When should you give your Social Security number and when should you not? My rule on giving out my Social Security number is that I don’t do it, unless I know it’s absolutely, positively required for what I’m doing.
Companies and institutions ask for our Social Security numbers like they’re handing out a piece of candy. Unfortunately, they do a mediocre to terrible job of securing the number, depending on the industry.
Kiplinger magazine once ran a list of the 10 worst places to give out your Social Security number. Here are the places you shouldn’t give out your Social Security number:
Topping the list is any college or university. I recall when Social Security numbers were used as your student ID number and they were posted everywhere on campus. I even had a professor who posted grades outside his office by Social Security number.
The second worst place to give out your Social Security number is in the banking industry. Unfortunately, there’s no way around this one; if you want to open an account, you have no choice but to divulge the digits.
Making four separate entries on the list are hospitals, medical businesses, health insurers and …