Do you really need an identity protection plan? Here are five identity protection plan you should buy in order to protect your identity.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone is a victim of identity theft. In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission received 1.4 million identity theft claims
Do you really need Identity Protection Plan?
These atrocities have had a stunning effect. Americans lose billions of dollars to scammers every year, and according to estimates, the identity theft protection market will grow to $25 billion in the next few years [*].
But this presents a significant issue: Should we spend money on an identity theft protection service to keep ourselves secure, even when we all understand the value of protecting our private information?
Peace of mind is promised by identity theft protection, which protects your identity from thieves. But many others contest its worth.
This guide will explain who needs identity theft protection, what it can and cannot do, and which service is best for you if you’re on the fence.
What Will Identity Protection Plan Be Like in 2022?
When someone utilizes your data for their own financial or personal gain, this is known as identity theft. Your name, Social Security number (SSN), birth date, and other information may be included.
The risks of identity theft include atm card fraud, medical I theft, tax fraud, social media account hacks, and criminal identity theft, to name just a few.
Unfortunately, there are now more methods than ever for scammers to gather the data they require to steal your identity.
For starters, your wallet can be stolen, allowing identity thieves access to your ID, debit card, and credit cards. Your mail may contain documents that contain your SSN, which they can search through. They may even use bogus calls and phishing emails to deceive you into disclosing private information.
Additionally, scammers can purchase your information for a few dollars on the Dark Web.
These numbers are alarming. However, the reality is that identity theft has turned into a sad, common consequence of our digital existence.
The average American today has ten linked devices and over 100 internet accounts [*]. Every account, social media post, and email you open puts you at risk for identity theft in addition to having your wallet stolen.
According to a former identity thief who spoke to the New York Times [*]
People aren’t being victimized because there aren’t enough crooks to use the wealth of available information, according to the statement.
Do I Need to Pay for Identity Protection Plan Services?
No, you don’t necessarily require identity theft protection services, is the honest response.
Despite the fact that identity theft is at an all-time high, news and consumer review websites are eager to point out that you can do nearly all of the services provided by an identity theft protection provider on your own.
The majority of identity protection plan services excel at two things:
Monitoring: Identity theft protection services keep an eye out for symptoms of fraud in your credit report, SSN, driver’s licence, home title, and other sensitive information, including your internet accounts (including your bank account).
Alerts: The provider will notify you if anything odd is discovered so that you can secure your account and block the fraudster. Sadly, not all providers can warn you in time to stop identity theft.
Monitoring and fraud alerts are useful tools for preserving your identity, but they don’t offer any further protection that you can’t obtain on your own.
10 Techniques for Self-Monitoring Your Identity
If you don’t want to pay for identity theft protection, you might always:
- Every day, manually check your bank and credit card statements for unauthorized purchases.
- To prevent scammers from making new accounts or taking out loans in your name, manually put up a
- Credit freeze with any of the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).
- Check public records frequently to discover whether your name has been used by someone to conduct crimes, tamper with your home’s title, or appear on a list of sex offenders.
- To find if someone has filed taxes or withdrawn benefits in your name, get in touch with the IRS and the Social Security Administration.
- To manually verify if any of your account passwords or sensitive information has been exposed in a data breach, utilize a Dark Web scanner.
- To find out whether the company you have an account with has been hacked, sign up for data breach notifications.
- On all of your gadgets, conduct some research and download antivirus software.
- Always adhere to recommended practices to stay away from scam emails and phishing websites.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) and use a password manager to secure your online accounts
Why Identity Protection Plan Is Important?
You should still think about signing up for identity theft protection even if you don’t have to pay for it because you’re busy.
You probably have a tonne of other responsibilities, interests, and worries that are more important than checking your credit, keeping an eye on who is using your SSN, and safeguarding your internet accounts every day.
An identity theft protection service handles everything on your behalf.
How do you decide which service to join, even if you want to? LifeLock? Identity Protector Aura?
There are a lot of possibilities to contrast and compare. Furthermore, it is human instinct to favour ease over security when circumstances are challenging.
For instance, a recent survey revealed that 91% of people are aware that using the same password more than once increases their risk of identity theft. But 66% of people [*] always or primarily use the same password.
