A Scary Reality: Identity Thieves Are Focusing on Children

No credit, no reason to worry about identity theft. Right? Not true. In fact, cyberthieves are now directly targeting children because of their clean credit and the likelihood this breach will not be discovered for several years. There are steps every parent should take to protect their children and reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

“One-in-five U.S. households has been notified by a school of a data breach that exposed the students’ information, according to a survey released in October by the National Cyber Security Alliance. Breaches affecting children also can occur in the commercial realm. VTech Holdings Ltd., a Hong Kong-based digital-learning toy maker, said in December that names, genders and birth dates of 6.5 million of its child users were exposed in a data breach. About 2.9 million were U.S. children.

The credit-reporting companies say the onus is on parents to detect thefts of their children’s identities. Parents can protect their children a number of ways, starting with teaching them not to share too much information online, says Ms. Velasquez. ‘If your kids are allowed to have access to the Internet, it leaves them vulnerable the same way it would if you let them play in the park by themselves,’ she says.”

Continue reading The Next Big Target for Identity Thieves: Children published by the Wall Street Journal by Priya Anand here.

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