Data breaches and identity theft cases have been happening left and right recently. And as you probably already know, they can often lead to a whole bunch of other problems like huge debts, bad credit scores, and even criminal records.
Identity theft criminals aren’t picky with their targets. Young or old, rich or poor – even kids are potential victims of identity theft. Fortunately, if you’re a current or former member of the military, or you’re a member of their family, USAA has a free identity theft protection program for you.
In this article, we’ll let you know how USAA’s identity theft protection program works. We’ll explain the services that the company’s program offers, and look into the services that other identity theft protection firms provide.
We looked into the details of how USAA identity theft protection works by reviewing its official sources. We also reviewed dozens of feedback from other members through independent sites to gain insights and compared it to competitors to come up with this guide.
Don’t miss out on crucial considerations to know whether USAA identity theft protection is right for you. Keep reading until the very end to find out the most compelling reason to take advantage of the services that USAA or other identity theft protection companies provide.
What is USAA identity theft protection?
The United Services Automobile Association’s (USAA) Identity Theft Protection program is a comprehensive program that helps protect your personal information and financial accounts from crime.
The program includes credit monitoring, security and fraud alerts, enhanced logon methods, a fraud resolution team, and online resources so you can keep yourself updated about the latest scams. It’s available to all USAA members at no extra cost.
Keep in mind, however, that this is different from the paid identity theft protection services that USAA used to offer. Its old program included more features offered by identity theft protection firms, such as recovery assistance and identity theft insurance.
The old USAA identity theft protection program was also a paid program. It had prices that ranged from $7.95 to $12.95 per month.
Nowadays, however, it only offers its free identity theft protection services, which have features that we’ll discuss further in the next section.
USAA is a Fortune 500 financial services company that provides a wide range of products and services to its members. Membership is open to all active and retired military members and their families.
How does USAA identity theft protection work?
USAA’s identity theft protection service is a comprehensive solution that helps you recover from identity theft and prevent it from happening in the first place. The service includes:
1. Enhanced logon methods
USAA provides enhanced logon methods to help you secure your account. It works similarly to the two-factor authentication functions that other online platforms have. The enhanced logon methods you can choose from include:
|CyberCode Text||This replaces your PIN with a unique code that you’ll receive via text message. After signing in with your Online ID and password, you’ll then need to enter the unique code that USAA will send you.|
|Quick Logon||Used with the USAA mobile app, this method allows you to simply use your PIN to sign in to your account instead of logging in with your Online ID, password, and PIN. |
The method combines convenience with security, as it uses Symantec Validation and ID Protection (VIP) technology to generate one-time security codes for you. This means that even if a hacker guesses your PIN, he would still need your phone to log in.
To enable Quick Logon, just go to your USAA Mobile App, login, go to settings, and turn on Quick Logon.
|CyberCode Token||Using a CyberCode token will require you to log in with your PIN and a security code that changes every 30 seconds. You will, however, need a phone that can run the Symantec VIP app to use this service.|
|Browser Recognition||Browser Recognition is a service that allows you to tell USAA that you trust the device you’re using to log in to your account. This means that the next time you log in, you’ll be able to proceed easily with only your Online ID, password, and PIN.|
Accessing your account from an unrecognized browser or device, however, will require you to first answer a security question or input a security code that USAA will send to your mobile phone.
|Biometrics||Biometrics is one of the most secure methods to access your account. It uses physical characteristics like your face, fingerprint, or voice to verify your identity and add an additional layer of security to your account. |
To enable this, go to your USAA Mobile App, choose Quick Logon, and simply follow the prompts.
2. Security and fraud alerts
Security and fraud alerts are a 24/7 monitoring service that USAA members are automatically enrolled in. With it, USAA will send you fraud alerts if they detect suspicious activity on your account.
Suspicious activity alerts can include:
- Wire transfers for large amounts
- Credit card activities that seem “out of the norm for you”
- Personal profile updates such as changes to your online ID and password
- Debit card withdrawal limit changes
If they detect a suspicious transaction, USAA will send you an alert through your mobile device or through your email. You’ll then have to confirm that you did authorize that particular transaction.
If USAA doesn’t reach you through your email or mobile device, they will attempt to contact you through the other numbers you provided them with. They will also send you a letter if they don’t have your email address.
3. Free annual credit report
USAA also gives you a free credit report that you can request every 12 months. It’s important that you review this frequently and carefully, so you can flag any suspicious transactions in your account and quickly raise them to USAA’s fraud resolution team.
To request your free annual credit report, just visit annualcreditreport.com.
4. Access to a fraud resolution team
If the worst does happen and someone gains access to your accounts, USAA has a dedicated fraud resolution team who can help you prevent any further damages from happening.
Whether it’s identity theft, lost or stolen debit or credit cards, or simply suspicious emails, texts, and phone calls, you can report fraud by following the steps provided on their website.
5. Online resources
USAA also provides its members with online resources they can access to learn about the latest scams, tips on securing your online accounts, and steps to take if you become a victim of fraud.
