I was reading Yahoo News and spotted an article I want to bring to the attention of my readers. Here’s another reason you ought to be careful about what information you choose to post online, not only on social networks but everywhere you may be tempted to share your age, birthdate, location and any other information what can be used to identify you.
Social Security numbers have become increasingly important to Americans since they were introduced in 1936. However, but the nine-digit numbers are surprisingly easy to steal. Identity thieves get your personal information in many ways including posing by phone or E-mail as someone who legitimately needs information about you, such as employers or landlords. Someone illegally using your Social Security number and assuming your identity can cause a lot of problems. The Social Security Administration is taking steps to change how they’re assigned. They intend to make all nine digits entirely random, and they recommend that people do not carry their Social Security cards unless it’s necessary to do so.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. A dishonest person who has your Social Security number can use it to get other personal information about you. Identity thieves can use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. Then, they use the credit cards and do not pay the bills. You may not find out that someone is using your number until you are turned down for credit or you begin to get calls from unknown creditors demanding payment for items you never bought. — Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number
A report by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York says American servicemen and women may be overly exposed to the threat of identity theft because they are often required to give out personal information such as Social Security numbers in their work. — The Military’s Cultural Disregard for Personal Information (PDF)
In 2009, Social Security numbers were used in 32 percent of identity thefts in which the victims knew how their information was compromised, according to Javelin Strategy and Research, which tracks identity theft. A study last year demonstrates that computer programs can successfully determine the Social Security numbers of 8.5% of those born since 1989. The information posted by members on social networks and other sites where location and birthdate information is publicly available are providing the basic information identity thieves require to use computer programs to detect what your social security number is.
Watch the video here > Social Security Numbers