Remote learning? Protect your Child’s Privacy

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September 2, 2020 by Lisa Brammer

Did you know more than 1 million kids are victims of identity theft or fraud every year?

Here’s the thing. We typically think of identity theft as something that happens to adults. That’s why we are hypervigilant when it comes to protecting our identities—mitigating our risk at every turn.  But what about the kids?

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog called, Back to School: Protect Your Child’s Identity. In it I shared some useful information I found in a blog by the Federal Trade Commission.  I encourage you to read it. The information is still relevant today.  It’s crazy how many kids are affected by identity theft, resulting in billions of dollars of total losses and hundreds of millions in out-of-pocket costs to families.

This year, with all the Coronavirus-related school closures, millions of students are now learning remotely.  If you are a parent with concerns about the privacy and security of your child’s personal data while learning online here is some information I read about in another blog by the FTC. 

  • There is this thing called, The Children’s Online Privacy Act (COPPA) which generally requires websites and online services to get consent from parents before collecting personal information from kids younger than 13. 
  • If your child’s school is providing remote learning: Under COPPA, schools can consent on behalf of parents to the collection of student personal information. But the information can only be used for educational purposes, not commercial!
  • If you’re looking for remote learning opportunities for your child separate from school, make sure to review the service’s privacy and security policies. Look for services that clearly explain their data collection and use policies.

Incidentally, according to an article, “Identity Theft Facts and Statistic: 2019-2020 by Comparitech, people with active social media accounts have a 30 percent higher risk of being a victim of identity theft than those who aren’t active.  People on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are especially exposed with an increased risk—46 percent higher than those not on social media.

We all know how much our kids love social media!

Please take the time to talk to your kids about how to stay safe online by using strong passwords and the implications of over-sharing personal information. 

2020 has been bad enough.  Let’s not add identity theft to list of things that have gone wrong.  Please stay safe!

United Credit Service, Inc. is a full service, licensed revenue cycle management and debt collection agency that has been providing effective, customized one on one management and recovery solutions for our business partners in the Midwest since 1950. Visit our website at http://www.unitedcreditservice.com, call 877-723-2902, or check out our YouTube video.

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