You may absolutely be lucky if you have never become a target for a data breach or identity theft. However, as you can see that there are more and more breaches with numerous victims, your luck may fade and disappear at the time you can not expect.
If you hope to be able to protect yourself, you can take such solutions as theft protection services and credit monitoring services into consideration. The difference between these solutions is not fixed. For instance, in terms of credit monitoring, you can make use of one of these methods: carrying out the process on your own or asking the company to help you.
1. Monitor credit on your own
If you decide to monitor the credit on your own, you will have approach to one free credit report each year from every major credit reporting agency. In case you are still considering the requests, you have the ability to control your credit reports without charge over one – year period. Remember that credit reports do not include credit scores yet you can get a free credit score via a current credit card account.
Furthermore, identity theft protection services are provided via a monthly or an annual subscription and they can come with credit file monitoring at either one or more of the three credit reporting agencies. These services will send warnings to you as soon as your personal information like email address is taken advantage in ways that may not appear on your credit report. Also, the identity theft protection services are also provided with restoration services in order to support victims to deal with lots of different identity theft problems.
Due to the situation that there are too many data breaches nowadays, many clients claimed that such problems as credit card fraud and identity theft are easy to occur at any time. Thus, they are looking for such services as credit monitoring and identity theft protection. However, they may not be clear about the difference between these services.
Regarding to the definition of identity theft, it is a problem happening when there are attackers stealing your personal information like your name, your birth date, your mobile phone number and so on. Then they will make use of this information to open new accounts, make purchases as well as anything that may even commit crimes under your name.
2. Credit monitoring
There are still many customers being confused about how to monitor their credit score and there are also others making use of credit monitoring services, which could be either free or paid. These services are considered to be really useful for those with low credit scores trying to improve the scores. These services are also highly recommended for people who are fond of a service being able to control changes in one or even more credit reports, especially when they have some requirements referred to a new credit card or a new loan. What is more, people can also take advantage of credit monitoring services in order to receive notifications as someone may use their names for opening new accounts.
When you are choosing a credit monitoring service, it is advised that you had better be clear whether the service controls only one or all your credit reports. Credit reports are those taking control over your applications for new credit, your payment, your debt and many other aspects. Your credit reports are different from each other. Credit monitoring services will send you alerts when a company makes a check for your credit history or if a new account is activated under your name and other issues having influences on your credit.
Moreover, companies with breaches often offer credit monitoring service as a complimentary one in order to assist their customers in controlling their credit report. Free service plans are different according to their coverage. These credit monitoring plans may be provided during one or two year. It depends on the one who is influenced by the breach so that the free service can cover you or you and your children. In conclusion, it is a must for customers to read the information carefully before deciding to register for any service, which may have influences on their credit in a long run.
3. Identity theft protection offerings
Generally speaking, an identity theft protection service will offer the users more than just credit monitoring services.
As you may know, a free credit monitoring service may notify you with activities on your credit report. By contrast, an identity theft protection service has the ability to control if there is any suspicious activity related to your identity through bank accounts, crimes as well as others. These services also support users to adjust the problems if their identities are attacked. Also, an identity theft protection service also sends alerts to users if their personal information is detected to turn up on the dark websites.
It is easy for you to see that these services are available via bank or insurance company with an extra fee. Otherwise you can contact an independent service vendor.
When your identity information is attacked, it may even take a really long time to clean up the mess created, which may be months or even years. You can carry out the fixing process on your own or you can hire an identity theft protection service to support you.
In addition, if you are a victim of identity theft, there are a lot of different steps to do such as sending a report to policemen or notifying others that your credit has suffered from problems and so on. These notifications will encourage lenders to contact you directly in order to confirm your identity before activating new accounts under your name.
As soon as you send a fraud alert, the credit reporting company will tell you what to do such as your rights and how you can receive a duplication of your credit report.