Sending kids off to college is not something I want to look forward to yet but it will happen. When they get there, while they are there and staying up all night, or taking crazy weekend vacations, one thing you could not worry about is there personal identity if you were to give them LifeLock and some really sound tips. And it’s never too late to give out sound advice like these tips from LifeLock.
LifeLock: What Identity Thieves Don’t Want College Students to Know
Tips for Staying Safe When Returning to Campus
OBEY THE LAW
College students often look forward to moving out of their parents’ home and living on their own – with their own rules. Occasionally these new experiences could include fake identification to purchase cigarettes or alcohol. While this is not only against the law in all 50 states, it also makes the underage student vulnerable to potential identity theft when they order the fraudulent ID.
Hopefully your kids know better but I understand the temptation having been there myself.
Don’t Give Out Your Social Security Number
Some colleges/universities may still use your Social Security number as your student identification number. If this is the case at your school, request a unique identifier instead of your Social Security number. Keep your Social Security card locked in a safe place where no one, not even a new roommate, can access.
Also, some doctors offices still ask for your social security number because it’s been on their forms for years. My husband and I haven’t given this number out for over ten years. They don’t need it. You can provide another number.
As college students near the end of each semester, email offers frequently arise for long-weekend vacations. Identity thieves can pose as trusted sources offering you the “deal of the day” if you just follow their link. Verify all offers by opening a new Web browser and typing in the official web address to confirm the authenticity of the offer.
Plus in IE you can use view in Private Browsing then your passwords won’t be saved and you don’t have any cookies in your settings. IE9 does not save any private data files such as cache and cookies. Browsing and search history are also wiped out while using private browsing within Internet Explorer.
Credit Verses Debit
Consider relying on your credit card vs. your debit card. If you and your debit card are targeted by an identity thief, you could potentially lose the money you have in your checking or savings account. If your credit card is compromised by an unscrupulous thief, you have 60 days to notify your financial institution and you won’t be out your direct checking and savings account funds, instead your line of credit.
Even if you are on a limited income you can still stay on a budge with credit cards. Using credit cards can make it much easier to know when you have a sudden change in your habits as they are likely to call you and ask if you made that purchase.
Is Your Free Wi Fi Secure?
Many campuses offer free Wi-Fi services, which can be great for research or just surfing. When connected through a free Wi-Fi connection, understand that the connection is not always secure and identity thieves may have the ability to intercept wireless activity and see where you are going and what you are doing. Avoid social networking sites, online bill pay, checking your financial accounts and shopping online when connected via free Wi-Fi.
Make sure your kids know how to keep their information safe because a simple mistake could cost them years of bad credit and we all know how a really good credit store can help you have a sound future. Buying houses, cars and so many different things rely on that magic number.
All of the information in italics was provided by LifeLock, I’m a LifeLock ambassador and compensated for my time.