Michelle Singletary invites Jeni Rogers, author of “200+ Ways to Protect Your Privacy,” to answer questions about identity theft.

WASHINGTON — Another day, another data breach.

Most recently, Quest Diagnostics, a major medical-testing company, reported that a breach may have compromised not just financial and medication information, but also the Social Security numbers of nearly 12 million patients.

It’s a battlefield out there, but it’s important to try to keep hackers from accessing your private data, because it can turn into a payday for identity thieves. I recently invited Jeni Rogers, author of “200+ Ways to Protect Your Privacy,” to answer reader concerns about identity theft during a live online chat. Here are her answers to some of the leftover questions she got from readers.

Q: We have a 1-year-old. Should we freeze his credit now?

Jeni Rogers: Unfortunately, young children can be victims of identity theft, and it can often go on for quite a while before it’s noticed, since children don’t typically have bank accounts and credit-monitoring profiles set up to watch for red flags. I personally experienced this years ago when I was setting up utilities on my first apartment. I learned that someone in a different state had gotten ahold of my Social Security number and used it to open a number of utility accounts. Before I even lived on my own as an adult, I had thousands of dollars in unpaid debt to utility companies.

Freezing your child’s credit is a good idea. You can do so by contacting all the major credit-monitoring bureaus and requesting a freeze on their credit. You’ll have to do this in writing.

(Note: A law enacted last September gives consumers the right to a free security freeze. It also includes a provision to allow parents and legal guardians of children under 16 …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News


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Michelle Singletary: Yes, you probably should get a credit freeze for your child

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