How Does ProtectMyID Stack Up Against Other Credit Monitoring Services?
If you are looking for an advantage when it comes to have your identity protected, then you might consider joining up with ProtectMyID. Why? They are a part of the family of services that are provided by Experian Online, meaning that they have a direct link to your credit profile and information. Combine identity protection with the specific analytical tools that have caused Experian to grow into a billion dollar company serving customers in 80 countries, and you’ve got yourself a powerful identity protection partner on your side.
How Does ProtectMyID Monitor Your Identity?
Surveillance Alert is an e-mail and SMS alert application that monitors your credit report for over 50 different types of indicators for possible identity theft. Some common examples that you would be able to see would be if an account was sent to a collection agency, whether a new loan was opened up under your name, or if someone was trying to open up lines of unsecured credit – like with a credit card.
This credit surveillance is particularly good in eliminating a new type of identity theft that is intended to help pay someone else’s medical bills. By submitting your identity to a hospital or a clinic, the hospital will begin billing you and potentially your insurance for services. ProtectMyID monitors daily for changes in your credit reports and can help stop medical fraud as soon as it is discovered.
ProtectMyID also monitors for the introduction of your Social Security number into sources where identity thieves might be able to access it. Think of it as checking the “identity theft black market” for your personally identifying number. This helps to keep your core identification materials safer from compromise than just by monitoring the internet for events that have occurred after your number has been stolen.
Change of Address Monitoring
One of the common ways that thieves start planting the seed for an identity theft incident is when a thief submits a change of address card at the post office, which then directs your mail to the thief. ProtectMyID monitors change of address notifications at the national level and notifies you if something unusual happens with your address.
Children and Family
ProtectMyID also offers programs that help to protect the identities of your children and advice on how to protect loved ones that may have passed away.
How Does the ProtectMyID Alert System Work?
ProtectMyID primarily utilizes e-mail and SMS texts to alert their customers that there is a possible identity theft that has been identified. These alerts occur the moment there is new data added to your identity, which then allows you to be able to determine if that new data is authorized or not. If you do not have any new data added within a month’s period, then you receive an all clear e-mail from ProtectMyID.
ProtectMyID also offers a mobile app for smartphone users that shows a list of all alerts that have been received. It also lets you take an identification theft risk assessment so that your current lifestyle and habits can be evaluated and possibly improved. You also receive one touch assistance to get in touch with a Theft Resolution Agent should you encounter an alert that you feel needs to be investigated.
Recovery Assistance from ProtectMyID
Since ProtectMyID is part of Experian, their resolution services connect the customer with the best specialists in the field for repairing the damage done by identity theft. Being part of this exclusive credit agency group means that resolution specialists know where to go and what to do in order to protect you from any further damage.
ProtectMyID offers users a $1,000,000 insurance policy against an identity theft incident and a $2,000,000 policy for every child’s identity theft event that occurs while covered with a valid program. This helps to pay up to a month’s worth of lost wages, for filling out the paperwork required to restore your identity, legal costs, compensation for unauthorized money transfers, and any costs for a private investigator.
ProtectMyID is Easy to Use!
Setting up your identity protection through ProtectMyID is simple. All you need to do is fill out your personal information into their secure database, and then ProtectMyID does the rest. You get access to the important numbers that you need to contact a Theft Resolution Agent, a free mobile app, and alerts sent directly to your e-mail or by SMS text if you choose that method to know when something nefarious is going on. Membership also gives you access to the Experian set of financial tools that can help you grow your net worth.
Additional Tools and Features
Lost Wallet Protection
This is probably one of the scariest of incidents when you lose your wallet with all your credit cards, medical IDs, social security number, driver’s license, and any number of other important documents. All of these cards could be used maliciously by the identity thief. If you have ever lost a wallet, you know you will be making a lot of phone calls to cancel credit cards, get new insurance cards, and order replacement debit cards.
During the lull between when your child is born and when they reach their early adult years, an identity thief can get the child’s social security number and do many damaging things with it. The worst part is that it often goes undetected for years since no thinks to check their child’s credit report.
Pricing & Value
You can sign up today for ProtectMyID for just $15.95/month. You can click here to sign up for a $1.00 / 7 Day trial and only pay $19.95/month after. Children can be added through ChildSecure for an additional $6.95/month per child.
You can enroll today with ProtectMyID to start securing your identity
Protect Your Credit Today
Though ProtectMyID may not give you access to free credit scores, they do give you benefits in other ways with protections of your identification materials that other organizations do not. With the Experian relationship, you also have a direct link to your credit report so that you have an immediate knowledge of any potential identification theft events. This allows you to be able to be more proactive in protecting yourself. If you’re looking for a fast and affordable way to protect all of your assets, ProtectMyID is the company for you. Enroll today and experience identity protection the Experian way!
