The need to protect your personal data from online thieves is one of the realities of living in a world where a good deal of our activities now happen online.
There are multiple ways that criminals can get their hands on your personal information and not all of them are your fault. For example, if you get fooled by a clever phishing email and enter your online banking details into a fake form, you can suffer immediate financial damage or download spyware that allows a hacker into your unprotected computer.
If you purchase online from a retailer’s website like Target or book your vacation online through Marriott’s website that company’s database could be hacked, and your details stolen without you even realizing it for months.
By the way, both Target and Marriott have had that happen in the past, exposing millions of customer records. Target was breached in 2013 and Marriott in 2018.
When this happens, you’ll often see the breached company offer identity theft protection services for 1-2 years at no cost as an effort at remediating the impact of the attack.
Data Breaches increased 38% between the first and second quarter of 2021.
What do these services actually do? Are LifeLock and similar services worth paying a monthly fee?
What Do Identity Theft Services Do?
Some people get confused when they see an advertisement for identity theft services. They confuse them with security tactics that stop a breach from happening. But this isn’t the case. Where identity theft protection steps in is after your information has been breached.
Because there are so many different ways that hackers can get your personal information – phishing emails, data breaches, spyware, Wi-Fi snooping, fake payment card swiper, etc. – it’s impossible for one single thing to stop your personal information from being stolen.
However, a service can let you know if your information has been involved in a breach or is found on the Dark Web. That’s what LifeLock and similar services do.
They’ll continuously monitor for your information so you can immediately take action should your details be compromised.
Each service can vary slightly in what it offers, but here is an example of the benefits you can expect from an identity theft protection plan:
- Email, phone, or text alerts if your information is found to be compromised
- Social Security Number monitoring
- Credit monitoring
- Home title monitoring
- Assistance remediating an instance of identity theft
- Reimbursement for stolen funds
Advantages of Getting Identity Theft Protection
Peace of Mind
Identity theft protection provides peace of mind that you won’t be blindsided by someone using your personal information to take out loans or to commit crimes.
The 24/7 monitoring of your credit, SSN, and other personal details allows you to sleep easy knowing that you’ll get notified immediately of a breach of your info that could end up hurting you and your family for years.
You Get Time to Mitigate the Damage
The faster you know if your passwords, credit, or SSN have been compromised the sooner you can jump into action to lock your credit, change your passwords, etc.
The immediate warning you receive as soon as a breach is identified is one of the biggest advantages of using an identity theft protection service. You could find out months earlier of a retailer breach exposing your credit card than you would if you just waited until the retailer notified you.
For example, a popular logo item-making website, CafePress, was breached in February 2019. Customers were notified by snail mail in September of 2019. That’s about 6-7 months that criminals could be using those compromised details (like SSNs and business Tax IDs) to profit from.
The average time it takes a company to identify a data breach is 228 days.
Get Help Remediating Cases of Identity Theft
If you find out that a credit card has been used by a thief to run up charges and it’s in your name or that someone has opened a loan account pretending to be your business, what do you do next?
You can report the incident to the police so they can try to track the thief down, but it’s not their job to help you clean up the aftermath. This involves countless calls to the credit agencies, banks, and lenders to get any balances taken out of your name before your credit is ruined.
When you have identity theft services from a company like LifeLock, those services will have experts on hand to help you remediate the damage of an incident. Their help fixing your credit and getting false charges taken out of your name can be priceless should you become a victim of identity theft.
Learn More About Protecting Yourself or Your Company from Identity Theft
Two River Computer can help you navigate the online world securely and keep your personal and Fair Haven, NJ business details protected.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Call 732-747-0020 or reach us online.