As I have mentioned in the past, identity theft from children is a particularly dangerous form of identity theft because often the identity theft is not discovered until the child is a teenager and doing activities such as applying for financial aid for college, getting a credit card or applying for a car loan where the child’s credit record becomes an issue. Now the Maryland legislature has just passed a bill that is expected to be signed into law shortly to permit parents to freeze the credit of their minor children and thereby help protect them from identity theft. Credit freezes, which are permitted in all states are a great way of protecting yourself from identity theft because when you freeze your credit report with the three major credit agencies, even if someone manages to steal your Social Security number, they cannot get access to your credit report which would be required in order to use that person’s credit for major purchase or loan.
Credit freezes are a good tactic for anyone to fight identity theft. You can find more information about credit freezes elsewhere on this website. As for protecting your children from identity theft, it is a good practice to limit as much as possible the use of a child’s Social Security number. And even at home, keep records of the child’s Social Security number secure from the prying eyes of babysitters or other family members, who unfortunately are often the perpetrators of child identity theft.