Statistics on public perceptions about password security
However, if everyone is at risk, why would you pay for a service that just serves to warn you about identity theft? That’s akin to being informed of a vehicle accident after it has already occurred, isn’t it?
The top identity theft protection services give 24/7 support from knowledgeable fraud resolution specialists who can guide you through an identity theft recovery plan in addition to generous insurance policies to cover damages from identity theft.
This means that if you are a victim, you will be able to regain your identity with the committed support of professionals much sooner.
How to Determine Whether You Need Identity Protection Plan?
- You believe there is already a risk to you or your family. If you have a number of online accounts, don’t regularly practise protecting your sensitive information, or have seen warning signs of identity theft, you may be at high risk. Identity thieves frequently target younger people as well. Children who frequently use the internet or who are leaving for college can gain from family identity theft protection.
- You have previously experienced identity theft. Studies show that 30% of victims of identity theft are repeat offenders [*]. It’s likely that you will be targeted again if you have already been once.
- You are aware that you won’t make the effort necessary to watch or freeze your credit. A crucial component of preventing identity theft is credit monitoring. You should make an account for identity theft protection services if you know you won’t have the time to carefully review every transaction.
- You want identity theft insurance to safeguard your valuables (such as your home, savings, and credit score). The more money you have, the more identity thieves will target you.
- Hackers already have access to your information on the dark web. To find out if your information is not secured in a data breach and is putting you at risk, use a free Dark Web scanner.
What Do Services for Identity Protection Plan Actually Do?
Every provider provides a selection of alerting and monitoring features.
But as technology advances, proactive solutions that aid in preventing identity theft are replacing solely reactive ones that only notify you after it has occurred.
Following are some of the main properties of an identity theft protection service worth paying for:
Every identity protection plan approach must include identity monitoring. A provider does this to check if scammers are using your personally identifiable information (PII).
Additionally, identity monitoring analyses several databases and records, such as:
- Find out if your private information was exposed in a data breach and is being sold on the dark web by using dark web monitoring.
- Check the list of sexual offenders to see whether someone else has used your identity to commit sex crimes.
- Check homeowner registries to check if somebody is attempting to change the title to your home and commit deed fraud.
- Court and criminal history: Verify throughout the nation to check whether someone has exploited your identity to commit a crime or during a traffic stop.
- Applications for payday loans and wire transfers: If your identity has been used for high transactions, get warnings.
- Change of address: Check with USPS to see whether your address has been changed. (Scammers use this to access your mail and steal your personal information; sadly, they can do this by easily completing a Change-of-Address form.)
- Remove yourself from data broker lists that brokers sell to telemarketers and con artists. This may lessen the volume of robocalls and spam emails you get.
- The first line of protection you have against fraudsters is frequent identity monitoring. The sooner you detect someone utilizing your identity improperly, the sooner you can put an end to them.
If you’re considering identity theft protection, you’re probably concerned about avoiding loan fraud or credit card fraud. Credit monitoring services keep an eye out for changes in your financial data. This includes keeping an eye on your bank accounts, credit cards, and credit report.
The three major credit reporting agencies are routinely monitored by providers (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion). The finest identity theft protection services keep an eye out for any indications of fraud at each of the three major credit bureaus.
Credit monitoring can assist in finding:
- Alterations to your credit limits or reports.
- In your identity, scammers apply for unrestricted credit.
- Your credit scores fluctuating.
- Accounts with fake credit that were opened in your name.
- Applications for credit cards or loans that you didn’t authorise.
- 67% of Americans in 2020 claimed not to check their credit reports [*]. Scammers can be stopped before they can seize all of your possessions with the aid of a credit monitoring programme.
Online account surveillance and protection
The majority of your private data can now be located and viewed online. Scammers can cause considerable harm if they get access to your accounts, taking control of everything from banking information to private communications.
Your online accounts are monitored by identity theft protection for indications of compromise.
Even a password manager is included with some providers. For your convenience, the tool creates distinct passwords for each of your accounts and then keeps them together in a safe location.
A password manager can even automatically change your outdated passwords on select websites and will notify you if any of your credentials are at risk of hacking.
Antivirus software and network protection
The sophistication of identity thieves’ cyber-attacks has increased.
