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Five steps to protect against identity theft

 

 

Just because they’re children doesn’t mean your kids are safe from identity theft. If an identity thief has your child’s social security number, your child is at riskTo help prevent identity theft, here are five steps you can take to protect your child from becoming a victim: 

 

Start smart. Do not, under any circumstances, give your child important documents that could possibly be lost. Keep social security cards and birth certificates somewhere safe and secure, and never carry documents like these in purses or cars as it will only increase the chance of identity theft.  

 

Be proactive. If you think there’s a chance your child’s identity has been stolen, check if they have a credit score. The earlier you check, the better because it gives you more time to solve the problem before your child needs their credit. Also, pay attention to the mail your child receives; credit card offers and debt collectors using your child’s name are red flags. 

 

Take action. If your child does have a credit score, make sure to freeze it immediately. Once their credit is frozen, nobody will be able to use their social security or identity to open any more accounts. If you feel your child may be in potential identity theft danger, you can take action to freeze their credit before the damage is done.  

 

Ask questions. Be vigilant about giving out your child’s private information. If your child requests these documents, ask them why they need it and what they will be using it for. Also, ask them how they secure their information and combat potential threats.  

 

Be aware. Recognize the risks of identity theft in ways you hadn’t thought of before. If you’ve been burglarized, check to see that no important documents are missing. If a data breach occurred where your child’s information is being held, take it seriously and constantly check on the status of the information. Lastly, be aware of any visitors in your home who may try accessing your child’s sensitive information. 

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