Identity Theft

Going to college is an exciting time for many young adults, but it is also a risky time when it comes to theft of personal belongings or even identity. College students have a wide range of reasons that contribute to the risk of identity theft or the theft of other personal items, so it is important for parents or students to look at the facts before starting that journey to school.

Protecting Against High Tech Theft

It is possible to protect information from high tech skimming devices. Even college students should learn these protective measures to ensure information is not stolen at the ATM or to catch the theft early.

Protecting against high tech theft is possible for college students. One simple method of protection is investing in a card monitoring service, such as Lifelock or fraud protection through the credit card company. Lifelock and similar services watch for odd activity and inform consumers when something has happened that seems suspicious. This is helpful for college students, who often do not notice the theft for several months.

Beyond getting monitoring solutions, college students can take time to look for potential skimming devices, such as a loose card reader or oddly placed small cameras, before taking money out of the bank.

High Tech Thefts

College students are often faced with a wide range of challenges when it comes to their personal finances. Since students are only starting out on their own they are less likely to understand the nature of identity theft and the forms it might take.

High tech thefts are a growing problem around the country. It is important for all consumers to learn about debit and credit card skimming. The skimming of a credit card or debit card uses high tech devices that steal information in combination with a camera or a similar item to obtain the PIN number on the account.

Other Protective Measures

College students have more than just the technology thefts to worry about. Students are in a new environment and live in close quarters with other students. As a result, the theft of personal belongings, credit card numbers and other information is easier to access than other areas. Students who are in college need to take measures to protect their personal belongings, bank account information and other personal data from roommates and other students who might come into the dorm room.

Keep all personal documents in a safe location where roommates and other individuals cannot access it. This includes financial statements, social security cards and any details about financial information. Important documents are generally best kept at a parent’s house and it is ideal to obtain paperless statements, which will avoid the theft of an identity by a roommate.

Campus-wide Protection

Students who are accessing personal accounts should always use a personal computer. While the college is likely to have public computers available to students, the information on the computer is often accessible to the next individual who uses the computer. As a result, it is better to use the school computers for projects while using a personal laptop to access any sensitive data. Adding a layer of identity protection will also add peace of mind for any college student, protecting their information anywhere on campus.

Protecting personal information and identity at college is primarily about becoming educated. Taking measures to protect personal data by simply not bringing it to school and watching for skimming devices will help reduce the risk of becoming the victim of theft.