Kids are online a lot. While we are careful to keep an eye on them while they surf around, there’s still a one way they can be taken advantage of that you may not even be thinking about: Identity Theft.
Most parents don’t think about the possibility of cyber criminals stealing the identity of their children, but it happens more often than you think. Many kids get a social security number at birth – and its clean credit record makes it oh-so-appealing to thieves. Since parents don’t necessarily check their children’s credit reports, this can go unnoticed for years until the child tries to do something such as buying a car.
Here are some tips to keep your kids safe online while protecting their identity:
• Utilize Parental Controls on your computer, which will limit what your kids can see, where they can go, and what they can do online. Keep the computer your kids use in the living room or other centralized location.
• Talk to your kids. Make sure they know not to share their personal information while online, and anything that they send, post or share is out there forever. Discuss viruses and other malicious software and explain to them the ways that criminals use these tactics to get their personal information.
• Mom and dad can be part of the problem too. Watch what you post to social networking sites – those are great places for thieves to find your child’s date of birth, full name, and all other sorts of goodies that can help them easily steal your child’s identity. Adjust your privacy settings to “Friends Only” and watch what you put out there.
• Step up the online security in your home. Encrypt your wireless connection, turn your firewall on, use anti-virus software, and use an anti-malware program. ChicaPC-Shield is a free scan that will detect malware that may be lurking on your computer.
Visit www.chicalogic.com for more mom-friendly techie tips and tricks.
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