Credit Monitoring

Best Credit Monitoring Services

Some of what makes Identity Guard one of the best include:

3-Bureau Credit Monitoring. Many credit monitoring services will provide you with monitoring from just one of the three credit bureaus. Identity Guard provides monitoring of all three Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This is no small advantage either. Not all creditors report to all three credit bureaus. If you are only monitoring a single bureau report, it is possible that you could completely miss significant information that you need to be aware of. This is especially important if that information could indicate that you are the victim of identity fraud. Credit reports are provided quarterly for each of the three bureaus.

Black Market Monitoring. Identity Guard monitors known black-market websites, plus underground forums and secret chat rooms to see if your name or other personal information comes up. These are the places where databases of ill-gotten personal information often change hands. By monitoring these sources, Identity Guard gives you an opportunity to protect your identity before your information is sold on the black market.

Social Security Monitoring. Your Social Security number is the key to your personal identity. By monitoring where yours appears, and alerting you when it does, you gain valuable time to protect your personal information before the damage gets much worse.

Identity Guard also provides your credit score details, credit updates, internet monitoring (for public records), and provides support in the event that your personal information has been compromised. They also have a $1 million Identity Theft Insurance policy available to help you restore your finances after the theft.

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Credit freeze can prevent fraudulent accounts

But there are some downsides to a credit freeze to consider. It also blocks you from opening new lines of credit, so if you plan to take out a mortgage or apply for a new credit card you’ll need to remember to unfreeze it each time. And residents of some states have to pay a fee for a freeze.

Here’s more on how credit freezes work:

When should I freeze my credit report?

It’s a must if an account has been opened in your name or if you’ve been notified that your Social Security number was taken in a data breach. Even if identity theft hasn’t struck, you still should seriously consider it, since data breaches have become so common. So far in 2015, there have been 766 data breaches at banks, government agencies and big companies, exposing more than 178 million records, according to the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center. A breach of government records, for example, exposed Social Security numbers of about 26 million federal employees and their spouses.

How do I freeze my credit report?

Contact each of the three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You’ll need to freeze your credit report at all three because some creditors only use one. Contact Equifax at www.freeze.equifax.com 800-349-9960, Experian at experian.com/freeze/center.html or 888-397-3742 and TransUnion at transunion.com/securityfreeze or 888-909-8872. They’ll ask you for your Social Security number, name, address and other details.

How much does a credit freeze cost?

It depends on the state laws where you live. Fees are typically between $3 and $10 to freeze each credit report, and you may pay another fee to unfreeze. Freezes are free at a few states, including Indiana and Maine. Fees may also be slightly different at each credit agency. Equifax has a list of fees and rules for each state at pojonews.co/eqfreezefees.

Will the freeze hurt my credit score?

No.

Is this different than credit monitoring?

Yes. Credit monitoring services, which you have to pay a monthly fee for, alerts you if a new account is opened or other suspicious activity takes place. A credit freeze is the only way to stop criminals from opening new accounts in your name. Some experts don’t recommend credit monitoring because it’s expensive, as much as $20 a month. Instead, you can monitor your credit report on your own. You’re entitled to get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three agencies once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com.

When do I need to unfreeze my credit reports?

If you’re applying for a mortgage or auto loan or credit card. That’s because lenders check your report to see if they should lend to you. You can ask the lender what credit reporting agency they use and unfreeze that one, says Litt. You can unfreeze a credit report temporarily or permanently at any time.

How do I unfreeze my credit reports?

By contacting the credit agencies again. When you ask to freeze your credit reports you’ll get a number that you will need to save. That number will be your key to unfreezing your account, so keep it in a safe place. Losing the number will delay removing the freeze.

Will a freeze protect me from all identity theft?

No, it only stops thieves from opening new accounts. Thieves can still use your existing credit or debit cards to make fraudulent charges, so you will still need to check your statements every month. It also doesn’t protect against other types of identity theft, such as taking out prescription medication in your name or filing fraudulent tax returns, says Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of The Identity Theft Resource Center.

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6 Things You Must Know About Credit Monitoring

1. No service is bulletproof.

After the massive Target data breach in 2013, for example, customers were offered ProtectMyID, an Experian-owned service that provided daily credit monitoring, fraud insurance and personal assistance from a fraud resolution agent. Still, it didn’t monitor reports from the other two credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax. Plus, credit-monitoring services notify you only after someone has opened an account in your name, says Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity expert who blogs at KrebsonSecurity.com. “These companies will help you clean up the mess, but it may involve a lot of your time,” he says.

See Also: Guide to Protecting Yourself From 5 Types of Identity Theft

2. Your privacy should be protected.

A service may need to share some data with third parties to resolve fraud problems or complete other tasks, but it should never sell your personal information. Look for a clear explanation of the service’s privacy policy on its Web site.

