How to protect yourself from identity theft - CyberGuy

How to protect yourself from identity theft

We receive many messages from our viewers indicating either they’ve been scammed and the scammers got into their bank accounts and never knew it.  Just recently, we receive this from one of our readers:

“I almost got scammed over the phone by people posing as Social Security and the Drug Enforcement Agency. I am now in the market for the best identity theft protection.  Can you advise, please? – Esther H.”

It seems inevitable to get a plain envelope from some company —you’ve worked for, frequented, or purchased from—announcing another data breach. Somewhere someone screwed up or they got hacked, and now data about you is floating around the internet and god knows where else. They offer a basic identity protection service you can enroll in. But by that point, it seems like a moot point. The moment when your data was compromised was the best moment to get the notification. A moment to take action to prevent any further consequences.

According to the Identify Theft Research Center, there has been a 14% increase in reported cyberattack data breaches during the first quarter of 2022 vs. the same period in 2021. With hackers targeting health-care establishments, financial firms, manufacturers and utility companies, it is hard to avoid being in the cross-hairs of these cybercriminal attacks.

Why not protect yourself from the get-go so you’re not reacting to these types of letters or worse financial repercussions such as random charges to your account or weird accounts being opened and closed in your name with your information.

 

Why is Fraud Protection Vital to You?

The saying an ‘ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ can not be more fitting than when thinking about fraud protection.

When you think about fraud, you might think about fraudulent credit card charges. But fraud covers a whole lot more than most people realize. Though most banks and credit card companies will issue you a refund or recoup some of the verifiable fraud charges on your account as well as replace your credit card if it was lost or stolen, they will very rarely assist you in more complex matters listed (but not limited to) below:

  • Stolen social security numbers
  • Credit score fluctuations because of accounts opened or closed under your information
  • Negative credit reports from major credit bureau
  • Prevention of further abuse of your financials with security freezes or account locks
  • Reimbursement of stolen funds
  • Scanning the dark web to alert you if your information is being bought or sold

Certainly, you can hope for the best and eventually be contacted by an organization you interacted with a scary letter informing you that your private data has been leaked.

The alternative is getting a fraud protection service, which will likely alert you sooner and help you deal with the repercussions.  With fraud protection service, you will know who to call or what to do next as soon as you get an alert or letter about suspicious activities. While it is great to simply have a service that will alert you of problematic activity, some services guide you step-by-step when a suspicious activity or cybercriminal activity impacts you.

The importance of fraud protection is well accepted and understood. You can certainly try to manually manage your accounts and credit individually…OR you can utilize a reputable fraud protection company.

Fortunately, taking advantage of stellar fraud protection from our top pick, Identity Guard is even more affordable with an exclusive CyberGuy Cyber Monday savings (51% off).

It's the smartest thing I have done in a long time - locking up my identity from evil elements online.  Give the gift of protecting you and your loved ones from growing threats online.  Bad actors and sinister threats from the web are taking over innocent American's identities to steal and perpetrate crimes against you.   Lock up your identity and get round-the-clock protection from the leader in the identity security world.   Read more about how to set up Identity Guard here.

REG $ 29.99 /mo   NOW $ 14.99/mo 50% OFF

More Less

We like their Ultra Deal ($14.99/month billed annually) which includes the 3 bureau credit monitoring, credit report, Experian credit lock, monthly credit score, credit and debit card monitoring, 401k and investment monitoring, home title monitoring plus more.

Because Identity Guard offers so many great services, we wanted to walk you through, step by step, what you need to do.

 

How to sign up for Identity Guard

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to sign up for Identity Guard:

1. After selecting the plan or subscription you prefer, enter your email then click ‘Continue’

2. Enter First & Last Name as well as Middle name or Suffix then click ‘Continue’

3. Enter you primary address then click ‘Continue’

4. Enter your primary phone number, date of birth, and social security number then click ‘Continue’


5. Double-check that you have selected the correct plan and billing cycle (monthly or annual), enter your payment information then click ‘Complete Order’


6. Create a secure password for your account, enter it again below the first box then click ‘Create Password’


7. You’ll be sent a verification code to the number you provide in Step 4. Enter the 4 digits then click ‘Verify’ to confirm your number (or if you don’t have a mobile number, click “I don’t have a mobile phone” below & follow the prompts)

 

8. Once you are on the main dashboard, you can begin the verification process for each section to make sure you are maximizing your plan & staying as secure as possible.

 


 

What to do once you’ve signed up with Identity Guard

Now that you’ve finally committed toward serious fraud protection, below are steps on how to step up your account after setup. Below is a detailed video to walk you through the process of setting up credit monitoring and more.

1) Step 1: How to verify your identity and set up Credit Monitoring in Identity Guard

It is important to verify your identity if you want to receive fraud alert notifications.  Watch the video below to guide you through and also see the steps broken out below this video.

