This Mother's Day Learn 5 Ways to Make Your Teenager's Data Safer

As indicated by research conducted by Experian, before the age of 18 at least 25% of children will be a victim of child identity fraud or theft.

As children grow up, it is their responsibility to make sure they are making safe decisions online to safeguard themselves. As Mother’s Day approaches it is the perfect time to remind kids as they gather for this event, that protecting their confidential information is a must.

How Teenagers Can Make Information Security a Priority

Identity Thieves Target Teenagers for Their Personal Information

It’s important to explain to teens that thieves are targeting them for their information. Experian has shown in their statistics for identity theft, posted just this year, that 13,852 complaints of theft were received from the Federal Trade Commission in 2017 that affected kids and youths all under the age of 19. Children are a target because they have a spotless record and their information is easy to use. Most parents do not notice that their child’s information has been stolen until years later, all the while thieves are opening lines of credit, mortgages, auto loans and credit cards under their name. Explain to kids what personal information the crooks are after (Social Security/Insurance number, name, address, mobile number, email, passwords, birth date, school, and any identifying account number). They should never share this information with anybody on the web, over their mobile phone, on a survey they take, or face to face, without understanding how this information will be used. Ensure they don't post pictures online of anything that shows confidential information like a boarding pass or new driver's license.

Safeguard Personal Devices

Teenagers invest a considerable amount of their energy and time today shopping, socializing, and sharing on social networks like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Experian announced that 93% of teenagers ages 15 to17 have mobile access to the web through a phone, tablet or other devices. It's imperative to ensure every one of these gadgets is protected by IT safeguards such as anti-virus, anti-spam, and firewalls. It’s important that they don’t share private information when utilizing public Wi-Fi and only download from trustworthy sources (or else they could be downloading viruses and malware). They should use physical safeguards as well, and never leave devices unattended.

Stay Safe Online

Keep in mind that criminals utilize social media sites to study their targets. Educate your teenager to keep away from over-sharing on social media, and not to post or share their full name, birthday and/or their account numbers. Show them that there are fake sites out there too (links to counterfeit 'fan sites' or 'free stuff' often are malicious). In the event that they are asked to download a plug-in or application to watch a video, make sure they think twice (something dreadful may accompany it) and only accept social media friend requests from individuals they know personally. Becoming friends with a con artist could enable them to spam their timeline, tag them in posts, and send nasty messages.

Make Strong and Secure Passwords

Teach teenagers to make long, hard passwords (a mix of unique and random numbers and letters) and not to share them with others. Make sure they never re-use passwords (this makes it simple for hackers to take) and think about getting a password manager.

Keep away from Hoarding Data

Parents ought to be good role models, and should keep the home and office clutter-free. Lock entryways and windows, utilize a burglar alarm and keep important files in a safe. Securely destroy confidential information – on paper or stored on hard drives – that is no longer needed.

Begin Securing Your Business

To learn more about how Mobile Record Shredders can protect your documents, please contact us to get a free quote.

Just Another Reason to Shred: Personal Data of 21.5 Million Individuals Stolen in Second OPM Data Breach

According to an article posted on and the NAID News:

"OPM recently discovered two cyber-security incidents that have impacted the data of Federal government employees, contractors, and others:

1. In April 2015, OPM discovered that the personnel data of 4.2 million current and former Federal government employees had been stolen. This means information such as full name, birth date, and other drugs like Imovane 5mg online. This number has not changed since it was announced by OPM in early June and you should have already received a notification if you were impacted.

2. While investigating this incident, in early June 2015, OPM discovered that additional information had been compromised: including background investigation records of current, former, and prospective Federal employees and contractors.

3. OPM and the interagency incident response team have concluded with high confidence that sensitive information, including the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of 21.5 million individuals, was stolen from the background investigation databases. This includes 19.7 million individuals that applied for a background investigation, and 1.8 million non-applicants, primarily spouses or co-habitants of applicants.Some records also include findings from interviews conducted by background investigators and approximately 1.1 million include fingerprints. Usernames and passwords that background investigation applicants used to fill out their background investigation forms were also stolen.

6. Notifications for this incident have not yet begun.

5. While background investigation records do contain some information regarding mental health and financial history provided by applicants and people contacted during the background investigation, there is no evidence that health, financial, payroll and retirement records of Federal personnel or those who have applied for a Federal job were impacted by this incident (for example, annuity rolls, retirement records, USA JOBS, Employee Express).

For more information about how you can protect yourself, contact us today!