Surfshark is one of our favourite VPN services and has offered extra features for a long while now. HackLock was the original name for its ID protection, monitoring email addresses and alerting you if they ever appear on the dark web or in files that are leaked when websites get hacked.
Now, the company has updated the service and renamed it Alert. It will now monitor for over 60 data points including credit and debit card details, passwords, email addresses, social media links, social security numbers and more.
There’s every reason to use an ID protection service. Your data is stored by many companies and any one of them could get hacked. You only have to look back at the last year or two to find even the biggest brands are vulnerable: British Airways, easyJet, Virgin Media, Currys PC World, Tesco, Boots have all been hacked and customer information exposed.
Often, it’s months or even years after the hack took place that the breach becomes public knowledge, so getting an alert that your email address, credit card or other sensitive information has been exposed could save you a lot of hassle, including your money.
Obviously, in order to monitor those details, you have to hand them over to Surfshark, which means you have to trust the company completely.
“We take reasonable and appropriate technical and organizational security measures to protect your Monitored Data or other personal information against the risk of accidental loss, compromise, or any form of unauthorized access. Where we collect sensitive information, we make sure such information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way.”
The service isn’t available as a standalone product: it’s an extra on top of the VPN service which costs only £1.83 per month if you choose the two-year plan.
Scroll down on the sign-up page and you’ll see ‘privacy beyond VPN’. The good news is that this is just 73p per month ($0.99).
In the Surfshark desktop app you can see all your monitored information in one place, run a scan on demand and see the details of any instances where details have been leaked.
It will also prompt you to change your password of any service which has been hacked, and monitor your bank accounts for suspicious activity. You should, of course, speak to your bank straight away if you receive an alert that any of your card details have been compromised.
Currently, only social security numbers in the US and Bulgaria are supported. Surfshark says it’s adding other countries in 2021.
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