No doubt that Identity theft is big news in the world of today, and many people know that they are exposed to great risk. Many companies spend millions of dollars just to promote identity theft protection services every year to convince customers that they indeed need coverage, but not everybody believes them. If you are worried about identity theft, then you have to evaluate both the level of risk you are exposed to and also the consequences to you and even your family should your identity be stolen.
First before we continue, we have to dismiss a myth. ID theft protection services are not meant to prevent the theft of identity. Since most of your sensitive personal data can be stored in several places you do not have control over, for example retailers’ websites, creditor databases, and even medical records, there actually is no 100% foolproof way that can be used prevent identity theft. What these companies actually do is alert you when there is suspicious activity on your credit report, and assist you in cleaning up the mess in the event your identity is compromised. In this article, I’m basically going to single out the difference between paid and free identity protection services but first of all let’s take a look at what these protection services generally do.
So, do Identity Theft Protection Services Work? If Yes, What Do They Do Specifically?
Identity theft is the most prevalent crime in America. As more people have to put their personal information online, the opportunity of identity thieves stealing their personal information continues to grow. Today everything is at risk. An individual can have his or her credit card and even social security numbers stolen, their personal information used to create new financial records, and this can actually be done with very little information than you can imagine. For instance, someone can easily create a new account with just a few simple-to-get info. If you think you are safe, then you certainly have to reconsider.
Well, there are those who say that the real solution to this risk is to subscribe to identity theft protection.
But what exactly do you get from the “paid” services?
This will actually cover your bases, and even try to prevent thieves from getting your sensitive personal information. In fact, the right protection normally works to reduce or completely eliminate your risk. Some of the features that paid identity theft companies provide, for instance, are the ability to alert you anytime a new line of credit is created using your name. If one is successfully created and you lose your money, then these protection services will offer insurance against money that is lost. This coverage has truly proven to be very effective when it comes to preventing falsified credit entries.
Another service offered by these companies is that they are capable of keeping your financial data private. This actually covers information from every part of your life. It makes sure that your name is eliminated from every mail list that you may be in. An unlisted number is never really unlisted, and can in fact be found in several cases, but if you request an unlisted number from an ID theft service that you have paid for, then you can be sure that your number will really be unlisted. The same applies to your credit report. If in any case you don’t want your credit score to be free for everybody, then paid services will surely protect it, so that it is released to particular individuals and only with your authority.
And lastly, if your identity is compromised, most protection services will make sure that you do not have to pay a single cent to repair your credit in the case of theft. This simply means that you will be provided with a whole team of experts working on your credit card. Most of the protection services have a cap on the sum of money that they normally spend when repairing your credit, but this cap is always so high that no one reaches it. No doubt that all this sounds great and most people opt to purchase these services.
By the way, for those that opt to pay for these services, it is important to carry out proper research and compare all the available identity theft protection services. This way, you will be in a position to determine the one that fully meets your specific needs and it is affordable. However, you should also sort through several offers before settling for one. This will unquestionable save you a lot of time and even money by securing services of the best company in the market.
But there are those that opt to use free services. Why? Do they offer anything better or is it the same as paid services? Continue reading and I will reveal to you the other side of the coin – free identity protection services.
What Free Identity Theft Protection Services Can Do
The plain truth is that no service will guarantee that your identity will not be stolen. All monitoring, whether by a free or paid service or done yourself, is conservative. As a matter of fact, the best (and probably only) way to prevent a thief from creating unauthorized accounts using your details is by simply putting a security freeze on your credit file. With a freeze, you will be able to prevent any new creditor from seeing your credit report not unless you first unfreeze or thaw your report for that particular creditor or for a short time.
If your identity has ever been stolen, you can also opt to place a fraud alert on your credit report. Placing a fraud alert means that a message will always appear on your credit report anytime it is requested stating that you have ones been a victim of fraud and the creditor need to be extra cautious when verifying your identity and the legitimacy of the credit application issued to him. Normally, this verification is done by phone at a number that you give.
No ID theft protection service can prevent information theft like that experienced by Target. If you are always doing business with a credit card or even debit card then your information is just as susceptible as anyone’s to theft.
Time Is Money
I’m certain that most consumers can easily name a necessary, routine task they prefer to avoid by paying somebody to do it for them maybe housekeeping. It is up to each one of us to decide whether indeed a paid service is a worthwhile expense. In the long run, ID theft protection is not free – if you decide to do it yourself, then you will have to invest a certain amount of effort. And if you consult any economist, you will find out that there is a particular cost associated with those hours you spend. My opinion is that, paid ID theft protection from a trustworthy company is good for consumers who find value in allowing somebody else handle the administrative and logistical sides of identity monitoring.
Are you so worried about identity theft? Well you need to check out Credit Sesame which now offers absolutely free identity theft protection just to give you added peace of mind. The moment you sign up for a free Credit Sesame account you will automatically get access to your credit score, credit monitoring with immediate alerts, plus $50.00 in ID theft insurance and above all fraud resolution assistance – free of charge. In the event you are ever an identity theft victim, we have you covered. There is absolutely no catch – and no credit card needed.