During the week before Mother’s Day, I noticed a lot of my friends participating in a seemingly innocent game where they would post their children’s names, birthdays and weights. Immediately, flares shot off in my brain.
My Facebook account is filled filled with friends whom I have never met face-to-face or have not seen in a forever-long time. Posting that type of information (especially their full names and birthdays) was much too risky. So, I skipped it but my brain continued to consider the dangers. It would be a great tragedy if something that appears harmless like a simple Facebook status could turn into a life-long battle for identity protection but in the world we live in, that is all too real to many families.
What can you do to protect your child from identity theft?
Don’t Say Too Much
If you are like me, you are proud of your children and want to brag on them any chance you get, even to strangers. Sometimes, this style of conversation might reveal too much information. So, be careful what you say or post in a public forum… even if you think you know everyone who might see the information and you trust that they are above reproach, the internet is a secretive place with lots of hidden eyes.
Tuck Away Important Papers
Keep your child’s birth certificate and Social Security card tucked away in a safe place. Also, instead of tossing any documents that migh have your child’s information on it, shred them.
Watch Your Child’s Credit Report
A clean Social Security number is an invitation to a criminal, no matter the age of the person attached to it. A recent story on the Today Show suggested that a Social Security number can be stolen before a child is even born. So, when you get your free annual credit report, pull one for your children too.
While this post pinpoints protecting your child, these are good ideas for protecting yourself too.
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