(Tom Fragala, CEO of Truston and Identity Theft Victim Advocate)
The identity theft protection/prevention industry is enjoying double-digit growth in what many believe is a faltering economy. Everyone seems to be jumping into it, even the big three credit bureaus and a LOT of members of the financial services industry.
Critics of the identity theft protection industry say the services they provide are available for free and the proponents say they are making a difficult process easy for busy people.
Tom Fragala, CEO of Truston, introduced a product awhile back that addressed another concern, which is how well is a person's information is protected after it is turned over to an identity theft service and maintained somewhere it might be compromised all over again.
Some of these services ask their customer's to provide them with a power of attorney -- which is something people should consider carefully before handing over -- especially to someone they really don't know.
Tom feels rather personally about this. He has been a victim himself, spent thousands of hours advocating for victims and blogs to make people aware of the problem, also.
In real terms, Truston allows a person to protect their identity effectively without handing over any personal information. It's also cheaper (even free for the protection part of it) than the competition. Using Truston's platform a person is guided through the sometimes difficult process of preventing and recovering from identity theft. The platform even provides reminders if you forget to finish one of the steps.
Because of this, Truston has now been named a winner in the 2008 Hot Company Awards. The announcement was made in a press release and on Tom's personal blog, where he wrote:
Having followed the evolution of Truston (I helped test the software), I found this pretty impressive since they were up against companies like "Cisco Systems, Inc, IBM, Juniper Networks, Intel, HP, and Oracle. Other winners of the 2008 Hot Company awards include Blade Network Technologies, Engate Technology, Insightix and Vericept."
On Tuesday, at the Technosium Conference in Silicon Valley, Truston was selected as a winner of the 2008 Hot Company awards by the Network Products Guide, published by Silicon Valley Communications. This comes after being named a finalist in November. All finalists were required to give presentations to a panel of judges prior to the winners being determined.
When I stated that a lot of players are jumping into this industry, I want to remind everyone that some of them have been the source of information for identity thieves for years. Buying and selling personal information is another highly profitable industry. Problem is that when it is bought and sold numerous times, it's pretty hard to determine where it might end up.
The less places you allow your information to be stored has a direct correlation to how likely it is your information will be stolen.
I guess it all boils down to how valuable a person considers their identity? Truston provides an economical and easy way to protect your personal information.
And if you have an identity worth protecting, it's probably valuable to a "wannabe evil twin" lurking somewhere out there in the shadows, also.
Tom's blog post about Truston being named as a "Hot Company of 2008," here.
Currently, Truston is running a 45 day free trial where you don't have to worry about canceling their service and finding out months later you were still being charged for it.
Previous posts, I've written about Truston, which include some work we've done together on educating people, here.