By the AllClear ID team
Weâ€™re excited to have Michelle Dennedy, Americaâ€™s first Chief Privacy Officer for Sun Microsystems, guest blogging for us.Â This issue is very personal for Michelle, as her own daughterâ€™s identity was attacked.Â
Michelle shareâ€™s her top tips, as a privacy executive and mother, to protect your childâ€™s identity.
1. Be Aware. The data doesnâ€™t lie: childrenâ€™s identities are stolen over 50 times as often as those of adults! As parents, we work so hard to protect their children from germs and predators, not knowing that the insidious threat of child identity theft may be the fastest-growing and least-well-known crime in history.Â These next-gen predators, identity thieves, are out there using childrenâ€™s identities to open credit accounts, buy real estate, access healthcare services and escape their criminal histories.Â And, as a result, the victimized children may lose out on jobs and internships, student loans and other opportunities that require a clean background check â€“ before they ever step out into the real world.Â
2. Teach your Children Well. In this highly digital era, itâ€™s our responsibility as parents to teach our children about what it means to live in the Information Age, including how to responsibly share and manage their own information online, and to clearly outline the boundaries that mark information that is private.Â Parent â€“ and I mean that as a verb! â€“ by sitting your kids down to have an age-appropriate conversation about what is, and what isnâ€™t, okay to reveal online.
3. Actively monitor your childrenâ€™s information for signs of theft. A telltale sign of child identity theft is if your child starts to receive credit offers in the mail.Â Regular credit reports are designed for adults, so they wonâ€™t find signs of child identity theft.Â The best way to check your child is to sign up for a free ChildScan from AllClear ID.Â Weâ€™re offering this service so that parents have a way to check their childâ€™s identity with a tool thatâ€™s 99% more accurate than trying to pull a credit report.
4. Donâ€™t let your childâ€™s identity become a â€œfamily problem.â€ Itâ€™s not unusual for even caring parents desperate to get ahead to tap into their childâ€™s credit or medical records.Â Never do this â€“ it only ever results in damage and shame, and can even result in criminal prosecution.
To read these tips in more detail, visit The Identity Project.