Identity theft protection is a service that helps consumers fend off identity theft. Identity thieves snoop around online in search of the personal information of individuals and their relatives. This information is then used to illegally open bank accounts, apply for loans, etc. They even create fake logins and credit card numbers and make use of them in order to purchase expensive goods. The objective of identity theft protection is to safeguard sensitive information such as social security numbers and names. This can be done by monitoring credit reports regularly and alerting the user when a change in their personal information may compromise their credit ratings. At the same time, it allows users to set up alerts for all kinds of activities performed on the Internet, including bank accounts, utility services, financial aid or loan applications, or even change of address forms.
Comparison Table Of Theft identity protection
Top 5 Best Identity Theft Protection Reviews
1. Best For Multiple Devices: Aura
All of Aura’s plans come with a wide range of options when it comes to monitoring and alerts. They also come with a set of tools to keep your identity safe when you’re online: malware protection and antivirus software are just two of them. Aura is a great example of what modern identity theft services should look like. This, along with a sleek and responsive mobile and desktop interface, makes Aura a great example.
To start with, Aura’s cheapest plan only lets you use one device. Then, its next two plans let you use up to 5 and 10 devices, respectively. This means that, on the highest level of the family plan, up to 10 people can have Aura installed on 10 devices each at the same time. As a group or a family, this is a cheap way to get ID theft protection and other security software on all of your personal devices.
2. Best for Fast Alerts: Identity Guard
Identity Guard uses artificial intelligence to find possible fraud before it happens and send notifications more quickly. A supercomputer called IBM Watson is used to run their scanning platform. Watson can look at and learn fraud patterns so it can tell people if they are at risk of having their identities stolen.
Identity Guard’s most comprehensive plan costs $25 a month with a one-year subscription, which is $25 a month. It checks the dark web and social media, gets credit reports and alerts from the three main credit bureaus, and gives you a monthly report on your credit score based on your TransUnion and Experian credit history. This service is free. It also keeps an eye on your sex offender records, your home title, and your retirement and investment accounts, which most of its competitors only offer with more expensive plans.
3. Best Features: LifeLock
LifeLock has three plans for people and families: Standard, Advantage, and Ultimate Plus. All of the plans come with Norton 360, which is a cybersecurity software package that combines multiple layers of protection against existing and new cyber threats into a single software package. This package comes with antivirus and malware protection for five or more devices, parental controls, cloud backup for Windows computers, and a password manager. It also comes with a password manager.
People who pay for LifeLock plans also get credit alerts from at least one bureau, USPS address change verification, dark web monitoring and data breach alerts. The Ultimate Plus plan also has three-bureau credit monitoring and checks investment account numbers to see if they’ve changed. LifeLock tells you if someone is taking out a payday loan with your information.
4. Best for Comprehensive Protection: IdentityForce
IdentityForce’s two ID theft protection plans aren’t cheap, but they do come with features that other similar-priced services don’t. The UltraSecure+Credit plan, which costs $23.95 per month, includes credit scores and reports from all three credit bureaus as well as a credit score simulator that you can use to see how different financial decisions will affect your score.
A mobile app is available for most ID theft protection services. The Identity Force app, on the other hand, goes a step further by including security features that guard your mobile devices against malicious apps, spyware, and unsecured Wi-Fi connections. It also has a VPN and can detect “spoof” networks, which are fake networks set up by scammers to trick you into connecting and hacking your device.
IdentityForce also monitors court and public records, sex-offender registries, social media, and the dark web in addition to assisting with credit issues.
5. Best Family Plans: ReliaShield
ReliaShield has three plans for individuals and families: Essential, Prime, and Elite. Each plan has three levels: Essential, Prime, and Elite for individuals and families. All of the plans come with competitive prices and a wide range of services, including five types of monitoring, data breach notifications, 24/7 customer and recovery services, wallet protection, and free credit report reminders for the first year. The Elite plan adds more monitoring services, a monthly credit score tracker, and a lot of alerts.
