First Look: IdentityTruth.com
What is it: A Web site service that
provides early warning detection to let you know if your identity has been
How does it do it:
According to the site, Identity Truth monitors many sources beyond simply
credit monitoring. They monitor public records plus public information floating
on the Internet. They claim to be able to do this without asking for your
social security number.
Status: Currently in beta.
Cost: The beta is free, with a limited invitation. $9.95 for a one-time search.
$9.99 per month for an ongoing service.
Early Review: IdentityTruth
first collects a bit of information about me, then plugs that data into a
powerful Web crawler-based Internet intelligence engine provided by
Cyveillance. The back end Cyveillance engine is impressive in many ways, especially
the fact that it can find things that not even Google can get its tentacles on,
like emails and chat room discussions—a popular forum where private rooms trade
credit card information.
I launched the service with
my cell phone as my primary number. Within minutes I began receiving text
messages to my phone and email detailing all the personal information that Identity
Truth found floating around “out there” about me. For example, it found every
place I’d lived since college, all my past phone numbers, and a few other
choice tidbits. The service determined that information from the Internet,
combined with information from my credit report (which it deduced somehow)
indicated a high likelihood that I was already a victim of cell phone fraud –
someone getting a cell phone in my name. I looked into it and found that all
the numbers were mine. But still – impressive.
Any time my personal information is out
there and potential usable in a fraudulent way, Identity Truth calculates the
risk to me and notifies me, suggesting ways to remediate the problem.
The competition: I
like it much better than LifeLock which seems never to notify me (only the
prospective creditor gets a message), or TrustedID which freezes my credit and
slows down transactions with lenders (overkill unless I know my identity has
Beta irritations: While
signing up was easy, the registration system questioned the veracity of the
password I chose. Now I know passwords. Passwords are in my blood!
So imagine my surprise when I entered one of my supremely excellent passwords
(easy to remember, hard to guess) and the IdentityTruth system plastered a
message across the screen declaring my password to be “Mediocre.”
My password certainly was not
mediocre. I imagine the system was looking for a random-looking long character
string – the sort of password one would have to write down and thereby make it
less secure. IdentityTheft needs to look at more factors besides length of a
password to determine its worth.
Another annoyance is when trying to view
In summary: IdentityTruth
looks like an excellent balance between its two competitors (LifeLock and
TrustedID) and if continues to do what it appears it can do, I’ll likely rely
on for years.