We ranked the TransUnion credit monitoring service fourth on our list because it’s provided by one of the 3 major credit reporting bureaus and a trusted company when it comes to credit reports & credit related services. When you sign up for TransUnion’s $1.00 / 7 day trial you get immediate access to your TransUnion credit report plus 3 bureau credit monitoring. These are great benefits to be sure, but their services are very TranUnion specific, as you can imagine. If you’re looking for your Equifax & Experian credit report information, you won’t find it with this service. You will be better served going with a comprehensive monitoring package that includes 3 bureau credit monitoring AND allows you access to credit reports from all 3 bureaus. IdentityGuard & Lifelock would be better choices if this is an option you require.
The TransUnion monthly subscription costs $19.95, which is about the average price for most monitoring plans. However, once again, for that price we think there are better options that will include more detailed monitoring, alerting and credit tools.
With the TransUnion subscription you also receive:
- Lost wallet protection
- Credit file change alerting
- Personalized credit analysis tools
- 1 million dollars id theft insurance
You also have the ability to place free credit freezes on your TransUnion credit reports. This is normally a $10 charge for each lock/unlock you place. However it’s included in the TU credit monitoring monthly subscription.
TransUnion customer support is available via phone M-Th 8am-12am ET and Fri-Sun 8am-8pm ET. It’s extremely easy to get a live representative on the phone, and we found them to be extremely courteous and knowledgeable when we placed a test call.
While we like the security that comes with using a monitoring plan from a trusted company such as TransUnion, we believe the TU service is fairly limited and doesn’t offer as much as the services we ranked above it. With no access to Experian or Equifax credit reports as well as no FICO score availability, we would recommend this service only to those are are concerned solely with their TransUnion specific reports & information.
TransUnion Credit Reporting Faq’s
TransUnion is one of the three credit reporting bureaus along with Equifax and Experian. The three credit reporting agencies keep track of your credit history and provide reports to prospective lenders and mortgage brokers. TransUnion not only reports on your credit, but they have processes in place to help make corrections to your report. On their site, TransUnion asks: “Have you applied for a credit card and been denied because of bad credit?” Credit card companies may be closing the door to you because of inaccurate information! TransUnion helps to fix your credit record, but only if you know what your TUnion credit report says and specifically what needs to be fixed.
TransUnion allows you to run a credit check on yourself quickly and easily. You could even pull your credit report online while on a lunch break or in your pajamas at home. The sooner you see the Experian, Equifax or TransUnion credit reports that lenders and credit card companies see, the sooner you can make the changes needed to improve your credit rating and change in your life.
With a menu of reporting format options ranging from a free credit report to a low-cost $29.95 three in one credit report profile including a free credit score, there is almost no reason that you can’t quickly and conveniently obtain your credit report information and immediately report any payment, debt, name, or address mistakes to TransUnion.
Do you need to purchase a personal TransUnion credit report?
Right now you can run a personal credit check for only $9. Do you want to compare your Experian, Equifax and TransUnion credit reports side-by-side to be sure none of them are reporting damaging or flat out wrong information about your credit history? If so, the three in one credit report is the way to go.
Yes, credit reporting agencies sometimes make mistakes. TransUnion may not even know it and their mistakes could cost you. It is up to you to make sure that your debt payment history information is reflected accurately on TransUnion’s report. Does your credit report tell lenders that you made two late payments — but you didn’t? Does the report say that you still have an outstanding auto loan debt — but your car is paid off? Correcting wrong info can possibly increase your credit score. Increasing your credit score could mean the difference between a lender saying YES instead of NO. Transunion also offers id protection services that will keep track of your credit reports for fraud and identity theft.
Here is what a TransUnion credit report will show you:
- Names you have used
- Current and prior addresses
- Names of your creditors
- The amount of secured and unsecured debt taken out in your name
- Whether that debt is in the form of a revolving or installment account
- The current balances versus the limits on those accounts
- How prompt or late payments have been
- Your employment history and employer addresses
- Public records of judgments or liens against you
How do you get your TransUnion credit report right now? Just visit their site at www.transunion.com.
Update: The Citi Credit Monitoring Service Program was terminated 3-31-2015.
We recommend you look at our LifeLock monitoring review as an alternative to the Citi monitoring plan.