ReliaShield family plans start at $14.99 per month and cover two adults and up to 10 children under the age of 18.
It doesn’t matter which plan you choose: adults and kids get the same benefits, such as monitoring sensitive and financial information and social media accounts, as well as monitoring court and public records, data breaches, and predator alerts.
Identity Theft Protection Buying Guide
Identity theft protection services keep track of your personal and financial data while it is being transmitted over the internet and notify you if it is being misused by others. However, these services are only capable of detecting anomalies. They are unable to prevent data theft and misuse from occurring in the first place.
You must be aware of and avoid potential scams if you want to keep your identity safe and improve your cybersecurity.
How Does Identity Theft Protection Work?
Alerts are used by identity theft protection services. If they discover anything suspicious with your personal information online — on the dark web, social media, court or arrest records, or payday loan applications — you will be notified via one or more channels, depending on the situation. Numerous ID theft protection services include credit monitoring and computer security tools, and some may even reimburse you for some of your expenses.
Types Of Identity Theft Scams
It is possible to commit identity theft in a variety of ways, and not all of them entail a malicious hacker waiting for you to type your password.
Identity thieves can coerce you into sharing personal information by sending you emails or texts that appear to be from banks, online stores, social media sites, or streaming services in order to obtain access to your accounts. A link is usually included in the message that directs you to take immediate action, such as logging into a blocked account or changing payment information. They may also ask you to open infected attachments that they have downloaded.
For example, when hackers insert malicious code into legitimate website forms in order to steal your billing information or login credentials, they are said to be “formjacking.”
Verify that the websites you visit are secure by looking for the “https” prefix and a small lock icon on the bottom of the browser window. Formjacked websites, on the other hand, can be compromised by sophisticated hackers who can incorporate these security measures.
Physical Document Theft
Do not bring your Social Security card or passport unless you are required to do so. Personal documents such as bank statements and utility bills should be shredded before being disposed of.
A data breach occurs when an unauthorized person gains access to your devices or a business database without your authorization. Data breaches can result in the theft of passwords, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, and even personal information such as Social Security numbers.
Using unique passwords for each account and enabling two-step authentication whenever possible will not prevent all data breaches, but they will reduce your chances of being victimized.
Other Types Of Identity Theft
In some cases, identity theft is accomplished through the use of specialized documents such as medical records, financial investments and tax records. A thief could also create a bogus version of himself by combining various pieces of information.
Synthetic Identity Theft
Cybercriminals have the ability to create new identities by combining real and fictitious information. When applying for a loan, they may use a real Social Security number as well as a fictitious name.
Child Identity Theft
When a child’s personal information is stolen, scammers can use it to open bank accounts, credit cards, and loans in his or her name. This usually goes unnoticed until the victim applies for a job, car insurance, or a new credit card, which can take years to occur after the crime.
Medical Identity Theft
Moreover, your information may be used to obtain health insurance or to submit false claims to Medicare and other insurance companies. In order to visit a doctor or obtain a prescription, scammers may take advantage of your health insurance. It has been reported that the medical records of the scammer and the victim were mixed up, resulting in misdiagnosis or inadequate treatment in some cases.
Tax Identity Theft
A scammer can use your Social Security number to file a false tax return and collect your refund before you even get a chance to claim it. The majority of people become aware of this type of fraud when the Internal Revenue Service flags their tax return as a duplicate.
Types Of Identity Theft Protection Services
Identity theft protection services keep track of your online activity and send you alerts when you are the target of a scam.
The majority of identity protection services include the following features:
Credit Report Monitoring
ID theft protection services keep track of your credit report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, depending on the service plan you have purchased. They can assist you in detecting fraud by notifying you of changes in your personal and financial information, such as a change of address or the submission of a loan application.
Some credit repair services will assist you in recovering your identification as well as covering losses resulting from ID theft and related fraud. If you’ve been a victim of identity theft and have inaccurate information on your credit report, the best credit repair companies can assist you in getting your credit report corrected.
