Exceeding Expectations. Always. — Business Advisors and CPAs

Protect Your Kids From ID Theft

The world today can be scary one for parents, especiallid theft and kidsy when it comes to our children's online activity. Unfortunately we all know how many hours children spend on the internet. Whether for homework, while playing games or to chat with friends the hours can mount for kids on the computer. That's why there's an ever-growing concern with keeping kids' identities safe. Adults are no longer the only targets for online identity thieves.

As a parent, you probably have talked to your child about online safety. The following are some tips to ensure that your child doesn't become a victim of identity theft.

Keep personal information personal
Most children love to share stories, pictures and, perhaps, some information they should keep to themselves. Make sure your children know what information is acceptable to share and what isn't, particularly when it comes communicating on social media websites. Encouraging your children to keep their social media profile pages private also will help prevent strangers or identity thieves from gaining access to their information. In any case, children should not provide home addresses, phone numbers and last names to the public on social media websites.

Require permission
Require children to ask your permission before registering for any site, as well as before downloading any software or applications. As a parent, you'll know what is appropriate for your child and what sites are secure to help prevent breaches.

Keep computer updated
Regularly scan your family computer for viruses and check for updates. Older children should be able to do this themselves, but make sure they understand the importance of keeping antivirus and anti-spyware software updated.

Importance of passwords
You can help your children stay safe online by assisting them in thinking of password that are unique and secure (should contain at least eight characters consisting of both letters and numbers). Make a schedule that would require your children to change their password at least several times a year. As a parent, you should be aware of their passwords.

Legitimate email vs. other
Tell your children not to open any email from unknown sources. Additionally, teach them to only download attachments in emails if the sender is a known and trusted source.

Don't be shy in talking to your children
Talk openly with your children about online safety. They should not become frightened as long as you use age-appropriate language they comprehend. Knowledge about the internet is the first step in helping keep children safe online.

Invest in protection service
In addition to monitoring your own as well as your children's identities, you can back that personal diligence up by investing in an identity theft protection service. These services will monitor your identity and your children’s identities around the clock.