Credit Monitoring – Is It Worth The Trouble?

In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded by financial professionals advising consumers to seek credit monitoring. The contention seems to be that credit monitoring is necessary for every individual and/ or small business. The truth is credit monitoring is essential if you are a small business or a consumer. Proper monitoring will help you keep close tabs on what is happening financially in your business records and alert you in the event of an attempted fraud, identity theft or any such problems. The greatest threat to a business is, of course, infiltration into the financial data and thereby gaining access to the finances of the individual and/ or small business. There are ways to protect yourself and your business.

Yes, It Can Happen To You!

You hear about identity fraud happening every day; perhaps, you do not believe that you could be the next victim. Hence, you never actually put much effort into trying to protect your property and finances. It is in fact, quite possible for you to fall victim to identity theft. Once your identity is stolen and used fraudulently, the process to recover damages and reverse negative marks on your credit report can be a long and arduous process that can take years to undo.

Credit monitoring is a great way to keep a close tab on what is happening to your company’s money and/ or to yours. Credit monitoring companies allow users to track and report normal spending so that habits can be detected automatically and then they are better able to detect when there is possible fraudulent activity. Credit monitors are professionals who are trained to watch out for the slightest deflection in financial transactions of consumers and businesses. Many times, identity theft happens gradually over time and in such small amounts that they can often be overlooked by consumers just paying off balances and not combing through statements.

Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure

Engaging a credit monitoring company will surely incur some minimal cost. However, such costs should be regarded as a necessary tool for financial stability. If you ever fall prey to identity theft; and that is a real possibility with the technological advancements in hacking, you will discover that the small price you would have paid for monitoring is miniscule compared to the damages of identity theft. Many victims of identity theft can attest to the devastation that identity theft can produce. Lives have been destroyed due to financial ruin caused by such thefts. When a hacker gets into your account, you not only lose your money, you also lose your creditworthiness, which is very difficult to bring up post such attacks.

Besides monitoring closely the transactions made through your account, these companies will also teach you how to make your account more secure online. Among the must-know and must-do steps are:

– Change your passwords frequently; at least every quarter.
– Put a cap on the monthly transactions and have the bank notify you if it exceeds the cap, or have it automatically suspended. Transactions that are above the ceiling amount may be made with individual requests to the bank.
– Review and keep record of your credit report every four months. Carefully go through it for any discrepancies. You can get a credit report free from each of the credit bureaus once a year. For more effective monitoring, space out attaining a report. Retain a report from one bureau every four months.
– Get all your bills and bank statements (as many as possible) in e-form (online). This eliminates identity theft by “dumpster diving.” Dumpster diving thieves get your sensitive information by way of disposed trash. Remember that trash left outside can be taken by anyone. Invest in a paper shredder that cuts in diamonds to dispose of papers with personal information if you still rather receive paper bills each month.
– Ensure that your computer has an effective and up to date security system to guard against hacking and system vulnerabilities.
– Activate the text message/ email confirmation alerts for every transaction you make through the bank. Please note that while this works fine with small companies and personal accounts, it may not be feasible with large companies.

Protecting your financial security can be done effectively with a few simple tools. Credit monitoring is a vital tool for a small business as well as individual consumers. Credit monitoring is a prime example of one of those things in life that you would rather have and not need; than need and not have.

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