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.