Keeping your child's identity secure

July 12, 2011 2:34:10 PM PDT
You know to keep your own personal data safe, like your Social Security number and your date of birth. But what about your child?

It's a topic the Federal Trade Commission and other consumer groups are tackling.

Scammers can steal bits and pieces of a child's identity to create synthetic IDs, taking a Social Security number without any credit records and attaching a fake date of birth that makes it seem legit to creditors.

It can be more difficult for a parent to detect, and just as detrimental to a child's financial future, so be on the lookout for the biggest warning signs.

They include any mail that comes that seems like it should be adult-oriented, phone calls and people looking for your child to make solicitations or even collect debts.

When signing your kids up for sports, dance classes or other activities, think twice about giving a Social Security number, which often is not even necessary.

Really think about what the information is going to be used for, why you are being asked for it and how it is going to be protected. And be sure that you feel comfortable with the answers.

And shred medical bills and other documents with your child's personal data, just like your own.