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Most people tend to procrastinate when it comes to their online security. Don’t be one of them; you don’t have to have your savings wiped off before you start taking your online safety seriously.
And you don’t have to be wealthy to be considered a target. Anyone with a functioning bank account, credit card or social media account is at risk. And the financial cost is only one component – there are so many ways that identity theft can cause damage, not just to you but your loved ones as well.
We’ll take a look at the different forms ID theft can take and how can you make your online activity more secure.
We will also dissect a well-known ID theft protection service called MyIDCare, and its features to help you gauge if it can keep you safe from any attempts to steal your identity.
All About Identity Theft
What is it?
Any attempt to acquire your sensitive information (financial or personal) without your express permission is categorized as identity theft.
Why It’s Prudent To Invest In ID Theft Security?
From committing crimes in your name to causing serious financial loss, there are plenty of ways a hacker will use your stolen identity.
- Continuous monitoring: Considering the number of ways that can be used to gain unlawful access to your information; it is humanly impossible to monitor every single leak. Surveillance mechanisms of ID protection services are optimized to effortlessly monitor thousands of data points.
- Prompt warnings: In case, an attempt has been made to access to your information, you will be alerted through multiple channels, enabling you to act quickly to prevent damage.
- Financial recuperation: If a hack takes place, it is almost certain that you won’t recover a cent if you’re not signed up with an ID protection service. However, if you are, then there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to recuperate your losses as most services offer generous insurance policies for ID theft victims.
How To Choose An Identity Protection Service That Matches You Needs?
Here are some handy tips to make the right choice:
- Assess numerous options: Assess several options before making the final decision. Your patience will go a long way in saving you from unexpected headaches.
- Customer reviews are gold: If the customer reviews are less than stellar, then move onto the next available option.
- Simplicity & Clarity: Most people make assumptions on the basis of what they read or hear from others. It’s best to ask the service itself about its features, coverage and insurance terms so you aren’t caught off-guard.
MyIDCare is owned and run by ID Experts, based in Oregon. ID Experts aren’t new to the ID theft protection industry. They have been operating for more than 15 years now. Their commitment to their craft can be easily gauged by the fact that numerous large businesses and government organizations trust them with their sensitive online data.
The same level of expertise, innovation, and excellence is carried through to MyIDCare – their consumer ID protection arm. More than 25 million people and families have entrusted them with their online security. And when it comes to providing customer service, MyIDCare is no slouch. They won quite a few awards for maintaining stellar customer service standards and are currently rated A+ BBB.
The following are the security features you can expect once you sign up with MyIDCare.
- $1 Million Insurance: You need to make sure that you will be taken care of if you suffer financial damage from ID theft. And MyIDCare does not disappoint. ID theft victims are entitled to up to $1 million insurance. You’ll feel easy to know that until now MyIDCare has been able to recover lost IDs of 100% of the victims.
- Continuous Credit Surveillance: Any changes to your credit profile will be immediately reported. The alert will be triggered for acts such as address changes or new additions, loan and credit applications
- CyberScan: This is a feature through which MyIDCare scours to the dark web and other such portals to make sure that your personal information hasn’t been put up for the highest bidder.
- Credit Report: You will also get an annual credit report.
- Lost Wallet Coverage: Apart from the loss of valuables, a lost wallet is also an administrative nightmare because it can take ages to get your cards canceled. The longer your cards remain active, the higher the risk. MyIDCare makes it very easy to cancel your cards quickly thus minimizing the risk if you happen to leave your wallet on the subway
- Monthly Recap of Account Activities: With our busy schedules, it’s easy to miss an email or a notification. This is a very handy feature that helps you stay on top by ensuring you don’t miss any important ID security alerts
- Scam Alerts and Protection Advice: Online scamming and hacking is a beast that keeps on evolving. You will be regularly updated if there are any new scams being employed and what red flags to look out for.
- Password Detective: This feature is specifically optimized to monitor several data points to ensure that your passwords aren’t up for grabs anywhere on the web.
- Change of Address Monitoring: Scammers often change addresses of the victims in an attempt to reroute mail. You will be notified of any modifications that are made to your current address.
- Court Record Surveillance: Your court records will be closely monitored to make sure that no criminal has taken up your ID in order to cover his tracks
- Payday Loan Alerts: Easy access to cash and a somewhat lower degree of credit check had made payday loans a juicy target for fraudsters. MyIDCare closely monitors such databases and you will be notified the moment someone files payday loan application in your name.
- Social Security Alerts: Social security scam is one of the oldest tricks in the ID theft playbook. Your SSN will be under constant monitoring here
- Medical ID Protection: Scammers will often try to temper medical records in order to claim your insurance policy. Apart from the financial loss, you could end up with no health insurance and incorrect medical data, which may lead to a medical disaster. Any alterations to your medical records will be immediately reported to you.
- Synthetic ID Alerts: Not a lot of ID protection services offer protection against synthetic IDs, which are made by combining several IDs.
They have limited their plan categories to 2. Let’s take at what you can expect with each of these plans:
1. MyIDCare ESSENTIALS
It will cost you $9.95/month. However, there are no bulk payment discounts at the moment. You will have access to all the above-mentioned features. The credit monitoring is somewhat limited with this plan as you will get only single bureau credit monitoring. Other than that, the plan offers the $1 million insurance policy should you fall victim to ID theft.
2. MyIDCare PREMIER
It is twice the price of the Essential plan at $19.95 a month. The feature list is almost the same. The only difference being the enhanced surveillance of your credit health. You will have credit reports from all 3 credit bureaus. The plan also provides you Credit Lock by TransUnion, which means you can limit access to your TransUnion credit data. Moreover, you will have your credit score from Vantage Score 3.0.
The question you need to ask yourself before signing up for this plan is whether you need the added credit monitoring. If you can make do with the usual credit protection then it’s better to stick with the ESSENTIALS plan rather than paying double.
3. Family plans
Both plans cover 2 adults and up to 5 children under the age of 18. The Essential family plan will run you $19.95/month while the Premier family plan has a monthly fee of $39.95.
As mentioned earlier, MyIDCare has a customer service that can stand up to some of the best names in the ID protection space. They have simplified the ID restoration process, by maintaining a single point of contact for all the queries from the victims. This means you will not be bouncing from one department to another.
- Up till now, they have been able to maintain a perfect ID restoration record.
- $1 million insurance offered in both plans.
- Protection against synthetic ID frauds.
- Quite a wide range of ID protection features
- They don’t currently have a mobile app thus limiting your ability to monitor your security on the go.
- They do not provide social media surveillance. This is odd considering that it’s very common for people to have their IDs stolen from social media.
It’s a bit of a mixed bag to be honest. The absence of social media surveillance sticks out since most other ID protection services provide it. However, there are some clear advantages as well such as synthetic ID fraud protection, which most other services don’t provide. All in all, MyIDCare is a decent service considering the overall feature bucket. However, the double price of their Premier plan cannot be justified for only providing added credit monitoring.
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