According to a recent study done by Carnegie Mellon CyLab, children are 51 times more likely than their parents to have their identity stolen. This study found that 10.2% of kids had someone else (i.e. child identity theft) using their social security number.
Those numbers are pretty scary, but there are ways to keep your kids and their information safe online. One best practice is to protect your kid’s birthday, especially when it comes to social media, as birthday is a key piece of information identity thieves need to start taking advantage of your child’s credit.
Protect Your Child’s Birthday
One of the great parts of the internet is the ability to celebrate those we care about, and a child’s birthday is no exception. There are, however, ways to do this without putting them at risk:
- Post on the day of their party rather than their actual birthday: In other words, don’t be specific about what day is their ACTUAL birthday. Be general. Celebrate your child without details.
- Example: “We’re so excited! Our little guy is celebrating his birthday this week!
- Don’t mention what age your child is turning: Again, be general. Providing an age means also providing a birthyear, information that will be helpful to cyber-criminals.
- Don’t include a current picture: Without intending to, current pictures can give away a lot of personal information. Use a baby picture or leave out a picture all together!
- Never use your child’s full name: We would suggest not using a name at all, but at the very least it’s important to protect their full name!
More example of safe birthday posts:
- Can you believe it? Our daughter is having another birthday this month!
- Happy almost birthday to my little guy! I can’t believe how old he’s getting!
- Happy day, happy day, happy day! Our family is celebrating another birthday this week!
Just like our everyday lives, existing online means managing risk and taking advantage of the awesome benefits without putting ourselves or those we love in danger.
Share with care: your kids will appreciate it!