Free Identity Theft Protection
They say the best things in life are free and there are many free identity theft protection ways to prevent identity theft which can guide consumers how to stop identity theft.
To protect their identities, consumers typically research and find services online most of which are paid identity protection services but before consumers consider paying for such services, they must first understand the usefulness of the services as they apply to their situations, and, consider their own role in the identity protection cycle because most people believe that their responsibilities go away once they sign up for any of the paid identity protection services and this assumption can not be further from the truth. As far as I’m concerned, the best ways to prevent identity theft are free, however, paid identity protection services can be used to complement individual efforts for protecting against identity theft through automation and timely delivery of relevant information. Even when people sign up with the leading identity theft protection services, they still need to know how the identity theft service helps with identity theft protection and when or how they must follow up to ensure the effectiveness of the identity theft service. Without human intervention, most automated identity theft protection services are useless.
Now that we have established the necessity for consumers to take charge of their own identity protection efforts, let’s discuss some of the best free identity theft protection options widely available to all consumers:
Account Alerts – For those of us who use online banking, it is important to learn about and effectively use the online account protection features. Most banks have improved their bank account protection features which consumers can use to protect themselves against bank account fraud. For example, account settings can be adjusted to receive email notifications when an account transaction above or below a threshold hits the account such as credit and debit transactions of defined amounts relevant to various lifestyles. Learn more about account alerts.
Annual Credit Report – Thanks to recent identity theft laws, consumers can now request and review their free annual credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies to detect potential signs of identity theft. Some identity protection companies may brag about giving away free credit reports but this is a consumer right by law which should not be overlooked.
Fraud Alert - Placing a fraud alert on credit reports is free, easy to do and a great way to prevent identity theft. Once a fraud alert is placed, creditors must contact the credit applicant or account holder to confirm the identity. The Red Flags Rule is very clear about the responsibility of creditors for taking fraud alerts seriously. You can learn more about this free service in the fraud alert article or you can just place a fraud alert with one of the credit reporting agencies which will place the same with the other agencies.
Identity Theft Protection Articles – Consumers should take advantage of the www.identity-theft-awareness.com free identity theft protection services or other websites which provide valuable information to educate themselves. This site offers a free monthly identity theft protection newsletter as well as an active identity theft blog to allow consumers learn about best ways to prevent identity theft and how to stop identity theft.
When we consider that almost 50% of all identity theft cases are facilitated by lost or stolen physical identity components such as credit cards, wallets and identity components, by applying the best identity protection practices along with leveraging free identity theft protection services, consumers can have a huge edge against identity theft without spending a penny.
Read another article about free identity theft protection solutions.