Why is it so important to have restoration services with your ID theft protection?

Key Takeaway
Identity theft protection is essential, and Homebody provides insightful advice on how identity theft protection services can help. These services offer quicker notifications, qualified support, and peace of mind during identity theft, including monitoring, credit protection, insurance, and restoration. Don't gamble with your sensitive information. Read this comprehensive article by Homebody to learn more.

Identity theft is rampant in America and being a victim can be draining. But you must fully understand the benefits of identity theft protection, and see why ID restoration services are particularly important. This article is for you if you want to know how restoration services can help with your ID theft protection. 

In truth, there are many benefits to this specific service that make it arguably the cornerstone offering from ID theft protection plans. 

What Are Identity Theft Protection Services?

You might have heard the word ‘theft protection service’ before. Identity theft protection services are professional services offered by experts in the ID theft protection and recovery arena. In summary, they help you monitor your personal information over the Internet, alert you that your information may be compromised, and can even help you recover your info or begin the process of ID restoration afterward.

In many cases, ID theft protection services are offered by antivirus companies. But they are also offered by dedicated insurance firms and completely separate companies that only focus on identity theft defense. In any case, identity theft protection services are highly useful and valuable for you if you are into the following:

  • Online business 
  • Spend lots of time on the Internet
  • Work remotely

Key Elements of Identity Theft Protection

You might be interested in protecting yourself against ID theft. And as a popular cliche, prevention is better than cure. Identity theft protection is usually comprised of several key services. Depending on the plan or provider you choose, your ID theft protection plan may include some or all of these elements.

Identity Monitoring

Identity monitoring is the cornerstone effort of identity theft protection. Put simply, identity monitoring checks the Internet, and particularly the dark web, for any personal information related to your identity, such as your:

  • Social Security number
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Public Records
  • And more

This is just so helpful in protecting you from theft. The point of identity monitoring is to check data brokers, database websites, and other locations where your information may pop up. If your information appears without your consent or under strange circumstances, the identity monitoring service will alert you and help you take the first steps to protect your ID. Furthermore, identity monitoring usually checks for changes in your public records or your personal information. 

For example, if your passwords to several accounts suddenly change without warning, it may alert you so you can check if your identity has been compromised.

Credit Monitoring

ID theft protection agencies also usually include credit monitoring services. Credit monitoring is similar to identity monitoring, but it focuses more on your credit score and credit information. Your credit score comprises all the credit info related to your identity, such as your lines of credit, any open accounts you have, your recent loans, the bills you paid, and so on. 

The big credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – then use that information to develop your credit score. Lenders and banks use your credit score to figure out what financial tools and resources you have access to. The better your credit score is, the better a financial position you will likely be in. 

Unfortunately, identity thieves can compromise your credit score by opening up new lines of credit, stealing money, and more. That is just so sad. Therefore, credit monitoring plays an important role in ID theft protection overall. It usually includes:

  • Monitoring credit activity for each of the three credit bureaus
  • Watching for any personally identifiable information online, similar to identity monitoring
  • Checking your financial accounts and watching for any suspicious activity
  • Carefully monitor each of your credit scores for changes

Credit monitoring is highly useful. While it is possible to manually watch your credit score, especially by taking advantage of the annual free credit report you can get from each of the bureaus, credit monitoring takes that burden off your shoulders so you can focus on other things.

Identity Theft Insurance

Many of the best identity theft protection services also offer ID theft insurance. Identity theft insurance is a special insurance policy that covers some of the costs associated with recovering your ID after an identity theft attack.For example, say that your identity is stolen, and you have to close several lines of credit, pay various fees, and even hire lawyers to prove that you did take out a specific loan. If you have ID theft insurance, all those costs will be covered. ID theft insurance will also cover you for things like lost wages, legal fees, etc.

