Our chances of dating facebook status (Social Inssurance)

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Not everyone using online dating sites is looking for love. Scammers create fake online profiles using photos of other people — even stolen pictures of real military personnel. They profess their love quickly. And they tug at your heartstrings with made-up stories about how they need money — for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel. Why all of the tricks?

Keeping your Social Security number secret may not be enough to protect you from identity theft. According to a new study, a crook need only figure out where and when you were born--information often easily found on social networking sites like Facebook--to guess your number in as few as tries. Those individuals particularly at risk were born in smaller states afterwhen receiving a Social Security number at birth became the norm.

Social Security numbers were never meant to be used for widespread Our chances of dating facebook status (Social Inssurance). They were conceived solely to track taxes and benefits. But as more banks, credit card companies, and Our chances of dating facebook status (Social Inssurance) agencies have used them as proof of identification, Social Security numbers have become a key instrument used to fake another's identity.

To help credit bureaus spot fraud, the Social Security Administration SSA publishes all records for deceased Social Security holders, as well as publicly describing the method for assigning numbers in various states.

But researchers have now found that this very information opens the door to guessing someone's number. Here's how Social Security numbers work: Every Social Security number starts with three digits known as an "area number. The next two digits are "group numbers," which can be anything frombut don't correspond to anything specific. The last four digits, the "serial number," are assigned sequentially. On the surface, the process seems like it would lead to randomized--and thus secure--numbers.

When economist Alessandro Acquisti and computer scientist Ralph Gross of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, compared SSA's public death records with birth data, they found that area numbers are not rotated until all serial numbers have been assigned.

So instead of each of New York's 85 area numbers being the possible starting three digits for any Social Security number on any given day, Social Security numbers are assigned essentially in order: That means a potential thief can narrow down a number simply by knowing the date often some 6 to 11 weeks after birth on which one received it.

After Our chances of dating facebook status (Social Inssurance), individuals started receiving Social Security numbers at birth, rather than at their discretion often when they began their first jobso pinpointing these people's numbers is especially easy, says Acquisti. So easy in fact that Acquisti and Gross were able to do it themselves. On a handful of attempts, they managed to get all nine digits on the first try, but at the very least they could predict the full numbers of 8. Such statistics, says Acquisti, mean that a computer-savvy Our chances of dating facebook status (Social Inssurance) could simultaneously test numbers on credit applications easily accessible online and harvest some 47 numbers per minute.

The threat is real, agrees information privacy expert Chris Hoofnagle of the University of California, Berkeley. It is also clear, says Hoofnagle, that years of consumer education to teach people not to share their Social Security number isn't adequate when one can simply predict a number. Acquisti and Our chances of dating facebook status (Social Inssurance) have brought their findings to the attention of numerous government agencies, Dating-cafe singleborse kostenlos SLIDES: BAE Systems Aras PLM for Complex Business Processes SSA.

Several of these agencies plan to meet in Washington, D. By Jeffrey Mervis Nov. By Gretchen Vogel Oct. Social Security numbers are not as safe as experts had believed. How to contact the news team. Record number of monkeys being used in U. Citizen science needs to look more like society, report says By Jeffrey Mervis Nov. Researchers launch plan to sequence 66, species in the United Kingdom. Three paralyzed people walk after nerve stimulation Nov. Cockroaches use karate kicks to avoid becoming zombies Oct.

Wildlife populations have plummeted since Oct. Science 2 November VolIssue

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