The Social Security Administration recommends blocking access to your social security record if you have experienced identity theft or domestic violence. Once you block your record, no one can see it online. However, the Social Security Administration is not the only agency that uses your social security number, so blocking the number completely requires contacting all of the agencies that have your social security number and requesting they not use it. Often, it is not possible to completely block your social security number, as some agencies require it to open or sustain an account.
Blocking Electronic Access
Log on to the Social Security Administration's online services portal by visiting www.ssa.gov/onlineservices. Click "Block Access to Your Information." Click the link for more information. Confirm you really want to block electronic access. Click continue.
Enter your social security number and date of birth. Confirm the information is correct, and click continue.
Click "Yes, Block Electronic Access." If you change your mind, click, "No, Do Not Block Electronic Access."
Blocking Merchants' Access
Call any merchants who have your social security number. Ask to have the number removed from your file. If the merchant agrees, ask for confirmation of the removal in writing.
Ask any merchants who refuse to remove your social security number for a copy of their privacy policies. Monitor your account or their activity for violation of those privacy policies. If a violation occurs, contract the company or a lawyer to discuss ending your contract.
Obtain a credit monitoring or identity theft service. These services consistently monitor your credit report and personal information to ensure no fraudulent person or entity gains access to your social security number. For instance, All Clear offers a social security number blocking service for minors that sends their social security numbers to merchants and financial institutions, allowing the institutions to block any requests for credit or services that come through in the children's names.
- To control who has access to your social security number, ask why a merchant or agency needs it before putting it on a form or application. Ask if it is possible to fill out the form using an alternate proof of identity, such as your birth date or driver's license number.
- Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images