Parents of gamers have likely caught wind of the hype surrounding two fall arrivals: Battlefield 3 (released Oct. 25) and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (out Nov. 8). These so-called shooter games are the latest installments to two established and—in the case of Call of Duty, wildly successful—video game series. One analyst for Forbes forecast that MW3 would sell 16 million copies and Battlefield 8 million copies by year-end. (more…)
To celebrate National Protect Your Identity Week and Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Identity Theft 911 has provided tips for tech-savvy teens to stay out of trouble online.
Parents can’t supervise their kids around the clock, but they can instill important lessons and safety tips into their teens’ fast-moving minds. So how can you protect your fiercely independent, world-weary, tech-savvy child—the one with the severe case of selective hearing—from trouble online? (more…)
Identity theft doesn’t just strike adults – kids and teens are prime targets for identity thieves. The Federal Trade Commission reported that victims age 19 and under accounted for 8 percent of the identity theft complaints that it received in 2010. And a Carnegie Mellon University report issued earlier this year provided disturbing evidence that children are deliberately being targeted for identity theft. Why are children vulnerable and how can they be protected? (more…)
Foster youth are often denied access to adequate educational and residential programs that meet their unique needs within a supportive environment. The cruel and damaging effects of growing up in foster care without those needs met are staggering: high rates of young parenthood, unemployment, homelessness, inadequate health insurance, reliance on public assistance, severe mental illness and incarceration. Foster youth often emerge as young adults from our “system” without possessing the basic skills to survive. Less than 2% of Foster Youth (one twentieth of the proportion of the general population) benefit from a college education, arguably their best ladder out of challenging childhoods to worthwhile adult lives.
Identity Theft 911 has partnered with First Star, a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping children in child protective services, criminal and family courts, and foster care systems, to deliver proactive and reactive identity theft services and education to foster youth.
This week I had the opportunity to attend a fascinating forum in Washington, DC, to explore the myriad issues surrounding child identity theft, including foster care identity theft (a particularly cruel malady foisted upon children who already begin life behind the eight ball) and identity theft within families. The event was sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission and the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, and was attended by victims, businesses and representatives from federal and state governments, law enforcement, educational institutions, consumer advocates and legal service providers. It’s heartening that so many people care about this issue, but the clock is ticking, children’s futures are being compromised every day, and finding a real solution to the problem is becoming more critical by the moment.
Our nation’s 460,000 foster children already have a rough start on life. So it’s especially heartbreaking when identity thieves cause additional problems for the children who exist foster care each year.
These young adults have a vision of becoming self-reliant productive individuals. But they’re stymied when their identities are stolen and their credit records are blighted. They can’t lease housing, secure education or auto loans, or open bank accounts.
Increasingly, identity fraud threatens all children. Victims 19 and younger accounted for 8 percent of identity theft complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission in 2010, compared with 7 percent the previous year.
No doubt, Sony’s PlayStation Network breach has left many wondering how safe their credit card information is when it’s stored online. My 15-year-old son plays Xbox LIVE, which so far, seems safe. But I’m sure parents of kids who played on the PlayStation Network thought their data was safe, too.
So I decided to take a 3-hour tour of Xbox LIVE with my son. Who better to show me all the millions of opportunities where he can spend my money? He’s been on Xbox LIVE for two years and I was stunned by how much more is offered since I’d last taken a good look at the site.
I went through all the terms, and let me tell you, this alone can take three hours if you’re a slow reader. When you sign up—and you’re the one signing up unless your kid is 18—you’re asked for your name, the type of credit card, the number and verification code, expiration date and your ZIP code.
After the PlayStation debacle, I’m a little concerned that my credit card information is safe. A spokesperson for Xbox told me via email that “The security around our Xbox LIVE service and member information is our highest priority.”
Loving parents will do anything to protect their children. Unfortunately, many of them are unaware of the risk to their kids’ identities.
But parents can take steps to protect against identity theft. They can follow the tips below and seek out expert fraud services like ours through their insurance carrier, bank, credit union or employer.
Identity fraud is a serious risk for children. The Federal Trade Commission reports that victims aged 19 and younger accounted for 8 percent of all identity theft complaints in 2010, up from 7 percent the previous year.