Identity theft insurance doesn't cover any purchases made by credit card or lines of credit under your name, nor does it protect you or reimburse you for stolen funds. However, most bank accounts come with insurance packages that will reimburse you for any money stolen from them. As ID theft insurance is important, pet insurance is important too. Furthermore, the Fair Credit Billing Act notes that you cannot be held legally responsible for any illegitimate charges made under your credit cards for more than $50. Given this fact, ID theft insurance is still an important and useful part of comprehensive ID theft protection.

Identity Recovery and Restoration

Identity recovery and restoration is the last, and arguably most important, part of ID theft protection. It’s almost impossible to completely protect yourself from identity theft, as the risk is always present. But ID restoration services will help you mitigate the damage and help you get your life back to normal ASAP.

Identity recovery includes the following and more services:

  • Fraud alerts for each of the credit bureaus
  • Report filing with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), banks, credit unions, and even local police departments
  • Ordering credit reports from the three credit bureaus so you can take a closer look at your credit activity
  • Collecting extra info necessary to restore your identity and your good standing with banks and credit unions

Recovering after your personal information is compromised can be long, tedious, and very stressful. Restoration services from ID theft protection companies make this much easier on you, and they can sometimes accelerate the ID recovery process.

Are ID Restoration Services Necessary?

All that said, many Americans wonder whether ID restoration services are necessary. 

They might look at an ID theft protection plan that focuses on credit monitoring and ID monitoring but not have anything else.

Put yourself in the shoes of an American who loses access to their bank account and other key personal information. That is something you do not want to imagine.

In the immediate aftermath, you’ll have to:

  • Notify the credit bureaus, banks, and credit unions that your identity has been stolen. Each of those organizations will have different processes, require you to write different letters, and will minimize your ability to open up new lines of credit or take out loans in the meantime.
  • Change all the passwords to your important accounts, especially if you only have one or two passwords that you share between all of them.
  • Notify the FTC and possibly the local police department about the identity theft.
  • Consider contacting attorneys in case you need to sue an at-fault party or you need to defend yourself against accusations of fraud (which can happen if the identity thief uses your information to take out an illegitimate loan or open an illegitimate line of credit).
  • Check your credit reports carefully for any other signs of identity theft.
  • Negotiate with creditors who may come after you for debts that were taken out under your name but which you did not consent to.
  • And much more.

On top of that, you’ll need to work your regular job, track your finances, and possibly even take money out of your bank to prevent it from being stolen. 

Then you’ll need to cancel your existing credit cards and order new ones from your bank or credit union!

It’s a lot for anyone to handle, so it’s no wonder many people feel excessive stress after an ID theft attack. 

And that is why you need ID theft protection.

If you have ID restoration services, this work can be offloaded to professionals who know exactly what to do, who to contact, and what initial steps you should take.

So while ID restoration services are not strictly necessary, as in you can do it yourself, you likely won’t want to. 

After your ID is stolen, the odds are you’ll want to get things back as quickly as you can.

The Benefits of Identity Restoration Services

Identity restoration services have many critical benefits that you and your family might like. Those benefits can result in a faster recovery time overall and better mental health throughout the crisis. Of course, you want that.

Faster Alerts and Response Times

For starters, identity restoration services often lead to much faster alerts and response times from critical authorities.

When you sign up for identity restoration services, you’ll get instantaneous alerts if your personal information is ever compromised across many online databases. 

Rather than having to monitor all those databases yourself, you can have a professional service do it for you, and rest assured that you’ll receive text, email, phone, or other alerts depending on your preferences.

And with Homebody, you can have peace of mind.

The faster you receive those alerts, the sooner you can take the necessary steps you need to begin the recovery process and prevent your identity theft from continuing further. 

You often get identity theft alerts within minutes of your information being compromised.

When the time comes to alert the authorities, like the FTC or the credit bureaus, your identity restoration services team can help you. 

Again, the sooner, the better. Once you alert the credit bureaus that your identity has been compromised, they can immediately enact credit freezes for your accounts, preventing identity thieves from using your stolen information.

Dear one, time is of the essence when it comes to identity theft protection and recovery, and identity restoration services help you maximize your time.

