Arizona data loss; 40,000 kids placed at risk of identity theft

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An Arizona state agency reported that a disk containing sensitive and personal information including names, addresses and phone numbers of 40,000 children, was stolen from a commercial storage facility. I think it's vital that the parents of these 40,000 children take precautionary measures NOW to prevent their kids from becoming victims of identity theft in the future.  If a child's stolen information lands in the hands of a criminal intent on using it to get a job, home, car, cell phone, utilities, medical services, credit or commit a crime in their name, it could prove quite costly as they battle for years to recover their name, reputation, and credit.

Arizona's Department of Economic Security (DES) began notifying the families of about 40,000 children that their personal data may have been compromised following the theft of several hard drives from a commercial storage facility. The information stored on the stolen disks included the names, addresses, phone numbers and in some cases, also included Social Security numbers

What should the parents do? Take safeguards before their kids fall victim to a costly identity theft!

These almost daily reports of data loss serve as a constant reminder that we are not in control of our own information or our identities. In fact, odds are pretty good that everyone, including our children, will be affected by an identity theft at some point!

A child's identity is like gold to a thief because they can use the identity for quite a while without being detected.

Criminals can use it to find employment, housing, obtain credit, medical services, commit crimes and create new accounts, all in you child's name. Often the crime goes undetected until your child has grown and is denied credit, student loans, employment, insurance or housing, long after much of a lot of damage has been done.

For more info and steps you should take to protect your kids, see earlier blog on kids & identity theft.

The thing is, starting out as a young adult is hard enough...but starting out with the burden of destroyed credit due to an identity theft, makes it all that much harder. Remember, the best way to prevent an identity theft from occurring -is to plan for one!

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