Craig Johnson, Clark.com
It’s no secret that the cybersecurity landscape has drastically changed for consumers since the Equifax data breach, which put 145.5 million people at risk for identity theft. Responding to that incident, free credit-monitoring site Credit Karma is rolling out free ID protection for its users.
On Monday, Credit Karma product manager Adam Boender said in a blog post on the site that the company will immediately start the ID monitoring service, which is “yet another way we are proactively helping our 75 million members achieve financial progress.”
Credit Karma has been in existence for 10 years now, having started in San Francisco in 2007. While all of the site’s services are free, it makes its money by allowing its users to be targeted via advertising from financial products. In addition to free credit-monitoring, its services include free tax preparation and unclaimed money searches.
Here’s how to get free ID monitoring at Credit Karma
Once you log onto the site, go to RESOURCES > IDENTITY MONITORING in the top navigation bar and it will immediately show you if your identity has been involved in any breaches. The company offers a bare-bones approach now, but more features are on the way.
“This is just the start. In the coming months, we will continue to add more functionality, including dark web monitoring, as well as ID recovery guidance if your identity has been stolen,” Boender said. “As part of our mission to be your financial assistant, it made a lot of sense for us to build and provide ID monitoring as data breaches have become more prevalent.”
The service implements a three-pronged approach to keeping people abreast of suspicious activity related to their identity.
3 ways Credit karma’s free ID service can help you stay safe
- Monitoring: The company says it will “continuously search the internet” to see if our personal data has been compromised by a data breach.
- Notifications: Whenever Credit Karma detects potentially suspicious activity, “We’ll give you a virtual tap on the shoulder,” the company says.
- Tips: The service will provide advice on how to secure your personal information, including ways that you can report fraud, freeze or thaw your credit and when to change your passwords.
If you’re not already a Credit Karma user, here’s our guide on how to sign up for the free service.
Money expert Clark Howard says that the No. 1 way to protect your identity and credit score is to set up a credit freeze with all three credit bureaus.