3. It’s not free forever.

Most coverage expires after a year or two. Ask the provider what happens if a problem isn’t resolved before then. Make sure the service won’t charge you without first obtaining your consent–and make doubly sure you understand how much the service will cost. Credit monitoring averages $120 to $300 a year. For example, Experian charges $19.95 a month (after a $4.95 introductory month) for its Credit Tracker service.

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County residents included in RITA security breach

CIRCLEVILLE – Some Pickaway County residents are part of about 50,000 taxpayers statewide affected by a data security breach through the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA).

Although an exact number was not available, RITA estimates less than 400 Pickaway County residents were affected, according to Amy L. Arrighi, chief legal counsel for RITA, which handles income tax collection for municipalities including the city of Circleville and various villages throughout the county.

Affected taxpayers are being notified by mail of the incident, Arrighi said, and RITA is offering free credit monitoring and identity protection services through Experian for one year to the residents involved in the breach. Details on enrolling in those programs is provided in the notification letter.

The incident reportedly began Nov. 10, 2015, when RITA discovered a DVD containing tax documents and personal information submitted prior to June 2012 was missing, according to an official release. The DVD was part of the agencys computer back-up system and was set to be destroyed securely after a recent upgrade to its back-up process.

The DVD may have included a limited number of taxpayer names, addresses, Social Security numbers and possibly dates of birth. If financial information was included with the municipal income tax documents, this may also have been contained on the DVD.

More information about the security issue can be found at www.ritaohio.com or by calling 1-866-940-3613.

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Gas tax, credit monitoring, driver’s test laws go on books

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) New laws take effect around the country Friday, but in Utah, only a handful of the hundreds passed by lawmakers in 2015 are among them.

Most of the roughly 500 laws Utah legislators passed last year took effect May 12, a default date under state law that marks 60 days from the end of the legislative session.

Here are highlights of laws taking effect Jan. 1 in Utah:

Drivers safety test

Any new drivers applying for a license will have to take an additional test. The new online traffic safety exam includes questions about driving safety and common causes of fatal crashes. Unlike the written test administered at offices of Utahs Driver License Division, applicants will take the traffic safety test online at home or a public library. New drivers must get all 40 questions correct in order to get a license but can take the exam as many times as needed until they pass. The online exam can be taken before or after the other written test and the skills test behind the wheel. An online study guide and link to take the test will be available at http://dld.utah.gov.

Credit monitoring for minors

Utah lawmakers concerned about identity thieves targeting children passed a law requiring credit monitoring agencies to put security holds on minors or incapacitated adults with legal guardians. Parents or a legal guardian or representative can request the credit security freeze. It will remain in place until a request to remove it is filed by the parent, legal guardian or the minor who turns 18.

Gas tax

A gas tax increase takes effect Friday in Utah to help pay for road and bridge repairs. The gas tax law became legally effective last summer, giving officials time to comply with other parts of the law before the tax increase itself was imposed in 2016. The law converts Utahs cents-per-gallon flat tax rate into a percentage that will adjust with the changing price of gas. The tax will jump by an equivalent of about 5 cents per gallon to start, the first hike in that tax since 1997. The State Tax Commission estimates the increase will generate about $76 million a year.

Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Why you should consider freezing your credit reports

NEW YORK — Freeze your credit reports before you get burned.

Thats the message from security experts, consumer advocates and some state Attorneys General. They say more people should consider a credit freeze as a way to block identity thieves from opening new credit cards and other accounts in your name. They recommend a freeze even if your identity hasnt been stolen.

Its much better to shut the door before it even takes place, says Mike Litt, a consumer program advocate at the nonprofit US Public Interest Research Group. You can save yourself so much time and headache.

I didnt listen, and now I regret it. Someone recently applied for 10 credit cards in my name and opened two wireless phone accounts. Removing the fraudulent activity off of my credit reports took hours: I had to make several phone calls, send paperwork and fill out a police report. And my credit score will probably be hurt temporarily until everything is removed. I could have avoided all that if I had frozen my credit reports earlier.

But there are some downsides to a credit freeze to consider. It also blocks you from opening new lines of credit, so if you plan to take out a mortgage or apply for a new credit card youll need to remember to unfreeze it each time. And residents of some states have to pay a fee for a freeze.

Heres more on how credit freezes work:

Q: When should I freeze my credit report?

A: Its a must if an account has been opened in your name or if youve been notified that your Social Security number was taken in a data breach. Even if identity theft hasnt struck, you still should seriously consider it, since data breaches have become so common. So far in 2015, there have been 766 data breaches at banks, government agencies and big companies, exposing more than 178 million records, according to the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center. A breach of government records, for example, exposed Social Security numbers of about 26 million federal employees and their spouses.

