9 ways to combat child identity theft

Ask about privacy protection
Ask about privacy protection | Pamela Joe McFarlane/Getty Images

Ask about privacy protection

"You just need to be an advocate for your child," says Opperman. Ask companies to provide details about how they store, protect and dispose of private information.

The answer can be very telling, says Weisman. "There are a lot of businesses, and particularly smaller businesses, that just don't put enough effort and funding into securing their data."

So when you ask, listen to how businesses respond. Dead air is a red flag; you don't want to do business with them.

An immediate response detailing the steps they've taken to protect privacy -- encrypted data, privacy training for employees, limits to information access -- is a good sign. This is an important step to take, says Weisman, adding that small businesses are the "low-hanging fruit" that hackers are targeting.

"You're only as safe as the weakest place that holds it," he says.

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