Tablets, video games, and laptops are popular items this shopping season and can be some of the gifts your child will receive during the holidays.
As children become more connected, they can become easy targets for crooks. Childhood identity theft is on the rise, according to a recent study.
According to a study by Javelin Strategy and Research, $ 918 million in losses related to child identity fraud have been reported in the past year during the pandemic.
“We live in a rapidly changing environment. It’s very easy to give your kid a mobile device without really paying attention to what’s going on, but you put yourself and your kid at great risk, ”said Tracy Kitten, Director of Fraud and security at Javelin Strategy and Research.
Parents can prevent their children from becoming victims of fraud by limiting their Internet access, Kitten said.
According to the Javelin study, your child has a one in 45 chance of having their personal information exposed during a data breach.
This is a concern for parent Kirsten Hillsey. Her 10 and 7-year-olds enjoy apps, video games and other technologies.
“They have different connections for a lot of different applications that they use, whether it’s for fun or for school. So there are a lot of different ways to hack them, I guess, ”Hillsey said.
Kitten suggests freezing your child’s credit.
“Obviously, freezing a child’s credit is the best way to ensure that you are protecting your child’s identity. It’s very easy to freeze credit, ”Kitten said.
You can do this by going to the websites of the three credit bureaus. It’s free and you can lift the freeze at any time. You can also check your child’s credit score to see if any accounts have been opened in their name.
“There are also many different services that will help you freeze your child’s credit. So we call them identity protection services. Many of these services are provided free of charge to your financial institution., ” said kitten.
Javelin’s study found that in most cases, a child’s identity is stolen by someone they know, such as a parent.
You can access the full study here.