uc logo white
Text Size

Home

The Right and Wrong Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

Numerous data breaches have occurred over the past few years. From the Target data breach to electronic health records being tapped into, consumers are at risk for identity theft like never before. Unfortunately, most are completely unaware of it. Many even assume that credit monitoring is enough to protect themselves from identity theft.

Numerous data breaches have occurred over the past few years. From the Target data breach to electronic health records being tapped into, consumers are at risk for identity theft like never before. Unfortunately, most are completely unaware of it. Many even assume that credit monitoring is enough to protect themselves from identity theft.

In fact, Target and other companies tried to calm the waters by offering free credit monitoring to identity theft victims after the attacks. But this is just a Band-Aid on the problem—and mostly a public relations ploy. Credit monitoring doesn’t provide even close to adequate protection. If you’re only relying on credit monitoring as a ways to prevent identity theft, you’ve given yourself a false sense of security. It’s scary, but true.

The Facts

It is estimated that over 4.6 million California residents have been affected by healthcare data breaches since 2009. Nationally, it is estimated that over 32 million U.S. residents have been affected. In July of 2014, an IRS worker was charged with identity theft, and contributed to over $1.2 million in fraudulent charges using information he obtained while working for the IRS. It’s said that 39 percent of data breach victims will have to deal with identity theft at some point. That means spending an average of 600 hours to recover their identity. With the growing number of data breaches occurring in the U.S., it’s time to take steps to protect yourself and your family.

Why Credit Monitoring Is Not Enough

Credit monitoring works just like it sounds: it just monitors. It doesn’t take action or provide ways to prevent identity theft from occurring. In fact, it only notifies you once identity theft has been discovered. After it happens, credit monitoring can’t help you recover from any type of identity theft.

Credit monitoring is only effective when someone uses your information to apply for a new bank account, credit card, or other account. But it doesn’t do anything to protect you during a data breach. When a data breach happens, the thieves have all of your personal information—including your credit card data—they can use to make expensive purchases. Your credit monitoring will never see the actual charges. And most credit monitoring services only monitor credit bureau reports, which means they could take weeks to find out fraud has occurred in the first place. It’s an ineffective system, to say the least.

The Right Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

Fortunately, there’s one identity theft protection company that offers a full-service product. It not only educates you in all the ways to monitor your credit and identity, but also provides law enforcement grade, fully managed recovery of your identity. It allows you to continue living your life instead of spending countless hours trying to fix it yourself.

Very few identity theft protection companies offer these turnkey services. By signing up with a service that does, you can:

  • Have peace of mind in knowing your identity is fully protected—not just monitored
  • Know what is on your credit report and public records the second they are posted
  • Save out-of-pocket costs on recovering your identity when the theft occurs
  • Have access to identity theft experts 24/7
  • Ensure your identity is restored to pre-theft status

To learn more about ID360 and see how it protects your identity, visit The Identity Advocate for a special offer today. You simply can’t risk becoming yet another victim of a data breach and the resulting theft. Remember: it’s not a matter of if. It’s when. 

________________ Linda Vincent, R.N., P.I., is an identity theft and healthcare fraud prevention expert specializing in medical consulting and investigations. She teaches corporations, professional practices, and consumers how to prevent identity theft and healthcare fraud. Visit www.TheIdentityAdvocate.com.