In the past month, you have followed our series, “Protecting Teenagers from Identity Theft” closely. As a parent or guardian, it is imperative that you learn as much as possible about identity theft and the steps that you may take to prevent your teenager from experiencing any sort of complication in this area. Criminals prey on teenagers because their credit is typically unused and optimal for applying for various types of accounts and obtaining credit illegally. Unfortunately, if a teenager’s personal identifiable information is illegally obtained and used, it could result in many challenges throughout the course of their life. We here at Somerville National Bank would like to take this time to provide you with some very important, final steps that may be taken to protect teenagers from identity theft:
- You should always instruct your teenager to never give out any type of personal information – especially the number to their driver’s license, their home address, their birthday, and their Social Security number. This information should not even be provided to family members or friends. Instruct your teenager to talk to you if someone has asked for this information.
- When teenagers elect to open up bank accounts, savings accounts, and/or credit accounts, you should inform them that they should always safeguard the information. They should also be instructed to ensure that they monitor their accounts on a regular basis. That way, should any suspicious activity take place, they may inform you immediately.
- When throwing information away that contains personal information, teens should be informed that the information should be shredded. It should never be just thrown away. This includes any type of information that contains account numbers.
- Teenagers should be informed to password-protect any and all internet-accessible devices, phones, tablets, and computers that they use. This way, if any of the items are lost or stolen, others may not access their personal information.
- When interacting and engaging on social media platforms, teenagers should be discouraged from posting too much information. In fact, when socializing online, as little information as possible should be shared.
- When carrying a purse and/or a wallet, teenagers should be instructed to only carry what is necessary. Additionally, they should NEVER carry the card that they receive from Social Security or PIN numbers to their debit cards.
- Each and every single teenager should be encouraged to monitor their credit report each year. If someone has illegally used the teen’s information to obtain credit in their name or has ransacked their identity, the information will be seen in the credit report. This may be obtained once a year, free of charge, at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.
We here at Somerville National Bank take every precaution possible to ensure that the members of our communities are educated about identity theft and provided with the information that they need to properly protect themselves – even teenagers. We thank you for reading our series. This now concludes, “Protecting Teenagers from Identity Theft”. If you would like to learn more about this issue or would like assistance with another banking or financial issue, contact us today by clicking HERE.