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Sony gives free £100,000 insurance to PSN users, but only if you're over 18

Sony is offering free identity theft protection to everyone caught up in the PlayStation Network hack here in the UK, and more details have been revealed of how Fraud Protect will work.

Sony is offering free identity theft protection to everyone caught up in the PlayStation Network hack here in the UK, and more details have been revealed of how Fraud Protect will work.

Crave caught up with the UK boss of Affinion, the security wonks behind Fraud Protect, to find out what you need to do to sign up, what you can expect from the service, and what you can do in future to keep your data safe.

If you were affected by the PlayStation Network, Qriocity and Sony Online Entertainment data disaster, you'll be entitled to a year's protection from Affinion without paying a penny. Affinion monitors the Web for your personal information, and informs you of misuse by email or text message. You can also access a dedicated helpline, and keep an eye on your identity with special software.

The headline feature is insurance covering identity theft, promising up to £100,000 to cover expenses incurred from identity fraud. That doesn't cover money stolen from you, but the expenses you face restoring your credit status -- such as paying for your credit report, or hiring a solicitor. The insurance covers fraud arising from the PlayStation Network rather than any identity theft that affects you, and it isn't available for under-18s -- so it isn't quite the all-encompassing offer we'd hoped for from Sony.

The full details aren't in place yet. When the scheme is ready, Sony will contact you to explain what you need to do. To learn more, take a look at fraudprotect.co.uk.

To sign up, you must be 18 or over. Under-18s -- a significant proportion of the gaming community -- need a parent or guardian to register on their behalf.

Registering for the service requires ringing the Affinion call centre. Affinion told us call centres are fully geared up for the expected massive volume of calls, but you may have to be patient and keep trying if you can't get through straight away. Unfortunately you can't sign up online, because Affinion says the insurance regulations involved require a conversation between you and the company.

Affinion offers a selection of tips to protect your data, such as using different passwords and checking your bank statements regularly. Affinion also suggests being as careful with your data online as you are in the real world -- maybe someone should tell that to Sony.

Will you be signing up, or is the damage done? Have you ever been the victim of identity theft? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.