safer?

I even have a bank that wants you to log-in to their online banking services with your entire 9 digit SSN as a user name. Would you prefer it was only the last four digits?
I can’t think of a more stupid insecure way for ones self. Of course the bank does not care about your security, only theirs and the ability for them to keep staff services (real people) at a minimum and most folks don’t remember their account number (but could look it up on a check that the bank don’t want you using anymore).

It is time to call in to question who is entitled to your SSN. Yes it is time for the Federal Government to step in a set some laws on this as it is being abused more and more and so more susceptible to hacks across the web that nobody will admit to unless caught red-handed.

In my state of Ohio, a privacy act was set into place some time in the 80′s and re-enforced again in the 90′s to stop vendors from asking for SSN for check cashing purposes.
They used to write the SSN’s on the check at one time. Also SSN’s were phased out on our State driving license and for good reason.
I caught a tool rental vendor who wanted my drivers Lic. for a toll rental, thinking he was going to copy my License number. The next stop at the rental for a new item, I noticed on my receipt that my SSN was not only in their database but printed on the slip. I still see vendors refusing to take checks without SSN numbers and I will now either use a credit card or cash but not without making a scene about it.

If your state still uses SSN on your Drivers License, I suggest you get a sticker to put over that area.

Meanwhile, watch who your are giving it to in the first place and ask yourself why the need it ?
And if they are going to keep it on file, ask for a privacy policy on their holding of it. They must be able to present that to you if they are going to ask for it/use it/hold it.

I am in the habit now of asking for what exact purpose they will use it in the future because once you give it away, things can change the the policy that no one reads in the first place and the fact that you can’t take it back. I also want to know who they will share it with.

It’s a MOOT jungle out there and you can’t get a SSN renewed/changed. Once it’s broke it’s broke for the rest of your life !

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