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No one likes to think about having their identity stolen or credit compromised, but it’s an issue everyone should plan to prevent. You might believe that you aren’t a target because you’re just starting to build your credit, but you are. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission saw a 47% increase in complaints of identity theft since 2014 — that’s a scary statistic that you definitely don’t want to be included in.
Thankfully, you don’t have to try too hard (or spend a lot of money) to get credit protection. Identity theft protection services usually provide additional protection for customers who are willing to pay around $20 per month. It may seem like a lot at first, but in reality, that’s the cost of a delivery pizza or how much you pay for Netflix and Hulu each month.
Helping protect yourself from identity theft is one of the best ways to spend your extra cash each month. But not every identity theft protection company is created equally, so here’s a look at the best options to subscribe to.
LifeLock Advantage is LifeLock’s second-tier option and offers plenty of help with credit protection for someone in their twenties. The plan has an overall cost of $19.99 per month, which is $10 more than the LifeLock Standard.
First of all, you get an annual credit history report from one of the major bureaus. 1 Why does this matter? Keeping an eye on your credit history report could be the first indication that a criminal is using your information to open fraudulent accounts.
LifeLock Advantage also monitors your credit cards for suspicious activity.† If something weird happens, you’ll get a fraud alert through your email or as a text or phone call.‡‡ This helps you to take action immediately and helps mitigate the amount of damage a criminal can do.
Overall, the LifeLock Advantage does a lot more than just help protect your credit. It also helps provide security for your identity by monitoring your public record, driver’s license, and Social Security Number. LifeLock monitors known black market websites to help spot your information and remove it before someone can buy it. Plus, if something does happen, you have a $1,000,000 insurance and $100,000 reimbursement for any funds lost.††
LifeLock helps with the detection and resolution of identity theft. No one can prevent all identity theft.
† LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. 1 Credit reports, scores and credit monitoring may require an additional verification process and credit services will be withheld until such process is complete. A reduced service fee will be charged until you verify your identity.
†† Stolen Funds Reimbursement benefits for State of New York members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by State National Insurance Company. Benefits for all other members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by United Specialty Insurance Company. Under the Stolen Funds Reimbursement, LifeLock will reimburse stolen funds up to $25,000 for Standard membership, up to $100,000 for Advantage membership and up to $1 Million for Ultimate Plus membership. Please see the policy for terms, conditions and exclusions at LifeLock.com/legal.
‡‡ Phone alerts made during normal local business hours.
IdentityForce UltraSecure+Credit is $23.95 per month. That’s a great deal considering how comprehensive this plan is regarding your identity. First of all, it has what you’d expect from an identity protection service — it helps protect your social security number, credit cards, driver’s license, vehicle registration, and public records.
But unlike some of its competitors, IdentityForce UltraSecure+Credit gives you monthly credit reports from all three major credit reporting bureaus. This is important because some companies only report to one bureau and not the others. For example, a credit card could report to TransUnion, but not Experian. If you get credit reports from Experian, you could miss the TransUnion credit card.
Along with this, you’ll receive monthly credit score monitoring, which helps you to keep an eye on your credit score to determine what affects you positively and negatively. Accounts that open or close can equate to a fluctuation. If you haven’t opened an account recently and you’re noticing changes, it could be the first indication that your credit has been compromised.
UltraSecure+Credit has a credit simulation tool to test how your score would be affected by opening or closing an account. Using this tool, you can also see how your score rises or falls when you pay off accounts or just transfer balances. It’s a great way to test your credit score without actually doing affecting it.
IdentityForce UltraSecure+Credit is usually $23.95 per month, but by using our link, you can get this plan for just $19.95. That’s a great deal considering how comprehensive this plan is regarding your identity.
The first benefit you’ll get is quarterly credit history reports based on data from all three major credit reporting bureaus. You can check all of them to see if there’s any suspicious activity that may only appear in one out of the three.
You’ll also get quarterly credit scores* from the three major bureaus. A huge change in your credit score could mean there’s a new account in your name — this could be a problem if you haven’t requested a new account recently. That isn’t the only benefit of this feature as the information is useful. As twentysomethings, we’re working on building our credit score. One of the best ways to keep an eye on your rising score is by looking at your quarterly reports.
Finally, you’ll get a three-bureau credit analyzer. This simulation tool provides information about how different activities may impact your credit. You can experiment with making payments, transferring balances, and making credit inquiries by using this tool.
Identity Guard Total Protection also helps protect your identity through monitoring and PC protection. Do you hop on public Wi-Fi at Starbucks? Your PC will have access to an anti-virus and encryption tools which keeps your data randomized and out of the reach of criminals. Identity Guard also has $1,000,000 insurance**, up to $2,000 wage loss assistance, and reimbursement for lost funds if your identity is stolen.
*The scores you receive with Identity Guard® are provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. They are calculated using the information contained in your Equifax‚ Experian and TransUnion credit files. Lenders use many different credit scoring systems‚ and the scores you receive with Identity Guard are not the same scores used by lenders to evaluate your credit. Credit scores are provided by CreditXpert based on data from the credit reporting bureaus.
**Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group‚ Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms‚ conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms‚ conditions‚ and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.