How parents can protect their students’ identities at home

side view of parents and daughter using laptop at home

Copyright: lightfieldstudios/123RF

At Shred Right, we believe it’s never too early to start thinking about how you can protect your data. In a previous blog post, we shared that over 1 million children experienced identity theft in 2017. We also discussed how technology has increased in classrooms and some tips that educators can use to help keep their students’ educational data safe.

Technological advancements have made it tough to keep up with data protection, as seen with the myriad of data breaches happening on social channels, and the rollout of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Educators should be thinking about protecting student data in the classroom, but it’s also a good idea for parents to consider how those changes in the classroom affect your student’s data usage at home.

According to the National Review, “An estimated 80 million students and teachers are now signed up for free ‘G-Suite for Education’ accounts…[and] more than 25 million students and teachers now use Google Chromebooks.” With many schools now incorporating Google and its features (such as Gmail accounts for students) into the classroom, new avenues for data breaches have been created. As a parent, you should be taking steps to ensure your family’s personal information remains under protection at home as well as in the classroom.

Online identity protection

Consider what a student can do with an email account that’s given to them at school. An email account is typically one of a few components required for setting up a social media account on various channels. By signing up for this type of email account, users are – sometimes unknowingly—entering other digital spaces that they will have to think about protecting. Signing up for Gmail, for example, automatically gives the user a YouTube account.

Talk with your children about ways to protect themselves online. Encourage your kids to share their school email passwords with you so you are able to limit data sharing information in the accounts with third-party companies or any outsiders.

Offline identity protection

The need to protect personal information online is as important as it is on physical pieces of paper such as schoolwork and other educational documents. Just as a hacker can use your information from stolen digital data, names, addresses and more, you can be at risk if they’re on items that you’re simply throwing away. Dumpster divers and other identity thieves can use sensitive information to enroll you or your student in credit cards, file fraudulent taxes or sell your information online. Shredding your documents is one step you can take to keep your family’s information out of the wrong hands.

If you’re concerned that your student’s identity has been compromised, contact the Federal Trade Commission and let them know about the situation. Also, if you’re looking to get rid of unneeded documents to protect your family’s private data, be sure to contact us for more information about our services.