Identity Theft becomes one of the worst crimes that are happening today.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were 1,244 data breaches in the U.S in 2018 and more than 446 million records were reportedly exposed.
Moreover, the Federal Trade Commission reported that the United States is very vulnerable when it comes to identity theft. Here are the top 10 states where you most likely to get your identity stolen:
Most of these mentioned states from the United States experienced credit card fraud or loan or lease fraud, which the most common type of identity theft.
The simplified definition of Identity Theft is the act of someone stealing your personal information and uses for purchasing, creating new accounts, or commit other fraudulent acts without your permission.
Because of the internet and developing high-technology, identity theft has become more and more prevalent. If you are not careful about disclosing your personal information, there is a higher chance to be at risk.
Here are the most common types of identity theft:
A data breach exposes confidential, sensitive, or protected information without authorization. The most common type of information stolen in data breaches is credit card numbers and Social Security numbers. The data exposed in data breaches aren't just for one unauthorized user but can also be spread publicly. From private individuals, organizations, to governments, everyone is at risk unless you take some precautionary measures.
Credit card theft, also known as credit card fraud, is one of the simplest forms of identity theft. It is unauthorized use of one's credit card's information such as full name, PIN, and card number, in making purchases or accessing funds.
Credit card information is commonly stored in online retail accounts, data breaches, or physical theft.
Malware is malicious software that uncovers a victim's personal and exclusive information with the intent o monetizing the stolen data, as well as exposing it for underground distribution.
Malware theft commonly happens in backdoors, bots, screen scrapers, keyloggers, adware, or spyware.
Mail theft is an act of unauthorized use of personal information through your mail or documents, checks, bank, and credit card statements, or any other documents that you receive through a postal system. Documents being junked without shredding are also used to access your data.
Child identity theft is also one of the simplest forms of crimes obtain by identity thieves. This includes using a child's Social Security Number to commit fraud like paying loans, applying for government benefits, getting a job, getting a driver's license, or abuse credit under a child's personal information.
This type of identity theft usually remains undiscovered for years or can be discovered when a child gets older. That is why services for identity theft protection plans for kids is important.
Identity thieves do card skimming by illegally obtaining credit card information from a cardholder. They use a skimming device attached over a card reader on an ATM or a fuel pump without being seen obviously to collect card data. Some skimming device also acts as a point-of-sale technology to easily read the card's magnetic stripe and automatically store or transmit the collected data.
This fraudulent act is done by sending email and text messages and other forms of electronic communications pretending to be from prominent companies to steal your personal information such as passwords and credit card numbers.
One of the common fraudulent acts of phishing attacks is pretending to be from your bank that redirects you to a hoax website that looks like the one it is imitating. From that hoax website, it will prompt you to reveal your username, password, or to input your Social Security Number or credit card number.
Identity theft protection is a variety of services that aims to give protection such as credit monitoring, ID theft monitoring, and other services to people who are vulnerable to fraud and identity theft.
If identity theft is detected, you will be immediately notified through email, text message, or mobile alert. And if you fall into one of the identity thieves, most Identity Theft Providers will provide recovery assistance to secure your personal information from a further leak.
These Identity Theft Providers will not assure you of a hundred percent prevention of your information to be compromised but instead, they will continually monitor to immediately alert you to any suspicious activity. If the activity goes undetected, it will increase the amount of damage.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, a good identity theft protection service must have these two features: recovery services and monitoring services. Recovery services should help you deal with the damage done after it happens. Trained counselors and managers will help you walk through the process. They will help you write letters to creditors and debt collectors, guide you to the documents you need to review or place a freeze on your credit report to prevent identity thieves from opening accounts under your name.
While monitoring services should have these features:
Dark web monitoring, also known as cyber web monitoring, will help you enable to monitor your personal information on the dark web and receive notifications if your personal information is being detected.
Credit monitoring is having professionals monitor your credit scores to keep you notified in case suspicious activity exists. Credit monitoring comes in two types of services: single-bureau credit monitoring and tri-bureau credit monitoring.
A single-bureau credit monitoring has data access to only one of the 3 national credit reporting bureaus, while a tri-bureau credit monitoring has the access to all three national credit reporting.
These three national credit bureaus are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
Identity Guard is one of the most updated solutions to identity theft. Its big advantage is it uses IBM's Watson, which involves creating a collection of vast knowledge and billions of information from several different sources, including social networks. The Watson-enabled service focuses on identity theft that will certainly help its users with identity management. Its service constantly monitors personal information, credit files, and Social Security Number. Watson's artificial intelligence reduce identity theft by 16% according to programmers and notifies you within 3 seconds if data theft is detected.
During set-up, you will be provided with a Watchlist for Identity Guard to constantly monitor your email address, phone numbers, accounts, and credit.
Identity Guard's subscription covers these four features such as:
ID Watchdog labels their services as "True Identity Protection." This identity theft protection company works with the Certified Theft Risk Management Specialist (CTRMS) that handles all the monitoring and identity recovery process.
ID Watchdog is a Denver-based theft protection company that is owned by Equifax. All the subscription from this company covers you with the three major tri-bureaus and provides you with a management specialist that will handle your case until fully solved. It features advanced identity monitoring for dark web forums and other sources of identity theft. In case of a data breach, it will alert you right away and give you an advisory to change your passwords, email address, and other steps to take you ahead of criminals.
Lifelock is an industry-leading company when it comes to identity theft protection. This company is owned by Norton, an antivirus protection company. That is why a subscription from Lifelock comes with Norton 360 antivirus features, which will further protect you from phishing, spyware, malware, computer viruses, and more. For easy identity protection, it has an automated software update and credit lock that you can personally do it.
Lifelock also works with the three national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to easily help you with lock inquiries, frozen accounts, and more. All subscriptions from Lifelock covers you with theft prevention, credit monitoring, identity recovery assistance, and identity theft insurance.
Privacy Guard offers an uncommon feature for every identity theft protection company, which is the 14-day trial. More than that, it also renders many of the competitor's usual credit and identity protection services and monitoring. Few of these monitoring includes dark web, debit and credit cards, bank account, Social Security Number for adults and children, public records, USPS address changes, personal information, and ID verification and application.
Privacy Guard is accessible through their mobile app with multi-factor authentication, as well as face and fingerprint recognition. That will prevent unauthorized users to access your data. Furthermore, Privacy Guard offers more protection features like emergency travel assistance, lost and stolen wallet protection, annual public records report, and more.
Identity Force will provide you a visual tracker that allows you to monitor your credit ratings over time. On top of that, its mobile app has been updated with a feature called Mobile Attack Control that will constantly monitor your smartphone for any malicious activity like spyware, malware, unsecured Wi-Fi connections, as well as deceptive networks.
Identity Force has the best child ID protection with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. It has an anti-phishing feature to protect your kids in staying safe online and will automatically alert you if a registered sex offender is present in your neighborhood. Moreover, it supports an unlimited number of children to be protected under their Family Package. Subscription for adults covers many benefits too such as credit-improvement simulator, financial advice, reports from tri-bureau credit monitoring, real-time fraud alerts, bill payment history, and more. It basically covers your financial, online, and family protection.