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What Essential Detection Features Should You Look for in Identity Theft Protection?

Identity theft often goes undetected for many months—even years—especially if the victim is a child. In the meantime, criminals can launch phishing attacks, commit financial or healthcare fraud, or sell personal information to other criminals.

Early detection can help prevent identity theft. And, if identity theft does happen, detection can help discover the crime early on, lessening the impact on victims and expediting recovery time. When evaluating identity and privacy protection solutions, look for these three key detection capabilities:

1. Social Media Detection.  

Criminals who want to make a quick dollar target social media sites. In fact, 53% of social media logins are fraudulent, and more than 75% of social media attacks are automated bot attacks, according to a report by Arkose Labs.
Social media detection and monitoring should:

  • Flag risky content that can damage reputations.
  • Detect frauds and scams, including fraudulent links, phishing attacks, and malware
  • Fight account takeover by scanning major social networks for accounts that may be using the name and profile photos of a person’s protected accounts.

2. Deep & Dark Web Detection.

A little-known fact: the Internet we use every day for social media, news, shopping, and browsing makes up only 10% of the entire worldwide web. The majority of the web lurks beneath the surface and isn’t searchable by major web browsers.

Trillions of usernames, passwords, personal information, and confidential documents are for sale on the surface, deep, and dark webs right now. Criminals purchase and use this data to steal a person’s identity, money, and even commit crimes in their name. For example, a site on the Dark Web called Black Bank offers so-called “fresh” social security numbers, featuring credit scores over 750 points.

Deep and dark web detection should:

  • Be complete, thoroughly scanning billions of records, open web sources, underground forums, black markets, and remote corners of the web.
  • Be checked for accuracy and authenticity before alerts are made to avoid false alarms.
  • Provide continuous monitoring, 24/7—not just a one-time scan.

3. Child Identity Detection.

Children face significant identity and privacy threats. Identity thieves can use a child’s Social Security number to apply for government benefits, open bank and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or utility service, or rent a place to live. And with gaming, using social media, and other online activities, children’s privacy is increasingly at risk. Parents and guardians should monitor their children’s identities before they actually need them.

  • Include dark web monitoring to protect a child’s identity on all levels of the Internet.
  • Medications and medical records
  • Scan social media for inappropriate content linked to a child’s identity.
  • Help prevent account takeover of a child’s social media accounts.

Source: ID Experts, February 2020,

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