In 2016 alone, there were more than 15 million identity fraud cases in the US alone with the victims losing more than $16 billion, not to mention untold damage to credit reports. More recently, the Starwood Marriott breach compromised the personal information of more than 380 million guests, including more than 5 million passport numbers.
What you need to know about Identity Theft Protection Services
When it comes to identity theft early detection is the key. Unfortunately, protection services are less about preventing the initial breach, they focus on finding potential suspicious activity as quickly as possible in hopes of avoiding a complete credit freeze.
There are identity theft programmes that can help you monitor your personal information and get notified if your personal accounts or information are being misused potentially by identity thieves.
None of the protection services will monitor your banking activity, the best way to avoid becoming a victim of banking fraud is to examine all accounts and transactions at the end of each week. By doing this regularly you can save yourself thousands of pounds in stolen funds.
Finally read the fine print. With each of these different protection services offering drastically different terms & conditions be sure to take the time to read all the fine print before signing up for a long term contract.
The base UltraSecure program for Identityforce is $99.90 a year (down from $149.90). Its UltraSecure Plus Credit program, which provides you with your credit reports and score, is $199.90. The credit score monitoring not only watches all three reporting agencies but provides a visual tracker that lets you examine your credit rating over time. However Identityforce monitors more than credit information, it will monitor public information record changes, address changes, court and arrest records, payday loan applications and checks information on various illicit identity sharing sites.
Identity Guard utilizes IBM's Watson which builds a knowledge base from multiple sources including social networks to deliver the best advice on identity management. Its services will also monitor your personal information including credit files, DOB and SSN.
Complete ID is provided by Experian, one of the big three credit reporting agencies. It provides an annual and monthly credit report along with easy to read graphs showing how your score has improved over time. This provider also offers monitoring for unauthorized use of your social security number and a neighbourhood watch feature that updates monthly providing details of crimes in your are.
ID Watchdog describes itself as 'true identity protection'. The main difference between this and the other identity protection services is the help it offers if you become a victim of identity theft offering a guarantee of 100% identity theft resolution but the fine print introduces some notable limits. Although the company state that it provides monitoring services there is no specification in the terms and conditions of how often it will perform checks.
For more information on keeping you and your systems secure get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org