News

Comcast to Offer Free-ID Theft Protection

6/05/2011 2:31 PM Eastern

Comcast is offering basic
identity-theft protection to all broadband
customers for no additional fee
— the first major Internet service provider
to offer such a service for free.

The operator’s new Constant Guard
Protection Suite desktop application
includes the Identity Guard theft-protection
service, provided by Chantilly, Va.-based Intersections.

Identity Guard is available in three tiers. The Essentials
service is included for no additional cost with an Xfinity
Internet subscription and includes lost wallet protection;
support from identity-theft protection experts on what to
do if you’re a victim of identity theft; and online financial
tools.

Comcast also is hoping to upsell customers on two premium
Identity Guard tiers, Preferred ($7.99 per month)
and Premier ($12.99 per month).

Preferred adds free annual credit report assistance,
Internet surveillance, identity-theft insurance of up to
$2,500, credit report and scores from one bureau, and address
monitoring. Premier includes all those features plus
identity-theft risk assessment, proactive identity monitoring
and public record reports and monitoring.

“We know consumers are increasingly concerned about
online identity theft,” Cathy Avgiris, Comcast Cable senior
vice president and general manager of communications
and data services, said in
a statement. “By adding identity
theft protection to our Constant
Guard Security Suite arsenal,
Comcast now offers the most
comprehensive online security
protection of any major Internet
service provider in the U.S.”

The Constant Guard Protection
Suite program provides access
to all of Comcast’s online security resources including
the Norton Security Suite and a Secure Backup & Share
service. The MSO claims the package, free to all broadband
users, is a $360 value.

According to a survey commissioned by Comcast, 80%
of adults are concerned about their personal information
being stolen by a cyber criminal. In 2010, identity theft
and fraud affected more than 8 million U.S. consumers
at a cost of more than $37 billion, according to a report by
Javelin Strategy and Research.