Identity Protection – Do I Really Need It?
Advertising and the the Media say
Proactive Identity Protection is a PROVEN SYSTEM
that helps you protect your money and good name.
Here’s The True Story of how this “Proven System” Worksand The Best and Easiest Way toPut It to WORK FOR YOU!
You are about to learn the facts about identity theft and how you can protect your most precious item ….. Your Identity!
And listen, this is the truth about identity theft protection, a truth that few people tell…
but I am going to share this truth with you because an informed decision is the right decision for You to make.
Over 10 Million Identity Theft Victims
According to the U.S. Department of Justice and Javelin Strategy & Research on average there are 11.5 million identity theft and fraud victims per year.
Far, far, far too many people having their normal lives altered by this painful crime.
An even scarier fact is that
100’s of Millions of records that include personal and private information of Americans have been exposed to criminals through data breaches…
and the list keeps growing, daily!
But before we go further, we need to set the record straight.
We’re only at the beginning of this article and you’ve already seen some really big scary numbers. And if I were you, I’d be wondering …
Is This just a Bunch of Media Hype?
And your absolutely right to ask that question.
You have been hearing a lot about identity theft from the media recently, and quite a few years ago, I too was wondering…
Is it really as bad as they say? Do I really need Identity Protection?
I was in the same position as you, educating myself, exploring my options, asking whether I should protect my children or just my wife and I. In other words I know how you feel.
Is it media hype?
The answer is not a simple yes or no.
You see some data breaches don’t expose your Social Security number or sensitive financial information and many retail breaches only expose your name, address and credit card number.
Now I don’t want to say that credit card numbers in the hands of criminals is not that big a deal. I certainly wouldn’t want them to have my number.
But, my security background has taught me that identity thieves can only get so far with this piece of information, and many times the result is just some credit card charges that eventually get refunded to you by your card company after some leg work.
Pain in the butt, sure, of course, but not the doom and gloom that can sometimes be portrayed by the media.
What’s Really Scary?
What’s really scary is when a thief gets a hold of your Social Security number, or bank account numbers, or worse yet starts combining information on you from multiple sources. This is when you are at great risk.
The SSN alone is considered by thieves to be the “Golden Key to the Palace”.
Furthermore, what’s really scary is that governments, universities, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies are all losing our private information at alarming rates.
Criminals have learned that identity theft can be prosperous and that the risk of getting caught is low, even though in recent years the legal system is charging and convicting more people.
Thieves are stealing laptops and hard drives, hacking computers and doing anything they can to get your personal information because they know how valuable it is on the black market.
Many of these thieves don’t live in the great USA either, they are able to perpetrate their attacks from far away countries and sell the information they acquire over the internet quickly and easily.
I don’t mean to scare you.
I am just trying to inform you that your personal and private information is likely already out there. Exposed like most American’s personal details. For proof see the Dateline NBC video featuring Chris Hansen on our homepage.
The Washington Post did a study a few years ago and found that personal information including the SSN of Colin Powell and Troy Aikmen were in easily accessible public government records on the internet.
They also reference another website where an identity theft activist in Virginia provides the links to government websites that have the SSN’s of numerous congressman, judges, and district attorneys posted for all to see.
Why are their SSN’s posted online you ask? Because they bought a house – its on the land deed.
Now these legal professionals probably have identity protection but think about it… if their information is public knowledge on the internet then yours and mine probably is too.
Need Proof: Ask residents of Connecticut, Ohio, Wisconsin or the City of Nashville. Countless universities, fortune 500 companies, large retailers, hospitals, financial companies, peace officers in Texas, National Defense Contractors, our Veterans …
the list goes on, and on, and on.
There are 100’s of reported data breaches each year and over the last few years over 100 million private American records that included SSN’s and/or financial information were compromised…
and the real problem is that this is going to continue.
I have made this point in other articles and I cannot stress enough how true it is.
Your private information is not safe, never will be, and there is a very good chance that it has already been compromised.
STOP: Don’t Panic – You Can Protect Yourself
There are many ways you can protect yourself from identity theft. The following being the most important.
- Place Fraud Alerts on your credit account and renew them every 90 days. (Per the FACT Act – if you have a good faith suspicion that you are or are about to become a victim of identity theft)
- Monitor your credit report for any unauthorized changes at all 3 bureaus. (Tip: stagger them, one bureau every 4 months)
- Remove yourself from pre-authorized credit lists
- Avoid sending or receiving personally identifying information in the mail such as checks and bank statements.
- Never give out your SSN, or any information for that matter, unless necessary
- Do not carry your SSN, Passport (unless out of county), Birth Certificate, PINs, or Checks in your wallet or purse
- Shred all personal information using a cross cut shredder.
- Be aware of Phishing Attempts, and telemarketing phone calls that request private information.
- Use security software for your computer and only shop at reputable businesses.
- Purchase identity theft insurance
The Truth About Identity Protection
Now most people wont tell you this but all of the above can be done for free, if you have a shredder that is. If you don’t, please get one it is a necessary item in this day and age.
If you qualify (per the FACT Act) and are willing to take the time and effort to place fraud alerts every 90 days for each family member, plus order and review their free credit report at least once a year (www.annualcreditreport.com – the only official site), then at least that’s a good start towards protecting yourself and your family from identity theft.