IdentityMonitor is a service provided by Citibank. Citibank has been in business for the past 200 years thanks to its ability to do business through what they call Responsible Finance. What this means to Citibank is that they have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into small businesses, infrastructure, and other choice opportunities to help the average consumer be able to work for themselves, protect themselves, and achieve anything they wish to achieve. IdentityMonitor comes under the realm of protection for CitiBank customers, but is available for anyone who is wishing to have credit and identity theft protections.
Daily Monitoring for Daily Results
The key to being able to catch an identity thief in the act is to monitor your information on a daily basis. IdentityMonitor does this through credit monitoring reports every day to determine if any changes have been made to critical components, such as your address, your delinquent accounts, or new lines of credit, whether secured or unsecured.
IdentityMonitor also helps you have a hand in keeping your identity safe by providing you a complete credit report and credit score analysis upon signing up for their identity theft protection services. You then get access to this information for free on a monthly basis. This allows you to manually review your credit information to insure that all the information shown is authorized by you.
IdentityMonitor Gives You Effective Alerts
If IdentityMonitor detects information that may cause an identity theft to potentially occur or believes that a theft has already occurred, then you will be notified via the Notify Express system that Citibank has set up. This alert system lets you know when there is any change to your information that may be an indicator of fraud. You can also be notified in the way that works the best for you: through standard U.S. mail, e-mail, text messages, or by a phone call.
Get the Support That You Need
With an IdentityMonitor subscription, you get around the clock access to your credit information with a simple log-in. Some folks have questions about what it takes to adequately keep their identities and credit safe, If you believe that you have been the victim of identity theft, you also have immediate access to Citi’s Identity Theft Solutions department.
Should you become the victim of identity theft, you have access to a $10,000 – $25,000 insurance policy in most states to help you be able to work to recover your identity. This can help you to be able to defend yourself effectively, cover the costs of restoring your identity, and even cover lost wages that may occur while you are working to restore your identity. It may not be as much as the insurance policies of other companies, but unlike other identity theft policies, there is no limit to the amount of claims that you can have. Each claim you make gives you access to another policy!
Signing Up for IdentityMonitor is Easy!
You can sign up today for IdentityMonitor without being a member of Citibank! All you have to do is fill out your personal information and once you’ve agreed to the terms and conditions, you’ll have instant access to your Experian credit information. A simple and free upgrade is all that is required to get all three of the major credit bureau’s information about you around the clock.
Pricing & Value
IdentityMonitor offers only one plan of service that covers daily monitoring of your credit information and assistance in restoring your identity. You can try IdentityMonitor for the first 30 days for just $1, and then afterwards is $12.95/month. It should be noted that Citibank, in their terms and conditions, state that they can modify or cancel the IdentityMonitor program, including a change in the price of the program, without notifying you about these changes.
Protect Your Identity & Your Credit Today
Thanks to the Federal bailout, Citibank is more stable than ever when it comes to being able to provide an essential service to its customers. Becoming a customer of Citibank to make sure your credit and identity are effectively covered puts a bank on your side when it comes to fighting for you. Try out IdentityMonitor today for just a buck and discover how good it feels knowing that your identity and your credit are in safe hands.
Don’t Put Off Protecting Your Family Any Longer
If you have a household of 2 adults and 3 children, purchasing an individual credit monitoring plan for each will run you well over $100/month. This just isn’t feasible for most families who want some peace of mind with a good, comprehensive credit & identity monitoring service. Now you can protect your entire family for less than $30 per month. With child identity theft becoming more prevalent than adult ID theft, it’s crucial that even young children have identity protection & monitoring in place. One incident of identity theft can ruin their credit for years to come.
Family Protection Plan
Right now, the most affordable family credit monitoring plan is offered by IdentityGuard. The price is $27.99/month and this covers 2 adults + up to 15 children. Some of the features included with the family monitoring plan are:
- Social Security Monitoring
- Online “Black Market” Monitoring
- ID Verification Alerts
- 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring
- Credit Scores*
- Identity Theft Victim Assistance
- $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance**
- Child identity monitoring (kID Sure®)
Couples Protection Plan
If you don’t necessarily need a plan that covers multiple children, but just yourself your significant other, IdentityGuard has a couples plan as well. This plan is $26.99/month and monitors the following list of items;
- Social Security Monitoring
- Online “Black Market” Monitoring
- ID Verification Alerts
- 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring
- Credit Scores*
- Identity Theft Victim Assistance
- $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance**
I’ve reviewed all of the IdentityGuard services and compared them to other top monitoring plans from companies such as LifeLock, TransUnion, Experian and many more. IdentityGuard is hands down the most comprehensive credit monitoring service provider on the market. They offer the best value, highest customer satisfaction ratings, top BBB ratings and numerous awards for their protection & monitoring plans. If you need a simple, affordable solution for monitoring multiple social security numbers, you’re not going to go wrong with the 2 IdentityGuard plans.
