Although summer isn’t quite over yet and your kids are likely relishing the final days of sleeping in and carefree afternoons, school is right around the corner, and you need to start evaluating what protection from identity theft you’ll need for your children as they prepare for the school year.
Identity theft isn’t just a grownup problem, as your kid’s personal identification information is just as vulnerable to being compromised by criminals. In fact, “clean slate” Social Security numbers like the ones your children possess are especially valuable to identity thieves, as these codes don’t already have credit reports attached to them and they can be used to open up bank accounts or take out loans.
Here are a few tips from the Federal Trade Commission that outline the best methods of protection from identity theft that you can implement to make sure your child doesn’t become a victim of this heinous crime when you re-enlist them for school in the fall.
- Find out who has access to your child’s information and what safe guards the school has in place to ensure that only legitimate parties are privy to it.
- When your kid comes home with materials that ask for personal information, don’t provide it before ensuring that it is absolutely necessary and that if it is, this knowledge is only shared with the appropriate individuals.
- Schools are obligated to inform parents every year about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Be sure you are well versed in it and aren’t providing too much information, making your child privy to identity theft.
While the school may have measures in place that offer protection from identity theft for your child, not all programs or activities that take place at the school that your child may participate in provide the same security. Be wary about providing certain documents to these extracurricular activity organizers unless you are absolutely sure they can be trusted.