How do you know if you're one of the millions of annual victims of identity theft and someone is using your personal information at this very moment to open new credit cards or even to take out a loan?
The bad news is that unless you're protected by an identity theft monitoring and protection service that sends you instant alerts, you don't.
Fortunately, you can freeze your credit report at any time, from anywhere.
A credit freeze stops credit reporting bureaus from providing any information about your credit score to anyone or any business that makes an inquiry — which means a scammer or identity thief won't be able to open a new account in your name. To freeze your credit for free, all you need to do is reach out to one of three major credit bureaus Equifax, TransUnion or Experian. When you request a freeze, be sure to save the passwords — you’ll need them to thaw your credit later on.
Beware, however, that new fraudulent account openings are actually one of the rarest kinds of identity theft. To protect yourself from data breaches, hackers, and SSN or tax fraud that all damage your credit score, check out the following services.
The Best Identity Theft Protection Services in 2020:
- Top credit score protection
- 24/7 live alerts
- Dark web monitoring
- Save 33% NOW
Identity Guard is hands down our top pick for identity theft protection in 2020. Their state-of-the-art AI monitoring uses the latest technology to scan and monitor billions of data points 24/7 to immediately alert you whenever something new appears on your credit report.
- Combines antivirus & credit monitoring
- Takes minutes to set up and install
Norton’s LifeLock is a close second. With LifeLock in addition to credit score monitoring, you get award-winning Norton anti-virus software to protect your devices from being hacked. Their most comprehensive coverage also offers insurance that will reimburse up to $1M in funds stolen due to credit fraud.
- Specialized credit tracking
- SSN Trace
IdentityIQ is another favorite among ID theft services. Even its most basic plan includes a solid line-up of credit monitoring features. They especially stand out with plans that will enable you to access to 12 credit reports a year.