Protecting your Child from Identity Theft
We have heard about Identity theft happening to adults, but parents need to be aware it could also happen to children. Children are prime targets because their information is readily available when it is stored within a school system. In addition, almost no one monitors a child’s credit report so it could be years before the problem is even detected.
There are many ways that a child’s identity could be compromised. For example, it could happen from a large data breach, it could be exposed from school records that are improperly protected, it could be exposed from a computer hack or a stolen wallet, it could even be stolen by someone you know.
How can you protect your children from identity theft?
- Find a safe location for all paper and electronic records that show your child’s personal information
- Unless you trust the other party, don’t share your child’s social security number. If you are asked to provide it, ask why it is necessary and how it will be protected.
- Shred any paperwork that has your child’s personal information on it before throwing it away.
- Be aware of events that put information at risk. For example, if you lose a wallet, purse or paperwork that has your child’s social security information, there’s a break-in at your home, or a school, doctor’s office or business notifies you that your child’s information was affected by a security breach.
To find out more about warning signs and what to do if your child’s identity is stolen, the Federal Trade Commission offers excellent advice on monitoring and protecting your children from identity theft.