Children are victims of Identity Theft more often than adults. They are 51x more likely to be victims than adults. Over 10% of children will be a victim before age 18. Child activity organizations, Daycare centers, Pre-Schools and Schools are the easiest places for thieves to steal a child’s Social Security Number. See “Your Child’s Private Identity” Posted on August 17, 2011 and “Children Cannot Freeze their Credit” Posted on August 21, 2011 in this blog.
Most organizations collect more information on children than they need. Does a sports organization need a Social Security Number? Most organizations and schools have very poor security to protect the child’s and parent’s private information. I have talked with teachers who tell me the child’s SSN is on their copy of the student’s record.
Organizations and schools need to review what, who, where and why.
- What: Take a detailed inventory of information gathered about children and parents.
- Who: Know the personnel with access to the information.
- Where: How do you store the information. Is it on computers and/or paper? Is the information secure?
- Why: Do you really need what you are collecting? Do personnel with access really need to know the private information?
If you gather and store private non-public information, you are responsible for securing it. The liability for losing the non-public information in your possession have can put you out of business. The owner of a Daycare or Preschool could have a personal financial liability.
Don’t collect it if you don’t need it. If you need it protect it.