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October 13, 2016

New identity theft protection offered

Identity theft.


A new identity theft protection service from InfoArmor is being offered by the University to replace MetLife Defender starting Jan. 1, 2017.

During a presentation on the service Oct. 4 in the William Pitt Union, InfoArmor representative Holly McCulloh noted how frequently information breaches, such as the recent hack of Yahoo, are reported. She cited a 2015 national study that found more than 13 million people had a total of $15 billion taken by identity thieves that year.

Aiming to prevent more such theft, McCulloh said InfoArmor’s service, called PrivacyArmor, provides a large number of immediate notifications to alert subscribers to changes in a variety of accounts.

“InfoArmor is searching proactively for this information,” she said. “We are trying to prevent fraud before it happens.”

Among the features of PrivacyArmor are alerts via email or text “within minutes” if something affects your credit report, she says. It also provides opt-in notices about common identity-theft indicators, such as the establishment of new utility accounts and wireless accounts in your name, or applications for payday loans. In addition, you can choose to receive alerts about higher-risk transactions, such as attempts to reset passwords or make a money transfer, and when an account becomes delinquent.

You can also set threshold amounts for withdrawals from checking and savings accounts or purchases using credit cards, and receive alerts if a transaction exceeds your chosen thresholds.

It’s up to the PrivacyArmor subscriber to notify InfoArmor if any of the above transactions are a surprise.

Other features of the new Pitt Perks offering include CreditArmor, which provides your current credit rating and compares it to peers, and SocialArmor, dubbed a “social media reputation monitoring option.” SocialArmor digs for language in your social media posts past and present, on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, that could present an undesirable image to others, such as mentions of alcohol or drugs. It also can be set to monitor children’s social media accounts for signs of them being bullied or enticed to undesirable activities. A “digital exposure report” can be generated by subscribers at will, locating publicly available information bearing your name and other information that may be better kept private, such as old resumes and geographical location tags on digital photos.

PasswordArmor remembers your usernames and passwords and generates complex passwords for use in other services and devices, if desired.

And WalletArmor allows you to store passport information, health insurance data and data from all the cards you carry in your wallet, making them remotely accessible to you and any family members on your account, and maintaining a record should they be stolen.

“How do we know that InfoArmor is really safe?” storing all of that information, a Pitt employee asked McCulloh.

“It’s our job to protect information,” she replied. “If we would have something happen to us, we’d be out of business.” She assured that all data was encrypted both in storage and in transit to the customer, although she was uncertain how the information would remain encrypted once visible on a laptop or phone.

She also said InfoArmor’s data storage was a windowless, unmarked facility guarded at all times both physically and electronically.

Should a subscriber become an identity theft victim, McCulloh added, the company offers “full-service remediation.” This includes a privacy advocate to contact at any time for help, and to whom you may give a limited power of attorney to handle some of the issues on your behalf. The service will pay for many of the expenses associated with the effort to clear up an identity theft, including child care costs, and legal and CPA fees.

The service, which can be elected or canceled at any time, costs $7.95 per month for individuals and $13.95 a month for families, which can include dependent children who are not living at home, as well as financially dependent parents.

Employees can sign up for InfoArmor’s PrivacyArmor through, by clicking on My Resources in the Human Resources tab, then choosing identity theft protection under Voluntary Benefits.

Payment via payroll deductions after taxes can be arranged, and the service can be continued after an employee’s retirement at the current cost.

More information is available at or by calling 800-789-2720.

—Marty Levine 

Filed under: Feature,Volume 49 Issue 4

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