Protecting a teen from ID theft

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Whether it’s shredding financial documents or being stingy with their Social Security number, many Americans are taking steps to protect themselves from identity theft. But what about their kids? I’m Claes Bell with the Personal Finance Minute.

It may seem ridiculous that a teen would be a target of identity thieves, but even if not much money turns up missing, ID theft can ruin their credit ratings for years to come.

One reason teens make a tempting target is they don’t frequently keep close tabs on their bank accounts or other financial assets. To prevent a teen’s accounts from being drained without them knowing it, encourage them to regularly check their balance and investigate any suspicious activity.

Also, urge caution when spending time online. Online quizzes may be a pretext for finding out personal information that can be used to answer security questions.

Lastly, social media profiles can be a goldmine for sensitive information such as birthdays and addresses, so be sure to look over kids Facebook pages and privacy settings to make sure they’re not sharing too much.

For more on this and other personal finance topics, visit I’m Claes Bell.