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Are Identity Theft Protection Services Worth It?

Sep 26th 2015 at 1:16 PM

As more and more of the major (and minor) retailers are targeted by hackers and sizable security flaws are uncovered online (e.g. Heartbleed), the cause for concern about identity theft continues to expand in ever-increasing circles.

And of course, what this leads to – or one of the things it leads to – is the expansion of identity protection services. All the same, are identity theft protection services worth it?


Do Identity Theft Protection Services Protect You?

Yes, and no. These types of services are unable to stop your identity from being stolen. This is not how they achieve their goal. They are not capable of taking preemptive measure in order to provide you with protection in terms of having your identity stolen.

What is it that they do, then? Let’s find out now.

Credit report monitoring

If your personal information is stolen by identity thieves, the idea is that they will either utilize your credit cards or use your name to get loans or open new credit card accounts.

This form of activity shows up on your credit report. And, should the activity appear suspicious, as in out of character, identity theft protection services rapidly bring this to your attention.

Financial monitoring

Credit report monitoring is good, but not all instances of fraud will be caught this way. And that’s why most ID theft services also monitor other types of financial such as bank accounts, credit cards, and searches for credit applications and loans that are filed under your name.

Personal information monitoring

So far, we’ve seen that identity theft protection services monitor your credit report and also your financials. It’s all healthy, but it’s still not quite enough.

Better ID protection services also take into account your Social Security number. They monitor it to ensure that no one is using it (and likely abusing it). And then, other services are capable of monitoring your medical records, your public records, your driver’s license number, and additionally, they can assess changes to your address that you didn’t actually authorize.

Provide a suite of security software for your computer

A major method that identity thieves use within their arsenal of malevolent methods is that of hacking. The better identity theft protection services go as far as to provide you with computer antivirus software as a way of protection against the potential for hacking.

The software normally comes with features such as anti-keylogging and encrypted logins for when you wish to access your bank accounts online.

Thus, you can see that identity theft protection services offer a plethora of ways to afford you with a more than healthy line of defense.


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