Technological growth has brought an abundance of benefits to people around the globe. It is now possible to pay our bills online, acquire goods and services without ever leaving our homes and performing tasks that were unimaginable only a couple of decades ago.
Unfortunately, with the development of technology, crime followed, which has now moved on to targeting the technological world. This is why many people are paying for identity theft protection services.
However, the truth is that paying for these services is not going to keep you protected, it might only help you a bit if the identity theft disaster occurs. Let’s take a look at whether it is really wise to pay for identity theft protection.
Free plans have you covered
Having an identity protection plan is a good option nowadays, however, it does not mean that you should pay for it. There are plenty of service providers that will offer this to you for free.
This is how far the competition has come. Therefore, if you are thinking about identity theft protection in 2017, you should search for providers that offer this service for free.
Luckily, all you have to do is conduct your research and read online reviews of top service providers. This will lead you to reliable identity theft protection service providers that will offer the whole service for free.
The main reason why you should not pay for these services lies in the fact that they do not protect you from identity theft. There is no solution that will keep you completely safe from identity theft, as there are many loopholes that could be taken advantage of.
Besides using credit score monitoring and identity theft protection, there are several other precautions you can easily take.
A couple of preventive steps you should take
Even though you cannot take care of the data big companies keep about you, you can take preventive steps to protect the data you personally share online with other people and platforms. Let’s take a look at a couple of things you could do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft:
- Use different passwords – Using the same password for all your accounts is a mistake that a lot of people make. If you want to increase your online security, always build strong passwords for every new account you make. Use a password manager to get around quickly, or write the passwords down on a piece of paper.
If you do not take this step, a person might acquire your login information from an irrelevant blog you like reading and use the credentials to access your email, where he or she can get a hold of much more important information.
- Rely on two-step-login authentication – Email service providers such as Google and Yahoo have already introduced this feature a long time ago, making it easier for you to keep your account safe.
Unfortunately, there are still people who do not use it, despite numerous facts that prove how secure it is. Therefore, make sure to use two-step authentication when it is offered. It will make your email or any other type of account practically unhackable.
- Mask your IP address – Using a VPN is now easier than ever. It is the perfect way of protecting your identity online. Learn all about how a VPN keeps you safe and start using it as soon as possible.
- Request credit reports – Visit Experian, Transunion and Equifax and sign up for credit score alerts. This will help you take action in case you become a victim of identity theft. Doing this will allow you to get notified once any change in credit score occurs.
- Public WiFi is your enemy – Yeah, we all love free internet, however, using publicly open hotspots carries a lot of risk, as a hacker can easily take all of your private information from your device. Therefore, avoid using public WiFi hotspots, it is a place where you can easily get in trouble.
- Control your social media – Social media networks are places where many people tend to spend a lot of time. In this process, some of them tend to get carried away and start sharing their private information publicly.
This poses a great danger, as they are openly feeding the hackers with the necessary information that can be used against them. Keep your personal data private, as sharing it only increases the chance of you becoming a victim of identity theft.
- Use a paper shredder – This sounds a bit extreme, but if you work with a lot of documentation that contains your private information, it is best to use a shredder before throwing it in the garbage. Dangers of identity theft do not exist solely online, a person might go through your garbage and pick up your private information as well.
Taking these steps will decrease the chances of becoming a victim of identity theft, but don’t think that you are completely safe. Prevention is great, but it does not remove the risk of bad things happening.
However, it is important to know that you should not pay for identity theft protection in 2017, as some providers charge quite high for this service, whereas others offer it completely free. Be smart and do your research, you can easily take all of the preventive steps for free.