By the AllClearID Team
Jamie here, Chief Investigator at AllClear ID. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at the Jump$tart National Educator Conference in Washington, DC. Jump$tart is a national organization â€œdedicated to improving the financial literacy of pre-kindergarten through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, standards, and educational resources.â€
In the presentation I discussed our research on Child Identity Theft alongside the FTC who issued some tips on limiting the risks of Identity Theft. These pointers revolved around sharing information with an entity you likely regard as safe: your childâ€™s school. Hereâ€™s an overview of the FTCâ€™s tips:
- Contact the school: Find out who has access to your childâ€™s personal information, and ensure that the records are stored safely.
- Think twice before filling out forms with personal information: Before you fill forms out consider how the information will be used, whether or not it will be shared, and who will have access. Then decide if filling out the information is necessary.
- Know your rights under FERPA: The Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of education records, and gives parents the right to review their childâ€™s education records, consent to disclosure of information, and correct errors.
- Ask your childâ€™s school about its directory information policy: FERPA requires schools to notify parents about the directory policy, and gives parents the right to opt out of releasing directory information. While you may not be worried about other parents and students having your childâ€™s contact information, if you donâ€™t opt-out or inquire about the schoolâ€™s policies, information may also be available to the general public.
- Obtain a copy of your schools survey policy: The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) gives parents the right to see surveys and instructional materials before they are distributed to your child.
- Take precaution when dealing with programs at school: Programs that take place at schools, but arenâ€™t sponsored by them also have access to your childâ€™s information. Read their privacy policies and understand how your childâ€™s information will be used, stored, and shared.
- Take action in the case of a breach: If you believe thereâ€™s been a data breach at your childâ€™s school contact the school to learn more. Keep a written record of your conversations, and write a letter to the appropriate administrator or school board. The U.S. Department of Educationâ€™s Family Policy Compliance Office takes complaints about school breaches.
Views expressed are the personal views of the author and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.