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Is It Risky to Give My Social Security Number to a Credit Score Site?

A listener to Motley Fool Answers worries about whether sharing his Social Security number with a credit card score website puts him at risk.

In this clip from the show, Alison Southwick, Robert Brokamp, and Fool alumna Dayana Yochim talk about the steps you can take to keep your personal data relatively safe while checking your edit score, even in this era of hackers and scammers. It's a matter of being careful, but not so careful that you pass up on services that can help you maintain your credit score. It's a fine line to walk, and the Motley Fool Answers team explains how to navigate it.

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Alison Southwick: Our first question comes to us from Josh. Josh writes: "Mint gives the option of checking my credit score, but I'm always scared to share my Social Security number with a nonfederal site. Do you have any thoughts on this matter? Is there truly a safe electronic way to check my credit score, or am I just being paranoid?"

Robert Brokamp: I don't think you're being paranoid, but I don't have a solution for you. I think the bottom line is you're going to have to use your Social Security number. And I think anyone who wants to keep information private is living in a world of illusion. All their information is out there, anyhow ...

Dayana Yochim: Yeah ...

Brokamp: ... in all kinds of places.

Yochim: Right. I agree. Obviously, don't give it to a site that doesn't have the "https" entry before it, and make sure you're going to a legitimate site --- one you've heard of. Google it with the word "scam." See if anything comes up. But yes, in order for anyone to be able to pull your credit score, they need that information about you, or else anyone could use your name, impersonate you, and get your private information that way.

Southwick: But Mint is reputable.

Yochim: Yes. They're owned by Intuit. You're cool.