Protecting Your Toddler's IdentityBeth Anne Ballance
There’s a new threat to your toddler and it’s probably not the one you’re thinking of.
It’s not cars in the street or the men behind computers or the daycare worker or swimming pool. It’s identity, and not the kind you find in arguments over appropriate tshirts but rather the kind found in legal documents and a nine-digit number that indentifies you as…well, you….to the government.
Turns out that identity theft has branched past stolen credit cards and rifling through mail and onto a more innocent victim – your toddler.
So how does this happen? What should you do to protect your toddler’s identity?
According to AllClear ID, an identity protection service, “children under five years old are the fastest growing victims of identity theft with a 105 percent increase since last year.” Children are thirty-five times more likely to be targeted for identity theft. Crazy numbers, right? But your toddler has a Social Security number and a blank slate – nothing to check up on, nothing to trigger warnings, no past credit cards or student loans. So a thief grabs the number and attaches a different name to it and BAM! your child’s identity is stolen.
Protecting the identity of your toddler is much like protecting your own as an adult:
- don’t give out a Social Security number unless absolutely necessary in a secure environment (such as the doctors office, daycare, etc.)
- shred papers
- use anti-virus protection on your computer
- keep all important documents in a safe place
The biggest head’s up isn’t the tips for protection or the statustics, but rather the knowledge that this can happen and is happening. Just be careful, parents.
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