As a parent of children on the internet, our first instinct is to protect them and make sure they understand to never give out their name or other personal information to anyone. But, just like in the case of an airplane emergency, the parent actually needs to protect themselves first in order to best protect their children second. This also applies in the case of identity theft protection.
The truth is, with more kids currently being educated through the internet, both adults and children are extra vulnerable to having their identities stolen. More than 1 million children in the U.S. were identity theft victims, resulting in losses of $2.67 billion, according to a child identity fraud study by Javelin Strategy & Research.
No one is too young to be targeted, with two-thirds of the victims under the age of eight. Another 20 percent are eight to 12 years old. It’s important to make sure your identity is protected from criminals and then extend that protection to your children and other family members, so your lives aren’t turned upside down because of identity theft.
Why are children’s identities stolen?
Criminals gravitate towards children’s identities because they know they are less likely to spend their time monitoring their own online activity. Kids are online to communicate with their friends, not check their bank account balance. Criminals can use you or your child’s stolen Social Security number (SSN) and other personal information to open new credit cards and other credit lines, make fraudulent purchases, change your billing address and even obtain a driver’s license in you or your child’s name.
The longer the activity goes undetected, the more is stolen. This criminal activity can negatively affect you and your children’s lives for years. Sometimes the theft isn’t detected until a child turns 18 and wants to begin establishing their own credit.
Keeping everyone’s identity safe
Only share your child’s or your SSN and other identifying information with trustworthy organizations for official purposes, such as school registration. Make sure your child understands to never give out this number or any other personal information such as their address or phone number to anyone. Whenever you do submit personal information, ask how the organization will protect it.
Also inform your kids not to click on links or pop-up advertisements while they are on their phones or doing their homework. Sometimes malware is automatically downloaded onto devices just by clicking on links. Same is true for links inside an email. If you receive a call requesting personal information about you or your child, don’t immediately assume it’s legitimate, assume it’s fraudulent instead. Hang up and call the organization back if you think it is an official phone number. A live person that can identify themselves will answer if it is legitimate.
Shred or burn any documents with you or your child’s personal information before you throw them away or put them in the recycling bin outside.
Monitoring your identity and credit is essential to protecting your family. A credit and identity protection service can help provide you with alerts when your SSN is used, so you can act quickly if your personal information is at risk. In certain plans, you can add your children for family protection.
Whether you’ve already been a victim of identity theft or you want to be proactive about staying safe from fraud, you should always keep updated on your credit activity through the use of the most powerful software available. Remember. The best program does the work for you, so you don’t have to worry or give it a second thought. For more information, visit https://identitytheftprotection123.com/.
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