Identity theft protection tools cannot actually prevent identity theft – no tool can really do that 100% of the time. What they do, however, is monitor any suspicious activity associated with your name and other personal information. If an identity theft protection tool encounters anything out of the ordinary, it immediately alerts you and helps you take the necessary steps to stop thieves in their tracks before things get out of hand. If the situation takes a turn for the worse, identity theft protection can help you by putting you into recovery mode.
Types of Identity Theft It Protects You From
Every company offers a different range of protection and monitorization options, but the most common scans and alerts will be for activity such as:
- Changes to credit scores
- Address changes
- New accounts opened and other high-risk transactions performed under your name
- Traces of your name or social security number in the dark web
- Criminal records associated with your name
Some companies also monitor social media activity and provide web safety tools such as VPNs, anti-phishing software, antivirus protection, and more.
Notifying You in Case of Suspicious Activity
If any of the situations mentioned above unfortunately happen, you will receive alerts via email or SMS, providing the company has a mobile app available. You will also be able to keep a regular eye on your overall situation by logging into your provider’s website and exploring your dashboard that will give you an overview and display alerts of any changes.
How Identity Theft Protection Helps Resolve Identity Theft
Monitoring is only half of what identity theft protection should do – the other half consists of a recovery plan that will spring into action in the unfortunate case of you falling victim to identity theft, despite your efforts to prevent it.
Imagine you receive an email alert informing you that large purchases (that you definitely didn’t make) have just been detected on one of your credit cards. After confirming that this wasn’t you, you will be put in touch with a representative who will break down the situation for you and let you know what exactly needs to be done to resolve this situation and prevent further damage. This will most likely involve freezing your credit cards and working to make sure your credit score and other information is not penalized for this action. If things get really bad, the insurance that identity theft protection products provide will reimburse you for your losses – from stolen funds to potential associated expenses, such as lawyer fees and more.