Rob DouglasIdentity Theft Protection Contributing Editor
Rob Douglas is an information security consultant specializing in the investigation and prevention of identity theft and scams. Rob is one of the nation’s leading authorities on the use of social engineering, impersonation, fraud and pretext to steal personal information. For two decades, Rob has assisted the financial services sector, the telecommunications industry, the general business community, government and law enforcement agencies to better understand the scope and methodology of identity crimes through presentations, educational materials, auditing and consultation.
IDShield is an identity theft protection company that offers data monitoring, instant identity breach notifications and identity restoration services. It is a division of LegalShield. The company employs licensed private investigators to track this data, answer customers' questions and provide advice when necessary.
- Unlimited consultation: This service plan includes unlimited access to a licensed private investigator. This person can answer your questions and address your concerns at any time.
- Mobile app: ID Shield’s mobile app allows you to access your account from anywhere. Support is immediate and available 24/7.
- Comprehensive personal monitoring: Comprehensive personal monitoring keeps track of everything connected to you, including your name, SSN, address, passport, insurance card, date of birth and phone number. IDShield’s comprehensive monitoring costs $9.95 per month.
- $5 million service guarantee: If your identity is stolen, ID Shield will spend up to $5 million in restoration expenses, guaranteed.
- Family plan: You can add up to ten family members: two adults and up to eight minors. The IDShield Family Plan costs $19.95 per month.
- Best for individuals and families concerned about the security of their identity.
Question and Answers - IDShield
What problem is IDShield trying to solve?
- Simply put, we are in the business of protecting people. We provide equal access to equal justice and make sure that one’s identity is theirs and theirs alone.
This started more than 44 years ago with affordable legal plans, and has expanded to include identity protection in the United States and Canada.
What sets your company apart from the competition?
- We have a team of licensed private investigators with nearly 30-years identity theft-related experience that work with members/clients personally to help them restore their identity should it be compromised, as well as answer general questions. IDShield provides the most comprehensive protection, from proactive consultation and monitoring to restoration in the event of identity theft.
What needs do your products or services fulfill, and how do you fulfill those needs better than your competition?
- IDShield’s products make sure an individual’s identify is theirs and theirs alone. We fulfill the need of identity theft protection, which is a growing problem in North America. More than 12 million people were victims of identity theft in 2014 and Google queries grew 13% in Q2 2015 in the identity theft & credit monitoring category.
IDShield was one of the first ID Monitoring and Restoration service providers in North America with more than 13-years of experience. LegalShield has a 44-year history of protecting people, and more than 13 years of identity protection; we are an innovator of and leader in the space.
What are the most common misconception consumers have about your company?
- Generally speaking, there are misconceptions about the industry of ID Monitoring and Restoration.
Many individuals think that credit monitoring is comparable to ID monitoring, when actually ID theft is much more complicated. A person’s identity includes: personal identifiable information (name, Social Security Number, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.), medical records, police records, tax records, address, government benefits, and more.
With all the recent ID theft issues, there have been many new service providers entering the space; they offer different levels of service and support, which can add confusion to an already complex product. Additionally, some well-known companies that have ID theft products were cited by the FTC, creating mistrust across the board.
Specific to LegalShield, the fact that we are a direct selling company has created some challenges, because of some perceptions about the direct marketing industry. We are committed to direct selling, and believe it is a great model for us, because it helps consumers to truly understand our services and engage with our business. Our sales force is provided training on a regular basis and expected to adhere to our standards of excellence. Above all we are committed to delivering superior products and customer satisfaction.
Our reputation and high customer satisfaction are underscored by LegalShield’s A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and we have a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 91 of 100 for identity restoration.
How does your company measure success?
- We measure success in several ways
The number of lives we protect:
- LegalShield is one of the nation’s leading providers of legal safeguards for individuals, families, and small businesses and provides protection to more than 3.7 million individuals
- We have restored 100% of our members’ identities that had been compromised. IDShield provides identity monitoring and restoration services to more than a million individuals across North America
- More than 34,000 companies offer the LegalShield and IDShield plans to their employees as a voluntary benefit
What are your company values?
- Purpose: We protect people.
Vision: To provide equal access to the liberty, equality, opportunity and justice that every North American deserves and expects.
Mission: To help people improve their lives by teaching life-transforming skills and to deliver exceptional products and services that promote peace of mind and confidence in a world that is often times uncaring and selfish.
Values: We believe in the good in all people.We do the right thing when no one is looking. We give clarity to everyone’s purpose to do the things they love to do and not what they have to do. We empower people’s passions.
Our pillars include liberty, equality, justice and opportunity.
What is something you wish every consumer knew about your company?
- Primarily, we want people to know about their rights—access to the justice system and access to identity restoration. Specifically, for IDShield, we have chosen not to do mainstream advertising, so our desire would be that we continue to gain recognition and brand awareness broadly.
