Users in the United States with a Microsoft 365 Personal or Microsoft 365 Family subscription can now get Microsoft's new Identity Theft Monitoring tool. Announced this week, the feature is baked into Microsoft Defender and is available for Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS.
Identity Theft Monitoring in Microsoft 365 provides important tools to prevent identity theft. However, Microsoft is not handling these features. Instead, the company has partnered with Experian and is outsourcing to the consumer credit reporting firm.
Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers get free benefits from Experian, including insurance of up to $1 million for funds stolen through identity theft. Furthermore, there is $100,000 in insurance for identity theft. Both these policies a provided by the American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida.
Yes, that means this feature is only available to M365 customers in the US. That may change in the future if Microsoft/Experian secures insurance partners in other regions. In a blog post, Microsoft describes how leveraging Experian's expertise can help customers manage their identity safety:
“We've partnered with Experian® to leverage their powerful identity monitoring technology to detect, track, and alert you whenever we find any identifying information on the internet, the dark web, and less common sources like file sharing, chat rooms, and many other places.
“By showing exactly what details are compromised and/or publicly available, Microsoft empowers you to take control of your personal identity security and make informed decisions. Once you know what's out there, you can take action by resetting passwords for compromised services, enabling multi-factor authentication for services that support it, placing a credit freeze to avoid malicious actors affecting your credit, contacting your bank or card provider to report potential fraud on your account, etc.”
Identity Theft Monitoring works by tracking identity details across breaches. Currently, it can track 64 metrics such as passwords, usernames, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and more. If a match is found online, it will monitor the information and alert the user that their information was found in a breach.
For example, when tracking your email address, the tool reports any instance where the address or associated data was used in a breach. So, the data you hold with a company/service that has been breached. If the reason for the breach is known, the monitoring tool will tell you the cause and potential action you can take.
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