Identity Theft Protection Services Breakdown
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    This is an article on identity theft protection services and how to avoid becoming an identity theft victim.
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Do You Have Active Identity Theft Protection in Place?
 
Until recent years, keeping track of your identity and the activity on your credit report had to be done manually.  Pulling your 3 credit reports every month or quarter and reviewing the information for inaccuracies or other errors was a time consuming and tedious process.  And there was no guarantee that someone hadn't managed to steal your identity and open new lines of credit, empty savings accounts and a host of other unimaginable things in the months that had passed since you last checked your reports.  Identity theft protection services have simplified this process and can now automatically keep tabs on your social security number, bank accounts and credit reports, alerting you of any changes or suspicious activity.  What this means is that identity thieves don't have time to do significant damage to your credit, because you're made aware of the fraud as it's happening, so you can take immediate action.  We've put together a list of the best identity theft protection services on the market so you can compare their options, prices and plans before you sign up.  
 
Identity Guard

Identity Guard monitors your personal and financial information and also offers recovery services if your identity is stolen. My identity guard review shows that the monitoring services offered by Identity Guard credit monitoring includie monthly updates on your credit score, identity monitoring, and public record monitoring. Identity Guard also delivers prompt alerts via text, email, phone, or the Identity Guard mobile app detailing any suspicious changes in personal or financial information. Identity Guard's protection software offers a firewall as well as protection from viruses and spyware. Identity Guard also offers password protection via IDVault, a convenient tool that stores login credentials and credit card information, allowing for a safe, one-click online shopping experience. The final protection tool Identity Guard offers is PrivacyProtect, keystroke encryption software that provides a safe Internet browsing experience. If your identity is ever stolen while you are an Identity Guard member, just call ITAC Victim Assistance for one-on-one help with the process of restoring your identity. Identity Guard also offers up to $1 million in identity theft insurance and lost wallet protection. Lost wallet protection helps Identity Guard members cancel their credit cards and access up to $2000 from one of their accounts if their wallet is ever lost or stolen. 

The Identity Guard Total Protection Plan, which is $19.99 per month, offers the same features as the Essentials plan plus credit monitoring and quarterly credit score updates as well as access to the Identity Guard mobile app and antivirus protection. Finally, the Identity Guard Platinum Plan, which is $24.99 per month, offers a monthly credit score update rather than quarterly along with all the other features of the Total Protection Plan. All three Identity Guard plans offer a two-week free trial.
 

LifeLock

LifeLock offers four different identity theft protection plans—LifeLock Standard, LifeLock Advantage, LifeLock Ultimate Plus, and LifeLock Junior. LifeLock Standard provides identity theft detection and alerts, which are delivered via phone call or email, along with lost wallet protection, address change verification, and black market website surveillance. The Standard Plan also reduces pre-approved credit offers and offers a $1 million total service guarantee and customer service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Standard Plan costs $9.99 per month.

The LifeLock Advantage plan offers the same services as the Standard plan plus financial account activity alerts, data breech notification, monitoring to detect fictitious identities using your name or social security number, court record scanning to prevent members from being falsely accused of criminal activity, and an annual credit report and score from one credit bureau. The Advantage Plan costs $19.99 per month.

The Ultimate Plus plan by LifeLock offers the same services as the other plans plus alerts members to applications for new financial accounts, investment account activity, bank account takeovers, and credit inquiries. The Ultimate Plus Plan also offers annual credit reports and scores from all three credit bureaus and monthly credit score tracking from one credit bureau. The Ultimate Plus plan even searches file-sharing networks for your personal information and notifies you if a sex offender moves into your neighborhood or is attempting to use your address to avoid detection. Finally, Ultimate Plus members can speak with the same U.S.-based customer service as other members but get moved to the front of the line. The Ultimate Plus Plan is available for $29.99 per month. 

LifeLock Junior is available as an add-on to any other LifeLock plan and protects members' children from identity theft as well.  Visit LifeLock.com for additional details and to complete their easy sign up form. 

 
For additional information and resources on identity theft protection visit http://www.identitytheftaid.org/best-identity-theft-protection-services/