Identity theft tips for the College Students:
Keep your Social Security card (number) in a safely-locked location. Do not carry it with you.
Do not share your Social Security number (SSN) with anyone without knowing why they need it. Most schools now use a student identification number instead of the SSN.
Store your laptop in a locked security box when you are not in the room or do not have it with you.
Be aware and wary of peer-to-peer file sharing programs. While they provide you the ability to exchange files, they also open you up to unauthorized access on your computer.
While Social Networking (Facebook, Snapchat, etc.) may not appear invasive, it can actually expose you to serious risks, not the least of which is identity theft.
Use your home address as the permanent mailing address rather than a temporary address used while in school. This will lessen the complications of multiple addresses. Dorm and apartment mailboxes are not always locked and are easily accessible by people who may not have your best interest in mind.
Obtain and use a credit card and not a debit card. Credit cards may be pre-paid or have a low limit, if you so choose. Check your statements as they come in and look for unexplained expenses, or keep an eye on the App your card provides to check on charges.
Never supply a phone in your name to someone else, i.e. a friend or roommate.
Never loan a credit or debit card to anyone.
Never loan your driver’s license or identification card to anyone.
Once you have established credit, check your credit reports annually using the www.annualcreditreport.com program. The reports are free. If you have never established credit, you will be told there is no report.
Other sites you may find helpful:
www.privacyrights.org It is full of information on privacy issues and ID theft. Please take the time to surf its’ depths. We especially recommend the sections on new entries (the most up-to-date information), fact sheets, case histories, and speeches and testimony. "Nowhere to Turn" is the most comprehensive survey/report done on identity theft victims today. Many of the speeches and testimony were created to support legislative bills.
www.identitytheft.org created by an attorney and a nationally recognized expert in privacy and ID theft. She also offers a book for victims. Please mention we referred you.
www.consumer.gov/idtheft Federal Trade Commission. This site contains facts and stats you may find useful.
www.pirg.org U.S PIRG is a nonprofit advocacy organization that works for stronger privacy laws
www.ncjrs.org National Criminal Justice Reference Service
www.gao.gov US Government Accounting Office (facts and figures)
www.epic.org This is a good general research area on a variety of topics
www.leginfo.ca.gov Listing of legislative bills in California. You will find similar ones for each state.
www.senate.gov Listing of legislative bills introduced in the U.S. Senate
www.ssa.gov Social Security Administration (for history of the Social Security number)
www.treas.gov.usss US Secret Service
www.ic3.gov The FBI and their Internet Complaint Center