June 20, 2007

Protecting Your Identity - It's BIG Business

Identity Theft has been a continuing huge news story, especially over the last year. While it's very easy for your information to make its way into the hands of criminals, it's very difficult to figure out how to protect yourself before this happens.

With houses, you can buy better locks, better windows and doors, burglar alarms, barking dogs, that sort of thing. But what do you do to prevent your identity from being stolen when a data tape goes missing or a database is cracked by a hacker or an employee of the company you work for copies personal info onto a thumb drive and walks out the door?

You don't have control over your information. Not if you want to go about your daily life in a normal manner. Even the truly paranoid, who take every precaution, can be caught in this trap by a determined criminal.

To combat this issue, companies are springing up advertising themselves as being able to keep your identity safe. I hadn't checked any of them myself, mainly because it's a bit of a time consuming process and I'm lazy, also because the first company I checked out (Life Lock - no I will not give them a direct link) had a web site that simply screamed "this is a scam" to me - even though I couldn't prove it by simply looking and not buying.

Well, Steve Hunt has done "the buying". He has taken the trouble to look into several Identity Protection companies and has come up with some very interesting information. He has a detailed post about the company he had the best results with IdentityTruth.com. It's currently in beta, but the report by Steve is impressive. It includes some short comparisons to Life Lock and TrustedID.

On further digging, he has also come up with some disquieting information about Life Lock - please note there is a story linked in the body of the post and a story linked in the comments.

When you make an effort to protect your identity, you certainly do not want to be putting yourself at greater risk. (I mean, the real point is to reduce risk... unless I'm missing something) Remember, those who talk a big game, but give you few details about how they operate, should be approached with extreme caution.

When checking out these companies, always have your BS meter set to ultra high. (if it says "as seen on Oprah" - run away!) But first go read Steve's posts and follow his links.

The identity you save may be your own.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 07:33 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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