Because the Social Security number (SSN) is the only permanent, unique piece of information that most Americans have about themselves, businesses both large and small have increasingly depended on it, using it as an employee identifier, or customer authenticator. Unfortunately, as the private sector's use of the SSN has grown, so too has the SSN's availability and value for identity thieves. To combat this trend, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a new report, "Security in Numbers: SSNs and ID Theft," recommending to Congress five specific measures to help prevent Social Security numbers from being used for identity theft. The FTC believes these measures would make SSNs less available to identity thieves, and would also make it more difficult for thieves to misuse any numbers they are still able to obtain.
We've listed the five recommendations to Congress below. We've also included advice for what you...(register to read more)