Back in 2014, I had my identity stolen (on top of losing my beloved dog and the runaway renovation, it was my #worstyearever.) In order to make sure my financial information was safe, I happily paid for additional TransUnion Credit Monitoring to make sure I was fully covered. It made sense for me to pay for these additional precautions because I’d already been a victim of identity theft.
Flash forward to today, and I feel as if news of a data breach reaches me at least every other week. With the new adaptation of chip readers at brick and mortar retail stores, it’s easy to see that keeping private, financial information safe is at the top of everyone’s mind. Yet in these unstable economic and political times, parting with an a few extra dollars a month for identity protection is a hard justification to make. Particularly if you’re on a tight budget.
The solution? TrueIdentity, a new offering from TransUnion® that gives users the ability to monitor their credit for potentially fraudulent activity FOR FREE.
I’m so tickled to present this to you today, because I truly WISH this had been around a few years ago when I had my identity stolen and really needed it.
Here are the benefits + Why You’ll Love It:
- It’s on your phone as a mobile app. Easy peasy. (Here are some other FinTech apps we love, too.)
- Instant alerts the minute someone applies for credit in your name.
- The instant ability to lock your credit report (a few years ago I had to dig online and spend time filling out a form to make this happen! This is probably my favorite feature.)
- Free Transunion report and alerts.
- Most importantly, it’s free!
- It’s not “freemium” either, so no credit card is required to sign up.
Click here to sign up now. I’m also going to walk you through the process below to make this as seamless as possible because you need a financial tool like this in your identity protection arsenal.
How to Sign Up for TransUnion TrueIdentity
Go to the homepage and click on any one of the three buttons calling you to sign up for the free service.
You’re going to go to “Step One” and enter in all the details about yourself; the ones that are pretty standard any time you apply for anything online: name, email, address, phone number, date of birth and last four of your social.
On the next page, you’ll complete account setup details, like picking out a username and password.
The third page is for verifying your identity. You can either have a PIN sent by text message to your phone, OR answer security questions. I opted to answer the security questions, but for the purposes of this post, let’s assume you had the pin sent to your phone.
Now You’re In!
Once you’ve successfully signed up, you’ll be directed to your dashboard where you can also lock your credit from your computer and view credit alerts.
Obviously, there is the option to upgrade throughout the dashboard if you so choose, but again, no credit card required to get the “credit lock” feature which, I am telling you, is HUGE, especially if you want to help protect yourself from identity theft.
5 Ways to Keep Your Identity Secure
A lot has changed since 2014, and while my tips for handling identity theft back then are still relevant, I’d like to include a handful of newer tips for preventing theft of your financial info in today’s increasingly digital world.
- Don’t join sketchy Wi-Fi networks. Ever.
- Don’t do ANY financial business on a public Wi-Fi network, for example, if you’re at Starbucks. Wait until you’re at home on your own network for these types of transactions.
- Set strong passwords. (I know it’s annoying, but it’s effective.)
- Consider using credit cards as those typically have more fraud protections in place than debit cards.
- Keep a hard copy record of all credit card numbers.
Remember: Waiting to sign up for identity protection services after your data has been compromised is a lot like waiting until after you’ve been burgled to install a security system. A security system is nice to have, but it doesn’t really fix the fact that you’ve been robbed of your stuff and now feel unsafe.
Prevention (and having the right tools in place) is always the best course of action.
*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by TransUnion and contains affiliate links to their products. I was provided with compensation in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced by TransUnion or its affiliates. My experience is my own, and your experience may differ. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!