WASHINGTON, D.C. (KCBS) – The Family Online Safety Institute Conference wrapped up on Thursday in Washington, D.C. with one of the more unique panels focusing on teen identity theft, fraud and security.

During the panel discussion, research was presented that found 51 percent of teens are very concerned about identity theft, up from 43 percent a year ago. What many of those concerned told researchers is that they understand that teens are not exempt from having their identity stolen or compromised online, and even young children are not exempt from ID theft.

Many question why identity thieves would target a young child. Part of the reason is because they have a perfect credit record and many times, they won’t find out about what happened until much later in life, like when they’re applying for college loans or their first credit card.

There is a proposal in the works that would allow parents to register their children in a way that if anyone tries to get credit in the name of this child up to a certain date, turn it down or contact the parent.

Steps were outlined during the panel on ways teens can protect themselves from identity theft.

Some positive news: a recent study shows that in many cases, they are finding their own ways to protect themselves, including restricting their profiles online. That includes keeping their Facebook user profiles private and having high confidence in not only maintaining their settings, but also managing their online network and masking information they don’t want others to know.

You can hear Larry Magid’s Tech Report Monday through Friday at 3:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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