How not to get your identity stolen

April 24, 2024
2 mins read


Norton Identity Advisor Plus

PAT PILCHER inspects Norton’s latest identity protection service that offers more than just clever software.


Have you ever had a call from a debt collection agency telling you that you owe several hundred thousand dollars to a business you’ve never heard of? How about discovering that your email address was used to commit serious fraud? Cases like this and worse are the reality for a large number of New Zealanders who’ve fallen victim to identity theft. estimates that a whopping 133,000 New Zealanders fall victim to identity theft each year and that this is costing our economy a staggering $209 million annually.

Identity is where criminals get hold of another person’s personal data and use it for their own gain. Typical identity theft scenarios involve the following:

  • Financial Identity Theft: Using someone’s identity to obtain credit, goods, services, or benefits.
  • Social Security Identity Theft: Using someone’s identity to fraudulently claim benefits.
  • Synthetic Identity Theft: Combining real and fake identity information to create a new identity for clocking up debts.

Fraudsters can make a tidy sum from identity theft, and the scary thing is that stealing enough information to use someone else’s identity isn’t difficult. Most identity theft happens through:

  • Phishing: Fraudulent emails or texts that trick individuals into revealing personal information.
  • Data Breaches: Unauthorized access to corporate or personal data repositories.
  • Physical Theft: Stealing wallets, mail or documents from trash.
  • Malware: Software designed to infiltrate and damage computers to access personal data.

None of this is wasted on the folks at Norton. They’ve launched the Identity Advisor Plus service to help stop you from becoming another identity theft statistic.

Norton Identity Advisor Plus monitors social media, your personal information, and the dark web to alert you of any suspicious activity on your existing email, passwords, and other personal information, including if any of your personal information is being accessed without your consent. It’s available for Windows/Mac/Android/iOS and consists of an elegant dashboard that allows you to see at a glance if you’ve got any potential identity theft issues. Apps that alert you to identity theft might be old news, but Norton has added a few clever wrinkles to its offering, making it uniquely handy.

One of the more useful features is the app’s real-world support. If someone nicks your wallet or purse, you can call Norton’s specialized team, and they’ll walk you through cancelling and replacing your credit cards and any other ID.

Even handier, you also get Identity Restoration Support. Suppose you’ve fallen victim to identity theft. In that case, Norton will connect you with an Identity Restoration Specialist who can help you resolve disputes and regain your online identity until your particular case is closed. This feature alone makes the annual subscription to Identity Advisor Plus worthwhile in terms of the time and money saved.

Suppose the worst should happen, and you suddenly find that your identity has been stolen. In that case, Norton will cover the various expenses/losses of Identity Advisor Plus subscribers up to $58,000. There’s coverage for $25,000 in legal fees and $25,000 for unauthorized payments you are now obliged to pay. Equally handy is an added $3000 for loss of income while you’re sorting the unholy mess created by having your identity nicked, and there’s $5000 for other incidental costs.

Considering what Identity Advisor Plus offers, the $124.99 (for the first year) subscription costs are not too bad. For anyone sitting on the fence, there’s a 30-day trial, and some retailers, such as Mighty Ape, offer sharp discounts.


Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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