4 Your Kids: Protecting children’s personal info

4 Your Kids: Protecting their personal info

When it comes to personal information, children are no different from adults – in that it's paramount to protect it from bad actors.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — These days, children do mostly everything online but that can leave their personal information vulnerable.

“We don’t think about how we are leaving a timeline. We are leading references to how many siblings, types of family, all kinds of different information, so it’s very easy for people to start to build a profile,” said David Swope, the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau New Mexico.

That digital footprint can make it make it easy for scammers to get a hold of valuable information. That includes full names, birthdates – even home addresses and Social Security numbers.

“We talk about stranger danger. That also includes social media,” Swope said. “Good rule of thumb, number one, never give out your personal information to a stranger”

Swope recommends parents should take a look at their child’s credit report. The report will indicate if someone has compromised their identity.

“If their identity was stolen, a profile could be created which could be used for employment documents. It could be on a tax return or something like that. You may not know for years later because you never checked it,” he said.

Through the BBB, you can check how schools, doctor’s offices and other businesses store the personal information you give them.

“We at the BBB actually checked every website of accredited businesses to make sure that they have a policy, a privacy policy posted on their website. That information is to protect how that information is gathered and disseminated,” Swope said. “We take that for granted that all of our information is secure. But, they can be hacked just like everybody else. So, you want to make sure they have a privacy policy.”