Is Identity Theft Protection Worth It? Cybersecurity experts weigh in

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Knowing how to protect yourself from identity theft gives you peace of mind. (Photo: Getty)

Identity theft is a scary possibility — and it’s more common than most people realize.

Nearly 13 million people in the US were victims of identity theft in 2019, according to a 2020 identity fraud investigation from research-based consultancy Javelin. And it seems that identity theft is only getting worse, making protection that much more important. A recent report issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that nearly 13 percent of those surveyed discovered their personal information had been misused in the past five years.

Is Identity Theft Protection Worth It? It is important to consider this: FTC says identity thieves can liquidate your bank account, make fraudulent charges on your credit cards, open new utility bills, and even get medical treatment under your health insurance policy. If you don’t feel like trying to prove you haven’t done all that — and want to lock your accounts while you do it — identity theft protection is probably worth it for you.

One way to prevent identity theft with the pass is to invest in powerful software such as Norton Security Online — a leader in cybersecurity. One account protects up to five mobile devices against all kinds of cyber threats. Once downloaded, the software helps detect and remove existing malware, then helps thwart future adware attacks attempts in real time. It also helps to shield personal or financial information associated with each device using bank-grade encryption, and blocks fraudulent websites created to steal your identity and your money.

Shop it: Norton Security Online, 30-day free trial, then $4.99 per month, subscriptions.yahoo.com

One way to protect yourself from identity theft is to invest in software such as Norton Security Online.  (Photo: Getty)

One way to protect yourself from identity theft is to invest in software such as Norton Security Online. (Photo: Getty)

What Can Identity Theft Protection Do?

“Identity theft protection services ostensibly reduce the risks of damage from identity theft,” Joseph Steinberg, consultant on cybersecurity and emerging technologies, tells Yahoo Life.

Companies like LifeLock can help you monitor your Internet presence and alert you when something isn’t right, he says. But software like Norton Security Online can help you avoid falling victim in the first place. It includes anti-phishing features, anti-spam technology to keep your mailbox free from unwanted, dangerous and fraudulent emails, and a smart firewall to prevent strangers from accessing your home network by blocking incoming traffic that is deemed unsafe considered. It’s all meant to keep your private information out of the hands of others.

So, is identity theft protection worth it?

Cybersecurity experts say yes. “Everyone is a target for identity theft,” tech and cybersecurity expert Chuck Brooks, president of Brooks Consulting International, tells Yahoo Life. “If you use the internet, you must have it. If you often shop online, that’s a necessity.”

Shop it: Norton Security Online, try this 30 day free trial, then $4.99 per month, subscriptions.yahoo.com

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