How To Mask a US Social Security Number (SSN)

DataVeil has a built-in mask specifically designed to mask United States Social Security Numbers (SSN) that is very simple to configure.

Step 1: Right-click on your database SSN column and choose “Add Mask…”

   

Step 2: Choose “National Identifier” and then “United States – Social Security Number (SSN)”

   

               

Step 3: Configure the Social Security Number mask

The Social Security Number mask is shown with a default configuration.

A DataVeil project is deterministic by default and so the ‘Deterministic parameters’ are enabled and the Non-Deterministic parameters are disabled.

You can override the determinism for this mask in the mask’s Determinism tab or change the project default determinism in the main window’s Setting tab.

Typically, deterministic is a preferred setting because it will ensure that all instances of a specific SSN will be masked consistently throughout the database, even on repeated masking executions.

As you can see, the default deterministic setting is such that the first 3 digits fo an SSN are preserved.

   

 

If you want to see a preview of what the actual before and after masking values will look like then you can click on the Preview Run icon

This will perform all the normal masking functions on a small sample of the actual data without actually writing the masked values to the database. Below, you can see the before and after masking values, side by side, in the DataVeil Data Browser window. As you can see, the first 3 didgits are preserved and the remainder are masked.

DataVeil will always mask valid SSNs with valid SSN number ranges.

Also note that the preview column shows “(Preview)” to indicate that the masked value is just a preview and therefore the original value in the database has not yet been masked.

 

Step 4: Run the masking project

Let’s suppose that we want to proceed to mask SSN values but we not wish to preserve the first 3 digits. Therefore, we would first clear the checkbox ‘Preserve first 3 digits of SSN’ (in the mask dialog, shown above), and then we perform the actual masking by clicking on the Run icon

After the masking run completes, you can review a sample of the actual before and after masked values in the Data Browser window as shown below. Note that the masked column heading now shows “(Masked)” to indicate that the original values have been overwtten with the new fictitious SSNs generated by DataVeil.

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