In a recent court filing in the Federal District Court of Arizona, Lifelock, one of the most well known companies offering identity theft protection services has been accused by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of failing to live up to a settlement Lifelock made in 2010 with the FTC as well as 35 state attorneys general regarding charges that Lifelock used misleading and deceptive advertising as well as failing to adequately protect the security of the personal data of its customers. According to the FTC, Lifelock violated the 2010 settlement by failing to maintain a comprehensive information security program to protect its users’ sensitive personal data, including credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and bank account numbers as well as by falsely advertising that it protected consumers’ sensitive data with the same high-level safeguards as financial institutions. Lifelock has publicly disputed the allegations.
If the charges are proved to be true, this would be very disturbing to Lifelock customers because any company holding such tremendous amounts of personal information would be a prime target of hackers and identity thieves. It is also important to remember that neither Lifelock nor any of the other identity theft protection services are able to truly protect you from identity theft. They merely help you take certain steps to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft and help you monitor your accounts to let you know sooner if you become a victim of identity theft. In fact, none of the identity theft protection services assist you in putting a credit freeze on your credit report which may be the single best step you can take to protect yourself from identity theft. You can find instructions for putting a credit freeze on your credit reports here in the Archives of Scamicide. None of the things that any of these companies do for you are things you cannot do for yourself at less cost. In fact, although it is obviously self-serving, the cost of my book “Identity Theft Alert” in which I provide you with precise steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft is less than a month’s cost of most identity theft protection services.