When it comes to finding the best identity theft protection, many people often overlook an extremely useful service called credit monitoring. You probably know what getting a credit report entails - a yearly (or sometimes bi-yearly) report detailing your credit files. This includes outstanding loans, information that you have included on applications, credit card limits, and a total credit score - telling you where you stand in terms of financial "ability". All of this data is used to determine a credit score, used by lenders as a basis for deciding whether or not you can repay some sort of debt to them; in other words, it gives a good indication as to whether or not you can make good on your commitments. Though this information is great to have, it is not regularly reported back to you - which means that between reports, anything can happen.
Credit Monitoring Services to the Rescue!
For the between time, credit monitoring will serve as a way to stay informed about your financial activities. Although it is not a comprehensive check of every single transaction made under your name, it will alert you to certain types of changes or updates when detected. These notifications are far more useful than the yearly reports in terms of catching and helping to prevent prolonged identity theft, meaning that you will be more in control of what is happening. While yearly credit reports are good for keeping track of the progress you make over time, credit monitoring services are ideal for use as a way to remain on top of things throughout the year, keeping numbers and credit check instances fresh in your mind. Knowing that you will have more up to date reports on your finances is enough to keep many people calm and collected when it comes to protecting their personal information.
Will These Services Stop Identity Theft?
Unfortunately, even though credit monitoring can help to prevent identity theft from occurring, often alerting you to potential fraud promptly, it cannot stop the initial breach from happening. This type of service does not create an impenetrable wall around your information and finances, but it does give you the option to patch up any areas that may need some reinforcement and extra attention. If, for example, someone applies for a credit card in your name, the credit check will be detected and you will receive an alert, allowing you to contact the card agency to alert them if it was not you that applied.
Credit monitoring can provide you some peace of mind, and it also is a great way to keep a closer eye on your finances without waiting months between reports. Getting updates on even a few aspects of your financial status may be enough to keep you on track, as well as to help prevent identity theft from going unnoticed. Although it is extremely successful and helpful to many individuals, credit monitoring is far from being the only option available - it simply is one of the most useful.