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How to protect a child from identity theft

Фото: Depositphotos

Everyone has heard of a number of hacker attacks that have occurred in the world. But few people think that children are one of the vulnerable categories for hacker attacks. The summer period, when children go to holiday camps, is the most profitable for computer scammers. They can, for example, steal social security data from a child and “apply for government benefits, open bank cards, apply for a loan or rent an apartment,” the FTC warns.

Experts Brian Lapidus, who heads the department dealing with identity theft in the Kroll investigation and risk management unit, and Allan Brill, senior managing director of cybersecurity and investigation in Kroll, told about the threats of the theft of children's personal data and how you can secure them.

So, children's camps, in addition to the social insurance number, may request other personal data of children. Criminals consider the computer systems of children's camps as easy prey. The stolen personal data of the child will not lead to the plundering of financial accounts in the near future, but may cause damage in the future. In the “darknet”, children's data are sold from $ 10 to $ 25.

“To date, there is no record of children stolen by hackers, but every year this number increases,” said Brian Lapidus.

How to understand whether there was a stolen personal data of the child?

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to detect the theft of children's data right away, says Allan Brill. Either the child sooner or later applies for a loan and he is told that he has already been taken, or a tax notification about the debt comes. It is not uncommon for fraudsters to use the data of one child in order to obtain benefits for medical services for another child. In this case, the greatest risk is that the child can come to the hospital, and the data of a completely different person are recorded in his medical history.

You can also steal data when paying for online games. Children install the product, leave their personal data and have no idea where this data is then sent.

Also, many adolescents are applying to get a summer job. Many companies ask for a social security number. Often, fraudsters appear to be "company X", they organize a job fair, record data and get a huge base that is easy to sell.

How should children behave in such cases?

Lapidus advises adolescents to be attentive and not to issue a social security number to the employer before he offered a specific vacancy and provided an official invitation to work.

Who is engaged in theft of children's data?

In general, hackers steal children's data for commercial purposes. A cybercriminal steals data and then sells it to credit fraudsters or scammers who specialize in the medical field.

How can parents protect their children's data?

Brill believes that when sending children to camp, parents should be sure to ask the question "how do you protect my child's data?" If in response they look at you as a new gate, then, probably, this is not the best place where you should give your child. If they start talking about how they protect databases and restrict access to information, then this is already a good signal. In any case, you need to realize that theft of children's personal data is a big problem, and parents should pay attention to this.

In turn, Lapidus says that parents should monitor the child’s credit files from time to time. Check insurance policies, credit history and so on. If there is confusion with some financial documents, then do not assume that this is a “system error”, but check.

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