Q: How do I freeze my credit report?

A: Contact each of the three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Youll need to freeze your credit report at all three because some creditors only use one. Contact Equifax at www.freeze.equifax.com or 800-349-9960, Experian at experian.com/freeze/center.html or 888-397-3742 and TransUnion at transunion.com/securityfreeze or 888-909-8872. Theyll ask you for your Social Security number, name, address and other details.

Q: How much does a credit freeze cost?

A: It depends on the state laws where you live. Fees are typically between $3 and $10 to freeze each credit report, and you may pay another fee to unfreeze. Freezes are free at a few states, including Indiana and Maine. Fees may also be slightly different at each credit agency. Equifax has a list of fees and rules for each state at https://help.equifax.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/75/~/security-freeze-fees-and-requirements .

Q: Will the freeze hurt my credit score?

A: No.

Q: Is this different than credit monitoring?

A: Yes. Credit monitoring services, which you have to pay a monthly fee for, alerts you if a new account is opened or other suspicious activity takes place. A credit freeze is the only way to stop criminals from opening new accounts in your name. Some experts dont recommend credit monitoring because its expensive, as much as $20 a month. Instead, you can monitor your credit report on your own. Youre entitled to get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three agencies once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com .

Q: When do I need to unfreeze my credit reports?

A: If youre applying for a mortgage or auto loan or credit card. Thats because lenders check your report to see if they should lend to you. You can ask the lender what credit reporting agency they use and unfreeze that one, says Litt. You can unfreeze a credit report temporarily or permanently at any time.

Q: How do I unfreeze my credit reports?

A: By contacting the credit agencies again. When you ask to freeze your credit reports youll get a number that you will need to save. That number will be your key to unfreezing your account, so keep it in a safe place. Losing the number will delay removing the freeze.

Q: Will a freeze protect me from all identity theft?

A: No, it only stops thieves from opening new accounts. Thieves can still use your existing credit or debit cards to make fraudulent charges, so you will still need to check your statements every month. It also doesnt protect against other types of identity theft, such as taking out prescription medication in your name or filing fraudulent tax returns, says Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of The Identity Theft Resource Center.

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BBB: Beware Free Credit Check Websites

Its the start of the new year and many people are looking to get their finances in order — knowing your credit score is a good place to start.

Your credit score will show how you pay your bills, and whether youve been sued or have filed for bankruptcy.This score can be seen on your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.

The Better Business Bureau warns there are credit score imposters out there.

Only one website is authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report you are entitled to under law annualcreditreport.com, saidTeresa Stitcher-Fritz. Other websites that claim to offer free credit reports, free credit scores, or free credit monitoring are not part of the legally mandated free annual credit report program.

Stitcher-Fritz warns that insome casesthe free product comes with strings attached.

For example, some sites sign you up for a supposedly free service that converts to one you have to pay for after a trial period. If you dont cancel during the trial period, you may be unwittingly agreeing to let the company start charging fees to your credit card, she explained.

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Let Joe Know: Top 3 scams to be aware of this January

Its January, and heres our monthly look at scams, concerns and websites you need to know about this month. Get these monthly in your inbox, by signing up for our newsletter on the front Let Joe Know page .

1. GOVERNMENT LETTERS: Most are fake. The government doesnt blindly offer grants or threaten prison time. BUT, some letters from the feds ARE legit. Many of you got one from the US Office of Personnel Management. This one IS REAL. If you worked for the government, applied for a job or had other connections, your personal information could have been hacked. Theyre offering credit monitoring. The key is checking these out with the legitimate agency first.

See the Let Joe Know story .

2. HEALTH CLUBS: A new year. A new you. Hang on. Before you sign gym papers, remember some gyms close and money is lost. So, give little of it upfront and try to go month to month. If you have to auto pay, use a credit, not debit card. And get in writing all of the cancelation and termination policies. You dont want to be sweating for the wrong reasons.

See the Let Joe Know story.

3. HOSPITAL BILLS: Youre physically healed. Then the emotional stress builds when you get a hospital bill you didnt expect. Thats because you already paid your part, or the insurance was to pay fully. Ive seen more of these. And in all cases, the people who win, are the people who keep fighting. If youre right, appeal, appeal and then appeal again.

See the Let Joe Know story .

JOE LETS YOU KNOW: I know you have gift cards. Its the go to holiday gift. Now you NEED to use them! Stores go out of business. You dont want to be stuck with a piece of plastic. And check into the fees so youre not giving most of the value back to the bank.

(PRODUCER) COURTNEYS CORNER:  Want your home to have new look in the new year? Before hiring a contractor, make sure you check them out with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors . But if you do happen to get taken, make sure to report it! Stealing your money is a crime and reporting it helps law enforcement track down the scammers and helps prevent them from victimizing others.

