Top tips to protect your child's identity
Recent Company News
- Keep your cover in check – important insurance points to ponder
- Passion is the key to entrepreneurial success
- Is your tracking company tracking you correctly?
- Top tips to protect your child's identity
- Stay safe on the roads
- Time is money: Tips to help you use yours well
- Don’t be a statistic: 4 tips to avoid motorcycle hijacking
- Own the open road: Tips for trucking owner-drivers looking to improve their bottom line
- Car hire: read the fine print
- Understanding your blue light rights
- Small business deserves to be a bigger priority
By: Nthabiseng Moloi, MiWay Head of Marketing & Brand
There are indications that identity theft syndicates are now targeting children. Common-sense practices, backed up by proper education, will save endless trouble down the line.
In the online world, identity theft has become big business. People are remarkably careless about divulging personal information online, or storing it on unencrypted mobile or other digital devices. Criminals can use this information to open bank and store accounts and access state and other benefits unlawfully. Personal information like full names, birth date and parents’ names can be used to create an alias that stands up to most scrutiny.
Worryingly, there are signs that identity thieves are beginning to target children specifically. The rationale is clear: a child or teenager will have an unblemished credit record that will unlock the vaults of credit-granting companies, and could even be used to access desirable things like social grants, university funding and even housing.
Young people are impulsive and often too trusting – especially online, where normal cautionary instincts seem to be put on hold.
How real is the problem? No figures are available but fraud investigators believe there is cause for alarm. David Loxton, a partner at the law firm Dentons South Africa says, “The incidence of identity theft overall has tripled in recent years. It is a sad truth that the theft of children’s identities is often not reported because it was perpetrated by family members who sell it to criminal syndicates, or parents are just not aware that it has occurred”.
Until, that is, the child is refused admission to write exams or has his or her application for an identity document refused. Another tell-tale sign that identity theft has occurred is a slew of offers from credit card companies, or a demand for overdue tax from SARS.
It is worth remembering that a bad credit record can be hard to erase – it is certainly tiresome. In the meantime, it can have long-term implications, such as the inability to take out a student loan, receive a scholarship or even land that all-important first job. It will inevitably conflict with any attempts to open banking or credit-card accounts – or obtain insurance.
So, what can parents do to prevent their children suffering identity theft? The following practices will mitigate the risk:
• Educate your child about the dangers and agree on safe online behaviour with relation to sensitive personal information.
• Implement strict privacy precautions. Depending on your child’s age, check his or her inbox regularly to see what unsolicited mail he or she is receiving.
• Consider buying identity-theft protection. A service like Identity Guard Credit Alerts will notify people when accounts are opened using their personal information, and will initiate remedial action.
• Be aware of social-media cloning, which occurs when criminals gather information from social media profiles and then use it for their own purposes.
• Keep sensitive documents safe. These include identity documents, birth and baptismal certificates, accounts and so on. With personal information and an address, criminals can do just about anything, especially if they have corrupt officials in Home Affairs on their payrolls.
• Apply for a credit report on your child. This will list what accounts have been opened in his or her name. Credit reports can be easily obtained from Compuscan, Experian, Credit Bureau or TransUnion.
In addition, parents should be alert for the following warning signs that their child’s identity has been hacked:
• Credit card offers in the child’s name.
• A call from a debt collector.
• A SARS communication addressed to the child.
An individual’s identity is his or her passport to the world. Protecting your child’s is one of the best gifts you can offer him or her.
MiWay is an Authorised Financial Services Provider (Licence no: 33970)
Date Posted: 2017-10-30
Posted By: MiWay Insurance Limited
Listed under these Business Listing Categories: Financial services,
More Company News
- Small business deserves to be a bigger priority
- MiWay’s BusinessAssist service set to promote growth in the SME sector
- The Car Wash Conundrum: How to avoid South Africa’s latest crime trend
- MiWay launches disaster relief fund
- How to avoid buying a water-damaged car
- What happens when you neglect your home maintenance?
- Tips to improve your safety on the roads
- The fine print: Understanding the rules of the road
- The risks of business ownership
- Cover your assets: Things to consider when buying a car
- Shaping tomorrow's leaders
- MiWay backs a winning team
- New MiWay App feature that no road user should be without
- MiWay sponsors 40th Wally Hayward Marathon
- TREAD collaborates with MiWay on MiWayMTB TV show
- MiWayMTB and TREAD team up to offer MTB skills clinics
- Want to improve your MTB performance?
- MiWay keeps its promises
- What should a biker insure? A motorcycle insurance checklist for your peace of mind.
- MiWay Insurance creates jobs in Bloemfontein
- Customers show their support for MiWay
- MiWay and Tracker SA tie the knot
- Insurance innovation: MiWay fixes premiums for three years
- Car Insurance - Parts used to repair insured cars may not compromise safety!
- Useful tips for finding cheaper car insurance!
- MiWay clients benefit from Europ Assistance SA's highly equipped call centre.
- What to consider when deciding on Car Insurance.
- Home Insurance from MiWay
- MiWay.co.za - A South African Insurance Provider
- Miway to Profile Driver Behaviour for More accurate Premiums
- Insure your Boat with MiWay
Fax 2 Email
Study IT Online
Work from Home