The Journal of History     Winter 2004    TABLE OF CONTENTS



Let's Add a Personal Identification Number To Our Social Security Number!

From Carl F. Worden

My wife came up with an absolutely brilliant idea the other day, and it deserves sharing.

With all the identity theft taking place nowadays, she said the Social Security Administration, or perhaps the credit bureaus, need to set up a program whereby we can assign a Personal Identification Number to our Social Security number, and change it anytime we want.

We all know that if somebody knows your Social Security number, they can own you. They can apply for a credit card in your name without you knowing about it, pay the bills as they come in like the good credit risk you are, and eventually get the credit card company to increase "your" credit line higher and higher until they finally max it out and disappear, leaving you with a host of problems.

But what if your Social Security number had to include a personal PIN when applying for credit? Only YOU would know that PIN, and you could change that PIN anytime you wanted.

Do you realize what a dent that would make in identity theft? Whereas your Social Security number can be acquired in any number of devious ways, the PIN you personally assign your SSN would be a whole lot more difficult to know, and the difficulty would be magnified if you could go online and change it at will from time to time.

Just a thought for the truly thoughtful.


The Journal of History - Winter 2004 Copyright © 2004 by News Source, Inc.