From large corporations to government entities, to your best friend at work, Fred, data breaches and identity theft are happening to everyone. Not only is identity theft happening to more people, but it’s also occurring more frequently. According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft has been the number one consumer complaint for 14 straight years.
In 2016, an estimated 15.4 American consumers were the target of some identity theft. Up from, 13.1 million the year before. As a result of the jump in identity theft, there’s been a subsequent leap for identity theft protection. Primarily as an employee benefit. It’s estimated that by the end of this year 70 percent of employers will offer identity theft protection as a voluntary benefit.
This number would double the 35 percent who offered the benefit in 2015. More employees need identity theft protection, AND more companies are offering it as a benefit. So, it’s likely your organization already does, or will soon provide identity theft protection as a voluntary benefit. But do you know the potential advantages it offers both your staff and your organization as a whole?
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft occurs when an individual uses your personal identification information without your permission. This information can include name, address, credit card or bank account numbers, social security number, of medical insurance accounts.
Identity theft is a serious crime that can result in severe problems for your employees. An identity thief can use your information to: buy things using your accounts, open new lines of credit, create an electricity or gas account, steal your tax refund, or get free medical care. Consequently, any one of these outcomes can leave an employee with thousands of dollars of debt.
What are Identity Theft Protection Services?
Identity theft protection services monitor your personally identifiable information for any unusual activity, which could indicate signs of identity theft. Some of these services help you correct any problems resulting from identity theft in addition to all of the diagnostic tools.
Specific protection services may also offer identity theft insurance. This insurance may cover:
- Certain out-of-pocket losses
- Chat room monitoring
- Public record searches
- Black market website monitoring
- Virus protection software
- Credit monitoring services
- Regular credit score reports
What Advantages Does Identity Theft Protection Offer Your Employees?
There are several advantages identity theft protection provides for your staff. First of all, this benefit offers your workers security. These protection services give your staff peace of mind with regards to their identity. Knowing you’re protected allows employees to relax and perform to the best of their ability’s.
Another advantage of identity theft protection is that it saves your employees time. According to Workspan, victims of identity theft need an average of 165 hours to resolve the issue. Working with a protection service simplifies and speeds the recovery process up.
Without identity theft protection, employees would have to do immense amounts of legwork like filing police reports, writing letters, and making trips to their bank. Similarly, these services can save time with simple alerts and reports.
For example, if there is a substantial data breach, many services will notify participants about the status of their identifiable information. In this example, your employees wouldn’t have to spend time and brain power researching and worrying about the status of their private data.
Identity theft protection services also help employees by decreasing stress. Amplified stress levels result in reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher levels of reported unhappiness. Protection services work to lessen stress by both preventing identity theft and to limit its effects in case of actual theft.
Using Less Leave
Additionally, identity theft protection lets your employees reduce the amount of time they take off from work. As previously stated, dealing with a stolen identity can be a long, painful, and costly process. Protection services alert participants immediately of any fraudulent activity. Similarly, these services work on their own to correct any fraudulent activity.
Now your employees don’t have to spend any time or brain power resolving and credit or identity issues. Your identity protection service can handle several items at one time, without needing your input and attention.
Finally, the last benefit of identity theft protection is it helps boost employee satisfaction with their job. These services are an essential benefit and will only continue to be as valuable. As the role of technology increases in everyday life, identity theft will likely only increase as well. Identity theft protection
What Advantages Does It Offer the Employer?
Identity theft protection services, compared to other voluntary benefits, are relatively cheap. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners claims the cost of identity theft protection ranges from $25 to $60 per year. Given these prices, many employers can provide their staff with this benefit, at no cost to employees, for very little.
Higher Retention Rates
These services can be an imperative tool for employee retention. A study from IdentityForce revealed the growing importance of identity theft protection as an employee benefit. The survey found 68 percent of HR professionals say identity theft benefits are growing in importance.
Additionally, 67.5 percent of HR executives are evaluating identity theft coverage as an employee perk that allows them to compete in hiring and retaining professional talent. These answers demonstrate the growing standing of identity protection in a successful employee benefits package.
The stress and amount of work an identity theft leaves causes an individual can be massive. Employees who are victims of identity theft are typically absent five times more than average and use twice as much sick time. Clearly, identity theft affects the absenteeism of your employees.
That’s where identity theft protection services come into play. The services this provided through this benefit helps employees avoid using sick time or missing work because of a stolen identity. As previously mentioned, these services do all the leg work your employee would otherwise be stuck doing. This assistance lets your team members focus on their job and not recovering their identity.
The final, and arguably most important, benefit identity protection gives your organization is a defense of employees’ productivity. The cumulative effect of a stolen identity can have a significant impact on an employee’s productivity at work, according to Employee Benefits Adviser. So, even an incremental increase in productivity can be worth a significant amount to your company.
Identity theft is not a modern problem, but it’s affecting your employees in new, modern ways. Technology isn’t going anywhere, and neither is the accompanying issue of identity theft. Luckily, as an employer, you can protect your employees. Use identity theft protection to help protect your employees and boost your overall business.