Credit monitoring services scrutinize a consumer’s credit report at one or all three credit bureaus for a monthly fee, alerting the consumer to late payment items, identity thefts, inquiries from potential creditors and employers, and any other credit report changes. The pros and cons of this service are fiercely debated. But there is much to be said for the advantages of employing a credit monitoring service. The consumer’s credit score is a number that extends into all aspects of an individual’s financial life; guarding that number and improving it can amount to large savings over a lifetime. And with finances being a rather complicated affair for most people, negative items and mistakes can appear on credit reports that can go under the radar of the less than attentive, and credit monitoring is an astute defense against identity theft. Furthermore, a credit monitoring service can be instrumental to the consumer in reaching the highest category of creditworthiness where the best financial terms are offered.
Necessary or unnecessary service
Critics of credit monitoring usually state that it is an unnecessary service since consumers can keep track of their own credit reports. They point out that a consumer can receive a free credit report staggered over the year from each of the three credit reporting bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—and become aware of any mistakes or problems which develop.
Following that track leaves many loopholes in credit monitoring where all sorts of problems can arise. As credit reports are known to be error prone, negative items such as late payments and account mistakes can sabotage job prospects for employment seekers. Large charges to credit cards can lower credit scores at the most inopportune times, causing rate changes on new loan applications. Identity theft may be occurring with fraudulent new accounts opened up under the consumer’s name, when immediate notification to the consumer is the most urgent. Looking at each report only once a year leaves these gaps which can be costly to the consumer.
Credit monitoring is a superb educational tool to gaining greater insight to one’s financial affairs and as a result leads to greater abilities to manage those affairs. Monitoring one’s credit through a service will allow for immediate feedback to the consumer of results for car loans, mortgage loans, and credit card applications. The credit score numbers will fluctuate in response to additions and deletions in the report, educating consumers in ways to better manage their finances. Also, credit monitoring services offer many online resources to help the consumer expand their financial know how.
Saving money with credit monitoring
Most credit monitoring services will cost the consumer between $10 and $20 a month, adding up to $120 to $240 for the year. It might seem like a high cost, but when consumers consider the benefits of a service, it can actually save them money. The consumer is given the tools to improve his or her credit score, and the savings can be in the hundreds and thousands of dollars. With a credit score of 760 or better, the consumer will receive the best available interest rates. In the case of a mortgage over a period of 30 years, this can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. Also, car and life insurance rates are partially dependent on a consumer’s credit scores, where the impact will again be reflected in substantial savings if the credit score can be boosted into the excellent category. When all these benefits are considered over the financial lifetime of a consumer, identity theft protection reviews excellent value for a minuscule cost.
Credit monitoring and identity theft
With the rise of identity theft crimes every year and the proliferation of new ways to steal it, everyone agrees vigilance is definitely needed to protect against the illegal use of credit information. Critics of these services say credit monitoring does not stop identity theft, and they are right, since nothing can guarantee 100% protection against identity theft. What credit monitoring services offer is immediate alerts that something is amiss when new credit accounts or address changes have appeared. With this knowledge, the consumer can immediately put a fraud alert or a freeze on an account. So many ID thefts go on for weeks or even months because the consumer is unaware until he or she receives billing statements or other indications of wrongdoing long after they have occurred. ID thieves often change the victim’s address, so incriminating billing statements are redirected to another location. If the consumer becomes the victim of identity theft, most credit monitoring services provide insurance protection and legal services to help the consumer. All in all, credit monitoring is a top defense to guard the consumer’s interests against the illegal activities of criminals.
The term “data breach” has unfortunately become part of the vernacular of hundreds of millions of Americans in the last year. Target, Home Depot, and even banking giant JP Morgan Chase have had sensitive customer information stolen by hackers. Add to that the Edward Snowden revelation that its own government is spying on them, and it’s not an understatement to say that individual concerns about identity theft are at an all-time high in the U.S. Interest in credit monitoring services has risen accordingly.
What Do Credit Monitoring Services Do?
While the features offered by credit monitoring services will vary, they basically track your credit report at one or more of the three big credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Depending on your preference, they will promptly notify you via a test message, an e-mail or an old-fashioned letter when they uncover unusual activity as it pertains to your account. They may also provide easy access to your credit report, assist you if fraud has been detected, and even reimburse you for some out-of-pocket expenses you’ve incurred directly related to fighting the fraudster.
What Benefits Do They Provide?
