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Bankrupt at Birth: Why Child Identity Theft Is On The Rise & How It's Happening Under Parents' Noses Paperback – August 4, 2012
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About the Author
Joe Mason is a husband and a father of two, living in Haymarket, Virginia. He is the Senior Vice President, Consumer Services of Intersections Inc. and the general manager of Identity Guard®, a nationally-recognized and award-winning identity protection service. Throughout his career, Joe has played a role in protecting the identities of millions of Americans. Prior to joining Intersections, Joe spent nearly a decade at Capital One, where he managed various consumer offerings as well as their identity protection services. While there, he obtained a patent and helped consumers understand the importance of protecting their personal information. Joe has a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from The College of William and Mary. This is his first book, and it is the first book ever written on the disturbing trend of child identity theft. Joe has been featured on CNN, Fox, CBS, ABC, HLN, and many other regional and national media outlets as an expert in identity theft protection.
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Top customer reviews
While this book has a bit of the feel of a corporate vanity publication (i.e., promoting its own services), it packs a lot of easily-accessible, and highly useful information into its small size:
- Background, statistics, and case studies that explain why ID theft is a risk you should be concerned with, and how it shows up; one of the more interesting case studies featured a lady dealing with an ID theft issue for the last 14 years, despite heroic efforts to clean up her record
- Tips both for managing your and your children's internet safety and for protecting their identities, including age-appropriate management strategies (e.g., working with your kids to monitor their Facebook presence); I wish I had read this book years ago, rather than bumbling through it on our own as we have done
- Tips for monitoring risks, and information about the pitfalls of trusting the credit agencies' reports
- Checklist for responding to the discovery that identity theft may be going on
- Reference material on what's going on on the web that your child is likely to be exposed to: popular websites and risks, definitions of "phishing" and related concepts, and a short dictionary of texting terms ("LOL"), etc.
- An extensive list of third-party resources and references, including the book's own website, where you can download a toolkit of checklists and learn more about the IdentityGuard service that Joe Manages.
The book is well written and has been through a professional editorial process. It's easy to read, and information is easy to find. Unfortunately, it does not have an index, which may be my only complaint.
If you have young (pre-internet-savvy) kids, this is a good time to read the book and familiarize yourself with the issues and to start thinking about strategies for managing and monitoring the risks. This is also a good book to keep on your reference book shelf (where you keep the first aid and drug reference books) to reach for the minute you suspect there's a problem.
I recommend this to families, book clubs, church groups, schools, and social organizations. The reason I extend my recommendation so broadly is not just because the information is important but also because the writing style is concise in its message and contains a lot of interesting case studies: you might actually get a group of people (like a book club) to read it!
I am unfortunately one of the unknown number of people affected by identity theft and I know how it hurt my life those many years ago. Trying to imagine what it would be like to have my whole life stolen before I ever got out there is unbelievable. Thankfully it not only goes into detail about the situation, tells stories and offers statistics - it also provides information on how you can work to keep your children safe. What information you shouldn't have to hand out to everyone and how you can lesson the chances of them becoming victims. I'm a mom of two boys, a teen and a tot, and it wasn't something I was expecting to have to protect them from. However, the more I read and the more I see on the news how banks and systems are being broken into... the more I am thankful I have this key to understanding.
A great book and one you should most certainly share with the other parents in your life. Keep yourself educated.
I honestly went into reading this book thinking that I was going to be a little bored. I was wrong. I was immediately intrigued by the amount of information provided, supported by stories and research as well as tactical information on what you could do and who you could contact if you found yourself in any of these different situations.
This is a well written book that is easy to read and is a wealth of information. The scariest thing about child identity theft is that it can go on for SO LONG before we realize it because it isn't something we keep a close eye on until that financial history is needed and the damage has been done. This is a great starting point for education yourself and thinking about what you need to do to protect your child(ren)'s future.