This year there have been close to ten million identity thefts (check out this updated FTC report[link gone]) and that doesn’t even take into account all the information mishaps, leaks, thefts, and whatnot recently reported in the news. A peek into how the black market of identities  works strikes fear in the hearts of many (including me). So when I read a Money Magazine article via CNNMoney  about Identity Insurance, it piqued my interest. Sadly though, the insurance doesn’t really cover much but the article does list some good alternatives (some of which are free).
The only service worth its salt is either implementing a credit freeze  (if available) or going with credit monitoring, pegged at over a hundred bucks a year. Credit monitoring just lets you know if anything new appears on your report, evidence of someone applying for credit with your name. The credit freeze isn’t mentioned in the article though… and I think it should be.
One idea I didn’t think of was whether your homeowner’s insurance covers identity theft; unfortunately mine doesn’t, but the identity theft insurance isn’t pricey as is (on par with renter’s insurance) so if you’re concerned, it might be worth it.
Personally, I’ll use my free annual report  as my credit protector.