 

Follow these steps to verify your identity and set up your credit monitoring

1. If you aren’t already logged into your Identity Guard dashboard, use the email address you provided at sign-up and password you created in Step 6 (above). (It may ask you to enter a security code, most likely sent to your mobile device (the phone number you provided in Step 4). If you didn’t sign up with a mobile number, it likely sent you a code to your email.

 

2. Click on ‘Verify your identity’ on the ‘Credit’ tile

 

3. A pop-up window will appear, click ‘Start’ to begin verifying your identity

 

4. You will be asked questions about accounts opened, amounts paid or addresses you’ve lived or worked in. Please note, none of the options may be relevant to you. If so, then just click ‘None of the above’.  You’ll be asked about 6 questions. Click ‘Next’ after each response. Once you’re finished you can click ‘Submit’

 


 

What to do after you’ve verified your identity with Identity Guard

See this video below to walk you through how to navigate the many features to protect yourself, then read below for our breakdown.

2) Step 2: How to create a Watchlist in Identity Guard

1. Click on the ‘Features’ button
2. Click ‘Identity’
3. Information you provided during sign-up is automatically placed into the watchlist
4. To add information, simply click the “+” sign for each category
5. Once you’re done adding information, you can click the ‘X’ at the top of the pop-up window
6. At any point of the process, you can click the Identity Guard logo at the top left corner of your window

 

3) Step 3: How to set up a Family Plan in Identity Guard

1. If you have a family plan as part of your subscription, click the ‘Protect your family member’ tile

2. Click on ‘Invite members’ to add additional 5 adults  (Don’t worry! You won’t be able to see their info and they won’t be able to see yours!)

3. Fill in first and last name, add their email address, and click ‘send’ for each family member you’d like to add to your account.

 

4) Step 4: How to access your 3-bureau credit reports in Identity Guard

Have access to 3- credit bureau reports

  1. To access the credit reports, click the ‘Credit’ tile, which shows the credit score OR Under ‘Features’ (on top left menu), click ‘Credit’, scroll down toward the bottom of the page, and click ‘Generate your credit report’ button
  2. Click ‘Request report’
  3. Once your report populates, you’ll get the 3 different bureaus on one page. You can click on the name of each bureau to see each report by the different bureau
  4. Having 3-bureau monitoring means you’ll be alerted of any changes such as new inquiries, credit lines opened, or closed accounts
  5. If you are alerted of any changes not made by you, you will be able to access Identity Guard’s white glove fraud resolution team. This is a US-based, fraud resolution team that helps you resolve the issue, create a remediation plan and assist you in recovering or preventing any loss or damages.

 

5) Step 5: How to setup Transaction Monitoring in Identity Guard

If you’d like to monitor your transactions and your plan allows it, you can add up to 5 bank accounts for Identity Guard to monitor.

To set up the bank accounts you want to monitor:

  1. Click ‘link accounts’ on the ‘Transaction’ tile
  2. You’ll get a pop-up box that notifies you that Identity Guard uses Plaid, a third-party company, to connect to the accounts you want monitored. This way you can connect to the accounts safely as well as understand how Plaid uses your data. Click ‘Continue’
  3. If you don’t see your financial institution, you can enter the name in the search box at the top. Once you see the name of your financial institution, click it.
  4. You’ll get a notification that you are authenticating your information with the financial institution of your choice. Click ‘Continue’
  5. When the login for your external account opens, enter your username and password then click to log into the account
  6. You may or may not be asked to verify your account with either a temporary pin, code or answer to a question
  7. Once you have been successfully verified, click ‘continue’
  8. Once you have connected to the financial account, you can set specific thresholds for each account so you can receive an alert if it goes above or below a certain threshold. You can add thresholds by clicking the exclamation icon on the top right of the ‘Transactions’ page.

 


 

What if I need additional guidance with Identity Guard?

If you have any further questions regarding any of the steps above, Identity Guard has a fantastic customer service team that will help answer any questions on their contact page.

Have you tried to protect yourself from fraud out there? How have services like this alerted you?  We’d love to hear how you have handled any close calls or experiences with fraud. Tell us below!

 

IDENTITY GUARD – EXCLUSIVE HOLIDAY DEAL – Save up to 51%

It's the smartest thing I have done in a long time - locking up my identity from evil elements online.  Give the gift of protecting you and your loved ones from growing threats online.  Bad actors and sinister threats from the web are taking over innocent American's identities to steal and perpetrate crimes against you.   Lock up your identity and get round-the-clock protection from the leader in the identity security world.   Read more about how to set up Identity Guard here.

REG $ 29.99 /mo   NOW $ 14.99/mo 50% OFF

More Less

 

Related posts

New Hook malware targets Android devices

How to create or leave a group text

A beginners guide to cookies: Accept or Reject?