Has your business received any awards or recognition your customers would like to know about?
- LegalShield, as a company, has an A+ rating by the BBB.
What are the most common misconception consumers have about your industry?
- First, ID Theft is not just a credit issue: Identity theft revolves around much more than simply a credit score. In reality, credit is one small piece of a larger identity theft problem, which can span from tax fraud or medical benefits theft to name, employment, government fraud, and more.
Another common misconception is that "ID Theft will not happen to me": Risk of ID theft is more prevalent now than at any other time in history. More than 12.7 million individuals experienced breaches or incidents that compromised their identities in 2014.
Consumers should know that all services are not equal: Free services will not necessarily help restore one’s identity if it is compromised. When companies experience security breaches, often they are required to provide free services to their customers who were compromised. These services will only assist in instances directly related to the security breach. They also do not necessarily promise identity restoration, just help in resolution. That’s like someone putting out the house fire but not going back in and replacing the carpet, walls, etc. damaged by the fire. Additionally, there are dozes of services available for purchase and they vary greatly in terms of restoration help, guarantees, and service.
Finally, fixing a compromised identity is not easy, or that “doing it yourself” is easy. On average, it takes an individual 200 hours and up to six months to restore his/her identity. Most individuals do not even know where to begin to even identify what needs to be fixed. Additionally, the amount of time it would take a person to search the dark web, court records, short-term loans, credit agencies, and more for his/her ID can easily become overwhelming, not to mention the amount of time it would take to try to resolve an identity theft issue on his/her own.
What is the greatest obstacle your company is currently trying to overcome?
- Educating the public and building trust is a challenge especially when business practices of some businesses that provide ID moderation services have received so much negative attention for their business practices.
Additionally, LegalShield changed its identity theft brand to IDShield in May of 2015. Building awareness and reputation for a new brand name, even though we have been providing ID services for nearly 13 years.
How has your industry changed in the last 5 to 10 years?
- The exponential growth of identity theft as a problem in North America combined with the always evolving ways that thieves can steal and use stolen identities has changed the industry. Many new service providers have entered the space, while awareness and education these new business are bringing to consumers is good; there is a need for continuing to strengthen ethical guidelines that ensure that consumers are served.
We are happy to say that earlier this year, our IDShield partner, was part of a work group led by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), that helped create an updated version of the Best Practices for Identity Theft Services, which encourage for-profit identity theft service providers to follow responsible practices.
How do you think the industry will change in the next 5 to 10 years?
- In the next 5-10 years, identity theft will continue to become more sophisticated. As methods of stealing identities continue to become more advanced, so too will the type and access points to inform. Companies serving in this space will need to do more than react; we need to work to stay ahead of the curve and stop breaches before they start, continue to be nimble and fast to help restore identities when they are compromised, and help to educate consumers on personal best practices to protect their identities and the identities of their families.
How has your company grown or evolved?
- In May of 2015, IDShield products were expanded to include more features than ever before. With these updates, ours has become one of the most comprehensive identity theft protection products on the market.
In addition, in the past 12 months, LegalShield has relaunched its digital properties, LegalShield.com, IDShield.com, Opportunity.LegalShield.com, and Business.LegalShield.com; created three all-new mobile applications, Ask LegalShield, My LegalShield and My IDShield; and is in the process of launching several new tools that leverage best-in-class technology.
Additionally, in April of 2015 LegalShield acquired the assets of Shake, LLC. Shake's team brings with it a track record of successful, intuitive design in the legal field. The original Shake app, which allows users to create, sign, send, and manage legally binding contracts from their smartphones, was named one of Business Insider's Top 11 Apps to Watch in 2014.
How do you see the company growing or evolving in the future?
- We are committed to continue to leverage technology and working with industry leading partners that help us provide and develop best in-class products and services for our customers. Additionally, we are committed to furthering the education of every person in North America on the importance of caring for one’s identity. This commitment will be reflected in free information we provide to consumers on best-practice tips, as well as additional paid offerings that will reach new customer segments.
Where do great ideas come from in your organization?
- Great ideas come from everywhere. We pay close attention to the voice of our customers, and our associates. We work closely with our partners, leaders in the industry, and of course, throughout all areas of our organization – from the product and marketing teams, the frontline customer service agents, the direct sellers, and our operational and IT functions.
Do you have any advice or comments for your current and/or potential customers?
- At the very least, individuals need to stay informed and educated. We have a lot of free information and articles on IDShield.com related to best practices and what consumers can do to protect themselves and their families. That said, we recommend using a reputable service that completely monitors their customers’ identities and, when tragedy strikes, fully restores their identity to its pre-compromised state. Not all services are equal, so when selecting a provider, consumers should look for these amenities to ensure they are protected: web monitoring, credit monitoring, and restoration.
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