ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Technology»
  • Internet & the Web»
  • Viruses, Spyware & Internet Security

There Is No Such Thing As 'Identity Protection'

Updated on March 24, 2015
Source

Identity protection is one of the hottest selling commodities right now. It's understandable too, with all the news about big name companies that are brought to their knees by a band of brash hackers. With most companies offering identity protection with credit monitoring, there's no reason not to invest in it, right?


There is no protection against hackers, at least not with today's sub standards in security. The big companies that got hit by hackers all lacked one thing: secure personal data. Target allowed an infected third party system into their mainframe willingly. Anthem Insurance, a company trusted with tons upon tons of customers' personal information, didn't encrypt one piece of data. As long as companies like this are allowed to do business the way they do, identity protection won't mean a thing. Especially the way the "protection" is set up.

Source

First of all, let's stop calling it identity protection. No company that sells identity protection truly offers a service that defends you against identity theft before it happens. The identity protection offered in today's world is actually just identity monitoring. Meaning that in order for a company to "protect" you, your identity must first be attacked. Loans can still be opened in your name, credit cards can be applied for and ultimately granted, your social security number can be sold to someone in another country all before you log on to your computer to view your alert. For those that have identity protection and don't log on/check their account regularly or don't have the alerts sent to them through email and/or text, you're basically paying for a passive service that can't even alert you in real time when your identity may have been compromised.


There are ways to protect yourself from identity theft that are a bit more proactive, especially when paired with a good identity protection service. A fraud alert is something you place on your credit file that requires businesses that are looking to open up a new line of credit in your name to call you first for confirmation. You can put one of these on your credit by calling one of the three main credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion) and request a fraud alert be placed on your file. These will usually last up to 90 days. After that time has expired you will have to place a new fraud alert on your file.


Another proactive approach to identity protection is a credit/security freeze. These are pretty heavy duty in that they won't allow ANYONE to open up ANY new line of credit in your name while you have the freeze on your file. If you sign up for a credit/security freeze, you will be given a PIN number or password that you use to unfreeze your credit for a certain period of time. After that window closes your credit goes right back to being a credit-sicle. In order to place one of these freezes on your file you will have to call each of the main credit bureaus to place the freeze on your file. Depending on what state you live in these may cost money and sometimes require a police report to prove identity theft has already happened to you. But if you do place a freeze on your credit it will last until you remove it.

Source

Both a fraud alert and a credit freeze can help stop identity theft before it happens, but be warned, as both methods still have their flaws. For some companies, a fraud alert can be bi-passed, and a credit freeze is great, but check your credit report before placing one on your file. If you have fraudulent accounts already under your name it will be a long and arduous task to remove them with a credit freeze on your file.


If you really want a proactive identity protection plan, try this:

  • File your taxes as early as you can
  • Never leave personal information (SSN, birth records, etc.) lying around
  • Dispose of personal information properly (shredding or safely/properly burning)
  • Never give out personal information to people you don't know/trust
  • Don't give out your SSN on resumes without researching the company first
  • Never keep personal info (SSN, passport, etc.) on your person unless needed
  • Lock up your personal information at home in a locking drawer/cabinet
  • Pay in cash when you can, especially around the holidays


Today, there is no proactive identity protection that you can buy on the market. The best way to protect yourself proactively is to be smart with your personal information and your online usage. You may not be able to control how others handle your personal information, but you can control who you give it out to.

How Safe Do You Think Your Identity Is?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)