A recent study found that as many as 140,000 kids younger than 18 are victims of identity theft a year in the U.S. Since most kids between birth and the age of 18 do not have credit cards or bank accounts, identity thefts can go undetected for years, according to SafetyWeb.com.
Here are five tips for parents from SafetyWeb.com to keep their kids' identities safe:
1. Keep your Child's Social Security Card Safe: Store your child's social security card in a secure place, such as a safety deposit box or a safe at home. Do not carry it around and risk it being lost.2. Shred Documents: Shred any documents that ask for your child's personal information, such as a social security number, before you throw them out.3. Educate your Kids on Social Media: With Facebook and Twitter all the rage, take the opportunity to talk to your child about posting too much personal information online. Make sure they are especially cautious when it comes to posting phone numbers, addresses, and email information.4. Stay Informed: Require your children to ask permission before registering for any site and tell them to ask your permission before downloading anything online. This way you can make sure sites are safe and secure, and also decide if the applications and software your kids are downloading are legitimate.5. Discuss Identity Theft: Talk with your children about identity theft. If you teach them to be prepared and be safe both in public and while online, they will be better prepared to deal with any suspicious activities.
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