Faxing Your Social Security Number

Is it safe to fax your Social Security number or Driver’s License?

Unfortunately, no one can guarantee that a fax you send won’t fall into the wrong hands. However, there are ways to mitigate the possibility.

First, be confident that the party you’re faxing has a legitimate need for your SSN or driver’s license information. Have you applied for a job? Are you seeking government assistance of some kind? Are you involved in an ongoing business or personal relationship with the recipient?

You’ll need to make a judgment call as to whether the recipient is reputable. In general, I’d feel more comfortable sharing private information via a fax to a government agency or other established entity. Recently, a friend’s doctor needed a copy of her driver’s license before setting her up as a new patient. She asked me if she could safely fax an image of the license rather than take time to hand-carry it to the office. I told her that I would feel confident faxing in that situation.

Finally, be aware that entities with robust privacy policies that use trustworthy fax services or dedicated phone lines will be less likely to experience a breach. For example, my internet fax service FaxZero.com uses secure servers, encrypts all messages via HTTPS protocol, and pledges not to share information about your faxes with anyone unless compelled by court order or subpoena.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.