SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – It’s reported that Over 90% Of adults put their personal data at risk increasing the chance of identity theft. But what about a child.
Could their identity be at risk?
The answer is yes.
In fact, child identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the country with more than 1 million U.S. children becoming victims of identity theft last year, resulting in losses of $2.67 billion dollars.
“When you think of a child, what do you think of? You think of innocence, right? I mean, they’re a vulnerable target. They’re the low hanging fruit,”
said cybersecurity expert Jonathan Hard.
Thieves are able to steal a child’s identity and social security number, use it to open multiple accounts, and their parents probably wouldn’t know for years.
And no child is off-limits. A recent survey shows two-thirds of the victims were under the age of eight. Another 20 percent were eight to 12 years old.
So what can a parent do to try and keep their child’s identity safe ? It’s not as hard as one might think.
“Contact the credit bureau and have them create a credit file for your child, and when they do that, have them freeze it. They’ll give you a pin, and make sure to keep track of that pin because you’ll need it to unfreeze [the account]. But then they’re safe. Better safe than sorry,” said Hard.
Hard also says adults need to be sure to set aside some time regularly to check bank account statements.
As for adults, here are 4 things that specifically put you at risk online.
More than 8 in 10 (82%) have reused online passwords, including 22% who say they always do.
Using a public Wi-Fi network is another mistake. It’s a bad idea but nearly half of those surveyed say they do.
Saving passwords and payment info online can present problems and carrying a Social Security card in a purse or wallet is a bad idea. It’s something a third of those surveyed said they still do.