Child identity theft is when someone gets your personal information and uses it for their own gain. Last year, more than a million children had their identities stolen. This can present huge problems for your child as they get older.
How to protect your kids from child identity theft
Here are some of the steps that you should take to protect your child’s identity.
Be mindful of distributed information
The large majority of child identity theft is occurring to those under the age of eight. This may be a combination of factors that are contributing to thieves targeting your child. You may not be as mindful with your child’s personal information as you are with your own. Don’t give out your child’s social security number to anyone just because they ask for it. The people that are closest to you are more likely to steal your child’s identity than a stranger.
Look into credit monitoring
Just as you monitor your own credit, consider checking into your child’s credit history. You shouldn’t be able to find a history associated with your child’s social security number. If you see one, this is a sign someone has stolen their identity. At this point, you’ll need to freeze their credit and file a report. You don’t want this person to be able to further damage your child’s financial future.
Follow instructions for known breaches
Some companies have had recent breaches of personal information. If these companies had your child’s social security number, this could place them at risk. Follow the instructions that are provided after a breach has occurred. Monitor your child’s credit report every year to ensure that no one has opened accounts in their name. Another thing to watch for is if your child receives credit card offers in the mail. This means that someone has brought them to the attention of lending agencies.
Secure your documents
Ensure your documents are safe in your home. You need to secure these documents for the whole family in a safe, like those from Southern California Security Centers. Keeping these documents out of the hands of criminals means that you need to limit access. The only way that you can do this is to keep them locked up. Other things to consider with a safe are the size of it and its fireproof rating.
In order to protect your child, you also have to safeguard their financial future. Use these tips to keep your child’s identity out of someone else’s hands.
About the Writer: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.