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Protecting Your Child from ID Theft

Identity theft statistics show that child identity theft is unfortunately one of the most common types of identity thefts.

Identity theft statistics show that child identity theft is unfortunately one of the most common types of identity thefts. The worst part is that most of these children often don't even know that their identity has been stolen until many years after the crime first occurred. Most parents don't routinely run credit reports on their children.

As a parent, you want to do everything you can to protect your child. But protecting your child from ID theft is much more complicated.

Follow these steps to protect your child from identity theft :

  • Lock up important personal documents at home. Do not leave these out in the open, including around friends, extended family members, out of town guests, and especially repair people or those you've hired to help around the house, like pet sitters, baby sitters, etc.
  • At the doctor's office or school, ask why your child's personal information is needed, how it will be safeguarded, and if there's another method of identification that could be used for their record keeping.
  • Shred doctor's and insurance statements after you no longer need them.
  • Destroy prescription labels on medicine bottles and containers before throwing them away.
  • Take outgoing mail to the post office instead of leaving it in your mailbox for pick up.

Monitor your children's activity online. Know what sites they visit and make sure they know not to share their name, address, phone number, etc., with websites.

  • Safely dispose of your children's old computers and mobile devices by wiping them clean of all files, photos, messages, contact lists, etc.

With older children, make sure they know how to protect their identity by not sharing personal information when using public WiFi and advise them to password lock their computer (make sure you know the password too, of course).

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