FTC Advises Parents How to Protect Kids’ Personal Information at School

We represent represent the victims of identity theft.  Like adults, children are at risk for identity theft.  Its back to school time and our children’s personal information is harvested and hopefully kept safe.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released two new publications about protecting your child’s personal information. Here is the FTC’s press release:

A new school year usually means filling out paperwork like registration forms, health forms, and emergency contact forms, to name a few.  The Federal Trade Commission wants parents to know that many school forms require personal and sensitive information that, in the wrong hands, could be used to commit fraud in their child’s name.

A criminal can use a child’s Social Security number to get government benefits, open bank and credit card accounts, or rent a place to live.  Most parents and guardians don’t expect their child to have a credit file, and rarely order or monitor a child’s credit report.  Child identity theft may go undetected for years – until the child applies for a job or loan and discovers problems in a credit report.

To help limit the risks of child identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission offers Protecting Your Child’s Personal Information at School.  It explains how the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protects the privacy of student records and gives parents of school-age children the right to opt out of sharing contact information with third parties.  It also suggests that parents ask their child’s school about its directory information policy, learn about privacy policies of sports or music activities that are not school-sponsored, and find out what to do if their child’s school experiences a data breach.

The second publication, Safeguarding Your Child’s Future, offers tips on how to keep your child’s data safe at home and online, and explains the warning signs of child identity theft. It also explains how parents and guardians can check whether their child has a credit report, and what to do if the report has errors.

Are you or your child a victim of identity theft?  Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers have the right to get their credit reports from consumer reporting agencies due to fraud or identity theft.  Consumers also have the right to dispute, for free, any incorrect information on their credit reports.  The FCRA provides consumers with a private cause of action if the credit reporting agencies fail to assure the maximum accuracy of your report, perform a reasonable investigation of your dispute or block fraudulent information from appearing in your credit report.    

Before you sign any papers or sign up for credit monitoring, you should contact a credit report attorney to discuss your rights.  Contact us 24/7 at 1-800-263-9091 for a free case review.  Or, use the contact form below.

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