In this hyper connected world, where so much of information is easily available and any individual can be traced down, identity theft is far from uncommon. With cyber crimes rising at an alarming rate, not only do you have to be vigilant about your own identity and keep track of your credit report to ensure that your identity is not being misused, you have to keep a hawk eye to ensure that your child does not become a victim of identity theft. If that thought hasn’t crossed your mind yet, since your child is a minor, we hate to break it to you that it does not stop criminals and their ingenious minds to hack into your child’s identity and wreak havoc. However, sweat not, for we have a few tips for you today to help you protect your child’s identity.
The first e-mail or social media account
In this day and age when children are internet savvy from a young age, the temptation to set up an email account or a social media account is rather irresistible. It’s cute to see kids interacting with grandparents and other relatives over such platforms. But by creating such accounts for your kids you are opening up the proverbial Pandora’s box. Children can be trusting and may soon pass on important financial information with regards to your personal credit card or other sensitive information. It’s as simple as taking a picture, isn’t it? Little do they know about the dire consequences you may face as a result of the same.
To prevent such mishaps, ensure that your child is only accessing such accounts under your supervision and the controls (read password and security) is in your hands. If your child enough to use social media accounts by herself, teach her about safety in the virtual world. She should know about malware, viruses and other harmful stuff that are often disguised as harmless links. Simply clicking on such inks of movies, music downloads or games that seem interesting to kids may lead to the theft of passwords and hacks into personal accounts. If she is using the internet, she must be educated about the various threats before she plunges headlong into the virtual world.
The first bank account of a child
A lot of banks these days have “junior” accounts for children. While opening up an account for your kid may be a great first lesson in educating her about savings and responsibility, bank statements of such accounts are a potential threat to her identity. A criminal may get hold of her personal information and use the account to make fraudulent transactions or carry out questionable financial activities that will on a later date show up as a blot on the CIBIL report of your child. This may prevent her from getting access to timely credit at competitive rates.
To prevent such a situation, open the first account of your child as a joint account. This is to ensure that no one has access to this account without your permission or can extract information about the same. This will also help you monitor all statements that come in your child’s name and keep her identity safe.
Usage of an add on card
If your child is a teenager and is using an add on credit card, it is time for you to put on that extra hat of vigil. Although an add on card merely means that she can use the card but you are still responsible for the payments, monitor her credit activities carefully. Make it a practice to go through monthly statements together and comb through properly for any suspicious transactions. Once again, tell your child about the dangers of misusing her credit card and sharing her card with friends, even if they are very close to her. Wolves in sheepskin are not uncommon and as a parent, you need to lay down the ground rules about credit card usage, no matter how harsh it seems. Lastly, but not the least teach her to read the CIBIL report and tell her all about the importance of maintaining a high CIBIL score. Not only will she learn by example about periodic checks of one’s credit profile she will also learn how to spot financial miscreants at once.
You child is the most precious gift of God that you cherish, and like any parent in the world you would walk the extra mile to ensure the well-being of your kid. By keeping a vigil over the identity of your child you will be able to ensure her financial health is safeguarded.
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