smart spending

9 ways to combat child identity theft

Educate your children
Educate your children © wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

Even though they may want to shout their birthday from the rooftop, warn them that private information shouldn't be shared on websites that aren't trustworthy. Caution them against downloading games or apps from third-party sites. Maintain strict privacy settings on Facebook and other social networks. The less information out there the better, and the smaller the circle of people who can access their profile the better. Even small details, like a birthday or mother's maiden name, can provide clues for security-question answers.

Beware of Internet scams. Sometimes scammers will befriend children online and chat them up for private information that can be used to steal their identity. "Identity thieves troll social networking websites, so make sure private information like date of birth (or) address and names of family members are not included in profiles," says Levin, who advises parents to hold off on giving children their Social Security number until they're old enough to know how to properly use and protect it.

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