When we think of college images, books, pizza boxes, dorm rooms and kegs may come to mind. Unfortunately, there’s another that’s probably less apparent—some jerk behind a computer ripping these kids off. The most targeted demographic for identity theft consists of those between the ages of 18 to 24. College may be a good time to learn what it’s like to lose a football game, a bet, or your first love, but it’s definitely not the time to lose your identity. The good news is that if the correct precautions are taken, the threat can be significantly lowered.
A recent segment of The Credit Line radio show hosted by Adam Levin, Credit.com’s co-founder and chairman, offered up an identity protection checklist for kids returning to college.
- Install the most up-to-date protection software on your computer. (Equally important: Update it whenever prompted. Not updating your software is like having a membership to a gym you don’t use).
- Don’t share your computer with roommates or friends.
- Don’t store important information on your cell or smartphone.
- Be sure to have strong passwords for both your computer and phone. Microsoft has a good tool to help you create and test your passwords.
- Take mail directly to the campus post office rather than leaving it in a communal box.
Looking for more information? Check out these Credit.com stories about identity theft and related risks.
- What to Do When You’re a Victim of a Data Breach
- Worried About Online Security? Use a Temporary Credit Card Number
- Worse than Zombies, The Mobile Botnets are Coming
- 6 Tips to Protect Your Personal Data After a Breach
Be safe, kids … and join us on the radio! Listen to the past week’s Credit Line for more debt and credit advice.
Tune in to The Credit Line on Los Angeles’ KFWB 980 AM every Saturday at 9 a.m. PST/Noon EST and call in at 888-539-2980 with your credit and identity questions.
[Featured Product: Research and Compare Identity Theft Monitoring Services on Credit.com]
Image: Jeff Ozvold, via Flickr.com