Identity theft is a common issue in today’s society. One of the biggest culprits for that is technology and internet, to be more specific.
What is ID theft?
How does one steal someone’s identity? Well, ID theft occurs when someone intentionally gets access to your personal data and uses it for their own benefit, without being authorized to do so. ID thieves can steal your social security number, your credit card details, bank accounts and so on.
How can they use that information?
Identity theft can have various unpleasant consequences. Your identity can be maliciously used for things like:
- obtaining a loan in your name
- purchasing things using your credit cards
- stealing all the money in your bank account
- obtaining your personal documents such as passport, driving license
- getting new credit cards
- obtaining medical assistance or certain drugs
- obtaining state benefits using your name and more
In more severe cases of ID theft, criminals use the stolen identities to get away with murder or other illegal activities they might be involved in.
How do thieves steal your identity?
There are a lot of methods and strategies used to steal someone’s identity and most of them rely on technology and the use of internet:
- most often, these ID thieves are genius cyber criminals and manage to hack your computer or break into your online accounts
- social media accounts are always easy targets (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- ID thieves infect your device with malware
- ID thieves use deceptive SMS messages or emails, convincing you to reveal important personal information
- Skimming is another common method credit card holders should look out for
In addition to making sure you use top-notch protection for all your online accounts, there are other measures you can take to reduce the risk of becoming an ID theft victim. You should always destroy any paper documents you know you no longer need, so they don’t fall in the wrong hands. You should also cancel your mail or restrict the access to your mailbox, especially if you know you have to leave town for a few days or longer. And as a general rule, avoid sharing any personal info on websites. Only provide the required minimum when creating an account.
PROS and CONS of using an ID theft protection service
ID theft protection services should always be seen as a good additional measure to protect your identity. ID theft protection services are usually offered by financial companies that offer credit monitoring. These services are valuable because in addition to monitoring, also offer recovery assistance in case your ID gets stolen. However, you shouldn’t rely solely on ID theft protection services and you should be aware of the fact that they can’t prevent ID theft from taking place.
PROS of using an ID theft protection service
- All your data will be monitored 24/7, including bank accounts, credit reports, medical records and so on, so that’s one less thing you have to deal with yourself
- ID theft protection services offer recovery in case you have your ID stolen; they help and assist you with the entire restoration process and also offer insurance of up to $1 million or even more
- You get alerts within 24 hours in case any changes are made to your credit reports, etc.
- No ID theft protection service can guarantee that your ID won’t get stolen; all they can do is notify you in case of any suspicious changes made to your accounts and help you restore your ID in case it does get stolen
What to look for when choosing an ID theft protection service
There are several aspects to consider when choosing an ID theft protection service. The most important ones though are budget and trust-worthiness. Do some research and compare several services and see which one is the most affordable and the best deal.
You should also stay away from companies that claim they can protect you 100% against ID theft, because that is a lie. As we’ve already mentioned it, no company can guarantee that and ID theft protection services should just be seen as an additional security measure.
Zander ID Theft Protection – Is it a good option to consider?
Zander ID Theft Protection is an ID theft protection service offered by Zander Insurance Group. The company is mostly renowned for its insurance services. Zander has been on the market for over 90 years and it also offers an ID theft protection service. The company boasts on being endorsed by the successful author and business man, Dave Ramsey.
Zander has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and it is headquartered in Nashville.
What are the features of the Zander ID theft protection service?
The ID theft protection service from Zander includes two plans: Individual and Family.
The Individual plan costs $6.75/month or $75/year.
The Family plan is priced at $12.90/month or $145/year.
If you opt for the Family plan, you’ll also get ID protection for your children at no extra cost.
Each person included in Zander’s plans will get monitoring services for 1 Social Security Number, up to 6 email addresses, 5 medical IDs, 5 phone numbers and bank accounts.
Zander looks out for all common types of fraud, from financial to medical, employment, tax and more.
The recovery insurance offered by Zander in case of ID theft is $1 million, which is pretty much the industry standard. That amount will cover the expenses related to your ID restoration: legal and court fees, transcripts, credit freeze fees, travel fees, paying for necessary documents, lost wages (up to $30,000), etc.
Zander offers 24/7 customer support through phone and e-mail and you benefit from top-notch support. Their customer support reps are friendly, helpful and the response times are really great.