If you’re looking for a firm layer of security to make you feel safer while online shopping, paying your bills online, sharing personal information on social media, and more, then yes—an ID protection service is definitely worth the investment. While some people may see these solutions as “nice-to-have” rather than “must-have,” they might be interested in learning that many of them offer free trial periods of up to 30 days, or discounts on your first annual subscription.
How Do These Tools Work?
The best ID theft protection services on the market utilize unique data and advanced technologies to monitor credit card transactions, the Dark Web, social media, and more. Their goal is to immediately detect when your information is stolen, offered for sale, or used fraudulently, in order to mitigate the damage of ID attacks as much as possible. Once you are alerted about an attack, these services will help restore your identity, reimburse you for stolen funds, and offer expert support around the clock.
Here are some features and capabilities offered by the best ID protection services on the market today:
Detect changes in your credit score
Identity restoration specialists
Be alerted when your information is stolen or offered for sale
Up to $1M reimbursement of stolen funds
Learn of social media activity using your name or photos
Coverage for lawyers and experts
Court recordings & bookings
Learn of crimes reported in your name
Know if your mail has been redirected
Find out about addresses associated with your Social Security number
Detect attempts to take over your account or loans taken in your name
Learn if an offender moves into your neighborhood
Learn if someone uses your driver’s license fraudulently
What is Tax-Related ID Theft?
People who illegally obtain personal information such as a Social Security number can file fraudulent tax returns to the IRS. According to an IRS page dedicated to tax fraud, actions such as these can go undetected until an E-file attempt is made and rejected because of a previous (fraudulent) filing. The IRS may reach out if they’ve identified a suspicious return, though it’s best to stay on top of the problem.
As a result of increasing tax-related ID theft, the IRS partnered with representatives from tax firms, payroll processors, and state tax administrators to address the problem. Efforts include awareness campaigns to keep civilians informed and up-to-date with best practices. Americans are advised to keep their Social Security cards in safe locations, use security software and strong passwords when submitting sensitive personal information online, and always securing their tax records.
What is Medical ID Theft?
A less-common but no-less severe form of ID theft, medical ID theft occurs when your personal information is used to procure medical services or medication. Though information can be sold and acquired on the Dark Web to be used by complete strangers, other instances of medical theft have occurred with medical providers submitting excessive or even fabricated claims to insurance providers. For that reason, the standard practices of guarding your information and protecting your information online may not be enough, and experts also recommend checking your health insurance records once a year for possible discrepancies.