Learn how you can help protect your child’s identity while they’re away at school
Being away at college or university is full of firsts, but you don’t want one of those to be identity theft.
Here are some simple tips to help your child protect their identity while away at school:
Teach them to keep a list of all their debit and credit cards. The list should include customer support numbers. They should store the list in a secure place like a password-protected USB drive. If they lose their wallet, make sure they immediately report any lost credit or debit cards. (Learn more)
Make sure they securely store or shred any personal documents. Fraudsters can use personal documents — like bank statements and school letters — to open credit accounts in your child’s name. Encourage your child to keep digital copies on a password-protected USB drive, and store paper copies in a locked drawer.
Be cyber-aware. Your child should only access their bank account and other sensitive websites from trusted devices on secure networks — that means not using the unsecured wifi network at the coffee shop! This will help prevent their login details from being stolen.
Talk to them about not sharing their personal information with untrusted sources. This could include websites or on campus when signing up for free trials.
Encourage them to check their credit reports. If they are 18 years or older, they can check their credit reports for any activity they don’t recognize, such as new accounts they didn’t open. They can check their Equifax credit score and report for free.
But what about your peace of mind? While your child is busy with classes, part-time jobs and having fun, they might be too busy to check their credit reports. Equifax can help.
Equifax Complete Friends and Family will alert you of any key changes to your child’s Equifax credit score and Equifax credit report. We’ll also alert you if any of your child’s personal financial information — like social insurance number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers or emails — show up on the dark web where they could be sold to fraudsters. They will also get up to $1 million in identity theft insurance to help cover some out-of-pocket expenses if they’re a victim of identity theft. Learn more.