In order to choose the most valid and useful method of identity protection, it’s important to consider all possible routes before selecting the best option available. One of these options is to implement a credit monitoring service, which is available from http://www.identityguard.com/. This type of service is designed to offer users the ability to carefully monitor their finances without ever having to leave their homes. The information provided by credit monitoring services can prove to be extremely useful, as long as it is properly used and accounted for.
Is this different from a credit score?
Yes. Credit monitoring is different from receiving a credit score in many ways. Whereas a credit score is a culmination of many data elements of information into one score – essentially your “status” – pertaining to your standing with all companies and accounts, monitoring your credit will provide you with detailed information about individual accounts, giving you a look at transactions and the status of each one… separately. When certain activity occurs affecting your credit file – like applying for a new credit card or loan, or changing an address – this can be an indication that someone other than yourself is utilizing your information. When any of these types of changes is detected, the credit monitoring service sends out a prompt alert via email or text message giving you the opportunity to either verify or investigate further.
Integrating the results into everyday life
These results may not always show fraud or compromise; in fact, they can simply be used as a way to keep track of finances in one location without having to log into separate accounts. With one easily to read report, you can look at your information as often as you’d like, getting updated results and account status. One downside to these services is that not all transactions are reported – just the ones that typically are associated with theft and fraud. For this reason, a credit monitoring service should not be the only form of vigilance – it is important to keep up with the individual accounts from time to time as well. Credit monitoring will only work as well as you let it, but taking each noted transaction into account before making any drastic changes within your life may be a good idea.
Limitations of credit monitoring
While useful, credit monitoring unfortunately cannot outright stop identity theft from happening. It provides added protection against this type of theft, and can alert users to potential cases of fraud, but it cannot act as an impenetrable wall between your information and thieves. Designed to be convenient and accurate, services like this and ID monitoring are meant to protect from identity theft, but not prevent it. The prevention aspect comes in when, after alerting users to potential breaches or cases of theft, they can be halted without too much progression. The key thing to remember when it comes to identity theft protection is that stopping it before it gets out of hand is the only true way to win – the thieves will always exist, but they cannot be allowed unfiltered access to personal information for long periods of time.