Sunday, December 11, 2011

YOUR TEEN AND IDENTITY THEFT



Identity theft is every adults' nightmare.  Identity theft is when a person steals someone else's personal information, such as credit card, bank account or Social Security numbers, to purchase goods and services.  With technology, it is easier than ever to have your identity stolen .Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the U.S., with over nine million victims each year.  Luckily, there are companies who can protect your identity, such as IdentityHawk.

But...do you think your teenager needs identity theft protection. They do, because they are easy targets.  One study reports that the age group most affected by identity theft is between 10 and 16.  Teenagers and young adults are more vulnerable to identity theft because they don't have a credit file that can be monitored.  Their clean credit record is what attracts identity thieves.  Thieves can rack up charges on a clean record for years.  Most teens discover they have fallen victim to identity theft when they apply for a driver's license and are denied because one has already been issued under their Social Security number.

HOW DO THIEVES GET YOUR INFORMATION:
  • They go through your trash looking for unshredded papers and records.
  • They steal your mail, wallet or purse.
  • They listen in on conversations.
  • They trick you or your teen into giving them personal information, either over the phone or by email.
  • They steal information from a loan or credit card application you or your child may have filled out or from files at a hospital, bank, school or business that you deal with. Thieves may obtain these records from trash dumpsters outside such companies.
  • They get it from your computer, especially those without firewalls.
  • It can be a friend or relative who has access to you or your teen's information. 
EDUCATE YOUR TEEN ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT:
  • Educate your teen on safe Internet practices and how to protect themselves online while at school and at home.
  • Invest in a paper shredder at home to destroy personal information, including mail with birthdays, social security numbers, and banking information.
  • Instruct your teen to only disclose personal information to individuals they know and reputable companies when making purchase, especially online purchases.
  • Encourage your teen to only approve friend requests from those they know.  Instruct your teen to ignore requests from people they do not know well or at all, as they could be predators looking for information to steal their identity.
  • Advise your teen to never carry his/her social security card in his/her wallet or purse.  They will not need this card on a day to day basis, so it needs to be kept in a safe place (lock box) at home.
  • You can also use an identity theft protection company, such as IdentityHawk. These companies guarantee to stop fraud before it happens.
It can take years to clean up the mess once your teenager's identity is stolen, so start today teaching your teenager how to protect his/her identity by keeping his/her personal information private.  





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17 comments:

Val Curtis said...

Congrats on being a featured member on VB. what a great resource this is. As a middle school teacher, I was aware of all today's teens are confronted with. As a mom of 2 kiddos under 5, I cringe. Thank you for putting so much thought and effort into these issues.

Val Curtis said...

One quick comment. Could you list your sources for the information you gather? It would give your readers additional support on each topic when needed.

reanaclaire said...

Hello..coming by via Voiceboks! congratulations to you!

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Small Kucing said...

very good advices.

Kathy
www.smallkucing.com

Olusola said...

It's really great to see a blog that addresses teen issues. Keep up the good work. Visiting via vB

Debbie said...

Super advice!
Congrats on being a featured member on VB. What a pretty blog you have. I'm glad I found you.

pamela r said...

Stopping through with vB...I'm very strick with what my kids can do on-line, you bring up many great point every parent SHOULD know.

LisaWeidknecht said...

Congratulations on being a vB feature member this week! I also have two teens so I can really empathize with you. LOL

Erin said...

Laura,
My daughter is coming home from college, for Christmas next week and I am going to make sure she reads this post!! Thank you so much for sharing all of the great information!!!
Congrats on being a Featured Member of voiceBoks too!
Blessings,
~Erin

Mommy LaDy Club said...

This is a great reminder. Thanks for all of the important topics you cover on your blog:)

GJT said...

I hadn't really given this much thought, but man, it sounds like a good idea to teach our kids about identity theft. Both my husband and I have been victims of this, and it still haunts our credit report. Though they are still young, I've been letting my kids shred our documents for a while.

Congrats on being a vB featured member!
Gina
www.totallyfullofit.com

locked out said...

Thank you for taking the issue. This happens not only with teens although their case is the most common. Your advice will be helpful in dealing the situation.

Ryan Abate said...

It's not a joke. The younger the generation, the more eager they are in using technology. My 3 y.o. wants to get her hands on anything electronic. If we as parents do not instill information about security, they may be subject to these hazards like identity theft in the future.

oi, ryan! NRAS home loan

Ian said...

A sad part is when it's the parent of the child that is the one who uses the child's identity.

Anonymous said...

Indeed,you really have to instruct your teens regarding with identity theft. Instruct them on do's and don'ts.. by the way congratulations! keep on posting. I like your post.
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Alex D Man! said...

Most parents don't want to face the teenage years issue. They make themselves believe that it's just a phase that everyone goes through and it will pass. They don't realize that this is the stage when our children builds their identities. What we teach them they will carry to adulthood.

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Annie Valdez said...

There are ways on how we can counter identity thieves. One of which is destroying documents that have you and your family’s personal information. Also, never give out your social security number to any third-party, unless it is a trusted organization.

Annie Valdez

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