Should I sign up for identity protection to monitor my personal and financial information?

If you are concerned about identity theft, you may want to consider signing up for a monitoring service. Keep in mind that such services are most useful to detect new account fraud, and less likely to catch if someone steals your already-existing credit card or bank account. New account fraud is when someone uses your name, social security number or other personal information to open a credit card, bank account, mobile phone account, or other accounts in your name. Be certain that whichever monitoring service you sign up for will monitor all three credit reporting bureaus – Equifax Inc., Experian Inc. and TransUnion LLC.

If you don’t want to pay for a monitoring service, you can always place fraud alerts on your credit report with each of the major reporting bureaus mentioned above, free of charge. If you want to be extremely safe and cautious, you can place a lifetime freeze on your credit report. This means that no new accounts can be opened in your name without your approval/verification. A credit freeze like this will cost 30 dollars.

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