How to protect your data with an identity theft protection service

Identity theft can be costly and stressful if you don’t take the right precautions

(Image: © Shutterstock)

Identity theft can be a massive headache if you fall victim to it. Having your personal information stolen, which can often include your Social Security number, can be expensive, comes with lots of stress, and also takes a while to get things straight again. So it’s best avoided, which is why it’s an excellent idea to invest in the services of an identity theft software (opens in new tab) package.

Thankfully, identity theft packages are affordable when you consider how much they can help you protect your personal information. Starting from just a few dollars a month, the available solutions can not only help to prevent identity theft but can also assist in tracking down criminals.

So, what’s the point of purchasing an identity theft protection service, and what are the benefits? If you subscribe to one of these packages, they can carry out credit and financial monitoring, perform dark web scans, keep tabs on criminal activity and roll it all into one easy-to-use package. When you’ve got an identity theft protection package configured, it’ll also keep tabs on any change of address requests, court records information and more.

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Secure benefits

When it comes to available options, there are various protection products available from companies like LifeLock (opens in new tab), Identity Guard (opens in new tab), IdentityForce (opens in new tab), IdentityIQ, ID Watchdog (opens in new tab), Experian IdentityWorks (opens in new tab), Credit Sesame, PrivacyGuard (opens in new tab), Zander Insurance (opens in new tab), IDShield (opens in new tab), IDnotify (opens in new tab), and more.

And, thanks to healthy competition, the prices for these products are currently keener than ever, with all of them offering services from just a few dollars a month. Of course, you'll probably want to dive deeply into the best identity theft protection software (opens in new tab) packages to decide which will be best for your needs.

Different users have different requirements, so pick through each and single out your essential needs. For example, check if they're best for family use, best at offering free credit reports, best for having bundled anti-virus (opens in new tab) included, and so on. The great thing about these identity theft protection software packages is that they've been around for a while and have evolved with customers' ever-changing needs. Cybercriminals (opens in new tab) are constantly changing their tactics. Thankfully, the identity theft protection suites you can buy are doing the same thing.


(Image credit: Shutterstock / Sapann Design)

Smarter security

The evolution of identity theft protection packages has meant that you now have a much greater range of features and functions at your disposal. Look out for features you'd expect as a given, such as theft prevention (opens in new tab), credit monitoring (opens in new tab), identity recovery assistance (opens in new tab), and, crucially, identity theft insurance (opens in new tab), which in many cases can be up to $1 million. All of these things offer a piece of mind.

Adding to the value of a quality identity theft protection package is the way your chosen software option might be able to help family members. Having functionality that can keep your children safe when they're online, for example, is an obvious feature to find. Meanwhile, features such as anti-phishing (opens in new tab) technology and an included VPN (opens in new tab) can means everyone in your family is more protected when they're connected to the internet.

Complete solution

Buying an identity theft protection software solution can often mean you can roll many security tasks into one package too. This can be hugely beneficial, especially if you don't have a lot of extra time to try to secure not only your computer (opens in new tab) but also any additional laptops (opens in new tab) and multiple mobile devices (opens in new tab) that might be present in your household.

If you invest in an excellent all-around identity theft protection package, you might get not only the ID theft features but also a full-on, bells-and-whistles antivirus package (opens in new tab). This will not only mean that your ID can be better protected, but your hardware will benefit from around-the-clock protection against phishing, spyware, malware (opens in new tab), computer viruses (opens in new tab), and all of those other net nasties that never seem to go away.

Additional benefits

Investing in an identity theft protection package can be very wise to prevent a broader level of ID fraud (opens in new tab). For example, if you’re out and about and have the misfortune of losing your wallet, something like LifeLock (opens in new tab) allows you to lock down your credit. The same applies if you detect identity fraud after spotting some tell-tale signs concerning changes to your details.

The right package can let you freeze your accounts and prevent inquiries from being made against your credit accounts held by the leading bureaus, including Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. 

Of course, not all packages do the same thing or have the same features and functions. How much protection you get can also depend on which package you purchase, but that’s a good thing, though, as the range of options available means you can tailor a package to suit your specific needs. Getting the proper ID theft protection (opens in new tab) is both time and money well spent.


(Image credit: Pixabay)

Better protection

Getting signed up for identity theft protection is quick and easy. However, it's well worth making a little time to explore the various package options and get yourself a subscription. The best thing about having an identity theft protection plan in place is that, for the most part, the service will do all the hard work for you by monitoring everything. 

You need to react only when the software notifies you of any possible criminal activity (opens in new tab). However, thankfully the software will have also done its bit by minimizing the threat by that point.

Considering the relatively modest outlay involved in sighing up for an identity theft protection package, you should find that, along with offering lots of piece of mind, it also gets the job done much more efficiently. That's especially so if you have a family that spends lots of time online (opens in new tab). And, realistically, who doesn't face that daily challenge these days?

Bryan M Wolfe

Bryan M. Wolfe is a staff writer at TechRadar, iMore, and wherever Future can use him. Though his passion is Apple-based products, he doesn't have a problem using Windows and Android. Bryan's a single father of a 15-year-old daughter and a puppy, Isabelle. Thanks for reading!