December 17, 2014

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Identity Theft Protection Services: How They Work

Working in the identity theft protection industry, I’m often challenged by people who think that they can manage their identity on their own. You can, but here’s what you should know about identity theft and why you should consider identity theft protection services such as IdentityForce.

  1. My bank provides identity theft protection, why should I pay extra with an identity theft protection service?

Yes, some companies, such as credit card providers, include identity theft protection. That said, be sure to check that your package is comprehensive and truly provides identity theft protection. For instance, will you receive restoration services and insurance?

In addition,you may be covered – but what about your family? Are you able to keep tabs on your children’s and spouse’s information?You may be covered through your bank’s protection, but as we wrote about recently, children represent a huge opportunity for identity thieves. And, they may not be covered by your financial institution’s plan.

  1. I use a free credit report service, why should I pay for another service?

Yes. You are entitled to a free credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies once a year. Remember though, you can only see credit reports through those services – you have to pay extra to see your credit score.

The best way to monitor your credit is by checking your reports and scores at least once a quarter. The IdentityForce’s UltraSecure+Credit service includes the peace of mind of daily credit report monitoring and alerts, meaning our systems are always searching for red flags. In addition, with UltraSecure+Credit, you’ll have access to your credit score every single month.

  1. If something does happen to my identity or credit, will I have to pay out-of-pocket for the fees associated with recovery? Can’t I just take care of it myself?

Recovering from identity and credit card theft can be time consuming and expensive. Our identity theft protection service has your back. Lost credit card? We’ll help you replace it. Worried about spending hours on the phone disputing claims? Your dedicated recovery specialist can help. Concerned about out-of-pocket expenses? The IdentityForce plan includes $1 million in identity theft insurance.

  1. What can IdentityForce do that I can’t do by myself?

You can – and should – take steps to protect your data, like creating strong passwords and shredding important documents. But, your information is already out there, and it’s impossible for you to monitor all of it all the time. IdentityForce monitors your information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in places that you can’t monitor, like online black markets and in applications. Don’t rely on your credit report to monitor your activity – by then, it might be too late. Our identity theft protection services include a rapid alert system that will notify you before too much damage can be done.

  1. My credit may have been compromised in a recent data breach, but I’m not worried about identity theft. I just check my statement – what’s the worst that could happen anyway? Besides, my credit card offers protection.

Your credit card company may cover fraudulent purchases made with your card, but only 30% of identity theft is credit card related. Nearly 70% of identity theft results from non-credit card related fraud, such as hackers taking over bank accounts, synthetic identities created using personal information from multiple victims, and data breaches. That’s because, when hackers steal credit card data, they may have access to other pieces of information – like social security numbers and addresses, which they could use to create new accounts in your name.

  1. How do I know which IdentityForce service is best for me?

Every person has unique needs, so we’ve created a few really handy resources to help you narrow your choices. Check out some reviews to see what other people love about IdentityForce; read up on the services we offer; and then see how to select the best identity theft protection for yourself and your family.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Dustin Gaffke.

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Heidi Daitch

Director, Strategic Programs at IdentityForce
Heidi is a busy working mom who juggles many of the same responsibilities and challenges at home and at work - a long list of things to do and not enough time to do everything. With so little time, Heidi tries hard to find simple, but effective strategies to save time for what’s really important – spending time with her family.
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