As long as personal information remains vulnerable -- and it will because humans are fallible so breaches happen -- identity theft will continue to be a problem. So while companies ought to take better safeguards to protect data, the next best alternative may be to mitigate the effects of identity theft. Earlier this week, AOL announced that it would offer computer damage and identity theft insurance, to continuing subscribers. This might be the beginnings of a trend, as Louisiana State University has announced a deal with Equifax to buy credit monitoring and identity theft insurance for its staff and students. The deal will also protect the university against any liability arising from a data breach; the university recently lost information on 67 students when a USB drive was stolen. Of course, there's an irony in Equifax selling this kind of insurance, since its had its own share of breaches and arguably has done very little to stem identity related fraud. Ultimately, insuring against identity theft doesn't reduce the impact of the practice, but it can spread around the risk, so that no one individual is harmed too much. Between these deals and a recent announcement that people can buy policies to protect their digital assets, it's good to see the demand for new kinds of insurance in the digital age is being met.
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