Is Identity Theft Protection Worth The Price?

Some Things to Consider about Identity Theft Protection

Independent companies offer identity theft protection for a nominal cost. These plans can give you several different services, from credit report monitoring to recovery assistance if your credit is stolen despite your best efforts. It seems like a good deal, due to the ever-rising incidence of identity theft - but is it worth the money?

What Will You Get For Your Money?

Depending on the company, you may get a variety of different services. One policy may offer nothing but credit report monitoring. Others may provide you with automatic fraud alerts, removal of your name from pre-approved credit lists, and Internet monitoring to see if your information is ever posted on sites that sell it. The price varies, and just because you pay more doesn't mean you get more.

The Alternatives

If you're careless about where you place your wallet and do not pay close attention to your credit report and credit accounts, then employing a service to do this for you is probably a good idea. These oversights on your part will make you very vulnerable to identity theft, which is obviously something that you want to avoid.

If, on the other hand, you are diligent in monitoring your finances and are cautious about how you share your information, then you are less likely to fall victim to the crime and, if you do, you're more likely to notice it. In these cases, a monitoring service may be of lesser value.

In this situation, consider purchasing a credit monitoring service that will simply alert you to changes in your credit report more frequently than you might see them if you rely on reviewing your one free annual credit report as a means of identifying any inconsistencies or errors.

These real-time services will keep you up to date on requests for your credit report (which are standard when a new credit account is opened). If a request is foreign to you, there is the possibility that it is the first sign that your identity is at risk and should prompt you to immediately begin investigating.

While you may not be able to completely prevent identity theft, the services offering identity theft protection can at least help you recover if you do fall victim to the crime.

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