Why college students are extra vulnerable to identity theft

Sensitive mail should be sent to your home

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — College students are back on campus and hitting the books. While they’re hard at work, some people are waiting for an opportunity to steal their personal information. College students are some of the most tech savvy people on the planet. But their “connected” lifestyle could be putting them at risk with identity thieves.

“Even going in and signing into free Wi-Fi, it makes it easy for people to be able to hack their computers,” said Connecticut Money School Coordinator, Esther Jean-Marie.

Jean-Marie says many times a student’s school login information defaults to their social security number. It’s important you change that and don’t do any personal banking on the schools public Wi-Fi. Then there’s the dorm room. If they have a roommate, there’s a chance strangers will visit. Make sure you don’t have personal paperwork laying around.

“Around 17 years-old is when you start getting those pre-approved credit cards in the mail and a lot of teens don’t throw them away properly,” she said.

Other common things college students do that leave them vulnerable:

  • Discuss their personal life and information on cell phones or via text
  • They don’t check the balances on their banking accounts for suspicious activity
  • They let their friends borrow their debit or credit card.

Just because you’re living on your own now, doesn’t mean you should consider your school a “permanent address.” Sensitive mail should be sent to your home. Any shared mailboxes are not secure.

Related: Top money-wasters on college campuses

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