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Why Does Twitch Need My SSN?

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The last four digits of my Social Security number are… wait … I’m not going to give you that. Identity theft is all too common these days, with 3.2 million cases reported in the U.S. in 2019. Keeping identifiers like SSN under lock and key has never been more important. But low and behold, Twitch requires your Social Security number once you have hit affiliate. 

In this post we’ll look at what Twitch needs your SSN for and if you should be concerned with them having your personal information.

What Twitch Does With Social Security Numbers

You finally hit 50 followers and got your average viewers to three. Welcome to Affiliate! Now all that stands between you and that sweet sweet stream money is a fat stack of paperwork from Twitch. You dig into the paperwork and realize Twitch needs a lot of your personal information, including your Social Security number. 

What do they need that for? Simply put, they need your SSN so they can pay you. By providing your SSN and agreeing to Twitch’s Affiliate Agreement, your become eligible to receive fees in:

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    Bits and Cheering

    Twitch bits are one of the most popular ways to earn money on the platform. The streamer receives the full bit amount.

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    Qualifying Purchases

    Occasionally, streamers will be able to market a few things for Twitch or a sponsor through the platform.

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    Channel Subscription Services

    Viewers are able to subscribe to a channel under one of three different tiers. Streamers will receive 50% of the subscription amount.

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    Special Programs

    Occasionally, Twitch streamers can join special programs or events that will generate them money through the platform.

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    Advertisements

    Affiliates will earn a little each month from ads that are watched by non-subscribed viewers.

Just like any other job where money switches hands, Twitch requires your information for tax purposes Two tax forms are required in the Affiliate Onboarding process, both which require your SSN, to identify you. 

Is It Safe to Give Your SSN to Twitch?

Twitch has only experienced a small handful of security breaches in the last 10 years. In the past, Twitch has acted swiftly to inform streamers that their information may be at-risk, recommending password changes and disconnecting streamers’ linked social media accounts (Twitter, YouTube, Exc.) from their Twitch accounts for additional safety. 

Twitch Security works to protect viewers and streamers on their platform. They even take submissions from anyone who believes they may have found a security flaw in Twitch’s platform. 

Is your information 100 percent safe? No nothing on the internet is, but you can be proactive and make sure your personal information is only available to those who need it. 

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    Keep passwords private

    Don’t share your passwords with anyone else. You don’t know who may share them with other people in the future.

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    Do not use similar passwords for multiple platforms

    Keep your passwords unique. Use a app like LastPass to help keep track of your passwords for you under their encrypted service.

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    Use 2FA software for logging into accounts

    While this can be an annoying feature at times, it will keep you safe in the long run. Keep your mobile device nearby for easy access.

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    Keep an eye out for breach updates from Twitch

    Twitch will typically email or Tweet any breaches. If you have been breached, make sure to immediately change your password.

Conclusion 

Sharing personal information on the internet can be a scary thing. If you are not comfortable with Twitch having your SSN, you could simply not join the affiliate program. But if you wish to continue with the onboarding process, you’ll need to provide them with your SSN. No one wants to be a victim of an identity thief who spends $50 on snacks at a BP gas station in Lexington, Kentucky. Just be smart and keep your head on a swivel.

About the Author

Nick

Nick is a comedy writer from Chicago who got his start at The Second City Theatre. Trading stage time for screen time, he currently streams from his laptop at NickFatNite on Twitch and won’t shut up about it.

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