As children get older and gain more freedom using cellphones, making purchases, and running errands on their own you want to make sure that they know how to keep their data safe. Making them understand why they may be at risk for identity theft can be difficult. They need to understand why they should not sign up for mailing lists, share their personal information with strangers, or click on certain web links.
Although my kids are very young they already know. My girls are 9 and my boys and 6 yet they know to NEVER fill out information in pop-ups that might show when they are playing games on their computers. When explaining why, I explained that bored people write programs that disguise themselves as friendly games, magazine subscriptions and more. I told them that filling out the information on these pages will lead to them getting tons of email that they do not want, or worse… people will buy things in their name. No, of course my kids do not yet have credit (luckily), but they do know what credit cards and debit cards are. And they now understand that others can do bad things if they want by pretending to be us and using our names to make purchases.
One way to make your children understand the impact is to learn from other children. Emily, daughter of Joe Mason, author of the book, Bankrupt at Birth, made a video to show other kids one way identity theft might happen. In the video a shopper goes on what could be an uneventful shopping trip. This is until a careless store worker exposes her personal information. Watch the video below to see what happens.
As you see in the video, identity theft can occur right out in plain site. It does not have to be fancy hacking, or Internet viruses. It can be something as simple as your information lifted from a sign-up form. To prevent this, the customer should think twice before willingly handing over her personal information for a mailing list. However, if it must be done… the cashier should have been more protective of the customer information by storing the form securely in a locked drawer before moving on the the next customer. Issues like this is the reason that many businesses have moved on to electronic entry for such lists.
To help prepare to teach your kids about identity theft, claim a free Child Identity Theft Protection Kit which will help you figure out if your child is at risk. Or, you may wish to enroll your child in Identity Guard® kID Sure℠ to protect them from threats.
If you would like to learn more about kids and Identity Theft the book Bankrupt at Birth by Joe Mason can help. And you can read free identity theft information that can help you make informed decisions.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Identity Guard. The kIDSure service and the book Bankrupt at Birth were provided to me for review at no charge. All opinions are my own.