United States-based PlayStation Network users will now be able to register for a free Identity Protection service, thanks to an arrangement made by Sony with Debix.
On May 3rd, Sony promised all customers affected by recent break-ins into the PlayStation Network system free identity theft protection from Debix for one year. Now they’re delivering on that promise, and users can sign up for their identity protection starting today. As Sony explained in an e-mail send to every active PSN customer:
Sony has arranged, at no charge to eligible PlayStation®Network and Qriocity account holders, for twelve months of this service to be provided by Debix to those who choose to enroll. In order to be eligible, account holders must be residents of the United States with active accounts as of April 20, 2011.
If you currently own a PlayStation Network account, you can sign up by simply following the link on the email, or just click here if you haven’t received the email yet. Even if your account has expired recently, you’re still eligible if your account was active by April 20, when the first attack took place. All customers have until May 28 to sign up.
Debix’s AllClear ID PLUS protection, which would otherwise cost $9.95 per month, is a comprehensive identity theft protection service, giving customers live monitoring for possible frauds, live customer support if there’s any attack and up to $1 million identity theft insurance in case disaster happens. According to the company, Debix is chosen by 9 out of 10 privacy professionals.
It’s still unclear what kind of benefits PlayStation Network users will see in other countries, since this deal is only meant for US-based customers, but expect them to be similar to this one.
Details of an attack first surfaced on April 20 this year, when Sony confirmed its PlayStation Network service had been broken into. Successive hacks have happened since, not only to PlayStation Network, but to other Sony services as well, such as Sony Ericsson’s Canadian eShop site yesterday. Reportedly, Sony has already lost $171.4 million thanks to the attacks, including the costs of fixing the service and refunding its customers. That comes as part of a $208.1 million loss this fiscal year due to the hacks and the earthquake that happened in Japan earlier this year.
What’s going to happen in the future to Sony’s services is unclear, but lets hope the worst is behind us. Meanwhile, be sure to grab your free Debix identity protection.