Is your child a victim of identity theft? [source: nakedsecurity]

The Equifax breach was well over half a year ago now, but I’ve had a nagging worry all the while since then: Was my child’s data affected in that breach, and how could I possibly find out for sure?

After the Equifax breach, a number of people who had never even heard of the credit monitoring bureau (including people living outside of the U.S.) found out their personal data had been compromised – an unpleasant discovery, to say the least. Something that was and still is quite unclear after the breach is if any data belonging to children had been leaked.

The official line from Equifax or any other credit bureau is that children should never be affected by a data breach like this, as children are not supposed to have any kind of credit until they become legal adults, which in the U.S. is at 18 years of age. However, some parents checked the Equifax breach website to see if their child’s data was leaked, and alarmingly many people got a notice that their child’s social security number “may” have been involved – with no easy way to investigate further.

That operative word, “may,” is unnerving – this is not an issue you want to let sit and fester with unknown status, as child identities are a very tempting blank slate for criminals to misuse. Most people won’t even think of their child’s credit until the child becomes an adult. However, finding out someone has already established your child’s credit for them is a nightmare to try and clean up after years of damage already done – you can’t just scrap the old credit profile and/or social security number and get a new one.

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