Pros and cons of USAA identity theft protection
Like any service, USAA’s identity theft protection service has its own ups and downs.
- Helps you avoid the hassle and expense of dealing with identity theft on your own
- Provides peace of mind by helping members keep an eye on their credit report and alerts them to any suspicious activity
- Gives you resources to help you prevent these problems from happening in the first place
- Has a dedicated 24/7 fraud resolution team who can help you address your concerns
- Free for USAA members
- Free credit report monitoring is limited to once a year
- Does not offer identity theft insurance
- Limited services compared with other identity theft protection firms
What do identity theft protection companies do?
Identity theft protection companies offer a variety of services to help protect their clients’ personal information. These services can include:
Credit report monitoring
Credit report monitoring is one of the most important services identity theft protection companies offer.
By regularly checking your credit reports, these companies can help you catch any signs of identity theft early on. This gives you the best chance possible of minimizing the damage that it can cause.
Suspicious activity alerts
Alerting you to suspicious activities in your accounts is another important service that identity theft protection companies provide.
You’ll receive these alerts either via email, text message, or even push notification. This allows you to stay on top of your personal information and helps you quickly identify any potential threats.
Dark web monitoring
Dark web monitoring helps to monitor your personal information that may be floating around on the dark web. It provides you with alerts if they find your information there, which prompts you to take immediate action to address it.
Provision of tools to enhance your security
These tools can include things like credit freezes and fraud alerts. By using these tools, you can make it more difficult for thieves to access your personal information.
Identity theft insurance
When push comes to shove, this is one of the most compelling reasons to sign up with an identity theft protection service. Identity theft insurance can help to reimburse you for any financial losses that you may incur as a result of identity theft.
Remember that identity theft protection services are not foolproof, but this gives you the best chance to recover from its devastating effects.
As much as possible, however, prevention is always better than cure. The best way to protect yourself from identity theft is still to be vigilant about your personal information and to stay up-to-date on the latest scams.
Considerations before getting identity theft protection
With the increasing ease of access to personal information, identity theft has become a serious problem. There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft, but the best defense is to be proactive and get identity theft protection.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing an identity theft protection service:
1. Level of protection offered
Make sure the service offers coverage for all types of identity theft. There are many different types of identity theft, so you want to make sure the service you choose covers as many as possible.
Some companies offer basic protection, while others provide more comprehensive coverage. Some plans only cover financial losses, while others also provide restoration services to help you recover from identity theft. Some plans have limits on the amount they will reimburse you for, while others have no limit at all.
That’s why it’s important to look at the limits of the coverage before you sign up. Make sure you review what’s included in each plan before making a decision.
2. Monitoring time
Look for a service that offers 24/7 monitoring. Identity theft can happen at any time, so you want to make sure your service is always on the lookout.
3. Recovery assistance
Choose a service that offers recovery assistance. If your identity is stolen, you want to be able to get help quickly and efficiently.
Look for a service that has a good reputation. Check out reviews and testimonials to see what other people have said about the service. Research customer reviews and complaints to get an idea of the quality of service offered.
Select a company that has a good reputation and offers a plan that fits your needs.
Finally, make sure the service is affordable. You don’t want to spend more than you have to on identity theft protection.
Identity theft protection can be expensive, so it’s important to compare prices before selecting a provider. In addition, some providers offer discounts for those who sign up for multiple services.
Taking these factors into consideration will help you choose an identity theft protection service that’s right for you.
Reputable companies that offer identity theft protection
There are a number of companies that offer identity theft protection services. When choosing a company, it’s important to consider your needs and budget. Some companies offer more comprehensive protection than others, and some are more expensive.
However, all of the companies on this list are reputable and have a proven track record of protecting their customers’ information.
Lifelock is one of the most well-known identity theft protection companies.
They offer a variety of features, including credit monitoring, fraud alerts, and identity restoration. They also have a $1 million insurance policy to protect you in the event that your information is compromised.
Identity Force is another popular choice for identity theft protection.
They offer many of the same features as LifeLock, including credit monitoring, fraud alerts, and identity restoration. However, they also offer some unique features, such as lost wallet protection and dark web monitoring.
Zander Insurance Group is another excellent option for identity theft protection.
They offer a variety of features, including credit monitoring and fraud alerts. They also have an insurance policy that will reimburse you for any out-of-pocket expenses you incur as a result of ide
USAA’s identity theft protection service is a good choice for those who want to avoid the hassle and expense of dealing with identity theft on their own.
The service provides peace of mind by helping members keep an eye on their credit reports and alerts them to any suspicious activity. It also offers resources to help you prevent these problems from happening in the first place.
While USAA’s service is free for members, there are some drawbacks to consider. Fortunately, there are a number of companies that offer more comprehensive identity theft protection services.
When choosing a company, it’s important to consider your needs and budget. Some companies offer more comprehensive protection than others, and some are more expensive. No matter which company you choose, make sure to do your research to ensure that you’re getting the best possible service for your needs and budget.