Don’t Let Your Children Fall Victim To Identity Theft When Heading Back To College
Summer is almost over. The days are getting shorter. Another school year is ready to kick off, if it hasn’t already for your family. You know what that means… forms, forms and more forms:
- Sports teams
- Greek life
The list goes on and on. As eager as they may be to start another year with friends and classmates, someone else is just as eager for a new school year to start.
- Online predators
- Identity thieves
A new school year means a wealth of new online and paper data left subject to theft.
Many universities claim to have gone “paperless,” which may save time and prevent human error mix ups, but the sad truth is, there’s still countless amounts of documents sent that can and will leave opportunities for someone to invade your child’s privacy.
We’ve scoured countless government surveys and calculated that a staggering 16 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2016. The Javelin report highlighted that $16 billion was stolen from consumers. That’s an average of $1,000 per person! As parents ourselves, the most painful aspect of the Javelin report was that student identity theft numbers are skyrocketing.
When the Secure Document Destruction St. Louis team dug deeper, we realized the vast majority of this theft was related to instances in which family, friends, roommates, and acquaintances are a risk factor for your child’s secure information to be stolen.
“Often people who know you have access to your personal information,” said Al Pascual, director of fraud and security at Javelin. “If they live in the same place, they may have access to information you leave lying around the house; they can intercept phone calls meant for you.”
Most college students apply for their first job, open a bank account, make online purchases and apply for financial aid, all of which require personal information such as a Social Security number, date of birth, home address and sometimes much more.
Anyone can be a victim of identity theft and the numbers coming from the college sector are only rising. As they get started, consider these tips for keeping your child’s personal information safe. Don’t let your student join the nearly one million Americans affected by identity theft.
- Safeguard his/her SSN. Make sure they’re not carrying their Social Security card with them. Always have it locked away and put in a secure location.
- Have their personal documents destroyed. Always have your child destroy any piece of paper with their personal information.
- Fill out the simple form below to download our top 10 tips for avoiding identity theft.
At SDD we want to make sure you and your child are taking the necessary precautions to avoiding identity theft.
SDD realizes that the act of trusting, oversharing, or not adequately protecting access to your student’s electronic devices are the most common mistakes they can make with regards to handing out their personal information.
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