Credit monitoring services can be used to catch errors, improve your score or keep an eye out for fraud. For instance, if someone were to use your stolen personal information to apply for a new credit card in your name, the monitoring service would pick this up and send you an alert. However, if someone were to try to use your information to get a job or a cell phone, something that wouldn’t necessarily trigger a credit check with the reporting agencies, a basic credit monitoring service won’t be able to know. For this reason, more providers are now offering more comprehensive monitoring. The top-of-the-line plans can use Social Security number monitoring to check public records, databases and websites for use of your personal information.
The single biggest reason to use a credit monitoring service, however, often goes unnoticed. While most people understand the importance of their credit score, few really understand what goes into compiling it. Regularly reviewing your credit history leads to better credit knowledge, being cognizant of how your behavior, be it applying for that department store card, getting a car loan, or knocking down a big chunk of credit card debt, impacts your credit rating. If as they say, knowledge is power, then knowledge of how your actions impact your credit score can put you in charge of your financial well-being.
What Are The Best Credit Monitoring Services Available Today?
Identity Guard and LifeLock are two of the better known credit monitoring services. Each offers different package and pricing options. Generally speaking, Identity Guard’s top-of-the line package is considered superior for those who can afford it. It’ll cost you a couple hundred bucks a year. However, Identity Guard monitors all three major credit bureaus for changes to your reports, and it monitors personal information like how your name and Social Security number are being used across thousands of databases. It’s one of the most respected identity protection services on the market. Read more about IdentityGuard.com here.
LifeLock goes a bit beyond in the sense that they monitor other publicly available information about you. If one of the bad guys attempts to steal information pertaining to your loans or leases, your criminal record or your driver’s license and insurance, for instance, LifeLock Ultimate can alert you before it becomes a serious problem. If you’re undergoing a background check for a new job, for example, having access to this information is something you can control. LifeLock, however, does not regularly monitor all three major credit reporting agencies. For better or worse, it has decided to exclusively use the TransUnion bureau. For this reason, I prefer the IdentityGuard.com service over LifeLock. See more about LifeLock plans here.
Tips For Choosing a Service
Knowing who is doing the monitoring is important. In addition to companies like Identity Guard and Life Lock that do so directly, banks and credit unions, and the credit bureaus themselves, all offer monitoring services. It’s possible that the entity that is selling the service is actually farming out the actual work to another entity. It’s good to know exactly who’s doing the work before signing up for any monitoring service. Similarly, it’s important to look at the longevity of the company, and be wary of any company that offers very little background information.
Not unlike any other service offering, be wary of companies that make over-the-top promises. If those promises sound too good to be true, they probably are. In particular, it’s important to be wary of claims that a company can prevent identity theft. No credit monitoring service can do that. What they can do is be on the lookout for suspicious activity, and notify you promptly if they spot any.
The Bottom Line
It never hurts to check with the Better Business Bureau or your state’s Attorney General office to verify the legitimacy of a credit monitoring service before signing up for one. While fear-mongering is the antidote for nothing, hard times, whether they are of your own creation or the result of outside influences, need to be dealt with. The 2008 financial crisis has resulted in an environment where credit precautions have become a necessity for many.
Many people make use of the credit monitoring services in order to be alerted to possible credit fraud and ultimately, reduce its negative effects on their finances. To ensure this level of protection, individuals to sign up for a service that will keep tabs on one or several of your major credit reports and notify you when there is a new account that is opened in your name, someone makes an inquiry to your file as well as when other possibly suspicious activities crop up. Most of the credit monitoring packages will also give you access to at least one of your credit scores and reports. For this reason, consumers usually make use of credit monitoring to keep track of their credit building progress.
Various companies are offering credit monitoring services which include the three primary credit bureaus as well as many of the major banks. It is not a big surprise that there is a big market for this kind of product since identity theft is becoming one of the most common complaints from consumers for many years.
Even though credit monitoring will not really prevent identity theft as well as other related loan or credit card loans, it still has the potential of alerting you regarding unauthorized access to your personal information before you start noticing a problem.
How It Works
Although logistics are basically provider specific, the credit monitoring services typically track your credit file and send your alerts when there are changes. Many of the companies are offering these notifications through a phone call, email, or text message, which depends on your preferences.
The forms of activities that credit monitoring services are going to bring to your attention include the following:
- New Accounts
Credit reports note each time a new loan or credit card has been opened under your name. When there is a new account that appears on your file because of the mistake of the creditor or as the result of a fraudulent activity, it is better to know about it right away instead of waiting until you receive a bill through mail.
