Total Identity Protection
A total identity protection against identity theft includes balanced measures for preventing and detecting theft, fraud and privacy disclosure. There are few keywords in this paragraph that we need to address in order to understand what a complete identity protection means and involves.
First, I would like to define the word "total" as a way to tie identity protection efforts to consumer responsibilities and not just to an outside service that we are accustomed to think will resolve all of our identity theft problems. Most people, when thinking about identity theft protection and looking for ways to quickly resolve their identity theft problems, they go online and sign up for a credit monitoring service when in fact they should first look at their actions and determine how their actions might place their identities at risk of identity theft and fraud. You see, you can buy all the automated services available in the market but if your actions continue to increase your risk of identity theft, identity protection services will not be able to keep up with your identity mismanagement. Also, not only such monitoring services are detective based controls rather than preventive, they do not detect all identity frauds at all times. In other words, credit monitoring is not only a part of the identity theft solution, but also does not fully guarantee protection against all identity fraud.
Second, the words "balanced measures" for a total identity protection mean taking actions that are low cost, effective and efficient meaning they require less efforts to reach a desired level of protection. As you might remember, I’ve said that identity theft risks can never be totally eliminated but could be reduced as much as possible with a combination of balanced identity protection efforts, some of which are in our hands and our responsibilities. Low cost and efficient services are self explanatory which mean reaching a desired identity protection level with the least amount of cost. In other words, as you increase your spending to protect your identity, the identity protection results will not improve in proportion to your spending. No matter how much money you spend on identity protection services, there will be a point that results will no longer improve significantly. On the other hand, an effective and total identity protection is a bit tricky. It means deployment of all available options to not only quickly detect fraud but also consistently prevent identity theft and resolve fraud as quickly as possible.
Lastly, we must understand that there are many differences between identity fraud and identity theft. One difference is that time is much more valuable after identity theft and even more precious after fraud. Consumers and businesses have the luxury to take their time for preventing identity theft, however, once personal information is stolen, time becomes extremely valuable to minimize the damage by quickly detecting and stopping fraud.
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