Assistance Writing Letters to Bureaus and Agencies

As you read earlier, restoring your identity often requires sending a lot of official notifications to the three credit bureaus, and the FTC, the IRS, and any other banks or agencies you may need to contact. 

For some consumers, this can add up to nearly a dozen letters or conditions they need to write.

All that time can feel like quite a headache. 

With an identity restoration services team on your side, you can get the assistance you need in writing letters to credit bureaus and more.

For example, each credit bureau allows you to write dispute letters pointing out that information on your credit report(s) is inaccurate or illegitimate in some way. 

While credit dispute letters aren't necessarily complex, they can take a lot of time and effort if you haven't written one before.

Identity restoration services know exactly what you should write, the information you need to include, and where to send the letters when they are finished. 

Having identity restoration services work for you as having experts on your team, ready to assist no matter what you need.

Not only will your letters be more likely to result in optimal results and conclusions for your family, but your letters will get to the right authorities more quickly.

Mediation with Creditors and Third Parties

Furthermore, identity theft restoration services can help mediate between you and creditors or any other interested third parties.

Say that an identity thief steals a lot of your personal information and takes out unwanted debts or loans in your name. 

The creditors for those debts and loans don’t know your identity has been compromised. When they approach you for payment, they may think you are just trying to get out of a legal debt obligation.

However, your identity theft restoration service can help prove that you are innocent of missing debt payments or taking out illegitimate loans in the first place. 

In addition, they can negotiate with creditors or other third parties, so you don't have to worry about these stressful situations.

If a creditor refuses to listen to reason and continues to come after you for money that you did not legitimately borrow, your identity restoration team can get the creditor to stop harassing you and, if necessary, point you toward additional resources (like filing a complaint with the FTC).

Professional Advice

Throughout the identity restoration process, you’ll likely have many questions, concerns, and other matters you want cleared up. 

But if you don’t have identity restoration services, you won’t know who to ask.

The people working for identity restoration services know the ins and outs of identity theft and recovery processes. 

Thus, they will be able to provide you with professional advice at each step of the process, including:

  • How you should respond to identity theft
  • Who you should contact concerning your identity theft
  • The kinds of letters you should write
  • Whether you need to change all your passwords or cancel credit cards
  • And much more

Thanks to this professional advice, you’ll make the best decisions possible for both yourself and your family, plus minimize the overall harm that an identity thief could cause.

Peace of Mind

Most importantly, identity restoration services can provide you with excellent peace of mind. 

You do not want to feel the intense stress and anxiety of identity theft, but it’s sometimes unavoidable.

Yet with identity theft restoration services working for you, you'll be much more calm, confident and secure going forward. 

Not only will you have the resources you need to minimize any identity theft-related damage, but you'll also be able to take advantage of key tips and strategies to minimize future compromised information getting out to the Internet.

Is Identity Theft Protection Worth It?

Identity theft protection is usually worth it, even if you aren’t a victim of identity theft. 

Even if you aren’t a victim of identity theft right now, a future data breach, viral attack, or other identity theft incident could still leave you vulnerable to the fallout described earlier.

With that in mind, identity theft protection is almost always an ideal means to protect yourself and your family, plus a critical part of an identity theft protection plan. Think of it this way.

You could go forward without identity theft protection services, but then you would have total responsibility over your identity theft protection. 

If you don’t know what to do, what types of identity theft you may be most vulnerable against, or where to look for your compromised information, you could make yourself much more likely to experience identity theft in the first place.

Identity theft protection usually isn't terribly expensive, especially if you purchase it with antivirus protection from one of the most well-known providers. 

You can think of identity theft protection and restoration services specifically, as investments into the future. 

Because you are spending more and more time online than ever, that investment is also more valuable than ever.

Tips to Prevent Identity Theft

That all said, it’s undoubtedly a wise strategy to try to prevent identity theft before it becomes a problem. 

Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can minimize your vulnerabilities to identity theft.

Keep Your Personal Info Secure

Firstly, always make sure to keep your personal information safe and secure. 

Do not put your personal info out on the Internet without good reason. I don’t think you should share your personal info.

This is also true even if you send secure emails to people you trust!

Each time you put your information online, there’s a chance it could be saved, stolen, or scooped up later by a motivated identity. 

It’s a much better strategy to only ever for your personal info online when it’s absolutely necessary. 

If someone asks you for your personal info, ask a few questions back to ensure they are legitimate government organization or credit bureau agents. Do this for your safety. It is worth it.

Watch Your Wallet and Phone

Your wallet has a wealth of information that can give a potential identity thief clues about your account passwords, bank account info, and more. 

The same is true for your mobile device or smartphone.

Therefore, you should keep both of these things safe at all times. Don’t leave your phone or wallet sitting around or out of sight. 

Furthermore, invest in extra protections for your phone, like fingerprint ID scanners. These are good ways to prevent your phone from being broken into if you ever lose it or it is stolen.

On top of that, keep your Social Security card out of your wallet. 

If your wallet is ever stolen, that card alone could give an identity thief everything they need to break into your most valuable accounts.

Be Aware of Scams

Identity thieves will often use scams to get people to voluntarily give up valuable information, like their passwords, Social Security numbers, and more. 

Be wise. Educate yourself on the different scam tactics that an identity thief might use, and make sure that everyone in your company and your family knows how to spot potential scams as well.

For example, phishing scams are some of the most popular and common among identity thieves. 

With these scams, an identity thief poses as a legitimate individual over email and tries to get you to give up your personal information. 

Phishing emails may also try to deploy viruses to your computer once you open them.

You can usually recognize phishing emails if they come from unexpected addresses if they have spelling errors and more. 

For the best defense, try not to open any emails you suspect to be scams; just send them to the trash.

Choose Paperless Bills

Paperless billing is a very effective way to keep your personal information safe. That's because bank statements, credit card offers, and other paper documents can be important tools for would-be identity thieves. 

Call your bank or credit union and opt out of free credit card offers. You should also opt-in to paperless billing instead.

If all your bank statements come to you over email or a secure bank portal, it’s much harder for hackers and identity thieves to get access to the information contained within. 

Furthermore, you’ll usually save a little bit and fees monthly; it’s a win-win!

Check Your Credit Reports and Bank Statements

Don’t forget to regularly check your credit reports from each big credit bureaus, plus any bank statements you get sent (paper or online statements).

A regular check on your bank statements can help a lot.

Each year, you are legally entitled to one free credit report from the major credit bureaus. You should download these reports and look through them line by line. 

This way, you can see if there is any suspicious activity associated with your credit account and begin the ID recovery process immediately if needed.

By the same token, checking your bank statements frequently (ideally once every month or once every quarter) will give you plenty of time to respond to ID theft if you see illegitimate charges or strange activity.

Shred Sensitive Documents

Those bank statements, tax return documents, and other vital documents or papers should be shredded when you no longer need them. 

Don’t leave them in your home or even in your office at work, where they can easily be stolen by anyone who has access to them.

Shredding stolen documents makes the information contained within much more difficult, if not impossible, to lift. 

That way, you can shore up your identity theft offenses.

Use Strong Passwords

Remember to protect all your accounts with strong passwords and never use the same password twice. 

A strong password doesn't refer to anything in your life, like a date or favorite place, and it should include upper and lowercase letters alongside special characters and numbers.

If you have trouble remembering different passwords for various accounts, use a password manager to store all of them securely and automatically input them into digital fields when needed. 

You can usually get access to password managers through antivirus software suites.

The bottom line

ID theft restoration is an invaluable service you and your family can and should take advantage of. ID theft restoration provides additional peace of mind and can help you get things back to normal quicker than otherwise. 

If you sign up for an ID theft protection plan , ensure it includes ID restoration services!

Get a quote with Homebody now.

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