In the wake of the massive Equifax data breach, once again a spotlight has been shone on the overuse of the not-so-secret number that passes for a national ID in the United States–the Social Security Number (SSN). Perhaps we have become numb to these hacks and data breaches. What, my credit card number was compromised? The credit card company will cancel it and issue another one. My address information? My cell number? Well that's already out there in many places. My bank account number? Whatever, I'll change it.
Hold it–someone got my SSN? That's not an easy one to change. And unfortunately, that one is overused for identity not just by government agencies, but also by utilities, telecoms, and financial services companies to identify you and give you credit and access to their services.