That's one reason that students should always keep their room or apartment door locked, even when they are home, says Ken Chaplin, the senior vice president of marketing at ProtectMyID. The website is affiliated with the international information services company, Experian.
"Most identity theft still occurs in mundane, nontechnical ways, like a wallet being stolen from a drawer or a purse taken from an unlocked room," he says.
Students should leave their social security cards and birth certificates at home with their parents for safeguarding, and should memorize their social security number, which they will need often in college, he adds. "Only carry with you the ID that you actually need, like your driver's license and student ID card. Never loan those items to a friend, no matter how close you think you are," he says.
Applying for jobs can also compromise a student's identity, according to Chaplin. To avoid having their personal information stolen, students should only provide social security numbers when they are hired, deliver their applications to the hiring manager or human resources department (rather than the first employee they see), and, if they are submitting an application online, ensure that the site is secure.
"The promise of a job is perfect bait for a phishing scam," he says.
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