They may sometimes be labeled “voluntary,” but given recent surges in fraud and identity theft, identity protection benefits feel more important than ever.
Fraudsters see the pandemic as an opportunity to steal personal information and defraud government programs. Luckily, our proactive alerts and privacy monitoring tools are designed to help members spot data leaks and minimize their damage. That’s why more than 30 percent of Fortune 500 companies are depending on us to safeguard their employees during today’s crisis and beyond.
Read on to learn four reasons why identity protection programs continue to grow in demand, plus some perks of offering our benefit to your employees.
1. As online fraud reaches new heights, people fear being victimized by cybercrimes more than physical crimes
Even before the current health crisis, identity theft was considered a serious threat. In a recent Gallup survey gauging Americans’ anxieties about criminal activity, the crimes people identified as most worrisome were identity theft and, more specifically, having a credit card or financial information stolen by a hacker.
In recent months, amidst news of coronavirus-themed phishing attacks, stimulus-payment scams, and schemes targeting the U.S. unemployment system, identity theft has become an even greater concern — which means there’s never been a better time to add identity protection to your benefits portfolio. Plus, since remote workers are at a higher risk of identity theft, these protections may be in the best interest of both employee and employer.
2. People increasingly expect the institutions that hold their data to help protect it
More and more, individuals understand that today’s data breaches lead to tomorrow’s identity theft. Sadly, widespread data leaks have helped create a huge catalog of personally identifiable information (PII) on the dark web. Months or even years after a person’s Social Security number, birth date, and other key data points are stolen, criminals can pull them together to create a convincing false claim.
Javelin’s 2020 Identity Fraud Survey found identity thieves have largely shifted from counterfeiting credit cards to higher impact fraud tactics, like checking and savings account takeovers. Sadly, the damage from this type of fraud is more difficult to prevent or remediate.
Given all this, it makes sense that people want to be more proactive about protecting their sensitive data — and they want financial institutions, tech companies, and their employers to help.
Research by Willis Towers Watson, a risk-advisory organization, found that 36% of employers currently offer identity protection as a voluntary benefit — but that 63% of employers intend to extend it by 2021, making identity theft protection one of the fastest-growing benefits offered to employees today.
With our service, members have access to a suite of tools designed to help them regain control of their PII:
- Using the Dark Web Monitoring tool, enrollees can receive alerts when we detect their sensitive information, like driver’s license numbers and email addresses, where they don’t belong.
- Our Social Media Monitoring feature sends actionable alerts about questionable content on linked social feeds, such as graphic material that may indicate account takeover.
- Credit Monitoring and Financial Transactions alerts also help detect fraudulent financial activity.
3. In uncertain times, credit monitoring and stolen-fund reimbursements help employees feel more secure.
In these uncertain times, many new hires may be recovering from a period of unemployment. And existing employees are more likely to be weathering some form of pandemic-fueled financial insecurity due to pay cuts, furloughs, or unstable money markets.
As a result, identity protection, including the protection of financial accounts, may be an even greater priority.
We make it easy for employees to review and monitor their financial health. Members can access their credit report and score from our dashboard, and many participants can take advantage of stolen-fund reimbursements and receive advanced tax refunds that were fraudulently issued — a huge comfort in a time of economic uncertainty.
4. People want to protect their loved ones, from infants to aging parents.
Between widespread school closures and adult children returning home to shelter with their parents, the pandemic has left some families feeling more connected than ever.
But even before the health crisis, it was understood that one family member’s stress can impact the whole group.
It makes sense, then, that employees are looking for benefits that help them support and protect the people they love. Identity-protection services have an important role to play in defending the whole family.
With our services, employees can:
- Add coverage for themselves and additional family members, ranging from infants to adult children to elderly parents
- Add kids’ sensitive information, such as email addresses, to the Dark Web Monitoring tool
- They can also monitor kids’ linked social media accounts for graphic content, signs of cyberbullying, and account takeover
If you’d like to learn more about working with Allstate Identity Protection, you can reach out to your existing benefits broker or contact us directly for additional information.