Fraudsters may share or use your personal information if ID theft protection services scan websites, databases, and criminal or public records for signs of fraudsters sharing or using your information. They typically keep track of your Social Security number, identification, passport, home address, email, phone, and bank accounts.
Consequently, if your Social Security number is used to file a suspicious tax refund, or if your email address and password have been compromised and are now available on the dark web, you will be notified immediately.
Identity Recovery Services
Fortunately, if your identity is stolen, a reputable ID theft protection company can assist you in recovering it and protecting your financial accounts. Contacting government agencies, requesting a credit freeze, and assisting with debt collection letters are all examples of the services available.
Delete your credit report from the credit bureaus. Hiring a company, on the other hand, can save you both time and effort.
Our directory of identity theft services provides fraud insurance ranging from $20,000 to $1 million. This is particularly beneficial for senior citizens who are at risk of identity theft. You may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses, such as legal fees and lost wages, incurred in order to recover your identity. It’s important to remember that identity theft insurance does not cover funds that have been lost or stolen.
The inclusion of online security tools such as virtual private networks, antivirus software, and password managers has become commonplace in ID theft protection services. Whether or not they are useful is dependent on how much time you spend on the Internet. For example, if you work in a sensitive field where your online activities must be kept confidential from internet service providers.
More information on VPNs and antivirus software can be found on our best VPN services and best antivirus software pages, respectively.
How To Prevent Identity Theft
The following are some suggestions for preventing identity theft and fraud from occurring:
Choose Your Passwords Carefully.
Avoid using passwords that are obvious, such as “123456” or “abcd.” Instead, use a random selection of punctuation and letter sequences in both lower and uppercase to convey your message.
It’s also important not to reuse passwords because if one is compromised, hackers will be able to access all accounts that are using that password. If you have difficulty remembering passwords, invest in a password manager that generates strong passwords and stores them in a secure location.
Take Good Care Of Your Personal Information.
Don’t carry your Social Security card with you in your purse, wallet, or car. Personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, driver’s license numbers, or birth dates should not be texted, emailed, or posted online.
Please keep in mind that the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration will never contact you by phone, text, or email, requesting personal information or threatening legal action.
Keep Track Of Your Credit And Bills.
To check your credit report, go to AnnualCreditReport.com and keep an eye out for any unfamiliar accounts or loan applications that pop up. Check your credit card and bank statements for any unauthorized charges on a monthly basis.
Banking and financial institutions may contact you if your credit bureaus issue fraud alerts before approving new accounts. In order to prevent new accounts from being opened in your name until the freeze is lifted, you must first request a credit freeze.
Maintain The Security Of Your Data And Devices.
Install antivirus software on all of your devices that are connected to the Internet and, if possible, enable two-factor authentication.
Prevent phishing emails by double-checking for spelling and grammatical errors, as well as hovering your cursor over the sender’s name to reveal the full email address.
Receipts, bank statements, and expired credit and debit cards should all be shredded to protect your physical information. In order to avoid missing mail while on vacation, you can either place a hold on it (USPS.com) or arrange for regular mail pickup.
How To Choose An Identity Theft Protection Service
- It boils down to three key components: alerts, monitoring, and recovery (or disaster recovery).
- If your identity theft protection service suspects that your identity has been stolen, keep an eye out for alerts from each service. Examine whether you require more specific alerts and how many devices you wish to have the software installed on.
- After that, think about the monitoring you’ll need. The services that are provided vary depending on the needs of the client.
- Finally, make a note of the identity restoration package offered by each company. If your identity is stolen, your insurance should compensate you for any lost funds, personal expenses, and legal fees.
How To Report Identity Theft
Identity theft can be reported online at IdentityTheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338. If you believe you know who committed the crime after receiving the FTC report, you can file a police report. You’ll need the following documents to complete your application:
- You should also bring a copy of your Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Report, which notifies businesses that your identity has been stolen.
