Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

You’re filling out forms at a doctor’s office, hospital, or other health care facility and come to a line asking for your Social Security number.

Should you write those nine digits down?

Generally, no, say privacy experts. “Having Social Security numbers at the doctor’s office is a data breach risk, and it’s one that’s increasing,” says Pam Dixon, executive director of the nonprofit World Privacy Forum.

If stolen, your SSN offers thieves easy access your personal health and financial information, and they could possibly steal your identity.

This makes SSNs much sought-after commodities on the black market. In fact, the 2018 Identity Fraud Study from Javelin Strategy & Research, found that for the first time, more SSNs than credit card numbers were stolen last year.

More in category

Bad Orgasms: No, Not All Orgasms Are Pleasurable Or Wanted
October 20, 2019mindbodygreen
Bad Orgasms: No, Not All Orgasms Are Pleasurable Or Wanted
4th person dead in Legionnaires' outbreak tied to hot tubs at N.C. state fair
October 20, 2019NBC News
4th person dead in Legionnaires' outbreak tied to hot tubs at N.C. state fair
85-Year-Old Runner Keeps Racking Up Medals
October 20, 2019Runner's World
85-Year-Old Runner Keeps Racking Up Medals
These Sweet Potato Breakfast Patties Are Packed With Protein
October 20, 2019mindbodygreen
These Sweet Potato Breakfast Patties Are Packed With Protein
First-time evidence suggests that fat can accumulate in the lungs
October 20, 2019MedicalNewsToday
First-time evidence suggests that fat can accumulate in the lungs
10 Things We Believe After 10 Years Working In Well-Being
October 19, 2019mindbodygreen
10 Things We Believe After 10 Years Working In Well-Being
How Author & Yoga Teacher Kathryn Budig Spends Her Days Off
October 19, 2019mindbodygreen
How Author & Yoga Teacher Kathryn Budig Spends Her Days Off
Study: The best time to exercise is before breakfast
October 19, 2019MSN
Study: The best time to exercise is before breakfast
6 Ways to Prep Winter Squash to Fuel Your Runs
October 19, 2019Runner's World
6 Ways to Prep Winter Squash to Fuel Your Runs
Meat, poultry products recalled over allergens and unsanitary conditions
October 19, 2019MSN
Meat, poultry products recalled over allergens and unsanitary conditions
48-Year-Old Preschool Teacher Takes On Trials
October 19, 2019Runner's World
48-Year-Old Preschool Teacher Takes On Trials
RHOBH's Lisa Rinna Just Shared Two Photos In Her Undies for Breast Cancer Awareness
October 19, 2019Prevention
RHOBH's Lisa Rinna Just Shared Two Photos In Her Undies for Breast Cancer Awareness
12 Things You Can Do After Getting a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
October 19, 2019Prevention
12 Things You Can Do After Getting a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Study Finds How A Mother Plays With A Baby Has Long-Term Affects
October 19, 2019mindbodygreen
Study Finds How A Mother Plays With A Baby Has Long-Term Affects
Work and family demands may impact women's heart health
October 19, 2019MedicalNewsToday
Work and family demands may impact women's heart health
Scientists may be getting closer to creating a universal flu vaccine
October 19, 2019MedicalNewsToday
Scientists may be getting closer to creating a universal flu vaccine
Working Out Before Breakfast Can Balance Your Blood Sugar, Study Finds
October 18, 2019mindbodygreen
Working Out Before Breakfast Can Balance Your Blood Sugar, Study Finds
The Week That Wasn't: Viagra BMTs, Pregnancy Stress, Breast Cancer Vaccine
October 17, 2019Medscape
The Week That Wasn't: Viagra BMTs, Pregnancy Stress, Breast Cancer Vaccine
EU Panel Gives Thumbs-Up on First Ebola Vaccine
October 17, 2019Medscape
EU Panel Gives Thumbs-Up on First Ebola Vaccine
Feel less sad and improve your mood with this little tip
October 18, 2019MSN
Feel less sad and improve your mood with this little tip
Over 700 Doctors Paid More Than $1 Million by Drug, Medical Device Companies
October 17, 2019Medscape
Over 700 Doctors Paid More Than $1 Million by Drug, Medical Device Companies