Some statistics report one in 40 kids have been victims of identity theft.
According to law enforcement authorities, more than one million children have their identities stolen each year. Half of the children are under the age of six and in more than 50 percent of these cases, the perpetrator is someone known by the victim.
Cyberthieves attack children because the risk of being detected is low.
Gaming sites and apps are targeted frequently, which is why children often become victims of identity theft.
A keylogger is software that records keyboard strokes. Keylogging malware sends all that information back to attackers. If a child downloads an infected game and a keylogger ends up on that device, anything that is typed is captured.
Public internet-connected computers are common locations to find keyloggers, such as those in hotel business centers, internet cafes, and retail outlets that have an available computer for customers to use. However, those are not the only places they can be found.
If you allow your children or grandchildren to connect to Wi-Fi at a public place, such as the library, a hacker may be sitting nearby, able to trick them or you into connecting to a phony access point. Kids are sharp cookies, and some can connect in a flash. You may not realize it happened until it is too late. If that happens, a hacker can potentially trick a child into downloading software or apps to the device that will also log all their keystrokes. Keylogging is not limited to computer keyboards. It also can affect touch screens.
Remember, that even if a Wi-Fi connection in a public area requires a password, that does not mean it is secure. No connection is ever going to be 100 percent secure.
Children have social security numbers and are susceptible to cybercrime. Lower your child’s risk of becoming a victim of identity theft by checking their credit at annualcreditreport.com every time you check your credit report.
Always ask why someone needs a child’s social security number, including health care providers and schools. If they can not give you a satisfactory answer, do not provide it.