Chicago, IL- August 23, 2012- With the start of a
new school year comes the filling out of many different types of paperwork
including: emergency contact cards, healthcare forms and registration
documents. The Better
Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) warns
it is important to be aware that this information can be misused by the wrong
individual to commit fraud.
The Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) offers advice to parents and offers guidelines on how to decrease
the possibility of your child’s identity theft. In Safeguarding Your
Child’s Future, the article focuses on what the best course of action if fraud
important to be aware how the information you are providing is being used and
to be able to respond if identity theft occurs,” said Steve J. Bernas, President
& CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago
and Northern Illinois. “A few simple steps can
safeguard your child’s identity.”
following tips for protecting your child’s identity are from the BBB and FTC:
about your child's school directory information policy. It
varies from school to school how much information is included in the directories.
It can range from name and phone number to include email, address, date of
birth and photo. Under the Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
schools are required to notify parents or guardians about what information is
included and parents have the opportunity to opt out.
Be aware of what documents are being sent home. Before releasing any of your child’s information, find out
who is able to access it and how it will be used. It is also important to
confirm that all forms are stored in a secure place.
Monitor your child’s online use. With the start of the school year, children have
more reasons to look up information online. If a site requires users to register, see
what kind of information it asks for and whether you’re comfortable with what
is needed. If the site allows kids to post personal information, talk to your
child about the risks and benefits of disclosing certain information in a
Understand the policies of other organizations. Some children are involved in other after-school programs
that are not sponsored by the school. These organizations may list photos or
other information of your child’s information online and it is important to
understand the policies of the organization.
Set strict privacy settings on social networking sites. As the new school year starts, children become more
active on social networking sites to stay in contact with friends after school. Social
networking sites let users determine with whom they want to share information
with. Talk to your child about restricting access to his or her profile to only
friends or users in safe networks such as their school, clubs or church groups.
Be ready to take action if your school’s database is breeched. If a security breech happens be ready to speak with
different teachers and administrators. Keep a record of your conversations and
make sure that they are using secure methods.
For more consumer
tips, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit
organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an
ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of
conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims,
online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports
on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a
company or charity before making a purchase or donation.