One of the things I like about working at Identity Guard is that we can help the youth of today - and you their parents – recapture some of the innocence of the America of my youth. With Identity Guard we give parents a way to relax a little about some of the “new” modern worries like ID theft.
How do we do this and how does what we do differ from the advice you often hear about how to guard against identity theft?
Often you see the advice that to be safe from identity theft - or at least to determine if you or your family has become victims - is to simply monitor your own credit report. This will give you an early warning as to whether your identity may be being misused. Even worse, the advice if often given, by "experts" who should know better, that if you get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies in a staggered order throughout the year - you can be safeguarded throughout the year.
This is inaccurate advice, or at least very incomplete, many of the common uses of a stolen identity simply never appear on the credit reports issued by the three credit reporting agencies - TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
Thus if your identity or Social Security number is being used to rent an apartment, turn on utilities, start a cell phone account or file a tax return, those types of the most common uses of stolen IDs, probably will not show up in the credit bureaus' files. Is your medical id information being used by someone else, this will likely not show up on your credit report. Has someone been charged with a crime somewhere, perhaps far distant, and has used your name so he or she can skip bail and disappear, well you get the idea.
Identity Guard offers broader protection because we monitor not only your credit reports for changes but we monitor a wide range of public records and diverse other sources to see if your name or Social Security number has been used in a way you have not authorized. Many times this wide ranging monitoring will uncover illegitimate unauthorized uses of your personal information well before it might show up in a credit report.
I saw an interesting analogy the other day which likened identity theft to catching the flu. You can do just about everything you can think of to prevent catching the flu but somehow there you are in bed with a temperature and feeling miserable. You might do everything you can think of to prevent your personal information from getting out but bang one day you suddenly find yourself a victim of identity theft.