You work hard to earn a living. You go to a job, earn money, pay your bills, buy yourself nice things as a way to reward yourself for all of your hard work… and then one day, you check your bank account – everything is gone. This will obviously come as a surprise to you, as you’ve been careful to spend what you can afford, never running yourself short, so you decide to check your credit card accounts as well, and find that there are astronomical charges run up in your name, too. Unfortunately, a scenario like this one means that there is a high probability that you’ve become the victim of identity theft, and it has reached a critical point. In an attempt to keep this from happening to extremes, there are things like credit monitoring services which can be implemented to watch over your finances, giving you a better chance of stopping thieves before they empty your bank accounts.
What Do These Services Do?
Services like credit monitoring and identity monitors cannot block your accounts from being targeted and entered by thieves, but they can alert you to the occurrence of potential breaches. By watching your credit file data, these monitors can detect certain kinds of activity, and send you alerts so that you can take action. In order to best protect against ID theft, you first need to know what is happening – and waiting for your yearly credit reports takes too long. By the time a few months have gone by, the damage will be done, resulting in the need for extensive damage control and longer recovery times. These services look out for users by monitoring the activity that takes place within credit files, and sending a prompt alert when one of the changes they monitor for is detected, even if they are legitimate actions taken by the account holders.
How Often Will I Get Updates?
The updates given by these services are frequent and detailed. Each quarter, you receive an updated credit report. It’s up to you to review it carefully and report any errors or information you don’t think is yours. Probably more important are the alerts you receive when certain changes are found. Your alert comes via email or text message. While the change may be from some action you have taken – applying for a new credit card, for example – they may be an indication that identity theft is behind the change. In many cases, these notifications act as an alarm system, giving you the chance to cancel cards or accounts and make phone calls to the proper parties to straighten things out in the very early stages of identity theft. Having this type of alert system in place has proven to be a valuable asset for victims of identity theft, allowing them to feel as if they have more control over their finances.
Credit monitoring services are only one of the potential services offered to consumers as a means to help protect against identity theft – they join the ranks of single sign on software, password keepers, ID monitoring services and yearly credit reports. These methods provide people with additional warning systems, often giving them a batter chance of keeping the upper hand.