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Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.


Prying Eyes on Campus

Feb 05

Prying Eyes

If you’re a concerned parent sending your children off to college, you may be advising them to stay out of dark corners, to lock their doors at night, and to travel in groups. While these measures might help them from staying out of dangerous situations, it cannot protect them from one of the worst kinds of danger, having their identity stolen.

If your children plan on staying at a dorm or going to college in other state, chances are they will be taking their personal belongings with them.  These personal belongings may also include their driver’s license, personal documents, and Social Security number.

While most colleges are relatively safe, burglaries can and do happen on campus. Documents or personal information left lying around can quickly be copied or stolen by a professional thief or a roommate in need of some extra cash procured by selling others’ personal information. 

As a parent, it’s in your children’s best interest to teach them the importance of protecting themselves from identity theft. So here are some tips to share about how they can hide their personal information from prying eyes on campus.

1. Invest in a lockbox or safe to store your private documents.

2. Never leave your wallet in plain sight.

3. Don’t clutter your desk with documents that have your personal information on it.

4. Keep your credit cards and bank account statements locked in a safe place.

5. Don’t let roommates see where you store your wallet or important documents.

6. Always keep your front door and/or dorm room locked, even if you expect company.

7. Choose your company wisely.

In the end, your children will thank you for sharing this information with them because when college students think about complications at school, identity theft is usually the last thing on their mind.

4 Comments Add your comment

  1. jenny b
    Feb 05 at 17:52

    I would also say to keep your laptop private. My brother lets all his friends use his laptop, but within his browser he has all his passwords for his banks!


    ID-Alvin Reply:

    Hello Jenny! Thank you for your response and I agree with you to keep your computer private.
    Wow! You’re brother is very trusting to let his friends use his computer. It would be a good idea to relay to him that even though he trusts his friends anything can happen. He is making himself vulnerable to identity theft even more so if he is not enrolled with a monitoring program that would alert him if anyone is using his Social Security number. There have been various studies done that identity theft is usually done by somebody the victim knows such as a family member or friend. Also, it would be a good idea for him not to store any personal information, passwords, account information, banking account information in his computer, especially if he is lending it to people that can be exposed to that information and potentially use for identity theft. I’m not suggesting that your brother completely stop lending his laptop, but to be more cautious as to what he is storing in it and who he is freely lending it to.


  2. Darrell
    Feb 08 at 13:34

    These are great tips! It’s so important to teach these things to the youngsters these days – someone’s got to educate them. When you’re young and in college, you think you’re indestructable and untouchable – these kids need to understand the risks and take precautions.


    ID-Alvin Reply:

    Hello Darrell! Thank you for your feedback and I very much agree with you that it’s very important to teach young adults the importance of protecting themselves from identity theft. In my opinion, it would be wonderful if colleges offered courses or an elective class on credit education which would also discuss the value of protecting young adult’s identities especially with college campuses bombarding students with credit applications.
    Since you thought this entry was very informative, keep an eye out for blog entries in the month of September which will have an identity theft college theme.


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