I want you to consider this for a moment.
You go to your local bank and share your details in order to open an account.
Everything seems to be all good and dandy, when a few days later, this flashes across your screen:
YOUR BANK’S RECORDS HAVE BEEN HACKED and the personal and financial information of thousands of users has been stolen!
And guess what? It doesn’t end there!
You check your account and your jaw hits the floor.
It seems that the hackers have cleaned out your hard-earned cash too!
I have a confession to make.
Lately, I’ve gone a bit OCD when it comes to online privacy and security. And there’s a good reason for that.
If you take a look at the recent past, there seems to be no end in sight for attacks and security breaches.
In fact, it seems to be getting worse. Every now and then, some business seems to have its records hacked into.
So it’s about time that you and I took matters into our own hands and did something to give ourselves an extra layer of online security.In this article, I’ll thoroughly discuss identity theft and why you must be extra careful. I’ll also share my thoughts and experiences with a well-known identity protection service called Costco Complete ID – so you can make an informed decision and protect your data online.
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$8.99 - $13.99
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Understanding identity theft
What is it?
The term identity theft started to gain mainstream attention about 60 years ago, and was officially recognized in the 1960s. Any instance where your sensitive personal or financial information is compromised is labeled as identity theft.
And by the way, that’s just the beginning. You’ll be lucky if it ends there. You can face plenty of unpleasant repercussions and it may take a lot of time to get your data and money back.
First of all, it’s usually very difficult to ascertain the actual identity of the thieves or hackers. They’re smart and getting even smarter by the day.
Here’s how identity theft can make your life difficult
Identity theft is not something you should take lightly, because if you do, it’ll bring your life to a grinding and painful halt! It’ll hit you hard and from several possible angles. Here they are:
- Your savings will be at the thief’s fingertips. They’ll use your credit cards the way they see fit.
- ID theft victims often find that fake accounts have been opened in their names.
- Once your security is compromised, your family also faces a much higher risk of identity theft. Your spouse and children all become potential (and easy) targets.
- It’s quite likely that you will lose your tax refunds once your digital security has been compromised.
Why a robust identity protection service is absolutely indispensable
Let me be brutally honest here. The typical “2-step verification” is not going to cut it anymore. What’s the word I’m looking for? Ah, yes! It’s cute, but it’s not secure.
There are plenty of reasons it pays to invest in a decent identity protection service. Believe you me, the nominal monthly price you’ll pay for the service will pay for itself many times over. Here’s how it’ll make your digital life a lot more secure.
What to consider while choosing an identity protection service?
You don’t have to be a cyber-security expert, but keeping the following pointers in mind will help you choose a service that matches your needs.
Complete ID Review
What is Costco Complete ID?
Quite a few people incorrectly believe that Complete ID is operated by Costco. Actually, the name Costco Complete ID is the result of a practice called “white labeling”, which means rebranding third party products as your own. In the past, Costco has partnered with a host of service providers to offer its bundle of identity theft protection services.
It is currently partnered with a firm called Experian, which is a well-known name in the cybersecurity and ID protection industry. The core features of Costco Complete ID include dark web surveillance, SSN monitoring, criminal record monitoring, payday loan monitoring, child monitoring, financial account takeover services, and neighborhood watch.
How to log in to your Complete ID Account?
Logging in to your Costco account is pretty much as simple as signing into your email account. All you need to do is open this link https://portal.completeid.com/login and enter your email address and password and you’re good to go.
Main Complete ID features
The following are some of the key features and services offered by Costco Complete ID:
- 1Identity Status Check: This is a useful feature that lets you create an identity benchmark. This gives you a clear operating point and an evaluation of where you currently stand in terms of identity security and previous damage.
- 2360 Monitoring: Costco Complete ID systems are based on a robust monitoring framework that constantly scours through thousands of data points to spot anomalies in your personal and financial information.
- 3Alerts: Costco Complete ID has a pretty solid alert mechanism that gets to work In case of a data breach. It sends out timely alerts according to each specific threat. The alert types include credit monitoring alerts, criminal record alerts, financial account alerts, dark web alerts, mail change alerts, neighborhood watch alerts, payday loan alerts, and SSN alerts
- 4Comprehensive credit monitoring: You get an annual 3 Bureau Credit Report. Moreover, Costco Complete ID will check the data from these agencies to make sure your credit score isn’t tampered with.
- 5Dark web surveillance: Costco Complete ID keeps a close eye on the dark web to see if any of your sensitive information is up there for sale. This feature comes in very handy immediately after a breach.
- 6SSN & Child ID monitoring: Costco Complete ID will make sure that your social security number isn’t being used for any criminal activities committed in your name, such as opening fake bank accounts. Similarly, Complete ID will also makes sure that no one is using your children’s identity for their own financial benefit or otherwise.
- 7Neighborhood watch: Speaking of keeping your children safe, Complete ID will also give you access to information on registered sex offenders in and around your locality.
- 8Payday loan monitoring: Payday loans are essentially high-interest loans given against your income. If you’re not careful with these, it could lead to financial ruin. Costco Complete ID will keep you on your toes by monitoring your loan activity.
- 9Financial information monitoring: Costco Complete ID has a hawkish surveillance mechanism that alerts you the moment someone tries to conduct any financial activity in your name such as opening an account, taking out loans or applying for credit cards.
- 10Criminal & arrest records monitoring: Costco Complete ID will screen arrest and criminal records to make sure that your name isn’t being used for any illegal activities.
Costco Complete ID Pricing & Plans
Costco Complete ID doesn’t categorize its plans according to the number of protection features like most other service providers do. Instead, it classifies its offers according to price, based on the membership you have. Here’s an overview for your convenience:
Business and Gold Star Members:
$8.99 per month
$13.99 per month
$2.99 per month per child (for up to 5 children)
$3.99 per month per child (for up to 5 children)
Costco Complete ID Pros and Cons
The following are the major pros and cons of the Costco Complete ID system:
Budget-friendly: Starting at $8.99.month, it should easily fit into your monthly budget.
No social media screening: Social media profiles present a major entry point for potential ID thieves. Unfortunately, Complete ID doesn’t offer any social media surveillance.
A healthy insurance cover: You can sleep easily, knowing that if you do indeed become a victim of ID theft, you will be taken care of. You will be eligible for insurance coverage of up to $1 million.
No mobile app: The fact that Complete ID doesn’t currently have a mobile app makes it a bit cumbersome to work with, since you can’t always use it “on the go”.
User-friendly: You don’t have to be intimidated. It doesn’t have a steep learning curve and it’s super easy to use. You aren’t required to sift through layers of complicated data and charts. It provides simple, easy-to-use instructions and lays out the needed information in a way that gives you a clear security snapshot.
Limited membership: You have to be a Costco member to be able to use the Complete ID protection service.
Reliable customer service: To start off, you can register your complaints or concerns 24-7, which is a big plus, since an ID breach can take place at any moment. Moreover, you won’t have to shuttle from counter to counter to get your complaint through. You will have to call a single number and their highly-trained and courteous customer service team will gladly sort out your issue.
All in all, Costco Complete ID offers a well-rounded ID security package, which covers most of the bases. Also, it won’t drain your wallet dry. At $8.99 a month, it’s barely the cost of a decent meal. And when you consider the services it offers and do some service comparisons, such as Complete ID vs Lifelock or Complete ID vs Protectmyid, the price more than justifies itself.
So, if you’re on the lookout for an identity protection service that offers a nice balance between reliable security and affordability, you should give Costco Complete ID some serious consideration.
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