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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Protecting Your Child’s Identity

We always hear about steps to protect our own identity, but what about the identities of our children?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has steps you can take today:

Lock up documents
Keep all documents that show a child’s personal information safely locked up. What is personal information? At a minimum, it includes a child’s date of birth, Social Security number, and birth certificate. Don’t carry your child’s Social Security card with you.

Be reluctant to share your child’s SSN
Share your child’s Social Security number only when you know and trust the other party. If someone asks for your child’s Social Security number, ask why they want it, how they’ll safeguard it, how long they’ll keep it, and how they’ll dispose of it. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, don’t share the number. Ask to use another identifier.

Limit who has access to your child’s information
Limit the chances that your child’s information will be stolen or misused at school. Find out who has access to your child’s personal information, and read the notices that schools are required to send explaining your rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). That law protects the privacy of student education records, and gives you the right to opt out of the release of directory information to third parties, including other families.

Safely dispose of personal information
Shred letters, forms, and other papers that include your child’s personal information before you throw them out. Delete electronic computer files that you no longer need, and empty your online trash or recycle bin.

For more tips - See: Safeguarding Your Child's Future 
For more tips check out Safeguarding Your Child’s Future from the FTC: