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Most of us don’t act before it’s too late.
You’ve probably been guilty of putting off important things too. Right?
Well, there are certain things that should never be put off. Your online security is one of them.
This is especially true when you consider the fact that every other adult US citizen has experienced some form of online fraud or identity theft.
Even corporate behemoths and tech giants such as Google and Yahoo aren’t immune to such mishaps. So it makes perfect sense that you make your online security and that of your family a priority.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a tech nerd to maintain your online privacy and it’s won’t lighten your wallet too badly. Most ID theft protection services offer a wide range of plans to suit every need and budget.
Today, let’s talk about identity theft and why it makes sense to put your online security into overdrive. We’ll also look into a well-known identity protection service called ProtectMyID by Experian – so it’s easier for you to decide.
The ABC of Identity Theft
What is it?
Any instance where an individual or an organization accesses and uses your sensitive personal or financial information for their advantage is called identity theft.
And for most people, it only gets more painful from there. One: it’s usually very difficult to find out who did it. And secondly, it’s not uncommon that illegal acts are committed with stolen identities.
Here’s Why Identity Protection is a MUST
Well, let’s not beat around the bush here. Changing your password every other month isn’t enough!
There are countless reasons why it makes sense to invest in a robust identity protection service. And the price you pay will pale in comparison with the peace of mind you’ll have after investing in protection.
Here’s how it’ll make your digital life a lot easier and safer.
- Continuous Monitoring: Your ID protection service will provide you with 24-7 monitoring of sensitive personal and financial information, such as your credit files and bank accounts.
- Timely Alerts: Every second after an identity breach can profoundly impact your odds of minimizing damage. Your protection service will provide you with prompt alerts and recovery measures in case of a hack.
- Information and financial restoration: This is where it really pays off. If an identity breach happens and you suffer financial loss as a result; your ID protection service will assist you with the entire restoration process. Most well-known services provide an ID theft insurance cover of up to $1 million.
How to Choose the Best Identity Protection Service for YOU
Keep the following pointers in mind to choose a service that matches your needs.
- Review several services: If you’re short on time, just check out what the top 5 ID protection services have to offer in terms of coverage, plans, prices, and the extent of security.
- Pay attention to reviews: Don’t get sucked in by the fancy language! Make sure to do some thorough digging in the service’s review section. It’s the easiest way to find out if the service is worth your cash.
- Transparency: Always ask questions to clarify your concerns. Their offer should be crystal clear. If you find it hard to understand, then there’s a good chance that something’s not right.
AAA ProtectMyID vs Experian ProtectMyID
What is AAA ProtectMyID?
AAA stands for American Automobile Association. It was established in 1902 as a nonprofit organization and cur rently has close 60 million members across the United States and Canada. Although AAA provides several services, it is mainly known for roadside assistance.
Now, AAA has teamed up with Experian to provide its members with identity protection services, hence the term AAA ProtectMyID. You can be sure of its reliability as Experian is one of the top credit monitoring agencies out there and is trusted by millions.
What is Experian ProtectMyID?
Experian ProtectMyID offers essentially the same set of ID protection services when you directly sign up from the Experian website. The difference, however, comes when you compare the plans.
Experian ProtectMyID offers 3 plans which are further divided into 2 tiers; Plus and Premium and prices range from $9.99 to 29.99 a month.
That’s not the case with AAA ProtectMyID. Although it offers 3 plans as well, there are no further sub-divisions. And the pricing structure is simpler too.
Experian ProtectMyID - What Does it Offer?
ProtectMyID is relatively young in the ID theft protection arena. However, it still manages to punch above its weight.
Why? To start off, Experian owns and operates ProtectMyID, which is a definite plus considering its track record It matters because Experian is one of the top credit monitoring agencies out there trusted by millions. Plus there are plenty of positive ProtectMyID customer reviews.
Here’s what you can expect after signing up with the service.
The key features include social network monitoring, SSN monitoring, dark web surveillance, daily detection scans, address safeguard, bank account, and credit card monitoring, identity validation alerts, payday loan monitoring, court records monitoring, sex offender registry, file sharing network monitoring, credit bureaus monitoring and daily Experian credit score.
Here’s a primer on some of its key features:
You will receive daily identity risk reports.
Dark Web Scan
Experian will comb through the dark web to find out if your sensitive information is up for sale.
It will make sure your address doesn’t get changed without your knowledge.
$1 Million Identity Theft Insurance
Depending on the plan, you will be eligible for an identity theft insurance cover of up to $1million.
Social Network Monitoring
Your social media profile is one of the easiest targets for hackers. Experian will keep you safe there as well.
Lost Wallet Assistance
You won’t have to cancel every single card if you lose your wallet. Experian ProtectMyID makes the entire process quick and easy.
Bank Account and Credit Card Takeovers
Bank accounts and cards are prime cut for any hacker. You will get a prompt ProtectMyID surveillance alert in case of unauthorized access.
Identity Validation Alerts
You will also receive alerts in case your identity is used for activities such as account opening or signing up with a business.
Payday Loan Monitoring
Experian will notify you if any loans are drawn in your name.
Court Records and Bookings
Experian ProtectMyID will let you know if any illegal activity is being associated with your name through court record tempering.
Pricing and Plans
ProtectMyID offers 3 plans. All three plans are divided into 2 tiers; Plus and Premium. While the Plus tier offers basic coverage, the Premium tier offers a much more comprehensive list of features.
It’s important to know that after signing up with ProtectMyID you will be redirected to the Experian Identity Works page.
The plans start from $9.99 a month and are priced up to $29.99 a month depending on the features and whether it’s an individual plan or a family plan. You can take advantage of the 30-day free trial with all the plans and canceling your membership is also quite easy.
Moreover, ProtectMyID offers a generous bulk discount if you make an annual payment. You save up to 17% on annual payments. Here’s how the plans are priced:
- Plus: The monthly charges for the plan are $9.99. You’ll receive an ID theft insurance cover of up to $500,000. However, you won’t receive a credit score report.
- Premium: This plan will run you $19.99 per month and you’re eligible for up to $1 million ID theft insurance. Along with quarterly credit reports from all 3 bureaus, you will get a variety of additional features that aren’t offered in the Plus plan. These include bank account & credit card alerts, identity validation alerts, payday loan monitoring, court records & bookings, sex offender registry, and social network monitoring.
2. Family plan with 1 adult and up to 10 children
- Plus: The only difference here is the $14.99 monthly price. The rest of the features are exactly the same as the Individual Plus plan. You’ll get an ID theft insurance cover of up to $500,000 and you won’t have access to your credit score report.
- Premium: You’ll be paying $24.99 per month for this plan and you will get all the additional features of the Premium Individual plan. The insurance coverage limit is also the same - up to $1million.
3. Family plan with 2 adults and up to 10 children
- Plus: Considering the plan allows you to add your spouse and up to 10 children, the monthly bill of $19.99 is as bargain. Moreover, you’ll qualify for an ID theft insurance cover of up to $500,000. A major drawback is the absence of credit reports.
- Premium: It will cost $29.99 a month and offers an ID theft insurance cover of up to $1 million. Plus, you will get quarterly credit reports from all 3 bureaus. Moreover, it provides all the top surveillance features of the Individual Premium plan.
- It’s owned and run by Experian, which means you can be sure of its reliability
- It’s easy on your wallet – starts at $9.99 a month
- Up to $1 million insurance coverage
- User-friendly website
- If needed, they will assign you an exclusive identity restoration official
- Lower tier plan offers no more than bare-bones ID theft protection
- The sign-up process may take a while and is relatively confusing
All in all, Experian ProtectMyID offers a decent security package. It’s especially great for large families that are on the lookout for reliable online security that doesn’t break the bank. One drawback though that particularly stands out is that its basic plan lacks the punch as compared to basic plans of some of the other options.
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