At the start of a new school year, most parents are given the mundane task of filling out paperwork like registration forms, health forms, and emergency contact forms. With a new school year fast approaching, The Federal Trade Commission wants parents to know that many of these forms require personal and sensitive information that, in the wrong hands, could be used to commit fraud in their childâ€™s name. A childâ€™s Social Security number can be used to get government benefits, open bank and credit card accounts, or rent a place to live. Child identity theft may go undetected for years â€“ until the child applies for a job or loan and discovers problems in a credit report.
Thatâ€™s why the FTC has compiled an informative list of the ways to protect your children called, Protecting Your Childâ€™s Personal Information at School.Â It explains how the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protects the privacy of student records and gives parents of school-age children the right to opt out of sharing contact information with third parties.
The second publication,Â Safeguarding Your Childâ€™s Future, offers tips on how to keep your childâ€™s data safe at home and online, and explains the warning signs of child identity theft. It also explains how parents and guardians can check whether their child has a credit report, and what to do if the report has errors.