Social Security numbers were never intended to be a “one size fits all” primary ID. In many ways, however, that’s exactly what has happened. Identity theft thrives in the U.S. in part because Americans feel forced to use their SSN for so many types of interactions. Ultimately, it falls on individuals to protect their own number.
Those Who Need Your SSN and Those Who Don’t
Not everyone who requests your SSN actually needs it. Generally speaking, if an entity reports information about you to the Internal Revenue Service, you probably have to supply your Social Security number to that entity.