PROTECT YOUNGER ONES
- Check in with your kids daily about their online activity. Ask them who they talk to online and pay special attention to instant messaging apps, like Skype, Messenger Kids and Google Hangouts.
- Block access to sites where predators could lurk.
- Check your child's credit reports. If you find out that your child has a credit report you know nothing about, that is reason enough to suspect identity theft.
- Place a security freeze on your child's identity. A security freeze prevents a third party from opening any credit accounts under your child's name.
- Teach your child about online safety. The internet is a hub for cybercriminals targeting unsuspecting children. These criminals try to trick children into giving out their personal information in exchange for having a gift shipped to their address. It’s a scary topic, but don’t shy away from it.
PROTECT OLDER ONES
- Look for unpaid bills. Have you noticed a large pile of bills on a parent’s counter with past-due notices? A caregiver may be taking money for personal use rather than paying the bills.
- Check for changes to legal documents. Review any changes or rewrites to a will or power of attorney to see whether financial assets or possessions get redirected to questionable individuals.
- Review bank statements. Have you noticed a significant amount of ATM withdrawals from your mother's account? Maybe you see purchases for a new gaming console or phone that is nowhere in the home? Report these charges immediately to the proper financial institution.
- Visit more. It is also essential that elders are not isolated as they age. Transparency increases the risk of "being caught." So, keep an eye on your loved ones, trust your instinct and ask questions if you feel something is off.