In today’s world, there are many reasons to be scared about identity theft. Many people do not want their social security record to be accessed by anyone. Identify theft is currently the fastest growing crime in the United States. It is becoming easier and easier to access anyone’s personal data without breaking into someone’s home.
The Department of Justice reports,
“In recent years, the Internet has become an appealing place for criminals to obtain identifying data, such as passwords or even banking information…In some cases, criminals reportedly have used computer technology to obtain large amounts of personal data.”
This is a scary thing, but luckily the Social Security Department recognizes that people need to protect their identity. There is one easy online precaution you can take to better protect your identity in order to feel safer; create a my Social Security account through the Social Security Administration’s official website.
Why should I create a my Social Security account?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) suggests creating a personal my Social Security account as a way to protect your identity. Unfortunately, someone can easily create a fraudulent account. If they create a fake account, they will be able to obtain all of your personal information by posing as you.
Creating a my Social Security account is easy, and there are other benefits besides protecting your identity.
From your account, you can do the following things:
- Keep track of and verify your yearly earnings
- Request an estimate of you future benefits (if you are currently working)
- Request a letter with proof of your benefits (if you are currently receiving them)
- Manage your benefits
- Change your address, phone number, and other personal information
- Manage your direct deposit
How do I create a my Social Security account?
Now that you know about the benefits of creating an account, you can begin creating your own:
- Before you begin, you need to have the following information in order to create an account:
- You must be able to verify personal information about yourself.
- You must have a valid email address.
- You must have a Social Security number.
- You must have a US mailing address.
- You must be at least 18 years old.
Remember, you can create this account for yourself only. You cannot create an account on behalf of someone else.
- Go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/ and click on ‘Create an Account’.
- You will be asked to agree to the Terms of Service. From there, you will be asked to provide some personal information, as well as answer some questions only you are likely to know.
- You will then create a username and password that you will use to log in to your account.
- You now have a my Social Security account!
Photo Courtesy of Adiko and Creative Commons.