What You Need to Know:
With one in four Americans experiencing identity theft, the need to protect personally identifiable information (PII) is increasingly top-of-mind for today’s consumers. While many individuals express an interest, getting them to act can be a challenge for:
- Businesses offering identity protection as an employee benefit.
- Insurers trying to minimize risk among cyber policyholders.
- Financial institutions trying to safeguard the credit and financial health of consumers.
For anyone looking to deliver the digital safety and security consumers say they want, there are tactics that can help encourage greater action.
Here are four tips you can use when reinforcing the importance of identity protection.
1. Stay informed about identity protection trends
Sometimes the thing that motivates a customer to begin asking about identity theft protection is when they hear about a recent data breach. Knowing the latest trends and relevant statistics can prepare you to confidently answer their questions, positioning you as having the expertise needed to help them.
The kind of statistics you might keep handy should be realistic and relevant, such as:
- Identity theft victims report an average loss of $930 per incident: a significant amount for many households.
- 50% of those reporting ID thefts in 2022 were victims before, making identity theft a recurring threat.
- 22% of U.S. adults have been victims of account takeover, representing more than 24 million households.
The same approach holds true for benefit brokers and consultants. The addition of a valuable, progressive benefit like identity theft protection benefits employees and reinforces positive habits while helping safeguard the company’s security, productivity and ability to attract top talent.
No matter who you are advising, the ability to demonstrate your knowledge and willingness to help will ultimately reinforce the value you bring to the table.
2. Educate without frightening
Plenty of messages in the media warn consumers that their digital safety and security could be at risk — from ransomware and phishing attacks to cyberbullying and child identity theft. While these stories often drive awareness, people often default to think “That happens to other people. It won’t happen to me.”
Ensuring that the risks and consequences are relative to everyone can help guide consumers toward electing the protection they need. In addition to the relevant stats like those mentioned above, finding real-world examples — from your industry, region or even anonymized from your employees or consumer base — can bring the risk to life and encourage further action.
Avoid the temptation to share only frightening messages, though. You want to be a trusted advisor, not a scary tactician, so focus on the fact that having an identity protection solution and access to restoration specialists makes things easier when an incident occurs.
3. Listen with intent
Life-cycle events, such as having a baby, buying a house or changing jobs often lead to certain identity-related vulnerabilities. As an example, when applying for a mortgage someone might learn of other lines of credit that they themselves never applied for.
By knowing what’s happening in the lives of your employees, clients or customers, you will be poised to explain how identity theft protection services can be beneficial and will be seen as a proactive and helpful resource.
4. Make it relative
Identity theft protection is not just about someone trying to fraudulently open a credit card or claim benefits using a stolen Social Security number. The impact of a cyber or identity crime can impact not only consumer credit and financial standing — which is a risk they may immediately recognize — but also their physical and mental health.
In fact, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) found that of those reporting an identity theft incident in 2022:
- 87% experienced negative emotions such as feeling anxious, violated, angry and depressed
- 68% reported physical problems like lack of sleep, stress and aches and pains
Not only does having identity theft protection enable individuals to get the help they need to restore their identity and credit information, but the additional peace of mind they gain by having a solution in place before an incident occurs can be a powerful motivator.
Get the resources you need
While individuals and companies might recognize the need for identity theft protection, distractions, rationalizations and confusion can keep them from acting. By preparing yourself to speak to their needs and presenting real-world examples and relevant statistics, you can prove yourself a valuable resource.
Want to get up to speed fast on the latest threats and trends in cyber and identity crime? Get our recently released eBook Protecting What Matters Most, now in its sixth edition.