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  How is Social Security protecting Social Security numbers?

How is Social Security protecting Social Security numbers?


We go to great lengths to protect the integrity of Social Security numbers. A new law, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, strengthens that protection. Among other things, that law:

  • Expanded birth record verification and made it more stringent;
  • Strengthened requirements for proof of identity and immigration status; and
  • Set limits on replacement cards.

The same law requires states to stop using Social Security numbers on driver's licenses. Among the other protections we have put into place over the past few years:

  • Removing Social Security numbers from payment checks; and
  • Truncating numbers on other mailings, such as the annual Social Security Statement.

These measures ensure that if these mailings are stolen; the thief will not have access to your number.  

Likewise, we incorporate many features that protect the card’s integrity. The Social Security Act requires the Commissioner of Social Security to issue cards that cannot be counterfeited. That includes highly specialized paper and printing techniques—some visible to the naked eye and some not. Further, we continue to actively explore and adopt new technologies that hamper duplication.

Currently, the federal government is examining and implementing ways to safeguard how states and other entities protect Social Security numbers.
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