Questions You Should Ask Before Purchasing Any Identity Theft Protection Service
August 11, 2015
It seems like a day doesn’t go by anymore that we don’t read or hear about another data breach where thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of records containing sensitive, personal information on individuals is lost, stolen or highly compromised. It’s become a way of way of life, unfortunately, and now consumers are looking at ways to lower and minimize their risks.
Large International Companies, domestic corporations and every day mom & pop small businesses across the country are being hit with sophisticated attacks on their computer network and systems, increasing the possibility of a breach, and increasing the risks of consumers that have done business with the entity in one way or another.
In many instances, our personal information is out of our hands and the processing of it is out of our personal control. We rely more and more each day on the companies we do business with and share our personal information to step up and protect that information by implementing good business practices and strong personal information security procedures within their respective organizations.
Encrypting personal data across channels, while it’s at rest and while it’s in transit, is no longer an option, but rather, a requirement that all businesses should be held to implement in order to reduce the risks their consumers face. Many companies do encrypt their data, but unfortunately, too many others don’t. That gap that is left open exposes consumers to even greater risks down the road.
Getting back to the questions at hand, what should you ask, and what should you look for in any type of identity theft protection service or product that you may be exploring for yourself and/or family? Here are some questions to consider as you evaluate the service.
1. Who underwrites the service? Who is the company that you’ll be working with when your identity is compromised?
2. Exactly what is and what is not covered under the terms of the service?
3. Will the company give you a sample contract before your purchase so you can read it yourself?
4. Where is the company located and how do you reach their corporate office if you wish to render a complaint, or a compliment?
5. Is the company International in scope? Identity Theft is an International Crime as well. Having a company with a Global reach is important. Ask what their reach is.
6. Exactly what is the reporting process for you, as a consumer, to go thru in order to report an identity theft incident or report that you’ve received a letter in the mail saying that your personal information has been compromised?
7. Who is responsible for performing the bulk of the work to resolve the matter?
8. How long has the company been in business?
9. Who receives coverage & benefits under the services?
10. What are the various costs involved to purchase the service?
There are a number of vendors in the space so it’s important for you to consider the above questions, as an example, when considering purchasing a product in this area for your benefit.
If you are looking to fill a gap that may exist in your personal plan of protection, I do hope you’ll take a look at our company as well. We offer, what we feel, is best in class, in all areas and invite you to take a look at us. I think you’ll be glad you did.
Stephen C. Esch
CIPM, CIPP/US, CITRMS
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