Just keep my other points in mind as well, as they are all essential steps to protecting yourself from identity theft.
Now all you need to do is purchase identity theft insurance from your insurance carrier to truly protect yourself.
Or you can choose to purchase an identity theft protection plan from one of the leading providers, which will save you not only the legwork but also the need for additional insurance.
They also have advanced fraud detection that employs software technology to monitor your private information across thousands of databases and notify you when an identity theft situation arises.
There are differences between each company so you may want to review each separately.
If your ready to research them now, our top recommendations are located on the top right side of every page, just click the link and you can read our in-depth review.
More Truth – Nothing is Full Proof!
What most people don’t tell you is that there is no full proof security.
Credit monitoring alone doesn’t stop identity theft, it just does damage control by alerting you to the fact that someone has taken out credit in your name. It’s also a contradictory service for companies that previously made all their money selling your information, ie: the credit bureaus.
You would be far better dealing with one of the leading identity protection services found on this site as the sole purpose of their companies is to protect your identity, not sell your information.
Besides, the services offered by the bureaus aren’t nearly as comprehensive as those offered by dedicated identity protection companies such as LifeLock, IdentityForce or Identity Guard.
Fraud alerts, though proven to be effective for stopping new account fraud, only work when the creditor actually calls the number in your file, which isn’t always done.
Reports of frustration by consumers who implemented a fraud alert on their credit file are fairly common due to their constrictions.
A Fraud alert is nowhere near full proof but is still recommended if you have a good faith suspicion that you either are or about to become an identity theft victim.
If you do set this up, please do remember that identity theft insurance is still extremely important in a full protection plan.
You see, the one thing everybody needs to have in place is identity theft insurance because nothing is full proof.
If you are like me you have worked far too hard and long to achieve your financial position and to establish your good name for some low life to step in and ruin your success.
Identity theft insurance is not only necessary but something you should consider purchasing immediately because once one identity thief low life makes any attempt at taking over your finances no insurance company will touch you.
That’s right, they don’t tell you that either. They will insure you if your personal data has been compromised but once a thief initiates an attack on you then finding a policy that will cover you for that case is next to impossible.
What Are My Options?
Everyone has options, and I will present your two basic options so you can make an informed decision for you and your family.
- Option 1: Do the protection part yourself and look for identity theft insurance elsewhere. This works if your the type who can set a schedule and stick to it without missing crucial deadlines such as the renewal every 90 days of your fraud alert or the request of your credit report (best to stagger, one credit bureau every 4 months).
The problem is that all your extra leg work does not really save you any money. The insurance will cost you the same as the basic identity protection services offered by LifeLock, TrustedID or IdentityForce.
- Option 2: Enroll with an identity theft protection service that includes insurance and/or guarantees of 1 million dollars. The best protection for the best price means this is the right choice for most people.
No matter how hard you try your protection efforts will in no way be comparable to what these professional services provide and best of all should you become a victim they have professionals on staff to assist you in recovering your identity.
I often get asked – Are they worth it?
My answer is absolutely!
Think of all the services you currently have others perform and the prices they charge. Really, take a second and think about it. Isn’t your identity and finances far more important to protect and thus a far better investment than the items you just thought about?
You can get a very high level of identity protection for under $100 and the peace of mind alone, knowing you won’t have to fight through stressful red tape restoring your identity and finances all by yourself, makes this well worth it…. and your identity is better protected.
If you opt for the most comprehensive services your identity is protected in a way that is in no way comparable to what you could have done on your own and all for far less than a dollar a day.
Who Provides the Best Identity Protection Plan
There is no simple answer to this question. It depends on your wants and needs and how much value you place on the differences each company has.
What I can tell you is that we at IdentityTheftLabs.com have extensively researched the companies we recommend and have provided accurate, unbiased reviews for you, our readers, to choose the right service for you and your family’s protection.
All companies we recommend, LifeLock, Identity Guard and IdentityForce are well backed financially, are the established leaders in identity theft protection and all back their service with one million dollars of identity theft insurance and/or a service guarantee.
There is no wrong decision, all these companies have an excellent service.
You can compare identity theft protection services and learn via an easy to follow comparison chart exactly what they do to protect your identity. For more in-depth information read our review of the company you are interested in. (links at top of every page on right side)
Whether you choose one of these Identity Theft Protection Services or not I implore you to shred documents, place and renew fraud alerts every 90 days if you meet the spirit of the FACT Act, order and review your credit report yearly (stagger these – one from each bureau every four months), opt out of pre-authorized credit offers and buy identity theft insurance before it is too late.
I hope after reading this that you recognize identity theft is a serious, stressful and horrible crime. Protection costs little and can save not only your hard earned money but also countless hours of frustration, paperwork and emotionally draining red tape bureaucracy.
This is why we strongly recommend using an identity protection company… so you can protect yourself the best way possible in one easy step.
If you made your decision or want to explore your options further you can access the websites of the companies we recommend by clicking the links below. You will also receive the best discounts available as you will be automatically taken to the best promotion. Thank You, and Stay Safe.
Protect Your Identity Today!
LifeLock – Save 10% every year
Identity Guard – Save $3/month and get 30 Days Free!