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Protect your child from identity theft

Spotlight on Finance

  • Ask primary care physicians and other providers to identify your child with an ID that is not your child’s Social Security number.
  • Take an inventory of who has access to your child’s information—preschool, school, etc.—and consider opting out of sharing your address and child’s date of birth in any directories.
  • Shred documents that contain personal information.
  • Store birth certificates and social security cards in a secure place.
  • Contact the major credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion or Equifax—to request a social security number search.
  • Be Internet savvy, and know how to protect and monitor your children’s online and social media behavior.

— Remember, as parents our job is to protect our children and help guide them down a path that will lead to a successful future. A clean financial record is an important part of that future. However, as is the case with most parenting challenges, much of the responsibility for securing this is shared. The more we communicate with our children and discuss the dangers they face—online and off—the better prepared they will be to make confident, secure decisions.

Anthony Lanzillo is senior vice president of KeyBank and heads the Capital Region’s Retail Banking team. He can be reached at either 518-257-8598 or anthony_lanzillo@keybank.com.

Social media and protecting your children online

The explosive growth of the Internet, more specifically social media, is transforming kids’ lives. Children today are spending more time online than ever before—for education, entertainment and socializing. However, whether this is a good or bad thing is largely a matter of the decisions kids make online and how well they are being monitored by their parents.

Monitoring children’s social media and Internet usage is critical for parents who want to ensure their child does not fall victim to identity theft, cyber-bullying or an online predator. The first step is using safe practices online. Children, especially under the age of 13, need parental supervision. They should also have strong guidelines and a clear understanding of the risks involved with using social networking sites.

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