The good news is that there are many ways to minimize the risks associated with identity theft. Here’s our list of 10 tips for protecting your kids from identity theft:
1) Always use strong passwords- It’s important to make sure they’re unique, long and not a word you would find in the dictionary. 2) Make practice sessions fun- Whether it be dress up or photo games, give them something meaningful so it’ll stick out among all their other activities at home. 3) Ask about their online accounts- If your child has an account on social media sites like Facebook or Snapchat ask what types of permissions he/she might have set as well as his/her profile settings for privacy protection. 4) Track spending habits – This can go hand in hand with #3 but will help further establish any patterns if your child is prone to going overboard without permission 5) Connect stories together by writing text messages between parents & children.- For example, let’s say Johnny spends money on Pokemon cards while playing video games at school during recess time 6). Give them context when they are exposed to information in pop culture via TV shows and movies 7), Create a budget plan rather than resorting solely to credit card debt 8). Check bank statements regularly 9), Be alert for anything unusual happening in behavior such as changes towards someone who appears suspicious 10). Build trust and confidence before starting a new activity
“Child identity theft by parent” is a serious issue that many parents are unaware of. There are 10 ways to protect your child from identity theft.
Americans are becoming increasingly worried about securing their personally identifiable information (PII) from prospective criminals with each new data breach that makes the news.
However, there is one kind of data that they may be overlooking: the information on their children.
While youngsters do not have bank accounts or credit card information that might be used by criminals, they do have blank records that are enticing to anybody trying to take on a new identity. Furthermore, since credit records for minors are seldom searched until they reach the age of 18, identity theft may go unnoticed for years.
Before reaching maturity, 10% of kids were victims of identity theft.
Unfortunately, identity thieves have discovered this seemingly innocuous cache of information. According to a Carnegie Mellon CyLab research from 2011, 10% of kids were victims of identity theft before reaching adulthood.
Not just the quantity of victims, but also the seriousness of the crimes, is concerning.
By the time a kid reaches adulthood, they may have inherited years of phony charges and a ruined credit score as a result of identity theft. When Dr. Axton Betz-Hamilton, a child identity theft researcher, found out in college that her identity had been stolen when she was 11 years old, she had 10 pages of fake charges to deal with. Her credit had been so badly ruined that she had no choice but to work her way up from a dreadful 380 credit score.
A youngster does not have any credit to fall back on, unlike an adult who may be able to use their prior good credit to contest false charges. A stolen identity might take years to rectify for someone like Dr. Betz-Hamilton.
The most effective strategy to combat kid identity theft is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Parents may protect their children’s identity in 10 different ways.
1. Determine whether or not your kid has a credit report.
If they don’t have a report, that’s a positive thing since it implies they don’t have any credit cards. If they do have a report, you’ll be able to work with a full explanation of the fraudulent conduct.
Credit reports should be checked once a year, but particularly around your child’s 16th birthday, according to experts. You’ll have ample time to fix their identity if it’s been stolen before they apply for school loans or employment.
2. Don’t share too much on social media.
Yes, it’s exciting when your family welcomes a new baby or your adolescent earns his or her driver’s license, but not every one of your 500+ Facebook “friends” has to know every detail. Never give out your child’s entire name or birthday on social media, and don’t post any photographs that might reveal personal information (like your child holding their license or a college acceptance letter).
It goes without saying that if you’re sharing information about your family, you should keep your accounts private.
3. Make inquiries.
Who has access to the personally identifiable information of your children? What exactly do they need it for? What method do they use to keep it? What do they do with it?
You should get acquainted with your kid’s school, physician, child care facility, and extracurricular programs’ data privacy regulations in particular. Keep an eye out for the more benign (and typical) ways that your child’s PII may be disclosed, such as birthday calendars or classroom contact lists, in addition to confirming that your child’s Social Security number isn’t revealed.
4. Don’t give up your child’s Social Security information to just anybody.
You should never give out your child’s Social Security number unless the other party has a clear need for it. In rare circumstances, the last four digits of their social security number may suffice.
