Identity theft is on the rise at alarming rates mostly due to the increased use of the Internet as a primary communications and commerce tool. There are many people who still do not have identity theft protection and are unsure how to obtain it. With the rise in identity theft there has been a surge of identity theft protection services popping up all over the Internet and some wonder whether or not they are worth the money.
If you are unsure of how an identity theft protection service works it may be one of the reasons why you are questioning whether or not it is worth the money. First, let’s gain an understanding of what an identity theft protection service is and some of the services it provides.
How an Identity Theft Protection Service Works
There are many reputable identity theft protection services that offer a host of protection services for a nominal monthly fee. Of course before you commit to one you should do your homework and read the reviews so you can make an informed decision. You can access an identity theft protection service online and some of the services are as little as $6.50 per month. Once you sign up you are provided with access to a dashboard in your account where you can track all of your activity. Here are a few things that an identity theft protection service offers:
- Credit Report Monitoring:
- Identity Theft Resolution:
- Recovery Assistance:
- Help and Support:
An identity theft protection service offers fraud alerts on your account so that anyone who tries to start a new line of credit on your account will not be able to do so because the fraud alert requires the credit lender to verify your approval before credit is granted. The fraud alert also provides fraud monitoring online to scan for criminals who are illegally using your personal information on the Internet.
Most identity theft protection services will monitor your credit report for any suspicious activity and automatically provide you with a credit report from the major credit bureaus. Some services will request that your name be removed from pre-approved credit card mailing lists and offers.
A reputable identity theft protection service will work to resolve any instance of identity theft and guarantee reimbursement of any monetary compensation you have lost in the process that is not covered by other sources.
Recovery assistance services help you to reclaim your name and remove any activity on your credit report which was created by identity theft. Also, if you lose your wallet, the service will automatically cancel credit cards and any other personal financial information that you store in your wallet.
If you have any questions about your account or any problems, a reputable identity theft protection service will provide support around the clock or at reasonable hours where you can contact them at your convenience.
Is an Identity Theft Service Worth the Money?
Well, if you accept the fact that we live in an age where our most private information is beyond our control then having some form of protection makes complete sense. The days of our information locked in some file cabinet is long gone. Not only are your personal details digitized, but they are likely sold and copied a hundred times a day.
Convenience and Efficiency. Anytime you fill out a credit application or a job application, or even an health insurance application, somebody enters that application in a database. That information is stored, mined for marketing data, or even lost to hackers or disgruntled employees. Ever wonder how the credit reporting agencies like Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian make money? They make it by selling consumer data to other companies. Equifax made almost $500 million dollars selling consumer information in 2009. Despite companies taking precautions, 2009 was a record year for data breeches.
So with identity thieves becoming more sophisticated, it’s only common sense for consumers to begin taking action. Look at what happened this year in Los Angeles, tech savvy identity thieves used blue tooth technology to steal gas station customer’s credit card and ATM information including PINs by installing a wireless scanner in the pay terminals. (read the story here)
For pennies a day, you can have your private information scanned for fraud monthly including sex offender registries and county, state, and federal criminal databases. Get protected today.