Top 10 Best Identity Theft Protection Services of 2014
Keeping track of your credit activities by utilizing a reliable credit monitoring service should be a priority when looking for any signs of identity theft, suspicious credit behavior, fraud and more. At Top Consumer Rankings, we specialize in providing you with a great identity theft service comparison tool, including organization rankings based on our Rating criteria. We'll rank and rate each company based on our Score Rating criteria and you can trust that all opinions expressed are our own. All that we receive in return is a small bonus from advertising if you choose one of the companies that we've featured.
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With the advance of modern technology as the years progress, one main criminal act that is taking place more frequently is identity theft. This is the act of stealing someone else's identity with the intention of obtaining credit for fraudulent purposes. Victims of identity theft may face any number of consequences, particularly when they are held responsible for the thief's activities.
With identity theft becoming such a wide-spread crime, many banks and lenders may be a little more lenient towards victims, but the victim may still face certain consequences. If their credit score has been damaged in the process, they may struggle to receive loans or credit due to the actions of the identity thief. This can often affect a victim for years, but fortunately there are now a great range of identity theft protection services that can help to put the pieces of your life back together if you ever fall victim to this type of crime.
Protecting your Identity
Protecting your identity has never been easier, whether you choose to do so via your own techniques, or by employing identity theft protection services from professional organizations. The first thing that you'll want to do is to implement safeguards to protect yourself from a potential identity thief. One of the most common methods is to ensure that you shred all documentation containing personal information about yourself or your family. You can also protect yourself online by employing any of the following techniques:
- Never provide your personal information to anyone online, whether it's via fax, phone, email or social media networks.
- Always use a strategic combination of letters and digits to enhance the security of your password.
- Utilize antivirus software to protect your network from phishing scams, Trojan viruses, keyloggers, screen grabbers and other types of malicious software (malware).
- Never store personal information on your computer or hard drive.
- Only ever make purchases online from websites that are marked as secure. Unsecure websites may allow thieves to access personal information that you provide when paying for a purchase.
- Consider employing an accountant or financial advisor to keep track of your financial activities. It's also a good idea to ensure that they are taking the steps to protect your identity both online and offline.
Another excellent method to protect your identity is by employing an identity theft protection service. These organizations offer a great range of services that include credit monitoring, identity verification, data surveillance among other advanced techniques. The main aim of these services is to monitor major credit bureaus for any suspicious activity involving your accounts and some services go further by monitoring public records that include your name or information.
Identity theft protection services are able to scan through a huge network of information and will notify you immediately should they come across anything suspicious. If a theft has taken place, then many of these services will also offer theft resolution and insurance services to help you to recover from the effects of an identity theft. As identity theft cannot always be halted, these extra services can be a huge benefit to people that have fallen victim to the crime.
Choosing an Identity Theft Protection Service
With so many identity theft protection services around, your priority should be to choose the right one for you. The first thing that you'll want to do is decide on a service that provides a comprehensive method to monitor your credit. Although you are able to receive a free credit report once per year, a better idea would be to have all-year protection to ensure that if any fraudulent activity does take place; you are well equipped to deal with it. The company that you choose should be functional all year round, with immediate alerts and responses if an incident occurs.
These alerts and responses will notify you if anything untoward takes place, particularly if you open new credit cards, take out loans or similar activities. If you performed the activity then your service won't take any further action, but if you didn't then the service will leap in to action and begin its protective procedures. Another great feature provided by several services is fraud resolution. The aftermath of an identity theft can be catastrophic, so by employing a fraud resolution service, you can be sure that your creditors and banks will have the means the resolve any damage as a result of your identity being stolen.