If you have a new baby, family members may ask for your Social Security number so that they may buy a savings bond in your name. While this is required when purchasing a savings bond online, it is not required when purchasing a paper savings bond through a financial institution. Instead, your friend or family member may supply their Social Security number.
5. Ensure that your child’s personally identifiable information is properly stored.
Lock away any tangible papers that include your child’s Social Security number in a file cabinet or safe. If you ever need to get rid of papers containing your child’s personal information (even if it’s just junk mail with their name and address), shred them.
You should encrypt any crucial papers on your PC. You may even encrypt the file they’re stored in and conceal it inside a bigger file so a burglar couldn’t discover it.
6. Put your child’s credit on hold.
This is useful if your child’s personal information has been compromised as a result of a data breach. Someone will be unable to obtain additional lines of credit or accounts in your child’s name if you place a freeze on their account.
You must contact each credit reporting agency and pay the charge set by your state, which is usually around $10. When your kid reaches 18, you may release the freeze, or you can lift it temporarily for a particular period of time or a celebration.
7. Submit a request for a preliminary fraud alert.
Companies must verify your identification before giving new credit if you have a fraud warning. An first fraud warning is sent as a precautionary measure, such as in the event of a data breach that exposes your child’s personal information. It has the ability to prevent fraudulent credit before it occurs.
Unlike the extended seven-year fraud warning, the first alert does not need an identity theft complaint. You may obtain a free credit report alert by calling one of the three main credit bureaus (each is required to alert the other two). The warning is valid for 90 days, but it may be extended if needed.
8. Sign up for an identity theft alert service.
LifeLock, for example, may assist you notice when your PII has been compromised before your identity has been stolen.
LifeLock Jr. is a service designed exclusively for children. It will notify you if your child’s PII is sold on the black market, credit is established in their name, or their identity has been stolen for $5.99 per month.
9. When it comes to smart gadgets, be cautious.
The FBI issued a warning against smart gadgets in July. Using data from prior encounters, these interactive toys progressively personalize the play experience to each kid. They may save discussions with children or request sensitive information such as a child’s birthday or name to construct their user profile in certain situations.
These toys may be susceptible to hacking if they are linked to the Internet. Make sure your kid only uses these toys while connected to a safe and reliable Wi-Fi network.
10. Have a conversation with your children.
Apps, online games, and other digital toys will be used by your kid long before they join social media. You should educate kids to be careful when sharing personal information online, just as you would advise them about trusting strangers.
Were You a Victim of a Cyber-Attack?
You may be entitled to compensation if your identity was stolen as a result of a data breach. Our lawyers have filed cases in the wake of some of the world’s major data breaches, including Yahoo and Equifax. For a no-cost, no-obligation legal consultation, contact us now.
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Identity theft is a growing problem that is happening to children more and more. It can happen in many different ways, but there are some things you can do to protect your child from identity theft. Reference: child identity theft examples.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 10 steps to protect yourself from identity theft?
A: A lot of people know about the 10 steps to protecting yourself from identity theft, but here are some extra tips that you may not be aware of.
1) If your checking or credit card statements have been stolen and there is a phone number on them, call the banks fraud department immediately. Because thieves often use fake identifications, they will most likely hang up before answering questions in order to avoid detection.
2) Always shred old checks so that no one can find out how much money you make if someone gets hold of personal information like these documents
3) Do not allow anyone other than your parents and close friends into your mailbox without permission
4) Keep an eye on who calls you by reading their Caller ID
What are the 6 ways to protect yourself against identity theft?
A: There are six ways to protect yourself from identity theft. They include using a password manager, being cautious about what personal information you give away online and in person, using an app that monitors your digital privacy, not sharing too much personal information with people you dont know (including friends), and staying alert for where scammers try to gather their victims data.
How do I lock my childs Social Security number?
A: Locking a childs Social Security number is the default, no action needed. All parents have to do is go into their account settings and set this lock from there.
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