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McAfee jumps into protecting your identity from online hackers

The antivirus company is branching out into new territory in cybersecurity after the massive breaches of 2017.


McAfee's new Identity Theft Protection program alerts people when their stolen information is being used online. 


For many antivirus companies, the main goal is to make sure a customer doesn't get hacked. But now McAfee is looking to protect people even after their data has been stolen.

At CES on Monday, McAfee announced its identity theft protection program, branching from its antivirus focus to helping prevent cybercrimes. Often times, stolen social security numbers and personal information like usernames and passwords are sold online for cybercriminals, sometimes for as low as $1: McAfee's new program offers scanners online and will alert people when their personal information is being sold. 

It'll also be able to track a customer's social security number online, and report any suspicious activity. McAfee's new program will also offer credit monitoring and a 24/7 customer service line, along with an insurance policy for ID theft victims.

McAfee had been a prominent antivirus software in its heyday, but now faces plenty of competition as the security market continues to grow. It still ranks among the top antivirus software, according to November's AV-Comparatives results, but now it has a reason to stand out.   

Considering all the breaches during 2017, including Equifax losing 145 million Americans' social security numbers, online identity theft has become a major concern.

A Gallup poll from last November pointed out that more than two-thirds of Americans worry far more about identity theft and getting hacked than conventional crimes. Identity theft protection services usually come from companies like LifeLock and Trusted ID, which Equifax owns.   

The new program will be available in the US during the first quarter of 2018, and costs $89.99, $174.99, or $264.99 a year, depending on which package you buy. McAfee also announced a security-focused router during CES on Monday

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