Why Protecting Your Identity is Not Necessarily Free

By: Jedjenson
When it comes down to it, if time equals money, then nothing is free when it comes to protecting your identity. Although the federal government has made it possible for each citizen to protect their identity, many individuals do not realize that they must request these "free" services on a continuous basis. When taking into account the amount of time it takes to repeatedly request these "free" services, "free" can easily turn into thousands of dollars of financial ruin and thousands of hours spent trying to restore one's good name and credit. Fortunately, though, there is an economic way to protect your identity and prevent identity theft through a company called LifeLock. LifeLock's Identity Theft Prevention services can help you protect your identity and prevent identity theft in six valuable ways.

1. Fraud Alerts - LifeLock helps to protect your identity by requesting Fraud Alerts for you every 90 days. A fraud alert is a "flag" placed on your credit report that notifies a lender that they must, among other things, verify your identity before issuing a credit card or loan. If a LifeLock member has difficulty in obtaining credit because of a fraud alert on their credit account, LifeLock will contact the credit issuer for the member and clear up any concerns about the alert.

2. Do Not Call or Mail Lists - Another way to protect your identity from being stolen is by removing your name from solicitation lists such as pre-approved credit card mailing lists and telemarketing lists. Although this can be done by anyone for free, this must be done on an annual basis. LifeLock takes the worry out of keeping up with the various numbers to call and places to write to have your name removed from solicitation lists each year by actively removing your name from such lists on an annual basis.

3. Credit Reports - Checking your credit report is a good way to check to see if you have had any unauthorized loans or credit cards opened in your name. Although the federal government has made it a law for you to receive a free credit report from each of the 3 credit agencies yearly, the only way to ensure that your credit is checked all year long is to request a credit report from one of the credit agencies every 4 months. LifeLock takes the time and effort out of remembering to pull your credit report by sending you a copy of your credit report four times a year.

4. WalletLock - If you really want to protect your identity, don't lose your wallet. Of course, that is easier said than done. If you have ever lost your wallet, chances are you have experienced a sense of fear and panic and thought, "What was in my wallet and how do I stop someone from using my credit cards?" With LifeLock's WalletLock system, there is no need to feel fear or panic if you lose your wallet. Through WalletLock you will be able to identify what was in your wallet and will be assigned a WalletLock specialist who will help you contact each credit card company, banking institution, and any state and federal agencies who issue driver's licenses, etc. to cancel the accounts and to begin the process of reinstating missing documents.

5. Identity Monitoring - One sure way to protect your identity is to know when someone has sold or changed your personal information on-line or on databases. With LifeLock's eRecon and TrueAddress systems, potential identity theft threats are detected and eliminated through searching criminal websites and nationwide databases for trading and selling of your personal information or by making changes to your address. LifeLock also ensures that thieves do not open new bank accounts in a subscriber's name by monitoring check systems.

6. Recovering Your Identity - Because criminals find ways around the system, preventing identity theft is not always fool-proof. Because of this, LifeLock offers a $1,000,000 total service guarantee that if someone happens to discover a weakness in their system and uses it to steal your identity, they will provide attorneys, investigators, accountants, case managers, etc. to restore your good name and, if you lose money as a result of the theft, LifeLock will reimburse you the amount of money lost. Todd Davis, CEO of LifeLock, has even been quoted as saying "If you get thrown in jail [because of identity theft], we'll bail you out of jail."

There are ways to protect your identity which will only cost you in terms of time and effort; however, there is no guarantee that you will recover your money and good name if your identity is stolen. LifeLock's Identity Protection services offer six ways to save you time and effort in protecting your identity, preventing identity theft, and guaranteeing to recover your money and restore your good name if your identity is stolen.
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