It’s pretty frightening to think about someone using your personal, private information for their own gain. Think about it, everything you’ve worked for, or took years to build, used for someone else’s greedy gain.
It’s only become more of an issue as hundreds of data breaches over the past couple of years has opened the door to your information - leaving you susceptible to identity fraud. The sad reality is ID theft can happen to anyone, even children, at any time. Fortunately, there are precautions.
What is an ID theft monitoring system?
Ultimately, the core mission of an ID theft monitoring system is to protect you from getting your personal information stolen by taking additional measures outside of traditional precautions (shredding mail, keeping private information safe, etc.).
Every ID theft monitoring system is a bit different, but basically, it’s a service with different levels of protection aimed at securing and monitoring your personal data to lessen the likelihood you become a victim. Depending on the specifications of your service, they may monitor your credit file from one or all of the three major bureaus - keeping an eye on a variety of accounts and lines of credit - notifying you when something changes.
How does an ID theft monitoring system work?
How an ID theft monitoring system works depends on the provider, but most of them have you subscribe to a monthly membership with different levels of protection.
The protection is provided by highly-secure artificial intelligence that scans and monitors millions of transactions for any suspicious signs. If something is flagged as “suspicious,” they’ll notify you right away to address the issue. It’s essentially a high alert to protect your financial assets, credit, etc. and yes, it really will protect you from becoming a victim or experiencing significant damage if you do.
With any monthly membership, you’ll gain access to a user dashboard, and in some cases a mobile app, where you can view, in real-time, the system stats regarding all of your info.
What are the benefits of ID theft monitoring systems?
- Added protection - Each year, it’s estimated that about 16 million people experience identity fraud. Having a membership to an ID theft monitoring system makes it much less likely that it’ll happen to you, and will make it easier to react if it does.
- Credit protection - Repairing your credit will easily be the biggest headache you may experience with identity fraud. Not only does ID theft monitoring work closely with the three bureaus, but they can send reports of suspicious activity on your behalf.
- Low cost - Depending on the level of protection that’s seems right for your needs, ID theft monitoring can be relatively cost-effective and is certainly worth it in case.
- Peace of mind - ID theft monitoring systems offer a lot of benefits, with the biggest one being a peace of mind. You can rest assured that you and your family’s private information is protected.
Is an ID monitoring system is right for you?
Whether or not an ID monitoring system is right for you, really depends on you. One argument against ID theft monitoring is that if you’re taking all the textbooks precautions to protect your information, such as reviewing your credit files, shredding important documents, keeping private info safe and secure, then identity theft monitoring is unnecessary. Some may also argue that it’s just a way to make money off of people’s fear and you can essentially stop fraud by placing a freeze on your credit.
To know if ID theft monitoring is right for you, ask yourself if it’s an added protection you’d like to have or believe is necessary for you and your family. The old adage “better safe than sorry” holds a timeless truth.