Make us your home page
Instagram

Daily Q&A: How can I protect my child's Social Security Number?

With schools and others requiring my child's Social Security Number, how can I ensure that my child does not become a victim of identity theft?

Linda Criddle, an e-commerce and online safety expert who worked in senior posts at Microsoft for 13 years, urges consumers to carefully guard their child's Social Security Number.

Criddle, who is the author of such books as Look Both Ways: Help Protect Your Family on the Internet, says you don't have to give out your child's SSN to everyone who asks for it. When you do, use caution.

Here are some tips Criddle offers for protecting your child against identity theft:

• Keep Social Security cards locked up. These don't belong in wallets or loose in your home where others may come across them.

• Tightly restrict sharing your child's social security number. You may be asked to provide your child's SSN in many circumstances, such as to enroll them for a sports team, or at your doctor's office. However, you do not need to give their SSN -- you can show other evidence of age or information that your health care provider needs for billing.

• Teach your children not to share their SSNs. When they are applying for jobs -- at which point they finally do have to share the number -- make sure the employer and company are legitimate so the risk of resale is low.

• When creating a bank account for your child, set up only a savings account and make sure there is no overdraft protection included.

• Monitor your child's credit as you do your own. If you wait until you see a red flag, a lot of damage may have occurred, and often you'll see no red flag at all until your child seeks credit. Running a credit report does introduce some risk, but you can mitigate this by freezing their credit. This way, if the very act of checking your child's credit history generated a credit file you have squashed the chances for abuse. Unfreeze their credit when they do seek out a loan.

For this and other information about protecting your child online, visit: http://safeinternet.org/blog/kids-and-financial-id-theft-growing-issue.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: How can I protect my child's Social Security Number? 09/02/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 2, 2010 12:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gov. Scott's tough talk on Venezuela may not turn into economic action

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — To show his solidarity with Venezuelans, Gov. Rick Scott held a rally in South Florida and repeatedly promised to punish companies that do business with the Nicolás Maduro regime.

    Gov. Rick Scott held a rally July 10 at El Arepazo restaurant to show solidarity with Venezuelans. Scott has said he wants to punish companies that work with the Nicol?s Maduro regime.
  2. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  3. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  4. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  5. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion

    Markets

    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]