The antivirus maker and cybersecurity firm Bitdefender has unveiled its new identity theft protection service for consumers in the US.
Bitdefender Identity Theft Protection provides users with identity threat detection and alerts, 24/7 credit and financial account monitoring as well as dedicated recovery services they can turn to in the event of a successful identity takeover.
The new service combines advanced threat detection and dark web threat intelligence with 24/7 identity, privacy and credit monitoring to protect users against the theft, sale or illegal trade of their personal, financial and credit monitoring.
If your identity should happen to fall into the wrong hands, Bitdefender Identity Theft Protection promises to provide 24/7 support services where certified US protection experts do most of the necessary work for you including freezing compromised accounts, contacting third parties and completing the paperwork needed to restore your identity.
At the same time, Bitdefender’s identity theft insurance guarantees up to $2 million to cover certain out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages and funds stolen from your financial accounts if you happen to fall victim to identity theft.
Bitdefender Identity Theft Protection
Bitdefender developed its new identity theft protection service in collaboration with IdentityForce and it’s now available as a standalone subscription or through Bitdefender Ultimate Security which combines Bitdefender Total Security, Bitdefender Premium VPN and Bitdefender Password Manager in a single subscription.
For those considering signing up for Bitdefender Identity Theft Protection on its own, a Standard subscription costs $89.99 for the first year while a Premium one costs $139.99 for the first year. The difference between the two plans is that the premium plan provides credit report monitoring from three bureaus instead of one; identity theft insurance also increases from $1 million to $2 million and damages from ransomware and fraud can also be reimbursed.
Ciprian Istrate, vice president of Bitdefender’s consumer solutions group, explained in a press release why the cybersecurity firm has decided to launch an identity theft protection service in addition to its antivirus and VPN:
“As consumers conduct more personal business and finances online, they need complete cybersecurity protection that not only blocks threats like malware and phishing attempts, but also protects digital privacy and actively secures personal data against theft and misuse. Bitdefender Identity Theft Protection service enables consumers to enjoy online shopping, banking, social media and other activities with peace of mind knowing their financial identity, privacy and personal data is safeguarded around the clock and credit quickly repaired if ever needed.”
Why identity theft protection is worth the investment
Although an identity theft protection service like Bitdefender’s new offering may seem like an expensive addition to your budget when your wallet is already stretched thin, it could be a tremendous help if you ever have your identity stolen.
According to Experian, it can take anywhere from a few days to up to several years to recover your identity once it’s been stolen. During that time though, you’ll likely be unable to take out a new loan or mortgage, get a new credit card or even start a new job as many employers check your credit history as part of their background check process. Likewise, you could end up owing the IRS money if a cybercriminal applies for a job using your social security number and doesn’t pay their taxes.
Identity theft remains a significant risk for consumers and in 2021 alone, US consumers lost almost $6 billion to fraud according to the FTC. Additionally, a recent Bitdefender survey of more than 10,000 consumers found that many practice high-risk behaviors when it comes to data protection and their digital identities including using a single password across all of their online accounts (50%), regularly sharing their personal information (43%), email address and birthdate (40%) and home address (29%).
While identity theft protection can help you regain your identity, using a password manager to create and store unique passwords for all of your online accounts can help prevent them from being taken over in the first place. There are also steps you can take if your Social Security number gets stolen.