All Points Mobile Shredding Blog
Are My Children at Risk for Identity Theft?
Here’s What You Need to Know to Protect Them
Children across the United States have been victims of ID theft more often than you may think. In a study done by Javelin Strategy & Research, close to 1 million children had their identity stolen or were otherwise frauded by ID thieves between July 2021 and July 2022. The fact is, children provide a unique opportunity for criminals because those under the age of 18 typically don’t have a credit report. This presents a blank slate for ID thieves who can steal your child’s social security number and open up credit accounts, apply for loans, file a false tax return or attempt to use it to claim a dependent. The crime is often not discovered until many years later when the child grows up and applies for credit.
Protect Your Child Against ID Theft
Although the thought of your child becoming a victim of ID theft may be unnerving, there are steps you can take to protect them, take a look:
1. Check credit reports
The first step to protecting your child is to check and see if your child has a credit report. If a credit report exists and it was not set up by you, this is a red-flag. Inform the credit bureau immediately that this account is fraud and find out what steps you need to take to prove your child’s identity was compromised.
2. Provide Social Security Number with Caution
The number one way children’s identity is stolen is by the theft of their social security numbers. Schools, groups, physician’s offices and other organizations often request your child’s social security number for their documents. If you are asked to provide it, request an alternative identifier. If they must have your child’s social, ask what their policies are for confidential documents and how they protect this information.
3. Store Documents in a Safe Place
Birth certificates, social security cards, medical and hospital records, passports and other documents should be stored in a locked drawer, safe or other location that is not easily accessible.
4. Shred Unneeded Documents
Documents that contain personal information about your child, even just their name and address can provide just enough information for a thief to steal their identity. Never recycle or throw papers that have this kind of information into the regular trash. Documents that are no longer needed should be shredded.
5. Destroy Old Devices
Because we keep so much personal information on devices, it is crucial to shred them once you have upgraded. Cell phones, tablets and hard drives must be shredded, wiping them clean is often not enough as hackers can obtain even the tiniest bit of information to steal identities.
All Points Mobile Shredding, located in Stuart, Florida, can help you protect your child’s identity by providing shredding and destruction onsite at your home or office. We shred documents as well as hard drives, cell phones, laptops, tablets and other devices to ensure they have been permanently destroyed. Our state-of-the-art shredding trucks come to you and we provide a certificate of destruction with every shred. Give us a call today or complete the form on this page to set up your shred.
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