CyberSafety Tips: Helping students avoid identity theft
In the past five years Hillsborough County Public Schools has evolved concerning the use of cellphones and other personal electronic devices from a policy “we see it, we take it” as in taking your devices to now embracing their use in the classroom. With this evolution comes the threat of identity theft.
According to a Carnegie Mellon study, children are 51 times more likely to have their identity stolen than are adults, because the potential for discovery is low and the time to that discovery is usually long. If your child has a social security number, they can have a credit file. For adults, even the best passwords will not protect your data from being stolen in a data breech, such as with Target or Home Depot. Although there is nothing you can do to prevent this, you can still protect yourself from identity theft by freezing your, or more importantly your children’s, credit file.
All 3 credit reporting agencies now allow anyone to freeze their credit reports for a one-time fee of $10.00 (in Florida, rates vary by State). In freezing your credit file, you will choose a 9-digit pin that will be required should you wish to temporarily thaw, or completely unfreeze, your account to obtain credit. This service has always been offered for free to individuals whose identity has been stolen. However, it is available for anyone.
Additional information on credit freezing your credit report:
- Experian: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
- Equifax: https://www.freeze.equifax.com/
For more information about Instructional Technology click here.
Source: Dr. Troy Suarez, Supervisor of Instructional Technology K-12