- A photo identification document, such as a driver’s license or passport.
- Your physical address is as follows: (a mortgage statement or utility bill)
- Proof against identity theft (unfamiliar bills, recurrent credit checks, notices from the IRS, etc.)
Put a fraud alert on your credit report with one of the three credit bureaus listed below and you’ll be better protected.
- Experian (fraudalert.com | 1-888-397-3742) is a credit-reporting agency.
- The Fraud Hotline (TransUnion.com/fraud) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Equifax is a credit reporting agency (1-888-766-0008)
The credit bureau that receives your notification is responsible for notifying the other two.
Emails containing phishing links should be reported to email@example.com. Text messages can be considered SPAM (7726). Remember to notify the Federal Trade Commission.
Latest News on Identity Theft Protection
Because there are so many hackers and identity thieves out there, freezing credit is a must in order to prevent identity theft and other crimes from taking place. However, an alarmingly large number of consumers have yet to take advantage of this resource. You can learn more about credit freezes by reading Money’s article on an Identity Theft Resource Center survey, which provides additional information.
Identity thieves have recently targeted cryptocurrency users in an attempt to steal their identities. In the month of November alone, a crypto phishing Google scam is estimated to have cost at least $500,000 in total. One of the most common cryptocurrency scams involves the use of fake websites and Google’s system to steal people’s cryptocurrency (and how to avoid them).
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Most Effective Method Of Preventing Identity Theft?
Identity theft protection services such as PrivacyGuard, Zander Insurance, IDShield, and Identity Guard are among the best available.
Is It Necessary To Purchase Id Theft Insurance?
We believe that everyone, regardless of age, wealth, credit history, or any other factor, should be protected against identity theft and other crimes. A lost wallet or a phishing scam are two ways in which we can have our personally identifiable information stolen. While identity theft protection cannot completely prevent identity theft, it can alert you to suspicious activity and provide insurance in the event that your identity is stolen. It is important to note that identity theft protection cannot completely prevent identity theft.
What Exactly Does Anti-theft Software Do?
Identity theft protection checks for the presence of the user’s credentials to ensure that they are not discovered. For instance, court records, USPS address changes, financial account takeovers, and other criminal matters are all available.
Who Does Dave Ramsey Recommend For Identity Theft Protection?
According to financial expert Dave Ramsey, Zander Insurance’s identity theft protection is a good choice. Zander Insurance keeps an eye out for financial, medical, tax, criminal, Social Security, benefits, and employment fraud on the dark web and in other criminal areas, and they are all monitored by the company. In addition, it includes $1 million in identity theft protection. At the moment, Zander’s monthly plan costs $6.75, which is significantly less than the market share for identity monitoring. Zander, on the other hand, does not provide credit monitoring, which is a significant flaw considering that most ID theft companies do.
Is It Worth It, Or Is It Not?
The value of LifeLock is determined by the requirements of the user. While we appreciated the company’s low first-year subscription prices and comprehensive identity monitoring services, we were concerned about the company’s history of false advertising and data breaches, which we found to be concerning.
Is It Worthwhile To Keep An Eye Out For Id?
The $10 monthly fee for identity theft monitoring is well worth the investment. As reported by the Department of Justice, the national average loss from identity theft in 2017 was $1,343 per victim. Many services also include identity theft insurance, which can provide coverage up to $1 million in the event of identity theft.
What Is The Best Way To Check My Credit For Fraud?
There are several methods for keeping an eye on your credit for signs of fraud. Annualcreditreport.com and Experian.com are both excellent sources for free credit reports. Check your credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax to see if there are any unusual accounts, bankruptcies, judgments, or other items on your credit report.
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In the end, identity theft protection is absolutely vital for anyone who wants to keep their personal information secure. And with the torrent of attacks that have gone on in recent years, there’s never been a better time to sign up for account monitoring, particularly if you have a complicated identifying profile, or if you want multiple layers of protection.