According to Kiplinger.com McAfee, the antivirus software company recently release a list of the most dangerous places to give your social security number. You may be surprised by the list.
1. Universities and colleges
2. Banking and financial institutions
4. State and local governments and the federal government!
5. Medical businesses - ones that concentrate on services and products for the medical field. Also, Health insurers and medical offices.
6. Non-Profit organizations
7. Technology organizations
The places listed above are based on the number of data breaches involving social security numbers from January 2009 to October 2010.
Here are a few steps to lower your risk: Don't be so quick to give out your number. Some companies will ask for your number but not necessarily need it. If they need an identifier provide them with the last 4 digits. Never give out your social security number who initiates contact with you by phone, email or in-person. For example if the IRS notifies you by email that you have a refund coming - this is a scam. The IRS never notifies anyone by email.
Lock away your social security card in a fireproof safe and not in your wallet! College students are easy targets.
Protect your number from cyber thieves. Make sure you install antivirus and internet security software on your computer and update it frequently.
Control the damage - check your accounts daily to catch any transactions you didn't make.
If your wallet with your social security card is in it is stolen, report it to the police. With a police report you can place an extended fraud alert which lasts seven years on your credit report. This will also bolster your case if you become a victim of identity theft.