While the government is telling us to protect ourselves against identity theft -- government agencies continue to post our Social Security numbers online, or leave them exposed in public files anyone can browse at the county courthouse.
The Washington Post was able to find Colin Powell's and Troy Aikman's Social Security numbers online.
The numbers pop up in land records, civil and criminal court records -- even old copies of the Congressional Record. Stuff you can find at a courthouse or library.
Federal courts have banned the use of the numbers in public documents since 2001 -- but there are millions of paper records out there that still put your number out there. And a lot of jurisdictions have posted those paper records online. (WaPo)