Sometimes, people who have signed up for a free trial of ScoreSense cancel once they’ve received their initial ScoreSense credit report. However, this can be a foolish move. If you decide you no longer need ScoreSense, cancel, and go on your way, you may be opening yourself to identity theft. Sometimes, identity theft goes beyond someone taking your credit card number at a restaurant or applying for a card with an application stolen from your mailbox. Sometimes, a company’s data is stolen, and the resulting data breach endangers the credit of anyone who does business with that company. You have a level of protection if your accounts are monitored by a service like ScoreSense—cancel, and you may not be safe.
A data breach can be costly for a company, because they are legally responsible for notifying customers and taking precautions to make sure such an event does not happen again. However, there are consequences for customers, too. Sometimes, the loss or theft of a company’s records means your personal information, such as your bank account information or Social Security number, will end up in the wrong hands. A thief can then use your information to set up phony accounts in your name, steal money from your bank account, and generally wreak havoc in your life. There are plenty of services that will get you a free credit report, but unlike ScoreSense, credit.com and other such sites do not provide vigilant monitoring of customers’ accounts, alerting them to possible breaches in security.
According to the Ponemon Institute, data breaches happen for three reasons:
- Personnel mistakes account for the majority of breaches, perhaps because companies invest in protection of their information systems, but can’t prevent human error.
- System glitches are another cause.
- Criminal attacks are the least likely cause of data breaches, but such attacks do happen.
There is no federal law regarding actions a business must take when a data breach occurs. Most states do have laws set up to handle such an occurrence, but some—such as Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Colorado—do not. The laws typically state that companies must notify consumers within a certain amount of time, and sometimes, but not always, companies have paid for six to twelve months of credit monitoring. Of course, your credit is already being monitored if you are a member of ScoreSense; cancel and you’re on your own.
If you’ve been notified of a data breach, place a fraud alert on your credit cards, and continue to monitor your credit report to prevent identity theft. If you suspect you have already been the victim of identity theft, notify the authorities immediately. You should contact the local police, the FTC, your creditors, and the credit bureaus, to let them know of your suspicion.
If you’re thinking that you might leave ScoreSense, cancel, and take your chances, we urge you to reconsider. If you’ve not yet taken advantage of all that ScoreSense membership has to offer, you owe it to yourself to find out about all of the services we provide. For more information on credit score tips or to get your free credit score today, visit our website.