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Preventing college identify theft

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(WFLX) - If you're the parent of a college student, you know how hectic this time of year can be. There's setting up the dorm room and nailing down the class schedule among many other things.

But here's something you may not have thought about -- helping your college-aged child protect their personal information.

As college students get settled in their dorms, they have a lot on their plate, and protecting their identity may not be top of mind. "Young kids are actually a big target," warned Gerri Detweiler with Credit.com. "They are a pretty easy target cause they're mobile. They have roommates. They are moving from one location to another. Maybe they're just not in the mode of paying careful attention to their personal information."

ID thieves can find a lot of ways to get their hands on your private information, and, in this age, one of the easiest ways is through social media. "People post too much information online, so it's not difficult to find out where someone was born, what their birth date is, where they've lived, what their pets name is, all those things we often use for passwords and security measures."

According to a new 2013 identity fraud report, last year, their were 12.6 million victims. That equivalents to one victim every three seconds.

Detweiller suggests parents equip their college kids with two very important devices: A crosscut shredder for sensitive documents and a small safe, so they can lock up their loan documents. She also suggests, when they're not using their laptop, put it in the safe, too.

"One thing you can do for your college student is have them set up a guest profile on their computer. So if they want to lend it to a friend or a roommate, they will be able to log them in, not as themselves and have access to all their own personal information, but as a guest."

Finally, Detweiller says if they're mailing bills or other paperwork with sensitive information, they should use a secure mailbox not the drop box at the dorm.

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