Sean Reiser

Hi I'm Seán Reiser, this is my Personal Blog

“A person is what they think about all day long”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Should I Give the Last 4 Digits of my SSN to a Job Recruiter


[Update 12/28/2022] Reposting this because it come up in conversation with a recruiter today.

I’ve commented on this blog about the trend recruiters have where they ask for the last 4 digits of a candidate’s SSN in their first contact email (Along with name, dob, location and other PII).  I thought I’d consolidate my thoughts on a post.

Let me explain the format of a SSN:

The first 3 digits are tied to the state where the applicant applied for their SSN.  Since most people in the US are born, live and die within a 50 mile radius this becomes guessable.

The next 2 are a group number and can be tied to the year the applicant applied for their SSN.  States only issue from a few group numbers a year.  Most Americans are issued their SSN in the first couple of years of their life.   Where a recruiter doesn’t know a candidate’s age/year of birth, it can be estimated from info on a candidate’s resume (graduation year or when the candidate entered the workforce).

The last 4 are assigned in sequence and isn’t derivable from a candidate’s information.  These are the most significant digits for your privacy,

So for a large portion of candidates, someone can whittle SSNs down to 1-25 possible options.  You can see why I am concerned that this could be a fishing attack.  Someone I don’t know asking for information that can lead to identity theft.  Also the thought that you’re submitting the info via email which is insecure by design adds another vector for possible theft.

I understand that firms are using Applicant Tracking Systems where the last 4 digits of a SSN are used to ensure candidates don’t get double submitted, but I think many people are unaware of the risks.


I'm not saying it's cold in here today, but…

I can now post text content on my blog and push it into my personal Mastodon Instance, automagically.

I'll play with media (images and videos) next.


Holiday Message

As I’m about getting ready to send my annual holiday message it occurs to me, that we're all still recovering from the chaos that started in late 2019.    We need to take a good look there’s been heartache and pain there is still a lot to celebrate even if we need to make an effort to find those reasons.   I think it’s the year to celebrate as many holidays as possible.

I posted this first around 15 years ago.  A friend suggested I post it annually.  A few years later I added the “half way out of the dark” and began posting on Solstice.  Share and enjoy!

As a New Yorker I have been wished the following as some point or another:

  • Happy Hanukkah
  • Joyous Kwanzaa
  • An Easy Fast at Yom Kippur
  • A Blessed Ramadan
  • Solstice Wishes
  • Happy Yule
  • ... among many others

When I'm offered these wishes my answer is a simple, "Thank You, and the same to you". Unless the person is a close friend, I don't try and point out that these are not my holidays. I assume that the person is offering me positive wishes of joy, peace and happiness.  Why would I want to  offend the wisher or want them to believe that they are not welcome? I don't know about you but I'm a rather flawed human being and could use all the blessings, peace and positive wishes I can get.

So, over the next week or so, if I wish you a Merry Christmas, please understand that I am wishing you Joy and Peace, Serenity and Happiness. Please do not be offended by my wishes if I don't realize you are not celebrating Christmas, it is not my intention to offend.

Let me say to all:  No matter what you celebrate may it be the Merriest, Happiest, most Joyous and Blessed one yet. I also wish that the ones to come outshine this year's holidays.

And to a certain group of my friends (you know who you are): Well Done! Half way out of the dark.

in the words of our people ... "Well done, halfway out of the dark!" 

Throgs Neck Bridge

Hello World, working on finding my #gratitude today.

#ThrogsNeckBridge #sunset #NYC #NewYorkCity #DailyPhoto #POTD #PhotoOfTheDay #commitAwesome

A quick update since joining #team2ndTimeCovid last momth..

I didn't qualify for the anti-virals so I had to let it run its course. This time it certainly wasn't as bad as what I had #covid classic in February and March 2020.  I had no fever to speak of and the upper respiratory symptoms weren't as bad. I didn't have any noticeable hypoxia.

I think I finally moved past the sudden bouts of fatigue for no reason.  I am winded walking upstairs and can only walk for 15 or 20 minutes before tiring.


Up all night on a project. Going to close my eyes for a few hours so I can sludge through the day. It's going to be a long one.