According to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics an estimated 17.6 million, or 7 percent of U.S. residents 16 years of age or older were victims of identity theft in 2014. As identity theft continues to grow, we are constantly hearing about new data breaches of major proportions. We are all on alert and when a major retailer gets hacked, we share valid concerns about the threat of credit cards falsely opened in our name.
Because of the ongoing risk of data theft, more and more employers are offering their employees identity protection solutions for their personal data as part of their benefits package.
In addition to standard credit card fraud protection, employers are expanding identity theft benefit options to include features such as social media and email monitoring for the employee and their family, as well as lost-wallet protection. For example, if an employee loses his or her wallet, they can still access all of their lost card numbers and other information in one convenient place online, which they have input and saved in advance.
Additionally, employees with a social media monitoring program for their families can receive alerts when there is suspicious activity on their child’s e-mail and social media accounts, which can help protect them from online predators.
Employers also are finding that fraud protection increases employees’ productivity. Employees with fraud protection benefits spend fewer hours dealing with the time-consuming issues surrounding a stolen wallet or becoming the victim of a credit card security breach.
In addition to the lost productivity of employees, employer groups are also at increased risk. Emerging technology and evolving employee behavior enable personal and enterprise technologies and data to overlap in everyday usage. It is estimated that 15 percent of personal data breaches originate in the workplace. The addition of Identity Theft protection can help employer groups mitigate some of the risks associated with the overlap of personal and enterprise technologies.
By: JOHN CARLETTI
John Carletti is the National Practice Leader – Specialty Benefits for Univers Workplace Solutions.