With so many phishing attacks and incidents of ID theft occurring, many consumers are leery of entering into any financial transactions online.
Where there is fear, however, there is also a business opportunity to allay those concerns. Enter ID Vault. It looks like a thumbdrive that you plug into an available USB port on your computer. It stores your usernames and encyrpted passwords, and automatically transmits them securely when you log into a financial or retail website. It can also determine if you are visiting a real site, or a scammer’s copy. Bottomline: it protects you.
They are so sure of their technology that they offer a “$1,000,000 Guarantee” that promises to cover your losses if your login credentials are stolen and used fraudulently. Quoting from their press release:
Consumers can now bank, shop and invest online with total confidence, knowing that even if their personal information were stolen while using ID Vault, GuardID will reimburse them for any losses up to $1 million.
“We are so confident that ID Vault 2008 will protect consumers from online identity theft and fraud, that we put our money where our mouth is, and will refund any losses consumers incur, up to one million dollars, when using ID Vault,” said Jerry Thompson, CEO of Guard ID Systems.
And on their website, here is the big print of their $1,000,000 Guarantee:
Of course the devil is in the details.
*MOUSE PRINT: The company may have led you to believe you will have more coverage than they actually will provide (depending on the circumstances). They will only cover you up to $100,000 per account, not $1,000,000 as you might have expected.
“Should we determine that the account was exclusively accessed online using ID Vault prior to the theft of your account credentials, we will reimburse any direct loss, up to $100,000 per individual account and up to a maximum of $1,000,000 over the lifetime of your ID Vault subscription and subsequent renewals.”
In a sense, that is like buying a million dollar fire insurance policy, but only being able to collect $100,000 per fire. Granted, if you are lucky enough to have a millon dollars, and spread it out over 10 different accounts, then you would indeed be qualified to be reimbursed for $1,000,000.
The restrictions in the policy also require you to be 100% faithful to ID Vault as the means of logging into your accounts. You cannot access them on your work computer, or anywhere else, unless there is an ID Vault attached. (And they will compare your financial institution’s records of your accesses with the list of accesses tucked inside your ID Vault. If they don’t match exactly, you lose the coverage.)
So, what may seem like a simple $1,000,000 guarantee promoted in advertising, is in fact full of strings and loopholes, as any other insurance policy would be.