A social security number (SSN) is a very sensitive piece of identifiable information, and when it falls in the wrong hands, it can put you at risk for identity theft and lead to:
- A credit card being opened and used under your name leaving you with large amounts of debt and a poor credit score
- Your tax refund benefit being stolen
- Your social security or medical insurance benefits being stolen
Email is not always a secure form of transfer and should never be used to transfer SSNs. As WSU Policy 19.01 states, SSNs should not be stored on university and personal devices, which includes email storage.
For questions about how to safely transfer this type of sensitive information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.