Children are easy targets because they typically do not start using their information until early adulthood when applying for college, loans or their first credit cards. Unfortunately by that time, the damage is already done.
Protect your child’s identity by:
- Safeguarding your child’s personal information. Keep your child’s personal identifiable information, such as his or her Social Security card, date of birth and birth certificate, in a secure spot.
- Monitoring your child’s credit report. As soon as you get your child’s Social Security card you should start monitoring his or her report at least once a year. Request a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com.
- Keeping anti-virus software updated. Some savvy thieves create viruses designed to search computers for documents containing your child’s personal information. Make sure your computer is continually updated with the latest anti-virus software.
- Safely disposing of personal documents. Shred all papers that include your child’s personal information before you throw them out and delete computer files that you no longer need.
If your child’s credit report shows misused information, call each credit reporting company and ask that all accounts, inquiries and collection notices associated with your child’s name and Social Security number be removed.
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