- Hard Inquiries
Every time you apply for a loan or credit card, the respective financial institution is going to pull your main credit reports, which are referred to as a hard inquiry to your credit history. Any unexpected hard inquiry, like the ones that are not triggered by your application submission, is a sure sign of fraud. The identity thieves are well known for the use of the basic consumer data include the name, address and the Social Security number for opening financial accounts under the names of other people for them to rack up the costly charges and leave it up to the user to clean up the mess they did.
- Changes to the Existing Accounts
You will also receive an alert when your credit report indicates a significant change in your payment and spending habits.
- Changes in Address
A criminal who has the basic biographical information and access to one of your debit or credit cards can officially make changes to the address that you have on your file with the postal service so that they will receive your mail and have better control on your life. Most of the credit monitoring services are going to alert you about this kind of changes so that can easily straighten out the matter before things can get further complicated.
- New Public Records
The information regarding bankruptcies, civil court judgments and tax liens is included on the consumer credit reports and while everyone will hope to spot an identity theft before it can even get this far, the credit monitoring service is going to alert you once someone encounters these forms of difficulties while still impersonating you.
The credit monitoring service is also going to notify you regarding these changes in a matter of 24 hours after they have noted your credit report, which will then fulfill its role as your official identity theft watchdog. As soon as you discover about the possible identity theft, it will be so much better so that you can also initiate the right damage control procedures before the fraud will wreak too much havoc on your financial files.
For the past few years, the companies have also come up with identity theft solutions which as far more comprehensive as compared to what you can get from the traditional services on credit monitoring. For instance, they might also monitor any sex offender registry, activities on your bank account, applications for payday loans, and more. The advent of this kind of services only underscore that there is indeed a growing concern among the consumers when it comes to identity theft in today’s personal financial environment that is becoming more electronic than ever.
The capacity of tracking the progress in credit improvement is also the other primary benefit that you can get out of the use of a credit monitoring service. These services will also provide you with better access to all your credit reports as opposed to just receiving one copy each year and possibly, you might also receive your credit scores at the same time. Most of the monitoring companies usually offer deals with certain credit score providers even though the scores that they will provide are not guaranteed to be the ones that are being used most often by the lenders. This will not just give you the chance of routinely parsing your files for any error for at the same time, this will also allow you to stay updated with your credit standing which will then improve how you are shopping for financial products and determine if the credit building efforts are needed.
As of this moment, some of the major players in the world of credit monitoring include TransUnion, Equifax, Experian, FICO which is a credit scoring company, most of the largest banks of the nation as well as niche businesses including Identity Guard, LifeLock and TrustedID.
Credit monitoring services are no doubt important to keep track of your finances so choose the one that will best suit you.
Protecting your credit from the harmful effects of identity theft, fraud, and errors is an essential consideration in the modern world, and there are several ways that you can make sure your personally identifying information is safe at all times. By being proactive with respect to your current credit report, you can address issues before they occur and ensure that your financial future has as good of an outlook as possible. Here are five ways you can keep your credit secure.
1. Shredding documents
Shredders are a cost-effective way to reduce the chances that identity thieves will find valuable information in your trash. A host of different thieves routinely comb through trash receptacles searching for your information that will be used to apply for loans with your name or get a credit card without your permission. Document shredders are designed to quickly turn old credit cards, bank information and junk mail into a pile of paperwork that is totally illegible. Making sure that your children are also safe is an imperative, and you can easily shred any papers that contain information about any of the members in your family.
2. Receiving free credit reports
Everyone is entitled to a review of their annual credit report from the three major credit reporting bureaus. Even if you’re used to checking your report on a regular basis, you can probably ensure security by receiving your report from each bureau every four months. By providing you with the details that let you dispute errors or prevent identity theft, you can take a positive step and work to make sure that your credit score is always as high as possible. Credit reports contain detailed information about any outstanding loans that have been issued in your name, and by regularly reviewing your credit score, you can be sure that nobody else is using your information to purchase goods or services.
3. Monitoring your credit score
With a host of different ways to make sure that you’re always aware of any changes in your credit history, you can also prevent most expensive damage from occurring. Several firms offer easy ways to keep up to date with your credit history by monitoring all related activity and make sure that you can easily note any errors and dispute transactions that were incurred without your knowledge.
4. Using fraud alerts
Credit fraud alerts are another way to make sure that nobody has access to your personal or commercial line of credit. The alerts are easily added to your credit report, and they are used to notify potential creditors and lenders about issues before they arise. Fraud alerts help to make sure lenders must verify your identification before they provide anyone with an open line of credit or a loan in your name.
