When Jed Grant's security clearance and biometric information was stolen from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the agency offered him and 22 million other affected people a free credit monitoring service.
The service "was worth what I paid: nothing," said Grant, CEO of IT security firm Peer Mountain.
"So far in the five-plus years that I have had it, it has notified me twice that my Yahoo account was hacked, which we all know anyway," Grant said. He also received notifications of sex offenders near his former addresses, which he found irrelevant.
With many high-profile data breaches lately, including one at credit reporting company Equifax that affected more than 143 million people, financial and security experts have mixed opinions about whether credit monitoring services that cost a few bucks to about $30 per month are worth the money.
Identity Guard charged David Edwards, president of Heron Wealth in New York, about $24.99 per month for credit score monitoring, banking alerts, scanning the "dark web" and providing $1 million insurance for the reimbursement of stolen funds, after one of his firm's vendors was hacked, exposing his credentials, passwords, American Express charge card number, expiration and PIN.
"I simply changed all our passwords and got a new Amex card. Nothing came up after a year, so I did not renew the subscription," Edwards said.