Identity Theft Articles

Google, iKeepSafe partner to deliver digital literacy

Google, iKeepSafe partner to deliver digital literacy

Identity theft can target any internet user, regardless of their safety precautions or software.

Those who don't know how to spot a fraudulent website or email may be particularly vulnerable to their threats. With this in mind, the Internet Keep Safe Coalition is teaming up with Google Inc. to educate some of the web's most frequent users: high school students.

iKeepSafe is marking Internet Safety Month by making its fourth stop in a Digital Literacy Tour, according to a recent release. Representatives from the coalition will speak with students, parents, educators and other at South Chicago middle school Dunne Technology Academy about the ways to use the internet safely. Educational animated videos from Google will be incorporated into this presentation.

"At Google, we believe that access to information is the key to a better understanding of the world," John Burchette, senior policy council at Google, said. "With that access, however, people must be thoughtful about the information they share and consume online."

In addition to educating individuals from Illinois, the two companies offered a series of tips all consumers can follow to protect themselves online. First, it is important to make sure any information shared online does not compromise one's identity. Keeping one's Social Security number, home address, bank and credit card numbers off social media websites is one way to do this.

Internet users should also make sure that banking websites offer a thorough privacy policy before submitting such information, according to the report. Choosing complicated login and password combinations can further reduce the likelihood of being compromised. Posting and sending personal photos, however, may increase an individual's identity theft risk.

Bullying online can make consumers a target for crime or get them banned from certain networks, according to the report. Those on the receiving end of this harassment should block violating users and flag the content. When concerned, teens should report online abuse to an adult.

"Teens are growing up in a world where their social life is coordinated and communicated through their interactions online," Marsali Hancock, president and CEO of iKeepSafe, said. "As parents and educators struggle to be relevant in this conversation, Google is empowering them to engage with their teens on these topics and providing meaningful experiences for the teens to learn from."

A report earlier this year from Javelin Strategy & Research showed that young adults are at a higher risk of identity theft because of their weaker credit monitoring skills.