Why College Students Are Vulnerable to Identity Theft
Going to college is a great way for people to expand their horizons, meet new people, learn new things, and become more aware of themselves. However, one thing that many college students may not be aware of is how vulnerable they really are to identity theft. If you’re a college student, here are some things that you should look out for so you can protect yourself.
People who are starting college for the first time generally don’t have an extensive transaction history. You may think a limited financial history makes you less likely to be a victim of identity theft, but this is not the case. In fact, without a substantial transaction history, the bank won’t be able to tell the difference between your purchases and the thief’s. Luckily, this is pretty simple to prevent. All you have to do is be consistent with your purchases and follow a pattern. That way, if something unexpected appears on your transaction history, you’ll know that someone has your information.
The excitement of going to college can cause you to share a bit too much information on your preferred social media platform. Without realizing it, you have shared what college you’re attending. Knowing your campus makes you easy to find. Even if your school has multiple locations around the country, an identity thief can use other details, such as the location of people you follow and other mentions about your whereabouts, to narrow down your general location. You can keep this from happening by watching what you say on social media and keeping who you are as private as possible. Instead of your full name, use a nickname or an online username. If you aren’t careful, identity thieves can use your personal information to open up new credit cards. Identity thieves can easily destroy your credit history and finances, which can have devastating consequences on your ability to make major purchases such as a car or home, open credit cards, or take out loans. Make sure to protect yourself from this by limiting what you share online, even among your friends.
It’s natural to want a password that’s super easy to remember, even something as obvious as “password.” Most websites have issued greater regulation over users’ passwords and require a variety of letter cases, numbers, and symbols that make accounts harder to hack. Make sure to use different passwords for every account you own. Use a strong password generator, and keep your passwords somewhere safe so that you can easily access them when you need to, but they remain out of reach to anyone else.
As a college student, it’s important to be extra careful with your information and learn the basics of how to protect yourself from identity theft. The last thing you want stressing you out in the midst of midterms and big projects is a stolen identity. Follow these tips so you can adequately protect yourself and avoid the headache of dealing with identity theft.
Here’s another article you might like: How to Keep a Car on the Cheap in College