Protection from identity theft may come in several shapes and sizes. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of identity theft protection services available to help consumers keep their identities safe. It’s important to note when it comes to id protection programs, each one has a slightly different overall set of features, so it is important to know exactly what to look for choosing protection from identity theft.
When choosing an identity theft protection service, make sure the program offers all of the following features:
1. Automatic placement and renewal of fraud alerts
Placing a fraud alert is by far the most effective method of identity theft prevention. Having an active fraud alert on your credit bureau will prevent any credit accounts from being opened in your name without your authorization. Some companies automatically renew the fraud alerts every 90 days for you as well, so keep an eye out for these.
2. Identity theft insurance
You may notice that several of the well known identity theft companies offer a $1 million guarantee. That sounds like a pretty good benefit, but it’s important to understand exactly what this does for you. With a guarantee, the only way this would benefit would be if you became a victim of identity theft as a direct result of a component of the protection service malfunctioning.
Make sure to choose a protection service that has a true identity theft insurance policy. These types of policy generally provide reimbursement for expenses incurred in the process of restoring your identity.
3. Robust set of restoration services
Another feature that is worth spending some time on is the level of restoration services you receive. If you were to become a victim of identity theft, you can bet that there is a lot of work involved with clearing up fraudulent accounts and making sure that your overall credit is not negatively impacted. Examples of what to look for in terms of identity restoration services are:
- A dedicated specialist to work closely with you
- A service that sends out everything you will need in one “identity theft recovery kit”
- A specialist to contact the credit reporting agencies for you and obtain free credit reports
- Someone who can lend assistance with filling out the ID theft affidavit, notifiy authorities and follow up with all creditors
There are definite benefits to utilizing an identity theft protection service. The relatively low costs associated with these programs more than makes up for all the assistance you will be requiring if you do in fact become an identity theft victim.