Social Security numbers have been in use since 1936. Each individual gets a unique nine-digit number used as an identifier, to track Social Security benefits, get government services and for many other purposes.
Recently, there has been talk that we should not be using Social Security numbers to identify ourselves because Social Security Numbers are now causing huge problems.
Why has this idea come about? So far this year, hackers have stolen more than 6.5 million Social Security numbers.
This number is the bare minimum; it is much likely much more than that. This is because getting the exact number of stolen SSNs is difficult because no organization or government agency tallies the number. CNNMoney arrived at this number by examining two dozen hacks that took place in 2014.
The biggest hack in 2014 included the 750,000 that were exposed with the recent U.S. Postal Service data breach, 1.3 million stolen from Montana’s health department in June, and 4.5 million from nationwide hospital in August.
Criminals use these numbers to steal your identity, ruin your credit and get your tax refund.
Why are we still using SSNs to verify our identities? Because the best way to prove you’re you is to present something only you know. This is obviously a huge problem because SSNs are relatively easy to find.
Many options have been presented including fingerprints, iris scans and a facial recognition system, but Americans are too creeped out by this as well.
Because of the many hacks this year, Social Security numbers are causing many problems, but, as of now, the Social Security Identification system foolishly remains.