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Old 08-05-2012, 08:52 AM   #1
WaltandLynne
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Lifelock and such

I am having a proactive moment. Rare!

Walt and I are making big changes in our lives - working toward selling our house, trying to get boys to fledge (lol), moving to the cottage and planning on big travels when that is completed. So, here is my question. What do you folks do to protect your identity?

Do you have any experience with companies like Lifelock - pro or con? What other precautions do you take, especially when traveling? We do the shredding of documents, checking of our online accounts, etc. already but there must be more to do.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Best - Lynne and Walt
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:15 AM   #2
Tom S.
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Lifelock is a waste of money IMHO. All they do is contact the three major credit agencies and tell them not to issue any credit in your name other than what you already have. You can do that yourself for free if you want. Because of this, Lifelock can be a hassle if you decide to buy something and either finance it differently or through a different source, such as buying a car and financing it through a new bank that's offering a special interest rate. Actual identity theft is rare, and in many cases, it's someone you know. I'm sure that fraudulent charges on your credit card are counted by LL as identity theft, but they aren't really. I've had new cards re-issued twice when it happened to me, and in both instances, the credit card company contacted me about suspicious activity. They called me, and I refused to speak to them, telling them I would call them back on the number that is on the back of the card. Both times, they told me small charges were made, and when I told them they were not made by me, they canceled the charges, cancelled the card (shame because I memorized it), and sent out a new one within a week. They explained that people will make up numbers and try them on small charges, like music down loads. If those charges go through, they know the card is good and move on to higher charges. In both cases, the card was cancelled before any large items were charged. FWIW, I buy lots of things via the net and haven't had any problems with erroneous charges or id theft.

I do shred all personal info with a cross cut shredder (cuts into small rectangles instead of long strips), always take my receipts, and never deal with any online places without checking them out first.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:25 AM   #3
DQDick
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I'm with Tom. We're careful with our information and who we do business with online. Had two problems over the years. One we brought to the Credit Card issuers attention and one they caught and called us about. New cards issued and no problem. We always use credit cards for that reason and while we have debit cards they are locked in a drawer in the Monty. We'll use them if we have to, but up to this point never have. So I guess we don't believe LL would be of value to us.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:35 AM   #4
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I see the points the other two responders make. However, I have LL. and am happy to have it. I for one won't check the credit sites regularly. That's what it takes because that goes to your SS number. That is what will cost you big time. Anyone tries to get credit on my SS number, for a house, car, card, etc, they have to go thru LL. Even I do.
Also there are extended times that we camp where internet is not available to check stuff.
So, true, you can do everything LL does but I feel more comfortable having it.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:35 AM   #5
richfaa
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As TomS says just about everything lifelock does you can do yourself for free. You can get a free cedit report once a year.You can put limits on what can come out of your bank accounts at your bank..for free.You can put limits on how much can go on most of your credit cards..
Do a little research. We have set limits at our bank on what can come out of our checking account, savings account. That includes our debit card. If a charge comes in over that limit the bank will not pay it and contact us. If we want to spend over that limit we have to call the bank and OK it.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
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What we have done, is get one credit card that is used only for on-line purchases, one that is used to pay certain account automaticly (EZ Pass refill, Cell Phone Bill etc), and on that we use for day to day purchases. The key is just be careful and don't give out info to folks that contact by phone or online. Only give out such info when you have contacted them and know who you're dealing with. Mostly just common sense stuff.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:03 PM   #7
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This is one of those subjects that is personal like life insurance or level of insurance on your vehicles. If you don't think you need it you don't purchase it. No one can really advise you as to what you should do. I agree that credit reports help you just as much (or more).

If you handle your finances carefully and securely, you don't have to be concerned. Just be careful, don't take any chances. If you do on-line banking or purchases, watch what you're doing and deal with only reputable businesses.

