Should You Buy Identity Theft Protection?

At BBB, we talk extensively about security breaches, identity theft protection, and how to keep your personal information safe from scammers. As a consumer, there are a variety of options when it comes to protecting your identity. Today, we will explore two options that fit a variety of budgets.

There are many businesses that offer monitoring services as an extra layer of protection.

Identity Force and LifeLock are two examples of that type of business.

Identity Force provides comprehensive identity and credit monitoring protection for individuals, families and businesses. They offer monitoring for vulnerabilities such as change of address, credit reporting, payday loans and more. Customers have the option of enabling text message or e-mail alerts.

LifeLock provides similar conveniences by offering a secure login and the promise of contacting you by phone, email and text message when necessary. If a problem occurs, LifeLock’s team can help sort out the issue.

One of the main advantages of using paid monitoring services is having someone there who can walk you through the process, in case any issues arise. Consequently, credit and identity theft monitoring services can be costly. Most businesses offer monthly or yearly plans with a variety of different service levels.

Consumers can take steps to be proactive in monitoring to protect themselves. BBB recommends taking simple steps such as, monitoring your bank and credit card statements for unauthorized transactions and shredding any documents that contain personal information. Consumers should also check their credit report at least once per year. AnnualCreditReport.com is only source authorized to give you ONE FREE annual credit file disclosure per year from each of the three consumer credit reporting companies. Consumers can visit their website at www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.

The ultimate decision on whether to purchase protection is yours, but BBB reminds consumers to never accept unsolicited identity theft protection service from an unknown business. This is almost always a scam. If you’d like to check out a business before you buy protection,  search for the business at bbb.org.

LifeLock and and Identity Force are BBB Accredited Businesses. BBB does not endorse these services. 

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About Sarah Borelli

Sarah Borelli is the Social Media Associate for the Better Business Bureau of E. Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Sarah graduated from California Lutheran University with a degree in marketing communications.