Experiencing identity theft can be traumatic and financially painful. In the United States alone, an identity fraud occurs about once every two seconds, costing consumers and businesses billions in losses every year. That is why many people are considering enrolling in an identity theft protection service. If you’re concerned about identity theft or if you’ve been a victim of it, you may be wondering if using an identity theft protection service is right for you.
There are three main advantages of using identity theft protection services.
Consumer advocate groups have raised serious concerns about identity theft protection services, indicating that the services are expensive relative to the level of protection they offer. There are three main disadvantages of using such services.
Despite these disadvantages, some people find that the price of identity theft protection is worth it, both for the actual protection it provides and the sense of security it offers. Identity theft protection services are available from the three major credit bureaus, which include Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Additionally, a number of private operators such as banks and credit unions offer similar services. The cost is usually between $10 and $15 per month, but prices can vary significantly.
Identity theft is a crime in which a criminal steals another person’s vital information, such as a social security number, address, driver’s license or insurance information. The criminal then uses this information for financial or personal gain. Unfortunately, many people do not realize their information has been compromised until after the damage is done.
There are many reasons why a criminal may steal someone’s identity:
No matter how careful you are with your private information, there is always a chance that your identity will be stolen. The important thing is that you know what to do if it happens. There are several steps you can take immediately to minimize the impact of identity theft in your personal and financial life:
When looking for an identity theft protection service, you want to consider several factors, including costs, resolution services, identity theft insurance protection, monitoring services and customer service. Here are some of the most common identity theft protection services:
As one of the premium identity protection companies, LifeLock offers several package options, $1 million recovery insurance, full ID recovery services and regular status updates. It also is one of the only companies to monitor black market websites as well. You can learn more about Lifelock here.
Customers who choose the Total Protection plan receive quarterly credit reporting updates that include their credit scores, history, and changes based on data from all three credit reporting agencies. They also provide prompt notifications if they detect certain information. You can learn more about Identity Guard here.
With more than 35 years of experience, IdentityForce offers comprehensive protection services for both adults and children. They provide a $1 million identity theft insurance policy, and their Identity Health Score helps you evaluate your online risk. You can learn more about IdentityForce here.
ProtectMyID is operated by the credit reporting agency Experian. It maintains an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and it is one of the most used services on the market. They also offer a senior discount for those over 55 years old. You can learn more about ProtectMyID here.
In addition to standard identity theft protection services, TrustedID offers customized solutions for individuals, families and businesses. The company maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and provides customer with first-hand access to identity theft recovery specialists.
This is one of the only identity theft protection companies that will provide recovery assistance even if your identification was stolen prior to signing up for their services. They also offer complete fraud monitoring and protection services, and their representatives are available 24/7.
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