Identity Theft: Prevention Tips for Parents and Students
College students need to understand how to protect themselves from falling victim to identity theft and information fraud.
Many young people have a lax attitude about security. They also tend to be more trusting of others and have a casual attitude about taking precautions. Parents and young people should talk about personal information security. They should also discuss how their individual circumstances might put them at increased risk of being victimized. Although the following tips may seem obvious to experienced adults, many young people don’t follow some of the following:
-Never lend your credit card or debit card to anyone, and never share your password.
-Do not print your driver’s license number, birth date, or social security number on your checks.
-When you write a check at a store, don’t allow the store to confirm your check by writing in your credit card number.
-Do not put outbound mail in your mailbox for your postal carrier to pickup. Take your mail directly to a US postal mailbox.
-If your credit card or ATM card is lost or stolen, alert your bank/credit card issuer immediately.
-Avoid using passwords or PIN numbers that might be easy for a thief to figure out (i.e. avoid birth dates, common names, etc.)
-Shred any financial documents or anything containing sensitive information before putting them in the trash.
-Always check your credit card statement for charges you did not make.
-Order a copy of your credit report at least once per year. Look out for creditors on your statement that you never applied for.