5. Keeping your information safe
By working with trusted sites and vendors who have earned a stellar reputation, you can be sure that while you’re shopping on the Internet, your information is safe from prying eyes. Sites that are secure should have an “http,” at the top of the page. This means that the Web page is certified by a trusted company. In addition, you can look for icons that may be visible at the bottom of a page. Checking for information that is contained in reviews from other consumers allows you to gain a deeper understanding about the possibilities that a particular site is going to use your information to benefit from your outstanding credit history.
Keeping your credit secure is easier when you know the options that are at your disposal. By implementing the above five tips into your daily lifestyle, you can create a positive financial future.
LifeLock has been around since 2005 and has been rated as Consumer Reports best credit monitoring providers. Lifelock takes identity theft protection seriously and brings in advisors from a wide variety of sources that to help them continuously refine and improve their protection services. With companies like VeriSign and American Express, U.S. government agencies like the Secret Service, and security experts like Kevin Mitnik, Lifelock is working tirelessly so that you can have peace of mind. Let’s take a closer look at what they offer.
What Does LifeLock Offer?
LifeLock breaks down what they offer individuals into three categories: a Standard Plan, an Advantage plan, and an Ultimate Plus plan.
The Lifelock online dashboard gives you a clear overview of your alerts and credit file details.
Lifelock Standard Plan -Enrolling in the Standard Plan gives you access to an online dashboard that lets you see what is going on with one click convenience. Your identity is monitored for potential threats in credit and non-credit arenas and for public exposure that may not have been authorized by you. You also get comprehensive recovery services if your identity is stolen while covered by LifeLock, as well as remediation services if wallet or purse is stolen. The basic plan normally costs $9.99/month but if you sign up here, you can get service for only $8.99/mo or $98.90/year+ 30 Days Free.
Lifelock Advantage Plan – The Advantage Plan expands on the Standard Plan by offering more specific services, such as:
- Payday Loan monitoring
- Public Record monitoring
- Criminal website monitoring for use of your ID (known criminal websites)
- Around the clock access to your credit reports and your TransUnion credit score
- An enhanced online dashboard
- Monitoring of your bank accounts for information changes
- Daily monitoring of all of your credit information
The Advantage plan normally costs $19.99/month, but you can sign up here and pay $17.99/month or $197.90 annually + 30 Days Free
Lifelock Ultimate Plus Plan – Lifelock Ultimate Plus is a considerable upgrade from the basic service. The most important benefit of Ultimate over the Standard Plan is the daily monitoring of your credit information. This will cause an immediate alert to be triggered if any suspicious happens in your credit file.
The Lifelock Ultimate Plan is normally $29.99/mo but with our Lifelock promo code “9” you can get it for only $26.99/mo with the first 30 days for FREE. If you want to save even more you can prepay the entire year for only $296.90 (a savings of $36.00 over the monthly option).
Lifelock Credit Score Management Service – The Credit Score Management Plan is an add-on service for those who choose the basic plan and want more defenses for their identity, but not at the level of the Ultimate Plan. You get daily credit monitoring, a monthly update of your TransUnion credit score, alerts to changes in your credit score, and annual credit reports from the three major credit bureaus.
LifeLock also offers a supplemental plan called LifeLock Junior, available with any adult membership, to protect your child’s social security number.
LifeLock will send you an e-mail, phone call, or text to let you know that there is the potential of having your identity stolen. There is also a risk factor chart that is on your online dashboard that shows you what your current risks of identity theft are. If given a high level of identity theft risk, you are notified online as well as through your chosen contact method so that you can get into contact with a LifeLock agent to assist you.
In addition, if you lose your wallet or purse in either LifeLock member plan, you can contact LifeLock, who will, in turn, contact your financial institutions and complete any necessary paperwork on your behalf.
The LifeLock Service Guarantee
LifeLock believes in 5 points of total identity protection, with one of the most important being the recovery service guarantee that is offered. Not only does LifeLock give you access to a dedicated remediation specialist should your identity be compromised, but you’ll have access to LifeLock’s $1 million guarantee.
$1 Million Guarantee
LifeLock’s has an attractive guarantee in that it will spend up to $1,000,000 to restore a client’s good name in the event this person becomes a victim of identity theft while under the company’s watch. Of course there are limitations on this million dollar service guarantee however it is an aggressive commitment to the client and can prove to be quite a lifesaver considering the expense involved in hiring professionals such as attorneys and investigators to undo the damage of this crime.
Unlike other agencies who offer a similar guarantee, everything with LifeLock is “in house” and just one phone call away. You don’t have to attempt to find professionals remediation specialists on your own time.
How Easy is LifeLock to Use?
