Is Credit Monitoring and Identity Protection Worth It?
Are you considering signing up for credit monitoring and identity protection? In this article we look at whether it’s worth it.
What are Credit Monitoring and Identity Protection?
Credit monitoring and identity protection take it up a level when it comes to protecting your credit.
Massive data breaches are more common these days than they used to be. It’s hard to go by a week and not hear about them. If your data has been compromised in a massive data breach, it’s important to be proactive and ensure that someone doesn’t take your credit identity and use it for financial gain. That’s when credit monitoring and identity protection come on.
As the name suggests, credit monitoring keeps a watchful eye on your credit. If there are any suspicious activities, you should be the first to know. For example, if purchases are made from a foreign place or several larger purchases made in a short period, those should be flagged. This can help protect you when someone steals your credit card and tries to use it themselves.
Identity protection takes it up a level. It keeps a close eye on your credit report, Social Insurance Number and credit cards. Again, if suspicious activity is detected, you should be the first to know.
Drawbacks of Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft
The drawback to credit monitoring is that it’s not 100% reliable. Some fraudulent activity may slip by undetected on your credit card. That’s why it’s always a good idea to regularly check your credit report to ensure you aren’t missing anything.
Sometimes these services are offered for free, for example, after a massive data breach. However, other times you may have to pay for them. All the major banks seem to offer them. You’ll have to decide whether it’s worth the price. You can purchase it to be proactive, but usually, it’s only worth it when you are concerned that you’ve been the victim of a major data breach.
No Credit Freezes in Canada Yet
Something that Canada lacks are credit freezes. In the U.S. you can freeze your credit account if you fear you have been the victim of identity theft. That means that credit cannot be granted from your account. This isn’t an option yet in Canada. That means you need to regularly monitor your credit report to make sure there aren’t any suspicious activities and if there are, report them right away.
You can add a note to your credit report asking credit grantors to call you before approving you for credit. While that sounds good in theory, this doesn’t always happen. Credit grantors have been known to approve credit applications without calling. That’s why getting credit monitoring and identity protection can still be helpful, even if it isn’t perfect.
The Bottom Line
Are you considering credit monitoring and identity theft and you’re not sure whether it’s worth it? Speak to our mortgage experts today to help decide whether it’s beneficial to you.