The common misconception is that only wealthy people should use some type of identity theft protection, because they are the only ones that will be targets. Unfortunately, thieves cannot always determine the status of an individual's accounts before gaining access to them, which means that in some (many) cases, those that become victims of identity theft are not ridiculously well off. The fact that identity theft is not a discriminatory practice is one of the reasons that identity theft protection services like credit and identity monitoring were created - and have become extremely popular in a short period of time. Choosing when the best time is to begin using one of these methods as well as which will work best is a matter that is best addressed by individuals, but there are some good tips to consider before picking the best ID theft protection.
Use one of these services after "coming into" money. Whether it is due to an inheritance, new career, or something like winning the lottery, having a large sum of money in an account can be as unsettling as it is welcome. Rather than leave things to chance, signing up for a service like the ones provided by http://www.identityguard.com/ can put people at ease about the security of their financial well-being. These services watch your credit files and send updates straight to your inbox.
Start using an identity monitor as soon as you begin applying for things. Apartments, college, credit cards and even weddings require lots of forms. As soon as you've started putting your name and information out there, it has the chance of falling into the hands of others. While it may seem unlikely that your application for college admittance will end up in the hands of a thief, it is always possible - and the amount of personal information listed on this type of form is extensive and extremely telling. An identity monitor can be used to alert you to the use of your name and Social Security number by someone that is not you... offering you the chance to make them stop and set things right.
The only one that can decide that it is the right time is you. You know what you want, and you know what you need. If having the help of an outside monitor is what you feel is necessary, then go for it. Educating yourself about each available method and what they offer will help you make the best possible decision for your information, and it's important that you do not rush into anything. Yes, it's a good idea to look for stories from other users about the ways that these services have helped, but each individual has a unique set of needs, and you will have to decide on your own what the best course of action is. Don't let someone decide how to protect your identity for you, it's up to you to do the research, weigh your options, and make the final decision.
No matter what you choose, having a good, secure form of protection between you and the thieves will make you feel better - and make it less likely that a case of identity theft will be prolonged and irreparably damage your reputation.