Background-Checking Companies Move to Subscription ID Protection  
     
  GEE, SHOULD WE HAVE SEEN THIS COMING?

PC Magazine released a story today about a background-check and people-search company on the web, now introducing a personal-identity monitoring service by monthly subscription.
 
 
The company, Intelius, currently offers background checks and people-finding services, and since their current business is gathering information about us, they already have much of what comprises our "e-Identity" stored in their databases for purchase by those who would wish to know more about us... potential employers, landlords, loan originators, and the like.  

Their new service offering, called IDWatch, monitors a client's personal information, and informs the client via email when changes, inquiries, or suspicious activities are noted.  Finding out about an identity theft early in the game is paramount.  The sooner the crime is noted and acted upon, the shorter the financial recovery time for the victim, so this service and many like it will prove popular, in my opinion.  Here's their website:

(http://find.intelius.com/search-name.php)

 
 
While it's not surprising that background information products have matriculated into a new business model, it certainly triggers one's natural suspicion that over the last few years, identity theft has become a top issue among security mavens, and a top crime in this country, and now these companies are offering monitoring and protection of our identities, for a fee.  I've had several clients express their suspicion that the anti-virus companies must have something to do with all the viruses proliferating world-wide.  Not a great leap to imagine identity-theft-protection companies gleefully rubbing their hands over the recent upswing in identity theft incidents.
 
 
In all fairness, both the virus outbreaks of recent years, and the upswing in identity theft occurrences, are most probably only the result of so much more scrutiny... we didn't watch our PC's and protect them with software that identified the culprits, so we were blissfully ignorant, until recent times, of just how much "stuff" was out there, and attacking our machines.

So, members, get ready to reach for your wallet once again.  You got antivirus software, you then had to get anti-spyware software, then you needed a personal firewall, and next will be your identity-protection package!

I guess it's still better than the fate of my poor cat... she had to have a microchip inserted under her skin, just so we know she's really OUR cat!  No feline imposter will invade our Tidy-CatŪ domain, no sir!