May 15th, 2012
Jackie here, with AllClear ID. ID theft can affect anyone: children, adults and even teenagers. Many parents find it difficult to teach their teenage children about ID theft. Teenagers are learning to navigate the world on their own, and often do not have a problem sharing huge amounts of personal information with others in the online world. Teaching your teen about ID theft and ID protection is critical.
Here are 5 Essential ID Theft Lessons Your Teen Needs to Understand:
- What to Share and What Not to Share Online- Today’s teens have grown up in an online world and often see nothing wrong with sharing personal information with others. Teach your teen what they can safely share and what information could potentially compromise their identity (Social Security number, bank information, etc.).
- How to Safeguard Important Information- Knowing what information to protect isn’t enough. Teens need to understand how to protect their information. You can do this by teaching your teen to create strong passwords, keep identity documents in a safe place and to use the shredder among other things.
- How to Identify Scam Websites and Offers- Last month we showed you an educational website designed by the State of Massachusetts to educate about scam websites. This website could serve as an excellent teaching tool for teaching your child how to identify scam websites and offers online and off.
- How to Know if Their Identity Has Been Compromised- Teach your teen how to check their credit and detect if their identity has been stolen. You should also teach them how to report ID theft if their identity is compromised.
- Where to Find ID Theft Information for Teens- There are a few great ID theft resources just for teens. Check them out:
- Teens: Protect Your Identity from Thieves (from the National Crime Prevention Council) – This brochure created by the NCPC teaches teens about ID theft. The NCPC has also created a similar brochure for parents about teaching teens about ID theft.
- Teen Space at Identity Theft Resource Center – The ITRC has created a great ID theft resource for teens. Here teens can learn about cyber security and ID theft. There are also interactive games and activities here to help reinforce the principles that you teach.
- SafeTeens.com – Here teens can keep up on the latest news regarding internet safety for teens.
- Teen Resources by the National Cyber Security Alliance – There are tons of resources for teens featured here on the National Cyber Security Alliance webpage. Teens can read articles on everything from social networking to “sexting” and find videos and interactive quizzes.
Your teen needs you to teach them about how to prevent ID theft. A few important lessons now can help them avoid this all too common crime.