Intersections and ITAC recommend the following to help protect children from identity theft. Additional tips are available at http://resources.identityguard.com/.
- Ask Why Before Giving Personal Identifying Information. Before providing your child's SSN or birth certificate, feel empowered to ask why the information is needed and how it will be protected. If asked for a child's SSN, ask these three questions: Why is it needed? Isn't there another way to identify my child? How will my child's information be protected?
- Share Safety Tips. Share knowledge with children and remind them to keep their information private. Children may be asked to answer questions about themselves on the first day of school, but remind them that personal information like their home address, phone number, or social security numbers should not be shared with anyone.
- Read all Materials Sent to Your Child. Items received through the mail or e-mail asking for personal information can give hints into criminal activity that may be occurring. Keep an eye on terms like "personally identifiable information," and "opt out." Make sure to find out how a child's personal information will be used, whether it will be shared, and with whom, before granting access.
"Javelin has focused on adult identity fraud for many years, and we are pleased to be able to explore this emerging area of child identity fraud to better understand the issue and inform the public," said Jim Van Dyke, president and founder of Javelin Strategy & Research. "The history of consumer advocacy and education on the part of our sponsors speaks to their commitment to relevant research and dedicated to widening the awareness of this growing crime."
The Javelin Strategy & Research Child Identity Fraud Survey Report is the first of its kind to examine child identity fraud, and the survey results are based on responses from more than 5,100 U.S. households with dependents under age 18 on KnowledgePanel®U.S.