Money & The Economy

Credit Monitoring vs. Identity Theft Protection: What’s the Difference?

Being a victim of identity theft or data breach is not a pleasant thing to go through, and it makes you panic. You’re left helpless, wishing you took measures to prevent it beforehand.

If you want to avoid being the prey of unscrupulous people, there are safety measures that could keep the evil away. Identity theft and credit protection services exist as a shield against these dangers. Do you know what are the differences between them, though? If you don’t, then you will find the information in the paragraphs below.

Credit Monitoring

When it comes to credit monitoring, the name is self-explanatory, because it does just what it says. It observes your credit scores and report, thus you have an idea about the situation when you apply for a mortgage or loan. However, it can also be used to show whether someone applies for an account in your name. Conversely, it may not scan for fraudulent credit card charges.

Usually, you should ask if the service tracks only one of your credit reports when you browse monitoring services. Given your credit reports are compiled by the 3 major CRAs, they track all your new credit applications, debt amount and payment history. Credit monitoring will be able to tell you if a a new credit card account or loan is opened in your name, or if a company checks your credit history.

So, obviously, credit monitoring was created as a way for you to monitor your credit report. The services can be offered for one or two years.

Identity Theft Protection

With identity theft protection, you are usually receiving more than credit monitoring. Whereas the credit monitoring makes it possible to check the activity of your credit report, the identity theft protection shows you if there’s fraudulent activity. So, if your identity is involved with criminal databases, bank accounts or others, you will be able to find out. Some services also help you fix the problem.

Moreover, in case your identity is spotted for sale on the dark web, you will be alerted. These services are available for an additional fee through your insurance company or bank, but there are also independent services.

Furthermore, you should be aware that if your identity does end up getting stolen, it could take months or years to get to a conclusion. You should take steps to solve it, such as filing a police report and placing a fraud alert on your credit by contacting one of the three main credit reporting agencies. Fraud alerts are meant to reach out to you directly to verify the identity before any new accounts are opened in your name.


Identity theft and data breach are serious problems which should be dealt with accordingly. In order to determine whether credit monitoring or identity theft services are right for you, you need to know the difference between the two. It doesn’t hurt to make some research, so hopefully the information found on this page is of help.




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