Just like with any product of this type, identity theft coverage has its detractors. There are people who say they can protect themselves so why pay and others who simply think that identity theft won’t happen to them so they don’t need to spend the money.
The first argument is true to some degree. There are a lot of things you can do on your own from a preventing standpoint. You can check your credit report for free three times a year, assuming you use annualcreditreport.com correctly.
You can keep a careful watch on your purse or wallet and not enter personal information into public computers. You can watch out for phishing, vishing, and smishing attacks. However, you cannot protect yourself from incidents that are beyond your control, such as hacking and data breaches at companies you do business with.
Unfortunately, you also cannot be sure that a friend or acquaintance will not try to use your identity, and you can’t really control if you lose your identification by accident. I blog about identity theft, and I know all the precautions, but I still misplaced my passport last year.
The second argument is profoundly false. The odds are pretty high that identity theft will happen to you to some degree. We’re talking eight to ten million victims a year in this country alone. It may not be a major case of identity theft, such as someone committing a crime in your name, but still enough to be costly and inconvenient. Just pretending that identity theft doesn’t exist is not going to guarantee you peace of mind.
While an identity theft protection plan will not guarantee that no one uses your personal information, it will make sure you are notified in a timely manner that something shady is going on – before you are out a significant amount of money or time. This is more than can be said for any other precaution.
Checking your credit three times a year is not nearly as good as having it checked every day for sudden changes. It’s also very difficult for you to find out if your information is being sold or traded without having an expert on your side.
Look, smart people protect their house with fire insurance to protect their finances. I bet you do. So why wouldn’t you protect your finances with identity theft insurance? It really is just like a home alarm for your identity plus the insurance to keep that hard earned money right where it belongs.
An identity protection service doesn’t have to be expensive, and many have trial periods or money-back guarantees. It’s at least worth taking a look at the plans that are available. Your peace of mind is important, and your bank account and good name even more so. Make the smart choice and protect your identity today.