A lot of parents spent today, or will spend tomorrow, dropping their kids off at college.
While you probably outfitted them with dorm gear and spending money, did you tell your student how to protect their identity?
The start of the school year is an exciting time for college-bound kids. While they're thinking about making friends, they're probably not thinking about guarding their personal information.
"Sure they've met all these new friends and they assume everyone is like the kids they grew up with and that's not necessarily the case," Jessie Schmidt of the Better Business Bureau said.
One of the first things the Better Business Bureau tells college students to do to protect their bank accounts is to set up security alerts on their mobile phones if any changes are made.
"I've got all the precautions. I don't really think about them but I’ve got them set up. My parents are big into keeping my money safe. I do what they tell me," Augustana College Student Misael Garcia said.
Those school mailboxes are often easily accessible and students are flooded with credit card offers almost right away.
"And it's certainly important should you decided not to take them up on those that you shred them. Don't just throw them in the trash can right under the mailbox," Schmidt said.
Schmidt says it's a good idea for students to have mail that contains credit card or bank account numbers sent to their parents' home or a post office box off campus.
"My grandma has always taught me to protect my identity and make sure I'm not giving my credit card number out for things. I actually have thought about it," August College Student Tara Jensen said.
Where students use their credit card online is also a factor.
"Don't transfer money between accounts online while you're sitting there. Don't pay a credit card bill while you're sitting on a campus café or coffee shop. Those are things you want to do when it's very secure wifi," Schmidt said.
College students should also get in the habit of checking their credit report and they can do that for free, from each of the three reporting agencies, once a year.