College students and their parents don’t exactly see eye-to-eye when it comes to ID theft. A new survey shows less than a quarter of students interviewed were concerned about having their identities stolen, while the opposite is true for their parents. About 74% indicated they believe students are at moderate-to-high risk for identity theft.
The Campus Security Survey of 1,000 college students and an equal number of parents, was conducted by uni-ball pens and the Identity Theft Resource Center.
Students’ lack of concern, combined with the fact that 40% said they provide their social security numbers online, may also mean parents’ warnings are falling on deaf ears: 89% of parents said they had discussed safety measures with their students before they left for school.
The survey also points out that just 44% of students are concerned about having their personal belongings stolen (laptop, mp3 player, purse, etc.), 40% regularly leave their apartment or dorm doors unlocked, and only 34% are afraid of walking home from campus at night.
However, half of the students surveyed said they shred important documents and bills, and only 9% said they share personal online passwords with friends.
ITRC recommends that students come to school with a shredder and a lock box big enough to hold their laptops. They should also be encouraged to reconcile their bank statements monthly to identify fraudulent activity (nearly one-third of students rarely, if ever, reconcile their credit card and checking account statements, according to the U.S. Department of Education), never share online passwords with anyone, and take precautions when posting personal information on social media Web sites.
In conjunction with September’s National Campus Safety Awareness Month, uni-ball and the ITRC are offering to parents and students an online Student Risk Index Quiz, an interactive questionnaire found here that assesses the level of security risk for college students.