Wednesday, September 4, 2013

ID Theft: It Can Happen to Anyone!

Safety of our Members and our Community is always a priority at St. Cloud Federal Credit Union.  In the past, we’ve posted blog about how to stay safe online, and what we can do to help should any sort of identity theft occur. 

Over the past months, we’ve been focusing on the Financial Fitness of our Youth Members, in addition to our adult Members.  ID Theft criminals are using children’s social security numbers more frequently for anything from employment, apartment applications, open credit, checking, or phone accounts, and even access government benefits.  Mark Pribish, Merchant’s Info Group Vice President, and ID Theft Practice Leader covers a plethora of ID Theft safety tips for children on the internet, and even their personal information in schools.  We’ve highlighted a few of these below…

- Discuss the differences between a safe and secure website, and one that is not.
- Consider creating a list of which sites are OK to visit and which ones are definitely not.
- Talk with your children about letting you know when they come across a website they feel is suspicious. 
- Keep virus and malware software up to date and running properly.
- Remind youth of some basic online safety practice like: never give a phone number or address, don’t use full first and last names, don’t post photos without permission, and don’t download or open unknown files or programs.

At School:
 - Ask schools how your child’s information is collected, used, stored, and thrown away each school year.
- Make sure you know how school and extra curricular programs use your child’s date of birth, address, telephone number, and photo.
- If you feel as though information is requested that is not necessary, inquire why such details are needed.
- Thoroughly read privacy policies and make sure you are aware of how information is used and shared.

Some other basic safety tips are to always keep confidential documents (social security cards, passports, birth certificates, etc.) in a safe or locked file, and never give more information that you feel comfortable with.  Go with your gut feeling, and your child will thank you!

Our mission is to educate, support, and encourage our Members to become Financially Fit.

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