How to help employees deal with cyber theft

Data breaches are happening at a record pace these days, making identity theft and fraud seem practically inevitable. Perhaps that’s why the majority of Americans in a recent survey hadn’t even checked to see if they were victims of a major breach. Maybe they’re thinking, “What’s the point if it’s going to happen anyway?”

Or maybe it’s because, as another survey found, people aren’t aware of what they can do about potential fraud. Of people that didn’t activate a credit freeze (which is a first line of defense in light of breaches), 37 percent said it was because they weren’t aware it was possible or didn’t know how to do it!

When it comes to dealing with identity theft and fraud, these surveys show that people need more education about how to handle these situations — and they need the right people on their side to deal with it as quickly and painlessly as possible. If left to do things on their own, they just might not do anything. Or they might spend hours trying to sift through all the information online to figure out what they’re supposed to do.


Identity restoration services

The good news is there are voluntary benefits you can offer to your employees to help them deal with identity theft. Beyond credit monitoring services (which focus more on the front end of helping protect people’s identities), there are identity restoration services that connect people to professionals who can help them.

With identity restoration services, if people are concerned about a breach or know they are a victim of fraud or theft, they can call a restoration specialist who will work with them to restore their identity with lenders, credit bureaus, the state, county courts and more. They can walk employees through the difference between a fraud alert and a credit freeze, figure out whether a situation calls for one or both of them and then help put the right one(s) in place.

When you consider that the average amount of time spent resolving fraud for a victim is eight hours but can be as much as 130 hours, having someone there to do quite a bit of the legwork for your employees or explain exactly what needs to be done is invaluable.


The legal side

Another thing many people might not realize is that if you’re a victim of identity theft, under federal law you’re entitled to restitution — monetary compensation for not only the damage but also the time you spent trying to fix all the damage. Some states have similar laws as well. To fully understand their rights, identity theft victims should consult with an attorney.

For the vast majority of employees who don’t have an attorney easily available for legal advice, a legal services benefit can connect them with a credentialed attorney in that area of law who can help them at a fraction of the cost. 

You and your employees don’t need to feel helpless when it comes to data breaches. No one wants to deal with identity theft, but it’s becoming more and more of a reality every day. With the right voluntary benefits in place, you can make that reality a little less stressful for your employees.


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