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Comcast To Offer Free ID Theft Protection

Comcast is offering basic identity-theft protection to all broadband customers for no additional fee -- the first major Internet service provider to offer such a service for free.

The operator's new Constant Guard Protection Suite desktop application includes the Identity Guard theft-protection service, provided by Chantilly, Va.-based Intersections Inc.

Identity Guard is available in three tiers. The Essentials service is included for no additional cost with an Xfinity Internet subscription and includes lost wallet protection; support from identity-theft protection experts on what to do if you're a victim of identity theft; and online financial tools.

Comcast also is hoping to upsell customers on two premium Identity Guard tiers, Preferred ($7.99 per month) and Premier ($12.99 per month).

Preferred adds free annual credit report assistance, Internet surveillance, identity-theft insurance of up to $2,500, credit report and scores from one bureau, and address monitoring. Premier includes all those features plus identity-theft risk assessment, proactive identity monitoring and public record reports and monitoring.

"We know consumers are increasingly concerned about online identity theft," Cathy Avgiris, Comcast Cable senior vice president and general manager of communications and data services, said in a statement. "By adding identity theft protection to our Constant Guard Security Suite arsenal, Comcast now offers the most comprehensive online security protection of any major Internet service provider in the U.S."

The Constant Guard Protection Suite program provides access to all of Comcast's online security resources including the Norton Security Suite and a Secure Backup & Share service. The MSO claims the package, free to all broadband users, is a $360 value.

According to a survey commissioned by Comcast, 80% of adults are concerned about their personal information being stolen by a cyber criminal. In 2010, identity theft and fraud affected more than 8 million U.S. consumers at a cost of more than $37 billion, according to a report by Javelin Strategy and Research.

More information on Constant Guard is available at