Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.


Check here if you're human


The Sweet Sixteen Rule

Pin It

Your child is turning 16! As a parent in the US, your mind is occupied with planning the big sweet 16 party and preparing for a new driver on the road (and the crazy high insurance that goes with it). During this exciting time, there’s something else you should be thinking about—your child’s credit score.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-identity-theft-red-words-binary-code-computer-monitor-image39907813Child identity theft is more common than we want to think it is. According to a study by Identity Theft Assistance, 1 in every 40 households with minor children has been affected by child identity theft. Thieves love this kind of identity theft because 1) it gives them a clean slate because kids don’t have a credit history, and 2) it usually takes years before the crime is discovered—and it’s a lot of time to do some extensive damage. Many kids who have had their identities stolen don’t find out until they are adults trying to buy a car, apply for a college loan, or rent a place and they are denied due to low credit scores. At that point, it could take years to undo the damage and build a respectable credit score. No parent wants that for their child!

So when your child turns the big 16, start a new tradition and check to see if your child has a credit report. If your child does have a report, check to make sure there are not any mistakes on it and also check in why he or she would have a credit report (since most wouldn’t). You’ll not only save your child tons of headaches later on, but you’ll have a head start on clearing this up before it becomes a big mess.

But the best way to fix child identity theft is to prevent it in the first place. Here are a few tips to protect your child’s identity.

  • Keep your child’s information in a private, safe place. Don’t carry your child’s Social Security card or identity card around with you and make sure their birth certificate is in a safe place, like a locked file cabinet, safe or safety deposit box.
  • Only give out your child’s personal info when necessary. Be particular who you share your child’s Social Security number or identification number with, and when in doubt, leave it blank. The little league coordinator does NOT need to have this information, and even places that you may think may need it like your doctor’s office, you should check to be sure. Remember, once the information leaves your hands, it is out of your control.
  • Shred any sensitive documents before discarding. Rule of thumb: if it has an identification number  or any personal information on it, shred it.
  • Be alert to robberies and security breaches. If your home has been broken into, make sure all documents are accounted for.
  • Be careful what you and your child shares online. Make sure to teach your child the “rules of the road” for online safety and why sharing personal information online can be risky.
  • Invest in security software. Use software like McAfee’s LiveSafe™ service to protect your data and identity as well as your child’s on all your computers, smartphones and tablets.

For more information on protecting your identity, make sure to like McAfee’s Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked!  Disclosures.

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

Similar Posts

  • Child Identity Theft
    Child identity theft is a growing problem. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that there are 500,000 new victims every year. The culprits are often parents or others who have direct access to the child’s Social Security number. (In my own experience, I’ve had to give out my children’s Social Security numbers to hospitals, insurers, and
  • Why Child Identity Theft is Dangerous
    Identity theft in the form of new account fraud can happen to anyone with a Social Security number, which includes virtually any American with a pulse…as well as some who no longer do. Identity theft can even happen to your newborn baby shortly after a Social Security number has been issued to him or her
  • Enacted Maryland Child Identity Lock Bill, is Useless
    This week the Maryland Child Identity Lock bill, went into effect. CBS Baltimore reports “Maryland State Delegate Craig Zucker is behind a new state law that just went into effect designed to protect a child from identity theft. “It will be the first time parents or guardians can proactively contact any of the three credit agencies and
  • Children Heading Back to School Face Identity Theft Risk
    This isn’t rocket science. We have millions of children registering for schools in person, online, over the phone, via email and through the mail. All of these transactions involve personal identifying information including names, addresses and Social Security numbers. All of these exchanges of data can be breached in some way by those on the inside
  • FBI launches FBI Child ID App
    The last thing anyone ever wants to think about is your child getting taken away from you by a stranger or even someone you know. And while the statistics aren’t nearly are bad as one would think, parents think about child abduction all the time. Regardless of statistical probabilities, there is a chance your child can

Comments are closed.

Xtreme School

Featured in

Anderson Cooper John Stossel Robert Siciliano Featured in
Browse by Month

Browse by Category