1. Try to avoid giving away your child's social security number to any doctors, schools, hospitals, etc. Unless they absolutely require it for the services you're looking to obtain, do not give out this information.
2. Keep your child's social security card (and any info with social security info on it) in a safe place, preferably a fireproof safe in your home or a safe deposit box at your bank.
3. Monitor any mail that is addressed to your child. Offers for credit cards or collection notices are some of the many clues that can alert you something is wrong.
4. Order a free copy of your child's credit report annually. You can do so by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. Assuming no credit has been applied for on behalf of your child, you shouldn't be able to access a report. So if your child has a report, it may be showing accounts opened by ID thieves.
5. Shred any documents with your child's personal info, just like you should do with your own.
6. Communicate with your child (once they are old enough) about the dangers of ID theft. Help them understand the above points and how they can protect themselves.
In summary, you need to protect your child's social security number like you would your own. Until your child is old enough to take on the responsibility, it's in your hands to provide the protection.
You may even want to purchase ID theft insurance for your child (NOTE: this is not credit monitoring). Click here for an article we wrote in the past about this topic.
Contact us with any questions...we're here to help!