Enrolling in a LifeLock plan is quick, easy, and will only take you 3 minutes to complete the setup. With the online dashboard, you can quickly take in where you currently stand with your identity, as well as access the information that you wish to access with just a click. With around the clock agents available to serve you should you have any questions, LifeLock has a simple and straightforward identity protection service.
Around the Clock Support
LifeLock is the most widely used identity theft protection service provider. You have access to a live customer service agent no matter what time of day it happens to be. Your unique situation will be analyzed so that you get the most comprehensive level of services that will protect your identity effectively. You also get unlimited access to your online dashboard, which shows your current threat level, your credit score, and much, much more.
Pricing & Value
LifeLock provides their services bundled into three distinct packages that can fit anyone’s budget.
Is Lifelock Worth It?
LifeLock does have one of the more expensive sets of comprehensive services when it comes to professional identity theft protection. They made a big splash by advertising the Social Security number of their President as proof of how good their services are, but they back up what they advertise with their five points of protection. Lifelock offers a great service at a fair price. We recommend you try the Advantage plan free for 30 days and see for yourself.
Providers like PrivacyGuard and MyScore.com also offer identity /credit monitoring services, but don’t offer as many features as Identity Guard and LifeLock.
If you use this link, you can get 30 days of free credit monitoring with LifeLock & save 10% off your subscription.
*please note, if you sign up for a LifeLock plan using any of the links on this page, SIF receives compensation from LifeLock which helps us keep this site as a free resource for consumers.
Advertising Disclosure: we receive commission from Identity Guard.
Identity Guard® is one of the most popular and highest rated identity protection/credit report monitoring service on the market. It ranked #1 on the Kiplinger Financial Magazine’s Top Identity Theft Protection Services list* and has won numerous other awards for it’s protection and customer satisfaction. The company’s protection services are based on their three tier approach of Monitor, Protect and Recover*. Here’s my review of the Identity Guard family credit monitoring plans for 2018
- Monitor: use of technology to monitor personal and financial information in order to provide credit, public record and identity monitoring with prompt security alerts regarding potential threats to your identity which can be delivered via email, text or phone.
- Protect: provides anti-virus software for your computer, and keystroke encryption to allow safe browsing of the internet; their service comes with ID Vault, which helps protect logins, passwords and credit card information on your most visited shopping and member sites.
- Recover: in case your identity is stolen during your membership, Identity Guard will provide personal recovery assistance that puts you in contact with experts and counselors, and offers identity theft insurance** and lost wallet protection.
Plan Levels & Pricing
Identity Guard offers three membership level for their individual (single social security number) plans:
The Essentials membership is $9.99 per month and excludes certain features such as public record monitoring, anti-virus software, and password protection.
The Total Protection membership, at $19.99 per month, provides members with all of the services from the Essentials plan, as well as quarterly credit reports and scores based on data from all three bureaus.
The Platinum membership costs $24.99 per month and provides all of the services of the Total Protection level plus monthly credit reports and scores based on data from all three bureaus. Their free mobile app is a nice added feature for those consumers who are serious about guarding their identity and protecting their credit.
You can save $3.00/month of the Identity Guard.com homepage price when you sign up through StopIdentityFraud.org
When you sign up for your free 30 day trial, your monthly subscription will automatically begin at the end of those 30 days, unless you cancel your membership.
Couples & Family Plans
Identity Guard recently released 2 new plans that help make credit monitoring more affordable for families of all sizes.
Couples Credit Monitoring – Covers 2 adults in the same household. $26.99/month ($6.99/month savings)
Family Credit Monitoring – Covers 2 adults and up to 15 children in a single household. $27.99/month.
Identity Guard has a proven track record as being one of the most trusted identity protection & monitoring companies. If you want to monitor multiple social security numbers, you won’t go wrong with either of these plans.
Your identity is more than just who you are these days. It is what you apply for, what you purchase, and how many credit lines you have as well. An identity that has been abused through criminal activity will make it difficult for you to be able to live the life that you want to lead. The investment in identity theft protection is a sound and affordable investment that allows you to rest easier at night knowing that someone has got your back. Identity Guard is hands down the most comprehensive identity & credit monitoring service we have reviewed.
With monthly subscription pricing for nearly every budget, a high level of customer service and provided by a company with an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, you should put Identity Guard at the very top of your list when shopping for identity protection.
Enroll with Identity Guard and you’ll be able to discover what having a secure identity truly means.
Advertising Disclosure: we receive commission from Identity Guard.
*Ranking based on affiliate ranking
**Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group‚ Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms‚ conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms‚ conditions‚ and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.