5 identity protection myths — and how to bust them

By Allstate Identity Protection

There are a few common myths about identity monitoring — like, identity theft doesn't affect work performance or just having access to your free credit report is enough. However, fraud can have a substantial impact on theft victims that can equally impact their engagement at work. Fortunately, identity theft protection has evolved beyond just credit monitoring services. Allstate Identity Protection provides a solution that goes beyond the basics to provide comprehensive, proactive monitoring and features, plus generous identity theft reimbursement and expanded family coverage our members can rely on.

In the past, many products billed as identity protection were little more than credit monitoring services. However, today’s top solutions go far deeper. 

With so much of our data being used and stored online, privacy-shielding programs have evolved — and risen in demand. In fact, a survey by the advisory and brokerage firm Willis Towers Watson found that employees now view voluntary benefits like identity protection as essential. That’s just one reason why around 30 percent of the Fortune 500 offers Allstate Identity Protection as an employee benefit. 

Our powerful technology gives members the tools they need to help monitor their data across a wide variety of accounts and networks, from social media sites to the dark web. If fraud is detected, we step in with customizable alerts, round-the-clock recovery support, and even reimbursement policies.

Still, when speaking with clients about building a competitive benefits package, you may face outdated views about identity monitoring. Check out these five common myths about identity theft protection in the workplace — plus tips for how to debunk them.

Myth #1 "Shouldn’t our employees just be more careful with their data?"

It’s true that best practices like setting strong passwords and turning on two-factor notification can help reduce the risk of identity theft. That’s why company-wide data security training is a good idea. 

Unfortunately, though, even an employee with strong privacy hygiene can be caught up in a massive data breach. Whenever people log in, sign up, or hit send, they leave behind a trail of data known as a digital footprint. Regrettably, it’s legal for companies to share collected data with third parties such as advertisers, so a person’s footprint may grow without their consent or knowledge. 

Once information has been shared, it’s nearly impossible to control how it’s used and stored. Long after personally identifying information (PII) is gathered by a legitimate company, it could wind up for sale on the dark web. 

That's why a good identity protection benefit should also feature recovery and reimbursement — and why Allstate Identity Protection membership includes: 

  • Up to $1 million identity theft reimbursement coverage for fraud victims
  • 24/7 access to U.S.-based customer service and fraud remediation experts 

Myth #2 "Identity theft doesn’t impact work performance."

Researchers are still discovering exactly how stress affects human health, but one thing is clear: stress impairs our ability to focus and concentrate — and identity theft can be quite stressful. 

In a recent Identity Theft Resource Center survey of identity-theft victims, more than 86% reported a spike in stress, roughly 90% experienced sleep disturbances, and more than a third suffered panic attacks.  

What’s more, stress can erode employees’ social, emotional, and physical well-being, which Gallup ties to the number of sick days people take, their job performance, and turnover — all measurable benchmarks that can impact a company’s bottom line.  

With Allstate Identity Protection, employees never have to face identity theft alone. Our dedicated customer support team owns the recovery process, in some cases even taking on limited power of attorney to file paperwork on behalf of our enrollees. This means our members are free to focus on more important things — like giving their all at work.   

Myth #3 "All identity theft protection programs scan the dark web."

Not true. Searching the hidden part of the internet is actually pretty complicated — but it should come standard with any identity protection plan worth considering. 

What is the dark web anyway? The dark web is a part of the internet that’s not indexed by search engines and can only be accessed with a TOR web browser. With this special software, users can view the internet anonymously and connect to dark web URLs, which end in “.onion” rather than “.com” or “.org”. 

Because of its anonymity, the dark web is home to a variety of illegal online marketplaces. Identity thieves use these sites to buy and sell stolen PII, such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and more. 

How does Allstate Identity Protection search these obscure parts of the web for our members’ data? We utilize a combination of skilled human investigators and artificial intelligence technology.

In the Allstate Identity Protection portal, enrollees can enter key details, such as credit card numbers, for dark web monitoring. When bots or human operatives find PII that’s linked to one of our members, we alert our users right away

Myth #4 "Family coverages are all the same."

According to the research firm Javelin, more than one million children were victims of identity fraud, resulting in more than $540 million in out-of-pocket costs to families. 

If a loved one — especially a dependent — is suffering from identity theft, it’s bound to impact the whole family, creating stress that can negatively impact workplace performance. That’s why we embrace a generous definition of 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
  • Monitor kids’ linked social media accounts for signs of account takeover

Myth #5 “Identity monitoring is the same as credit monitoring which people can get for free.”  

It’s true that consumers are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three credit-reporting bureaus, and that other free credit-monitoring tools can be found online. 

Credit reports are a valuable identity monitoring tool. It’s smart to review them regularly for signs of fraud. But in today’s fast-moving threat landscape, it’s not enough. Additionally, many free credit monitoring tools actually sell user data for advertising purposes. 

Companies thrive when employees can live — and work — with confidence 

We believe a quality identity monitoring benefit can help build a workforce that’s less stressed and more engaged. That’s why we designed Allstate Identity Protection. With our solution, employees can shop, live, and work more confidently than ever — and that’s just good for business. 

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