April 26, 2018 By David Bisson 2 min read

More than 1 million children living in the U.S. were victims of identity fraud in 2017, a new study revealed.

According to the “2018 Child Identity Fraud Study,” published by Javelin Strategy & Research and sponsored by Identity Guard, identity theft caused $2.6 billion in total losses and $540 million in out-of-pocket costs for the families of the child victims.

Like Stealing Data From a Baby

For the study, Javelin Strategy & Research surveyed 5,000 adults who lived with a dependent minor at some point in the past six years. Their responses, which Javelin collected between August and September 2017, provided insight into the risks that identity fraud poses to children.

The report found that data breaches are particularly damaging for young victims. Of the children who learned their information was exposed, 39 percent fell victim to identity fraud. That’s considerably higher than the rate for adults at just 19 percent.

That wasn’t the only area where child victims of identity fraud, which affected 16.7 million U.S. consumers in 2017, had different experiences than their adult counterparts. For example, more than half (60 percent) of children personally knew the perpetrators who abused their identity. By comparison, just 7 percent of adult victims knew their offender, according to Javelin’s “2018 Identity Fraud Report.”

The Connection Between Bullying and Identity Fraud

At the same time, Javelin discovered that children who had been bullied online were nine times more likely to fall victim to identity fraud than those who weren’t, with incident rates of 6.67 percent and 0.72 percent, respectively. Al Pascual, senior vice president of research and head of fraud and security at Javelin, said this finding indicates how fraud and bullying arise from the “same underlying vulnerabilities.”

“Children who are unprepared to protect themselves from online risks are likely to encounter individuals who wish to target them emotionally or financially,” he explained.

Many children are too young to take the security of their identities into their own hands. With that said, Javelin advised guardians to take it upon themselves to stem the tide of child identity theft by freezing their children’s credit reports, monitoring accounts for suspicious activity and keeping physical documents behind lock and key.

More from

Unpacking the NIST cybersecurity framework 2.0

4 min read - The NIST cybersecurity framework (CSF) helps organizations improve risk management using common language that focuses on business drivers to enhance cybersecurity.NIST CSF 1.0 was released in February 2014, and version 1.1 in April 2018. In February 2024, NIST released its newest CSF iteration: 2.0. The journey to CSF 2.0 began with a request for information (RFI) in February 2022. Over the next two years, NIST engaged the cybersecurity community through analysis, workshops, comments and draft revision to refine existing standards…

What should Security Operations teams take away from the IBM X-Force 2024 Threat Intelligence Index?

3 min read - The IBM X-Force 2024 Threat Intelligence Index has been released. The headlines are in and among them are the fact that a global identity crisis is emerging. X-Force noted a 71% increase year-to-year in attacks using valid credentials.In this blog post, I’ll explore three cybersecurity recommendations from the Threat Intelligence Index, and define a checklist your Security Operations Center (SOC) should consider as you help your organization manage identity risk.The report identified six action items:Remove identity silosReduce the risk of…

Obtaining security clearance: Hurdles and requirements

3 min read - As security moves closer to the top of the operational priority list for private and public organizations, needing to obtain a security clearance for jobs is more commonplace. Security clearance is a prerequisite for a wide range of roles, especially those related to national security and defense.Obtaining that clearance, however, is far from simple. The process often involves scrutinizing one’s background, financial history and even personal character. Let’s briefly explore some of the hurdles, expectations and requirements of obtaining a…

Topic updates

Get email updates and stay ahead of the latest threats to the security landscape, thought leadership and research.
Subscribe today