WEBSITE YOU NEED TO SEE: Your kids are starting a new school semester. This is a pretty cool app . It rounds up amounts from purchases, takes that change and invests it. And its free for anyone under 24 or students with an .edu email address.

STORY OF THE MONTH: We tested call blockers to stop telemarketing calls on your landlines.

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Dashlane Launches Password Defense Alert

NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Dashlane, the worlds leadingpassword manager, announces the launch ofDashlane Password Defense Alert, a groundbreaking program companies use to help their customers proactively manage their digital identity after data loss incidents.This industry-first solution brings the same security provided by credit monitoring to online logins and passwords.

While businesses of any shape and size can use the service, Dashlane is initially partnering with the cyber insurance ecosystem of carriers, brokers, and breach response specialists to provide Password Defense Alert. Dashlanes 24/7 breach monitoring service notifies users the instant an account or password is compromised. The service enables users to fix both at-risk accounts and compromised passwords with one click to safeguard their accounts against future risks.

Once installed, Dashlane enables account holders to quickly import their passwords into a secure, encrypted vault that is only accessible by the account holder. Dashlanes Password Defense Alert coaches the account holder onhow they can easily update at-risk passwords that are weak, old, or reused for several accounts. Multiple passwords can be changed at the same time by using Dashlanes exclusive single-click Password Changer. Dashlane also automatically logs in users from all of their devices using industry leading web analysis for high predictive accuracy. This means passwords are strong, secure, and never forgotten by the account holder.

More and more business security experts recommend the features of Dashlane Password Defense Alert as a post-breach remediation, as well as a way to help prevent future data incidents. The industry-leading features of Dashlanes Password Defense Alert include:

  • Easy Onboarding Dashlanes consumer-friendly onboarding guides users through the process of installation, importing and strengthening old passwords, and enabling auto-login via the most popular browsers. This simple setup process makes consumers more productive and more secure in a matter of minutes.
  • Automatic Password Changer Users select the passwords they want to change, and Dashlane automatically changes them in a click. The new strong and unique Dashlane-generated password is automatically and securely synced across all their devices aprocess that used to take hours now takes mere seconds.
  • Password Health Dashboard Improving password health is made easy through a simple scoring of your passwords to avoid weak, reused, old, or compromised passwords. Account holders click on the poor passwords to quickly change them and instantly improve their score.
  • Secure Password Generator Users never have to reuse passwords after they generate strong, unique passwords for all of their online accounts. Password Generator will evencraft random passwords on the webpage when creating new accounts or resetting passwords.
  • Compromised Site Alerts – Get security alerts sent straight to your device when any of your accounts may be compromised, then change the password quickly, as easily as a single tap in many cases.

To learn more go to:
https://www.dashlane.com/password-defense-alert

Emmanuel Schalit, Dashlane CEO, states:

Its long been recognized by those familiar with breaches that password managers are the best first line of defense. We are happy to work with the largest carriers in the world, along with the ecosystem of breach response specialists to help those affected by a data incident. They deserve a service like Dashlane that can quickly secure their accounts with unique, strong passwords.

This is a really important new channel for our core product. Throughout 2016 Dashlane will be making investments in our monitoring service, rolling out seamless account setup and onboarding for corporate customers while massively expanding our unrivaled Password Changer feature to be compatible with over 1,000 websites in 2016. No product on the market makes it easier for someone to manage, change, and protect their passwords.

John Mullen, Chair of the Data Privacy and Network Security Practice, Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard, amp; Smith LLC states:

Dashlanes Password Defense Alert helps fulfill consumers need to protect themselves after a data incident. Its a terrific tool for insureds to demonstrate that they care about the cyber health of their customers.

Dashlane makes identity and payments simple with its password manager and secure digital wallet app. Dashlane allows its users to securely manage passwords, credit cards, IDs, and other important information via advanced encryption and local storage. Dashlane has helped over 3.8 million users manage and secure their digital identity, and has enabled over $4.5 billion in e-commerce transactions.

The app is available on PC, Mac, Android, and iOS, and has won critical acclaim from top publications, including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The company has offices in New York City and Paris, and has received $30 million in funding from Rho Ventures, FirstMark Capital, and Bessemer Venture Partners. Learn more at Dashlane.com

SOURCE Dashlane

RELATED LINKS
http://www.dashlane.com

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Connecticut AG Urges Anthem Data Breach Victims To Sign Up For Free Credit …

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) The Anthem data breach last February has customers concerned their stolen info may be used, or may have already been used, to file fraudulent tax returns.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, who has taken the lead in tracking and monitoring the fallout from the breach, said to date there is no hard evidence that stolen information has been used to file fraudulent tax returns.

However, he strongly advises those impacted by the breach to get free credit monitoring offered by Anthem.

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