You’ll frequently receive spam emails or texts from scammers that have an attachment. If you open it, malware will be installed on your computer that can steal your passwords, account usernames, and other sensitive information.
Device security tools like the following are included with all-inclusive identity theft protection programs like Aura:
- Antivirus program. Secure your devices from viruses that can steal your personal data.
- Networks that are virtualized (VPN). Protect your networks from hackers eavesdropping or data interception on sensitive websites. Wi-Fi networks are notoriously simple to hack, whether they are used at home or in public.
- Phishing warnings Get warned if you enter a “spoofed” website that might steal your login information or put malware on your computer.
One of the few preventative measures you can take to safeguard against identity theft is blocking hackers.
Family protection (child identity theft, elder fraud, etc)
Child identity theft affected more than a million children, while senior Americans (60 and older) lost $1.7 billion to fraudsters in just one year.
Family identity theft protection plans assist you in keeping an eye on your family’s more vulnerable individuals. You can check your child’s SSN for indications of identity theft and keep an eye on your grandparents’ or parents’ credit as they age.
Resolution of fraud and identity restoration
Digital security companies can assist you in recovering if the worst happens and you become a victim of fraud or identity theft.
Numerous suppliers have White Glove Fraud Resolution professionals and 24/7 U.S.-based support teams that can assist you by:
- Giving advice on how to deal with fraud.
- Guiding a three-way call with a bank or a government agency to assist you in recovering from identity fraud.
- Contacting creditors on your behalf to report identity theft.
- Disputing erroneous charges and accounts on your accounts.
- Recovering lost IDs or documents (such as when your wallet is stolen).
Identity theft protection
The expenditures related to identity fraud are covered by and reimbursed by identity theft insurance. From a few thousand dollars to $1 million or more in coverage, providers provide a wide range of options. Insurance against identity theft often includes:
- Legal costs
- Stolen assets
- Lost income
- Traveling costs
- elderly, spousal, and children’s care
- cost of a certified public accountant
A standard insurance policy might include identity theft coverage for you. However, covering for identity theft is typically more extensive.
The Limitations of Identity Theft Protection
Your family’s online and bank accounts, PII, device security, and losses from fraud can all be protected with identity theft protection. However, no service provider can completely stop fraud and identity theft.
In fact, LifeLock settled with the FTC for $100 million in 2015 after making false representations about its capacity to secure customers’ identities.
How much does protection against identity theft cost?
The overall cost of identity theft protection services varies. However, several companies provide a basic subscription for $10–$12 per month. This needs to have essential components like $1,000,000 in insurance coverage, identity tracking, and credit monitoring.
In order to let you test out their services and determine whether they’re perfect for you, many providers additionally provide a free trial period and a money-back guarantee.
Five of the best identity theft protection services for 2022
There are more options than ever to pick from if you’re prepared to think about using an identity theft protection service. Some, however, don’t provide the same levels of protection and oversight as others.
Here is our list of the best 5 identity theft protection services as determined by reviews found on websites such as IdentityProtectionReview.com, Security.org, and more.
Security.org and IdentityProtectionReview.com rank Aura as the best identity theft protection service available.
Here is what Security.org reviewers had to say about Aura:
“Aura’s ability to gather data from so many sources while protecting your identity is one of its true assets. Aura is continually searching for your name, Social Security number, address, and other identifying information by browsing through Dark Web sites, data broker lists, public records, and new account records. You may be sure that Aura will find whoever has stolen your identity.
- PII, credit cards, home titles, SSNs, bank and investment accounts, payday loans, IDs, and more are all covered by the best identity monitoring and protection services.
- The fastest fraud alerts in the market (up to 4X faster than the competition).
- A password manager and auto-update on some compromised passwords are proactive identity theft protection tools.
- credit monitoring from three bureaus with a credit lock of your Experian credit file in one click.
Protection for devices and networks from malware and hackers using cutting-edge antivirus software and a military-grade VPN (Virtual Private Network).
- Affordable pricing options (beginning at $12/mo.) and no renewal price increases, in contrast to other service providers like LifeLock, whose renewal costs can range from 40% to 70% higher.
- There are no features that vary between plan types. Every Aura member receives the same high standard of protection.
