Free identity theft protection

Modern Social Security card.

Image via Wikipedia

Identity theft protection is becoming a big business, but you don’t have to pay money to protect your good name. There are free ways to get protection. 

Keeping tabs on your identity
The best way to keep tabs on your identity is to check your credit report year round. The government tells you to check it once a year for free at Annual Credit Report, but there’s a way to keep tabs on it year round. Click here for more on this feature, and yes it’s free and legit through Annual Credit Report.

There are lots of others ways to protect your name with simple steps. I’m not going to go into each one here, but click on the hyperlinks to learn more. You can do a lot by keeping tabs on your credit, reducing your junk mail, shredding, googling your name to make sure private information is not publicly posted, and browsing privately online.  You don’t necessarily need a company to do what you can do on your own.

Hiring a company
If you prefer a company doing the work for you, ask the companies you currently do business with if they offer the service. Banks, credit unions, and even insurance companies often offer their customers identity theft protection for a small cost or even free.

If you still want a third party to look after your name, there are free options appearing in the marketplace. TrustedID and AllClearID are two newer products that offer free protection.

TrustedID offers ID Safe. There’s not a free trial; it’s a free service. You get a free score updated monthly as well as monitoring of Facebook and known online black markets where thieves buy and sell personal information.
If your purse or wallet is lost or stolen, there’s also built in protection along with Identity Restoration Assistance that helps if your identity is compromised.

AllClear ID is another free service that provides internet surveillance, ID attack reporting, and identity repair. AllClear ID says it works with law enforcement to find personal information online.

The company also says it gets information from over 600 major US companies and government agencies about attacks. The companies report the attacks to a central clearinghouse. If your information is found, you’re alerted. You get a monthly status report on your identity. Finally, if your information is stolen, the company will work with you to repair it.

Both companies also offer premium services for a fee. Even with a free service, weigh the pros and cons of protecting your name yourself versus giving your sensitive information to another company.

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