Identity Theft is the phenomenon in which someone steals any information pertaining to your identity and then use it for illegal activities. This information may include a Person’s Name, CNIC, SSN, Mobile Number, Credit Card Number, etc. Identity theft literally means that someone pretends to be you and misuse your identity for achieving his goals. In the passages below, we will try to throw some light on this phenomenon by stating its most common use cases.
You might be wondering that if someone ever manages to steal any of our personal information, then how can he really use it for any evil purposes. Well, almost all of us are well aware of how our personal information can be compromised these days. Once the bad guys have access to your personal information, it is very simple for them to use it for unethical activities. For example, if someone manages to steal your Bank Account Details, then he can easily perform illegitimate transactions and can conveniently cause you to lose millions.
Similarly, if your mobile phone ever gets snatched, then it will not only cause you a monetary loss rather the snatcher can use it for his personal communications. This can lead to a very serious consequence because the Police might have been after that criminal and since the phone number he is using is registered on your name, you might get caught in a crime that you never even thought of committing. Because the Police can easily reach out to you after getting sufficient details about you from your mobile network provider.
Sometimes, you might have witnessed such events that allow the entry only to the people who possess their ID cards. A criminal might want to break into such an event maybe for terrorist activity. He can easily do that by stealing an innocent person’s ID card and then use it as an entry pass. This activity will not only risk the lives of other people but can also put you in severe danger since you will be ultimately regarded as the culprit just because of your ID card being misused.
Apart from these threats, there are certain other threats too that are associated with the social networking platforms these days. A hacker can steal your Facebook password, change it to hinder you to access your own account and then post illegal, unethical or forbidden content with your name. He may also delete your entire contact list, join some immoral Facebook groups or even send malicious links to your friends and family. It can lead to your friends blocking you forever considering that perhaps you have gone crazy. Moreover, Facebook may also restrict you to access your account for posting the forbidden content or may permanently delete your account. This situation holds good for all the social media accounts that you possess.
What is an Identity Theft Monitoring Service?
The Identity Theft Monitoring Service refers to a software or a system that can keep a keen eye on all of our important dealings such as financial records, public reports, social accounts, etc. in order to prevent us from any major loss. The point to be noted here is that an Identity Theft Monitoring Service cannot prevent the attacker from stealing your identity however, it can catch this crime at an early stage and inform you well in time so that you can take the necessary measures for mitigating the associated loss. However, some of these services also help you in getting your stolen entities back and they also offer some kind of insurances.
Features of a Good Identity Theft Monitoring Service:
The features that you must consider while choosing an Identity Theft Monitoring Service are stated below:
- Since anyone can be a victim of identity theft attack, therefore, instead of buying a separate service for each of your family members, you should try to get such a service which offers a Family Plan.
- This service should be efficient enough to send you regular updates about your security status via emails, messages or calls.
- If you ever get attacked by identity theft, then this service must also assist you on how to get your stolen information back and recover from the loss. Hence, it should not only monitor identity theft but should also help you in guarding yourself against it.
- It should also provide some kind of compensation in terms of money for your loss.
- This service should be highly cost-effective and trustworthy.
1. Identity Guard
Identity Guard is a very efficient identity theft monitoring service designed by Aura. This service literally works around the clock to keep your identity secure. The best thing about this service is that the process of getting started with it is extremely simple and straight forward. All you have to do is to go through five basic steps which are listed below:
- You need to Sign up for this service.
- After signing up successfully, just Create a List of all those entities for which you need protection.
- Start protecting yourself and your identity with easy to follow Best Practices provided by Identity Guard.
- Get real-time Alerts about anything going wrong.
- Restore your Identity and whatever you have lost in an identity theft attack with the help of Identity Guard.
This identity theft monitoring service constantly keeps Scanning all of your precious entities. That is exactly why they are so quick in informing you about any suspicious activity. Like we stated before that no identity theft monitoring service can prevent the identity theft attack however, Identity Guard is so vigilant in detecting the threats that it can keep you well protected from any major loss.
Because of watching over you 24/7, Identity Guard is capable of sending you Alerts through Mobile App Notifications and Emails all the time so that you can quickly act to protect yourself. These alerts are also categorized by this service as of Critical, Moderate, and Low Risk depending upon the type of risk associated with each illegal activity. This categorization helps you in deciding what actions you should take to mitigate the risk and also which alerts should you prioritize i.e. which alert demands your immediate attention and vice versa.
Another thing which makes Identity Guard a great choice is that it never leaves you alone in a difficult time. If an identity theft attack is detected any time, then this service will provide you full support from the beginning till the end until this issue gets resolved. This service provides a $1 Million Insurance Policy and also a compensation of whatever you have lost during this identity theft attack.
As far as the pricing of this identity theft monitoring service is concerned, then it offers us the following two plans:
- Individual Plan- The Individual Plan is further divided into three different categories i.e. Value Plan, Premier Plan, and Total Plan. The price of the Value Plan is $7.50 per month, the Premier Plan costs $20.83 per month whereas the Total Plan is worth $16.67 per month.
- Family Plan- The Family Plan is also divided into three distinct categories i.e. Value Plan, Premier Plan, and Total Plan. The price of the Value Plan is $12.50 per month, the Premier Plan costs $29.17 per month whereas the Total Plan is worth $25.00 per month.
