Whether your child is going away to college for the first time, or returning after summer break, you’ll want to ensure they are protected from the threat of identity theft.
Here’s a short list of steps you can take to help keep your college-bound child safe.
Notify your bank that your child will be living away from home.
Banks and credit card companies have become much more vigilant about spotting suspicious activity, including ATM and credit card transactions in an unfamiliar city. Just as it’s important to notify your bank and card companies when you travel, it’s also important to let them know that your child will be using the account in a new city while away at college. Otherwise, the bank may freeze the account until it can verify charges in an unexpected location. Notifying the bank also will make it easier for their fraud department to spot actual suspicious activity.
Continue to have your child’s important mail sent to your home.
Because college life typically involves roommates and frequent moves and vacations, it’s best to have your student pay bills and check bank statements online or have important mail, including bank and credit card statements, delivered to your house instead of having it sit around in your student’s dorm, apartment or building entrance.
Secure your child’s computer and smartphone with virus protection and password protection.
Students store tons of personal and financial information on their laptop computers and smartphones, and they regularly use technology in public places. Have the phone and computer password-protected so a thief will have a tough time accessing the information if the device is stolen. Also, make sure your daughter has anti-virus and anti-malware software on her computer that’s programmed to update automatically.
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