Children are Prime Targets for ID Theft
Children – those who can’t protect themselves – are increasingly victims of identity theft. In fact, it’s been reported that in 2017 more than 1 million children were targets of identity theft. And, the out-of-pocket expenses that hit these families are reported at $540 million. Thieves are interested in children’s social security numbers because they are a blank slate, i.e. they don’t have a credit history. This makes them prime targets for criminals looking to open new wireless accounts, bank accounts, and credit cards using their personal information.
Tips for protecting your child’s personal information at school.
The Federal Trade Commission posts a helpful resource here to help you further understand more about how to protect your child’s personally identifiable information (PII). Here’s a consolidated view:
- Understand where your child’s PII is stored; verify that school records are secure.
- Know how any PII information you provide on school forms will be used – and whether it will be shared, and with whom. Verify that these forms are updated and that it is indeed necessary to even provide PII about your child.
- Ask about the school’s directory information policy and what information about your child is included. You have the choice to opt out.
Be aware, data breaches becoming more prevalent in schools.
It’s becoming more common for educational institutions to experience data breaches. View the latest school data breaches here. Criminals can essentially get free range over your child’s identity for well over a decade. It’s not until your child tries to get their first job, enroll in college, or rent their first apartment will the fraudulent activity surface as part of their credit history.
Protect Your Child with ChildWatch.
With an adult IdentityForce membership, you can select ChildWatch as an additional service. And, for organizations that offer IdentityForce identity protection as a benefit to their employees, ChildWatch is free.
To learn more about how you can further protect your children, visit our Member Support area under Identity Theft 101.