Credit monitoring is especially useful for busy people with demanding jobs or family concerns. (Getty Images)
Hackers are just itching for the next chance to steal a company’s data and pounce on your most sensitive financial secrets. With this in mind, it would be comforting to know that someone has your back. Credit monitoring services promise to safeguard your personal information from such criminals. Typically, these services offer around-the-clock monitoring of your credit reports and quick warnings about potentially fraudulent activity.
For example, these services issue an alert if someone tries to open a credit card in your name. More extensive monitoring through an identity theft protection service is also available. In addition to monitoring your credit, this type of service scans public records and the so-called dark web to make sure your information is not fraudulently displayed.
Signing up for credit monitoring or identity theft protection can make sense under the right circumstances, says Susan Grant, director of consumer protection and privacy at the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America. However, she cautions you not to expect too much. “It’s of some value if you are a victim of identity theft, but its value is rather narrow.”