August 2013: Back-to-School ID Theft Tips
CORE ID Services

Don't get schooled!

Read our primer on avoiding ID Theft

Higher education gives our children a chance to get ahead in life. But what if their schooling actually puts them at risk for identity theft?

Colleges and universities have seen a sharp increase in the number of hacking attempts and data breaches, as  recently reported in the New York Times. Before your child's college experience turns into the school of hard knocks, learn what you can do to protect their identity -- and their future.

Daniel J. Benish
CORE ID Services, LLC

Top Tips to Avoid ID Theft at College:

The college lifestyle is a prime breeding ground for identity theft. Just on the brink of adulthood, students are suddenly handling their own finances and other real-world responsibilities with little preparation, and often living in communal housing. It's no wonder that the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) found 24% of all identity theft complaints came from the 18-29 year-old bracket.

Share these tips with your adult children:

  • Watch out for credit offers aimed at college students. Credit card companies love to target new adults. Not only can this lead to financial trouble if your child doesn't understand how to properly use credit, the application process can also put their sensitive info at risk. The ITRC warns only about half of students shred pre-approved credit offers before tossing.
  • Have bank or credit statements and other sensitive mail sent home. Living with roommates can expose private info to prying eyes. If practical, have your child keep your home address as their official address. However, make sure they still follow our next tip...
  • Get in the habit of reviewing statements. Teach your child this important life skill: regularly and promptly reviewing bank and credit statements is often the best way to catch fraud, and helps you get it fixed while you are still under consumer protection windows.
  • Consider upgrading your plan. ARX-ID Complete Family provides full monitoring of all household family members, including dependent children at college. As a current member, you qualify for deep discounts over the retail price. Check your current coverage and upgrade online at If this is the first time you've logged in, you'll need your member number from your Welcome Kit. If you have misplaced this info, just call us at 855.262.7612.
  • Register your children at - If you upgrade to ARX-ID Complete Family, you'll need to register your additional family members on our secure portal to activate their monitoring and set alert preferences.
  • Order your children's free annual credit reports from Even if your child shouldn't have any credit history, this vital check can let you know if they have been a victim of child ID theft. With the Credit Report Track feature of your ARX-ID plan, you can set up reminders and pick whether you want to be reminded to order future reports once a year, or stagger your three reports throughout the year. Our CREs (Certified Recovery Experts) can also help you review your credit report, answer any questions you might have, and take care of correcting any errors for you.
  • Password-protect phones and computers, and don't leave them unattended in public places. Walking away from your laptop during a library study break can give an identity thief the perfect opportunity to steal your device - and hack into your life.
  • Be careful with public wi-fi access. Even if you stay with your computer, using public networks to access your bank account or other sensitive information can open you up to hackers.
  • Memorize your SSN - but be careful where you use it. Your student should never carry the card in their wallet - and should leave it and other important documents in a locked place, preferably at home or in a safe deposit box. Most colleges now use a separate number for a student ID, so your child should learn to be cautious about requests to share it.
  • Watch out for rental applications. If your child is moving into off-campus housing, teach them to be wary of entering into rental agreements with suspicious landlords, and never give out personal info over the phone or online before meeting in person.
  • Stop.Think.Connect. Students today do most of their work - and much of their socializing - online. Teach them to keep their computer safe from viruses and use safe practices when sharing info online. has resources you can use.

Data Breach Roundup:

  • Ferris State University- 39,000 records may have been exposed due to malware.
  • University of Delaware - 72,000 employee records hacked, including student workers.
  • University of Nebraska - 650,000 records breaches by a student in a deliberate hacking attempt.
  • University of Virginia - 18,000 student SSNs mistakenly printed on outside of envelopes.

Do you have the right coverage?

See how ARX-ID Complete Family stacks up against our other plans: Use the plan comparison grid on our newly redesigned shopping cart site to see how ARX-ID Complete Family can extend the coverage of your current plan to protect your entire household. But be sure to use the member login tab at the top of the page to access your member discount! Call 855-262-7612 for help.
Parent's Guide to talking about online safety

SCAM Alert:

Phony student aid: Beware of unsolicited phone calls or other offers of student aid. Some may be an attempt to get your personal information. A good first starting point is, or initiate a conversation with your school's financial aid department to get legitimate help.
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