NORTH CAROLINA -- It may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to student safety this school year, but identity theft is a problem that children are much more likely to face than their parents.
A recent report from AARP shows students are 51 times more likely than their parents to be victims of identity theft.
The report says college students are especially vulnerable, and are subject to lose more money and take longer to discover the fraud when they are victims.
Experts recommend a few key strategies to help safeguard the whole family.
Mark Hanson, a spokesman for the IRS, said families can avoid data-stealing software online by visiting secure websites and keeping anti-virus protection up-to-date. He also recommends being cautious with social security numbers.
"You can certainly do yourself a favor by using that number smartly, providing it only when absolutely necessary, and making sure you're doing everything you can on your end to protect your sensitive personal financial information,” he said.
AARP offers other tips here.
If you suspect you or a family member is the victim of identity theft, contact local law enforcement immediately.