Orv
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:58 PM   #8
CATCRAW
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We too have set up 1 credit card for online purchases and another that we direct bill things to. We do have LifeLock but will probably not renew. Like everything else they have changed and now you have to have Premium to have everything covered - and more money. Money aside, LifeLock can only protect as much information as you are willing to give them. I for one am nervous about having ALL my Identity information in one place, like LifeLock. What if they got hacked like a lot of other institutions have been???
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:26 PM   #9
DQDick
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I would assume LL is a target for that reason. So far they've been either very good, very lucky or both. At some point, however, all of us have to trust someone.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:45 PM   #10
Tom S.
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Actually, the owner of Life Lock wasn't so secure himself:

http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/...ure-after-all/
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:52 PM   #11
richfaa
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As for giving out personal information... Your personal formation is everywhere. I had my drivers license swiped at Disney world in Florida and my entire life history showed up. Most information is public record , Court real estate, etc all I need to do is look it up. Ever had a security check even a low level one. It is all there. Got a concealed carry permit. You gave everything out. Guess what is on all those magnetic strips on all out cards...

We used lifelock till we realized we could do what they did for free. It took time, education and effort on our part. Lifelock was a convenience as they did all that for you..for a price.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:03 PM   #12
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From what I understand, Life Lock can no longer put a fraud alert on your credit. I believe there was a major law suit concerning this a few years ago. Experian, one of the credit agencies offers a similar service as life lock and you can easily issue a 90 day fraud alert as well.

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Old 08-07-2012, 01:59 AM   #13
Bigboomer
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As previously stated you can do most of the protections yourself. Simply call the three credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) and place a creidt freeze on your accounts. This is free. Only a freeze can prevent someone from opening up an account with your ID. Even you cannot open an account unless you lift the credit freeze. Depending on where you live lifting the freeze may cost you between $5 and $15 for each of the reporting agencies but it is well worth it. You can lift it for specific periods of time such as 1 hour, 1 day or several weeks or months depending on why you need it lifted. Usually takes about 15 minutes with either a phone call or online.

One drawback is a lot of insurance companies are using credit scores to determine your rates and if you have a lock on the report they cannot access so you rates may reflect the fact they don't know how good your credit is (this practice is debatable and for another topic).

As Orv said "If you don't think you need it you don't purchase it. No one can really advise you as to what you should do."

In addition to this process we also have two laptops, one for general everyday things such as web browsing, online purchases, etc. Then we purchased a smaller one for just our online banking that is "only" used for that. NO web surfing or online purchases with this one at all. We have Norton 360 anti-virus and utilities and scan and use the utilities to remove all tracking cookies, etc. after each session on each laptop.

This may seem over the top but it beats the alternative!

Good Luck in your decisions!

Les
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:35 PM   #14
mazboy
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lifelock is a waste.
credit cards will credit you if someone starts charging.
be more careful with debit cards, banks are not required to reimburse you for purcahses you did not do.

just use common sense, limit your cards and monitor your accts.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:01 PM   #15
CORattler
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X2!Les is spot on with his advice.



Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Tom S.

Lifelock is a waste of money IMHO. All they do is contact the three major credit agencies and tell them not to issue any credit in your name other than what you already have. You can do that yourself for free if you want. Because of this, Lifelock can be a hassle if you decide to buy something and either finance it differently or through a different source, such as buying a car and financing it through a new bank that's offering a special interest rate. Actual identity theft is rare, and in many cases, it's someone you know. I'm sure that fraudulent charges on your credit card are counted by LL as identity theft, but they aren't really. I've had new cards re-issued twice when it happened to me, and in both instances, the credit card company contacted me about suspicious activity. They called me, and I refused to speak to them, telling them I would call them back on the number that is on the back of the card. Both times, they told me small charges were made, and when I told them they were not made by me, they canceled the charges, cancelled the card (shame because I memorized it), and sent out a new one within a week. They explained that people will make up numbers and try them on small charges, like music down loads. If those charges go through, they know the card is good and move on to higher charges. In both cases, the card was cancelled before any large items were charged. FWIW, I buy lots of things via the net and haven't had any problems with erroneous charges or id theft.

I do shred all personal info with a cross cut shredder (cuts into small rectangles instead of long strips), always take my receipts, and never deal with any online places without checking them out first.
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