When identity theft strikes your employees, it not only affects them but also creates a financial drain for your company. The more employees are forced to deal with it, the more your operations become disrupted.

One of the best ways to minimize that risk is with an identity theft protection benefit. In this article, we’ll look at the proactive ways an identity theft or privacy protection benefit can help keep your employees’ data from being exploited. We’ll also look at the reactive measures employees can take that can help stop identity thieves in their tracks.

Proactive ways an identity theft benefit protects employee data

Even if thieves have gotten hold of personal information exposed in a breach, these features can help stop criminals from exploiting whatever data they have.

  1. Protects personal data and credentials with a secure wallet: Keeps all their personal data and login credentials safe by storing them in a single, highly secure online vault. Here employees can store critical information such as credit card numbers, driver’s licenses, passports, professional license numbers, DEA numbers, insurance card data, and many other important documents. Storing them here makes them less accessible to hackers than common alternatives such as emailing passwords to yourself and storing account information in unsecured spreadsheets.

  2. Reduces unwanted solicitations: Provides easy access to the Do Not Call Registry, coupon opt-outs, and direct mail and email filtering tools. Reducing the quantity of these solicitations can make fraudulent offers and phishing schemes more noticeable when they appear.

  3. Informs and advises on current threats: By informing employees about the most current threats, an identity theft benefit helps them avoid being victimized by these schemes. Their word-of-mouth news might even help non-subscribing coworkers stay safe.

  4. Protects families, too: At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether personal data is compromised at work or at home. By offering the same identity theft protections your workplace enjoys to your employees’ families and households, you reduce their overall exposure as well as your company’s.

  5. Monitors the dark web: Human agents scouring the dark web for breached data marketplaces can alert your employees and prompt them to act before any exploitation has a chance to occur.

  6. Provides immediate assistance with call center support: Offering a 24/7 call center where your employees can ask questions and receive advice for any identity-related concerns they have will help them protect themselves and make better decisions.

Reactive ways to protect employees from identity theft

Reacting to threats is an extremely important part of identity theft protection, too. With several high profile breaches over the past three years, it's estimated that over 80% of Americans have had at least some of their data compromised. The following is a list of ways in which identity theft protection helps alert employees immediately when there's a problem, arming them with the tools and knowledge they need to minimize the damage and shut down any further threats.

  1. Monitors application submissions: Notifying employees whenever applications for credit cards, wireless carriers, utility accounts, and certain other accounts are made using some or all of your personal data lets you respond quickly and, in some cases, before those applications can be processed or approved.

  2. Monitors high-risk identity activities: Alerting employees whenever there’s a password reset, fund transfer, unauthorized access attempt, address change, or public record change associated with their accounts so they can either verify or report them as fraudulent as soon as possible.

  3. Monitors credit, debit and checking accounts: Paying close attention to your employees’ bank accounts for the tell-tale signs of fraud and suspicious activity so they can see and correct any problems with their finances right away.

  4. Monitors social media: Monitoring not only login credentials but also scanning for signs of social media account takeovers can help employees keep their data safe and avoid reputational damage at the same time. Alerts can also be set for explicit language, vulgar content, violence, and threats.

  5. Provides easy credit report access: Offering annual credit reports from all three bureaus makes sure your employees aren’t relying on just one and gives them a chance to catch any discrepancies and correct them.

  6. Freezes or locks credit files: Providing the tools to freeze or lock their credit files as soon as any fraudulent activities are detected can prevent credit problems from snowballing into bigger problems.

  7. Monitors IP addresses: Looking for employees’ IP addresses popping up in the wrong places is an excellent indicator of criminals attempting some sort of scheme, allowing them to take any necessary precautions.

Knowing what you want in an employee benefit helps you choose

Keep in mind that the 13 methods of protection discussed here are simply ways an identity theft benefit could keep your employees’ data safe. This is not a comprehensive list of features available in privacy protection programs, but only those which help protect the data itself.

By the same token, not all identity theft protection programs will cover all of these 13 methods (hint: PrivacyArmor does). You can check out our identity protection checklist if you want to compare different products with a more comprehensive list, or give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss the best ways to keep your employee data safe.