What Steps to Take to Prevent Identify Theft
How to Prevent Identity Theft
Unfortunately, identity theft is running rampant throughout the United States. With everything now being done online, it’s virtually impossible to predict whether or not you will become a victim. However, it’s valuable to know how to prevent identity theft, and how you can do your part to prevent the crime from affecting you. You can take measures to reduce your risk of having your personal information stolen so that it can be used to steal your money. A good identity theft monitoring service can help. It’s worth exploring a few different ones to ensure which is best.
Identity Guard offers users a special deal on any plan they choose, which includes a $3 discount on the monthly charge, as well as a 30-day free trial. Families, couples and individuals can sign up and enjoy the perks of its identity theft monitoring service without being locked into an annual contract. Not only can you have your own information monitored, but you can also add your child if you have a family plan. This is a good idea as children have become easy targets for identity theft in recent years.
Credit monitoring is done through all three credit bureaus. If suspicious activity is detected, the company alerts you. There is also fraud monitoring that is very extensive, and you can add protection software to your computer. If you are found to be a victim of identity theft, the company protects you by canceling your credit card accounts. It will also send you an advance of up to $2,000 from an account if needed.
LifeLock is another popular company for identity theft monitoring. It offers more than 15 different services that can show you how to avoid identity theft, and helps you recover if you do become a victim. Protection costs as little as $26.99 per month and the range of services is extensive. You can have peace of mind as the company monitors your credit card accounts, loans, and personal information. It even scans black market websites and alerts you of any suspicious activity if it is detected.
On top of these services, LifeLock also notifies you if there is a major data breach (as part of its Ultimate Plus membership). This plan also monitors your daily credit reports from the three major bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
IdentityForce is considered the best identity theft monitoring service by many consumers. It monitors your credit accounts and personal information to ensure that it hasn’t been compromised, and lets you secure your account with two-factor authentication. Plans are available for both adults and families, with unlimited children added.
While there isn’t a free plan, you can enjoy two weeks of free service. Afterward, it’s $18 per month, with children costing only $2.75 extra per month. The service monitors your credit through TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. It also alerts you if there is suspicious activity detected on your accounts. Alerts can come through your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Doing Your Part
Of course, it’s also important to do your part when it comes to keeping your identity safe. If you suspect your credit or debit card has been compromised, immediately contact the bank or credit card company and have your account frozen or locked. Be smart about your passwords and only choose those that are difficult to guess and include a good mix of letters, including upper- and lowercase, numbers and special characters. Keep your social security number secure at all times and avoid carrying the card with you. Always shred any personal and financial documents you don’t need before recycling them and password protect your smartphone.