Five Tips to Keep your Kids Safe from Identity Theft
Each year, more than 4 million babies are born in the United States. That means millions of new Social Security numbers each year as well. Parents worry about so much when it comes to their babies and children, but one thing they may not think about is how their children could be prime targets for identity thieves.
One of the biggest problems parents have while protecting and keeping tabs on their children's identity is that most people between birth and the age of 18 don’t have credit cards or bank accounts. So, identity thefts can go undetected for years. A recent study by the ID Analytics Lab found that as many as 140,000 people under the age of 18 in the U.S. are victims of identity theft each year.
While there is no sure fire way to stop thieves from attacking, there are some simple steps parents can take to work towards keeping their children from becoming a statistic and adding to this already growing number of victims.
1. Keep your Child’s Social Security Card Safe - Store your child's social security card in a secure place, such as a safety deposit box or a safe at home. Do not carry it around and risk it being lost.
2. Shred Documents - Shred any documents that ask for your child’s personal information, such as a social security number before you throw them out.
3. Educate your Kids on Social Media - With Facebook and Twitter all the rage, take the opportunity to talk to your child about posting too much personal information online. Make sure they are especially cautious when it comes to posting phone numbers, addresses, and email information.
4. Stay Informed - Require your children to ask permission before registering for any site and tell them to ask your permission before downloading anything online. This way you can make sure sites are safe and secure and you can also decide if the applications and software your kids are downloading are legitimate.
5. Discuss Identity Theft - Talk with your children about identity theft. If you teach them to be prepared and be safe both in public and online, they will be better prepared to deal with any suspicious activities.
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