Years ago, parents worried about their kids hurting themselves at the playground or not eating enough vegetables. But these days, you have a new list of concerns.
It seems silly to think about someone getting their hands on your son or daughter’s personal information so they can open up cell phone accounts or credit cards. But the reality is it happens because the thief knows they’ll be able to get away with it for years. The Boston Globe recently reported that 20 percent of child identity theft is committed by someone in the child’s life, most often a desperate family member or relative.
Here’s what you can do to protect your kids from identity theft:
- Check if your child has a credit repoort. There is no harm in asking a credit bureau if they have any information on file for your kids. If you are told they do not have any information on file, thats good news.
- Ask questions: When you have to hand over your childs identifying information for school sports or medical records, check to see what happens after you hand over these documents.
- Guard their Social Security number. Keep information like a Social Security number and birth certificate locked-up safe at home, especially if you feel there are potentially untrustworthy house guests.
- Teach your kids how to protect themselves. When your children get to be older, make sure they understand what identity theft is and how it happens. Dont let them carry around their Social Security card, and tell them to be careful of how they use their credit card.
As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. As long as you have an idea of how to protect them from these types of crimes, youre doing your part.