Identity theft is on the rise. Hackers like the idea of being able to get a little information on you and then using this as a way to make big purchases and to use your money and your identity. While most of us know some simple steps to take in order to protect ourselves from identity theft, what about protecting the identity of our kids? It is hard to realize that your child’s identity has been stolen until they are grown up because getting a credit report or information about your child is really hard until they are an adult. This is why you need to be proactive and really watch out for what your child is doing so no one can steal your information.
To make sure that your child is protected from identity theft, try out a few of these tips:
- Ask some questions: any time that you need to provide information to an organization or school, make sure that you know the policy for storing as well as of disposing this personal information. the only secure way for these organizations to get rid of confidential documents is to use a professional shredding company.
- Understand the different privacy laws in your area: the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act is there to protect the privacy of student records and will give you as the parent some options when you need to share this information with other parties.
- Safely store information that may be sensitive: make sure to keep all the personal documents of your child in a secure place. This would include documents like social security cards, passports, and birth certificates.
- Shred older personal documents: if it is an older document with personal information, make sure that you are shredding it rather than throwing it away or recycling.
- Teach internet safety: sometimes your kid could give out some of the personal information without even realizing it. Make sure that you are watching their social media sites and that you are careful about how the internet is used in your home. Set out some ground rules and watch out for what may be suspicious.
- Watch for the red flags: if you notice that your child starts getting statements, random catalogs, or even credit card applications, these are serious signs. They don’t always point to a serious issue (credit card companies get a bit crazy sending out information), but it is something to look into.
- Secure data destruction: the cell phones and computers that your children use will have a lot of information that could be personal and is not easy to get rid of. When your child gets an upgrade on these, make sure that you find a professional to shred the hard drive and the cell phone is recycled properly to keep them safe.
Children are easy targets for identity theft because no one is really checking out the information on them. But with the right steps in place, you can help to keep your children safe and keep the identity theft away.