Among the myriad of things I have worried about since having children, keeping their identity safe has crossed my mind, but I never really knew what to do about it. We’ve all heard the stories about children whose identities have been stolen and their credit ruined before they are even teenagers. And now in this digital age another concern is our children’s digital identity. With so much technology available to kids and teens they are leaving a digital footprint that could be viewed by future teachers, colleges, in-laws and employers to name a few. Feeling overwhelmed??? Me too! So I have tracked down some resources to help us sort it all out and offer some suggestions to help us keep our kids safe, now and in the future.
A social security number is issued soon after a baby is born, and like most parents I put my children’s social security card away for safe keeping. But think of the people who already have access to that number…the insurance company, the doctor’s office, the school, the accountant who prepares our tax return…are they guarding this sensitive information as well as I am?? Let’s hope so, but in reality breaches occur and information is compromised. If you find out your child’s credit has been affected you must contact all three credit reporting agencies as outlined in this resource page from Experian. It is a lengthy process, but one that must be done to help repair damaged credit and deal with a stolen identity.
The other day I was catching up on Macaroni Kid and read a post by Anne Livingston titled “Have You Googled Your Child’s Name?” The answer is no, at least not until that day. Anne’s suggestion was to keep an eye on your child’s digital footprint and the information available to the public by Googling their name. Her blog KidsPrivacy is a wonderful resource for parents to keep up to date and educated about what our kids are doing online and how we can help keep them safe, not only from predators, but from providing too much or the wrong type of information about themselves for the rest of the world to see.
So, add these resources to your list of things to check out and help keep your family safe!
What steps have you already taken to protect your children’s identity?by