With an alarming number of cases of identity theft and credit cards being used fraudulently, credit monitoring services are growing in popularity. While I agree both identity theft and having your credit card being used fraudulently are both hardships, they are two different types of crime and should be treated that way. As a victim of identity theft, I learned very quickly the challenges of feeling secure. I gained back my sense of security with Lifelock but it took a lot of research and time to ultimately guide me in the right direction. The typical response to hearing my story of identity theft is usually, “oh you’re monitoring your credit now, right?” No, I’m not. LifeLock is giving me a sense of security monitoring my credit while protecting my identity. As part of a sponsored campaign by Find Your Influence and LifeLock, I’m again sharing tips to ease the challenges of having your identity stolen.
What is credit monitoring?
Credit monitoring services typically provide access to your credit report and sometimes alert customers when unauthorized loans or credit cards are opened in their name.
As a victim of identity theft, I’m absolutely interested in knowing when unauthorized financial activity is taking place in my name. I also want to know if my credit score is changing and when fraudulent activity occurs in any of my accounts. But is credit monitoring enough to keep me safe?
Although I was fully educated on the topic prior to my own experience, I was shocked to discover the frequency of identity theft. In 2012 there were over 12 million identified victims of identity theft in the United States. While studying justice in college and interning at the Victim Service Office, I knew identity theft was about so much more than just your credit. Thankfully to date my credit has not been impacted through out my identity theft experience. Of course I’m concerned about my financial assets and credit score, but my focus has been on my actual identity through this process.
How is LifeLock different?
Using 5 points of protection 24 hours a day, LifeLock not only monitors your credit for financial security, they also alert you when your name appears on criminal reports. For me, this was major in helping gain back my sense of security. I previously shared my concerns when I learned of my identity being stolen. In filing my police report I was told to always carry a copy of the affidavit of theft in my vehicle because if the person posing as me had a warrant in MY name, I could be arrested with just a simple traffic stop. How would I ever know if there was a warrant in my name until actually being stopped and having my daughter taken away from my care in the car until the issue had been resolved? Using LifeLock, I will know before it ever gets that far. Lifelock is different than credit monitoring because it’s keeping my entire family safe.
By using Lifelock, I will receive alerts anytime my name appears in a court record scan, sex offender registry, or file sharing network. My identity is also protected by Lifelock’s address change verification and black market website surveillance.
Monitoring my credit might be the very first suggestion when friends hear I am a victim of identity theft, but my response will always be that I’m protecting my identity with LifeLock instead.
See more of my personal identity theft story and take the necessary actions to protect your family. If you’re not one of the millions affected by identity theft, it’s never too late to start protecting your identity because it can happen to anyone. What are you doing to protect your identity?