If you are working for an IT security company, I have a message for you: the term “identity theft protection” is way overused and even abused as a marketing term. We know that this term is used to sell services and products, but does it really protect a user from being the victim of identity theft? No.
This is no different than labeling a food as “natural,” even though it is not actually “organic.” At best, this is incorrect information. At worst, it’s a total lie.
Every company with security solutions out there claims that they can protect identities. But, a firewall does nothing to protect a person from getting their identity stolen. The same goes with an encrypted thumb drive, antivirus software, or even phishing alerts.
Only true identity theft protection services monitor your identity. They do this by checking your credit report and scanning the internet for any sensitive personal info. It also looks for information such as the Social Security number, and if there is an issue, the service helps you solve the problem.
If you have identity theft protection right now, you might get an email like this each month:
We have been monitoring your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union, and we are pleased to inform you that we did not notice any new activity. As a user of our services, we will continue to check your credit report each day for your protection. We help to protect you from any financial losses and hassles that are associated with identity theft. You can log into our website and review your status at any time. Please click here and enter your username and password to get started. As always, our staff is standing by to assist if you notice any suspicious activity.
This is what you should get when you opt for identity theft protection. Don’t fall for the fancy marketing that security solutions companies throw at you.
At its basic level, this is what identity theft protection looks like:
- Monitoring: continuous monitoring of your identity, privacy, and credit
- Alerts: warning system rapidly notifying you when your personal information is at risk
- Recovery: experts providing comprehensive, 24/7 recovery services taking care of paperwork, calls, and every detail to restore your identity
Do your research and don’t believe everything you see or read. Take the time to understand what you are spending your hard earned money on.
Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.