If you are one of millions of Americans who are nervous about having your identity stolen and used against you, you may want to invest in ID theft protection. While the services represent a good investment in your peace of mind, choosing the right service might seem a little challenging. Here are some pointers.
Look at the Reputation
Because a number of the ID theft protection services have been available for awhile, there are many stories about their successes and failures. Just remember that most people who have not had a problem with their identity being stolen are not going to be spreading the word as much as people who have.
Also, consider who the company is affiliated with. Many are connected to other organizations, such as the national credit bureaus. This might influence your decision of who to trust with your identity.
Know What You Get
Do not assume all of the identity theft services are going to give you the security you need. Some do vary in terms of what they offer. In general, you want more than just credit report monitoring. Look for something more comprehensive. And pay attention to how the company will help you if you do become a victim. Even though a recent Javelin study found that the average identity victim was only out $500, that’s more than you probably want to pay if you have invested in one of these services.
Think about Customer Service
Regardless of what you are buying, you should always think about the customer service offered by the company. If something goes wrong with your personal information, you want to know your ID theft protection service will be responsive. You do not want to be put on hold or to chat with a fake person. Consider testing out the customer service before joining the program. To do this, call or email the customer support staff with a few questions. Pay attention to how they respond and to how quickly they respond. This is when they should be delivering their best service.
The Bottom Line
If you decide to make the investment in ID theft protection services, make sure you do your homework and choose a company that is going to provide you with security and peace of mind. Otherwise, you are going to be wasting your money and leaving yourself vulnerable to threats from identity thieves.