Identity theft protection
The identity theft protection packages that are so popular among people have settled somewhere between $9 and $15 per month or about $120 to $180 annually. But what if you could get similar protection for free?
The idea with an identity theft protection package is that it should give you peace of mind in the event somebody steals your identity because it provides early warning.
Longtime listeners know I think this is a weak way to protect your identity. (Read on for more details about alternatives.) But let’s assume for a minute that the pitch from the identity theft protection package companies appeals to you.
Well, there’s a new freemium service called AllClearID.com. Their basic service is free, while you can upgrade to a fancier version for $9.95 a month.
The free version tries to sniff out suspicious activity via online surveillance and the monitoring of identity attack reports from major company databases. In addition, the free service also supposedly offers to help you with repairing your identity should somebody run off with it.
As I said, this idea of having a monitoring service in place is not my favorite way for you to protect your identity. I prefer you do a credit freeze, which is the best way I know to prevent criminals from opening new lines of credit in your name.
But know this: Doing a credit freeze means you have to do a ‘thaw’ your credit (for a nominal fee) each time you want a new line of credit. Even if you choose to get a new cell phone and the company has to check your credit, you have to thaw it! That’s been a bridge too far for some.
If that sounds like you, try AllClearID.com for free for now. Let’s see if it doesn’t give you peace of mind without taking a piece of your wallet.