Identity theft can damage your chances of applying for loans and credit cards when you are older.
Identity theft is when your personal information is used without your knowledge or permission. Personal information can be accessed from your computer or at a public computer terminal.
With sufficient information, criminals can use your information to:
- open bank accounts in your name
- apply for credit cards or loans in your name
- transfer money directly from your bank accounts
- impersonate you online on social networking sites.
- Monitor your content - if you suspect your profile has been hacked shut it down asap.
- Use secure websites for online shopping and banking.
- Don’t post personal information – small pieces of personal data can be used to build a much bigger picture.
- Change passwords – password should be:
- eight or more characters in length and include a combination of characters, numbers and symbols
- changed regularly
- never shared.
Don’t get phished - don’t respond to calls or emails from banks asking for passwords or other details. If the email asks you to click on a link, chances are it’s a scam. If you receive a call from someone saying they’re from the bank, hang up and call back on their publicly listed number to see if it’s real.
- Monitor your bank account and advise the bank immediately if you see any unexpected withdrawals or suspicious spending.
- Report it - talk to an adult that you trust, and to your bank.
Need to talk?
To have a free and confidential talk with an experienced Kids Helpline counsellor, visit the KidsHelpline website or give them a call on 1800 55 1800.