No one can force you to do anything in terms of using protection on your accounts, but implementing some type - any type - of identity theft protection is not only a good idea; it can save users a lot of time and hassle in the future. Identity theft protection at its core is meant to help those that use it, meaning that it is intuitive, comprehensive, modern, and constantly changing. This type of service needs to flow with the times - keeping up with new discoveries by thieves in order to best protect users ... and keep up their reputations among users. While the word "imperative" may be a little much, it is most definitely a good idea to at least consider doing something to protect your information, as it may mean the difference between simplicity and complications down the line.
But what can they really do?
Despite being computerized services, identity protection and credit monitoring services are able to protect the information of their users just as well if not better than a set of human eyes and hands could. Whereas it is quite possible for a human to miss specific details, these programs are trained and coded to look for even the smallest changes and transactions, especially when they are associated with identity theft of any kind. Transactions, balances, statements, credit applications, new job applications, marriage license approvals - each of these represents one of the many types of things that identity theft protection services look for and alert users to.
Do I have to use a computerized program?
The answer to this is somewhat complicated. As discussed above, these computer programs have proven themselves over and over, and are extremely comprehensive and adept at analyzing the smallest detail. It is possible to protect from identity theft without using one or more of these methods, but the "human" ways may not be as in depth or successful. Changing passwords, not giving out potentially useful information to others, and even limiting online transactions are all things that can promote a safer display of your identity, but companies with extensive websites like http://www.identityguard.com/ are able to promote and recommend their products and services by sharing stats, success stories, product examples, and even different levels of protection based on the chosen product.
Identity theft protection of any type cannot prevent thieves from accessing your information in the first place, but it can definitely keep them from staying deeply embedded within your most personal facts and figures. By the time you've established credit and a career for yourself, you've worked hard, and the idea that someone you don't even know may be able to change that is terrifying - and understandably so. Why risk losing what you've worked to attain, even for a short period of time? Choosing to use theft protection of some sort - be it credit, identity or password monitoring, using common sense or even limiting access - can often be enough to make it more difficult for thieves to disrupt your life and routine... which should be more than enough of a reason to use one or more of these methods.