LifeLock is a very powerful identity theft monitoring service designed for the Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android operating systems. This service recently joined hands with the very famous company Norton. Almost all of you must have heard about Norton Anti-virus so, because of LifeLock’s collaboration with Norton, the strength of this service has increased up to an unimaginable extent. After this collaboration, this service incorporated an all-new feature in it which is known as the Block Cyber Threats feature.
As the name implies, this feature is capable of actually stopping the cyber threats from harming you. LifeLock claims to block 142 million threats a day with the help of Norton Technology. Moreover, this feature also enables you to protect your information on public Wi-Fi with a Secure VPN. Lifelock keeps Monitoring your precious entities all the time and sends you Alerts regarding any suspicious activities via Phone Calls, Messages, Emails or Mobile App Notifications.
This identity theft monitoring service employs Identity Restoration Agents for you who work very hard to resolve your identity theft issues. The best thing about this service is that the Million Dollar Protection Package of this service provides you Personal Expense Compensation, Reimbursements of Stolen Funds as well as the Coverage for any sort of Legal Advice or Help that you may need while fighting against the identity theft attack.
In order to appeal the users more, LifeLock offers us a 60 Days Money Back Guarantee whereas the details of its pricing plans are given below:
- LifeLock Standard- The price of this plan is $8.99 per month for the first year after which it rises to $11.99 per month.
- NEW Norton 360 with LifeLock SELECT- This plan costs $8.99 per month for the first after which the cost becomes $14.99 per month.
- NEW Norton 360 with LifeLock ADVANTAGE- This plan is worth $17.99 per month for the first year after which it becomes $24.99 per month.
- NEW Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus- LifeLock charges $25.99 per month for this plan for the first year after which it starts charging $34.99 per month.
IdentityForce is another popular identity theft monitoring service designed by Sontiq. This service offers four very simple and easy to understand features i.e. Monitor, Alert, Control, and Recover. The Monitor feature keeps a continuous check on your Identity, Privacy, and Credit. This is exactly why it is able to detect any illegal transactions, unauthorized use of your personal information, etc. very promptly. The Alert feature is responsible for notifying you about these illegal activities so that you can take control of the situation well in time.
With the help of the Control feature, IdentityForce provides you with all those precautionary measures that you must take in order to protect your identity from being stolen or misused. Finally, it also provides you with a 24/7 Active Recovery Service which enables you to compensate for your loss during an identity theft attack. Moreover, IdentityForce even offers you $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance Policy because of which you can easily put your trust in this service.
As far as the pricing of IdentityForce is concerned, then it offers us Free Personal and Business Trials for 14 Days whereas the details of its paid versions are given below:
- UltraSecure Plan- This plan costs $17.95 per month.
- UltraSecure + Credit Plan- This plan is worth $23.95 per month.
- Family Plan- In order to know the price of this plan, you will need to contact the IdentityForce team.
- Business Plan- For knowing the charges of this plan, you will have to contact the IdentityForce team.
4. ID Watchdog
ID Watchdog is a comprehensive identity theft monitoring service that offers you everything which you need in order to fight against the identity theft attacks. The Credit Monitoring feature of this service takes all of your worries regarding your financial matters away because all of your financial activities are being monitored by three famous nationwide bureaus namely Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Now you also do not need to be concerned about the privacy of your personal data anymore because the Advanced Identity Monitoring feature of this service checks all of the public records to find out if your personal information is being misused.
ID Watchdog even scans the websites and public forums to see if any of your personal details are available over there with the help of its Dark Web Monitoring feature. This service has a dedicated Case Management and Resolution feature which facilitates you by providing Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists that help you until your issue gets resolved completely. Moreover, this service also provides you 24/7 Customer Support in over 100 different languages so that you can conveniently convey your problem to the experts.
The Identity Protection Plans offered by ID Watchdog are stated below:
- ID Watchdog Plus- This plan is worth $14.95 per month.
- ID Watchdog Platinum- ID Watchdog charges $19.95 per month for this plan.
5. Privacy Guard
Privacy Guard is an identity theft monitoring service that is more inclined towards giving you the Financial Protection. The Credit Reports and Scores feature of this service generates your credit reports and scores on a frequent basis in order to keep you well aware of your transactions history. Your credit score is also tracked on a monthly basis after which this service generates Score Alerts if it finds anything unusual. By analyzing these factors, you can easily learn to manage these things well.
Privacy Guard provides you with a Triple-Bureau Daily Credit Monitoring in order to detect any suspicious activities and inaccuracies in your credit reports at a relatively earlier stage. The Identity Theft Protection feature of this service enables you to take such measures that can prevent your identity from being compromised. With the help of the Credit Card Protection feature, you can get all the necessary tips and guidelines for protecting your credit. Last but not least, the Identity Fraud Resolution Support of this service is there to provide you with personalized support to help you restore your stolen identity.
The pricing plans of Privacy Guard along with their details are shown below:
- Privacy Guard ID Protection- The price of this plan is $1 for the first 14 days after which it becomes $9.99 per month.
- Privacy Guard Credit Protection- This plan costs $1 for the first 14 days after which the cost rises to $19.99 per month.
- Privacy Guard Total Protection- Privacy Guard charges $1 for this plan for the first 14 days after which it starts charging $24.99 per month.