Thursday, March 18, 2010

Identity Theft

I’ve seen two articles in the last two days on the prevalence of identity theft. Apparently, the rate of this fraud is highest among people 18-24 years of age (the millennial generation?).

This demographic is the most liberal in giving out personal information about themselves, which makes identity theft all the easier. They are frequently not even aware they are doing so. But each time they post a photo on Facebook, update their status as to what they are doing, where they are going, what movies they have seen, it gives more of a profile to a potential thief. They are also more likely to give out cell phone numbers, and buy online using a debit card since many of these young adults do not have a credit card yet. Any and all of these can make it easier for someone to appropriate an identity.

I have coached my son (and my husband, for that matter) to be careful when using his credit card and especially his debit card. I’ve given him articles about how to recognize secured web sites, and verbally summarized the article in a nutshell. I’ve reminded him to be careful of posting information that is too specific. I have also asked him to regularly monitor his bank balance. No doubt, as he monitors his balance, he’ll let us know if it’s getting too low!

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