ID Theft Protection Offers More Than Credit Monitoring Alone

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With major data breaches more frequently making headlines, consumers are recognizing that the risk for identity theft applies to everyone, and that fraud and identity theft can strike at any time. As a result, many consumers are enlisting the help of credit monitoring or identity theft protection — or sometimes both services.

Here’s what you need to know about credit monitoring and identity theft protection to help determine if either service could be beneficial for you.

Credit Monitoring

While credit card fraud is theft, it’s important to note it is not identity theft.

Some consumers concerned about monitoring their credit score use a credit monitoring service. Credit monitoring can be helpful for those who have lower credit scores and are working on improving them.

When shopping around for a credit monitoring service, it’s helpful to ask if the service tracks your credit score from just one or all three — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — of the major credit bureaus. A service that factors in reports from all three agencies is more likely not to miss important changes, since sometimes information from one credit bureau’s report may not appear in another. Also be sure to understand which services you’re receiving and paying for — and be sure to read the fine print.

Today, many victims of a data breach receive credit monitoring for free following compromised data. Companies often provide this to customers as a complimentary service to help them monitor their credit score following a breach.

Identity Theft Protection Services

An identity theft protection service such as LifeLock provides its customers with more than monitoring services.

While a free credit monitoring service may point out that there is suspicious activity on your credit report, an identity theft protection service monitors for suspicious or fraudulent activity involving your identity, alerts consumers to a variety of identity threats, and provides professional support through trained agents to help resolve problems created by identity theft.

The LifeLock service helps protect your identity with the unique combination of detecting, alerting and restoring.

While no one can prevent all identity theft, or monitor all transactions at all businesses, LifeLock monitors over a trillion data points a day, alerts you through email* and mobile devices if it notices suspicious activity, and has a team of dedicated U.S.-based specialists who are there to make the calls, file the paperwork, and take all the painstaking steps to help restore your identity if it ever is compromised.

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