- Simple and user-friendly UI that is compatible with all of your devices (desktop and mobile app).
Up to five family members, including adults and children, are covered under family plans.
- 60-day money-back guarantee and a 14-day no-risk trial period.
- Every adult member of your plan is covered by $1 million in identity theft insurance, and you have 24 hours a day access to a group of White Glove Fraud Resolution experts that are based in the United States.
Cons of aura
- Users of Chrome or Mac desktops are currently unable to access some functionalities.
- monthly credit scores only (VantageScore).
Aura now owns Identity Guard, another well-regarded identity theft protection firm. Together, the two companies provide some of the most thorough, cutting-edge, and straightforward identity theft protection available.
Identity Guard focuses on defending your identity from both current and emerging threats, in contrast to Aura’s all-in-one protection, which also includes antivirus and device protection.
When compared to other suppliers, Identity Guard uses artificial intelligence differently (AI). IBM’s Watson AI platform powers Identity Guard, allowing it to continuously look for fresh risks to your identity.
Pros of Identity Guard:
- Reviews and a reliable brand. Identity Guard receives a “A+” from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) compared to LifeLock’s “F” and a “4.4” from Trustpilot.
- Complete protection of your bank and investment accounts, credit card, SSN, and Dark Web monitoring.
predictive danger alerts driven by IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence (AI) and based on cutting-edge machine learning.
- A few of the most cost-effective pricing schemes.
- Specialized fraud investigators and first-rate customer service.
- Social Insight Reports allow you to manage your social media accounts.
Cons of Identity Guard:
- Customers only get access to credit report monitoring if they have a higher-tiered package.
No trial offer.
- The fundamental package does not include reporting from three credit bureaus.
IdentityForce offers identity theft protection for both individuals and corporations and has more than 40 years of experience doing so. Identity monitoring, financial loss insurance, and identity recovery services are just a few of the main features that IdentityForce integrates with those of other service providers.
Pros of IdentityForce
- A 14-day free trial of UltraSecure, their entry-level package.
- Options for a family plan.
- Notifications for fraudulent activities in close to real-time.
- Coverage of $1 million in insurance.
- Quite good at monitoring social media.
Cons of IdentityForce:
- Starting plan that costs more than most suppliers (and only two plan options are offered).
- There are no cancellation refunds.
One of the more well-known identity theft protection programmes is LifeLock by Norton. LifeLock became an all-in-one digital security program that includes antivirus software and a VPN after being acquired by Symantec (the company that makes Norton).
Unfortunately, LifeLock has recently received a good amount of unfavourable news. The digital security measures of LifeLock may significantly slow down your smartphone. And to make matters worse, Norton has come under fire for including cryptomining into its antivirus software and then pocketing the earnings.
- Your devices can be secured using antivirus software and a secure VPN (Virtual Private Network).
- Monitoring the dark web to find exposed accounts
- ID monitoring and verification.
- Payday loan supervision.
- Monitoring of the sex offenders register.
- If you ever become a victim of identity theft, you will be covered by $1 million in insurance (just for attorneys and specialists who will assist you with your case).
Cons of LifeLock:
- 100 million plus FTC lawsuit: The FTC filed numerous cases against LifeLock for making false marketing claims [*].
- High renewal prices: The cost of an annual plan increases by anywhere between 40 and 70% after a first year as a LifeLock customer.
- Price of the Family Plan: If you have a large family, the additional $5.99 per child for LifeLock’s Family Plans might mount up quickly.
5. ID Watchdog
Equifax owns ID Watchdog, a more family-oriented identity theft protection service.
In addition to credit card fraud, ID Watchdog asserts to provide protection against tax identity theft, child id alerts, and social account monitoring to assist stop cyberbullying. The business asserts that it continuously scans “billions of data points” for indications of potential fraud.
ID Watchdog Benefits
- Identity protection for children with family-oriented features.
- Availability of committed resolution experts.
- Identity theft insurance worth $1 million.
- More convenience and control are provided through the smartphone app.
- Both consumers and corporations might have their own unique plans.
Watchdog ID Cons:
Only two plans are offered.
- Only four children are covered by the family plan.
- For surveillance of your banking and social media accounts, you must subscribe to the Premium plan.