Discover adds new privacy protection for cardholders and banking customers

Apr 20, 2022

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There were approximately 1.4 million cases of identity theft reported in the U.S. last year. The fact there are 540 registered data brokers — companies that find your information and sell it — isn’t helping the situation.

In order to help Americans who worry about the release of their personal information online, Discover has added a new (free) tool for its customers. Discover’s Online Privacy Protection is available in the mobile app, which you can download from Apple app store or Google Play store for Android users.

How Discover’s privacy protection Works

Users need to enable this new privacy protection in the Discover mobile app. It’s available for credit card and banking customers, and the new tool is free.

Once you enable the tool, it will search 10 common websites that collect and sell personal information online. This includes data like your name, address(es), age and phone numbers, and it covers the following websites:

  • BeenVerified.com.
  • Intellius.com.
  • Yellowpages.com.
  • Addresses.com.
  • PeopleLooker.com.
  • AnyWho.com.
  • InstantPeopleFinder.com.
  • PeopleSmart.com.
  • USsearch.com.
  • ZabaSearch.com.

Related: How to protect yourself against reward program data breaches

Discover will automatically search these sites every 90 days using the personal data registered in your Discover account. If matches are found on these websites, an opt-out request is submitted on your behalf — automatically — to remove your personal information from the websites.

Note that this benefit is being rolled out in stages over the coming weeks, so you may not initially see it available.

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How this tool can help you

(Image courtesy of Getty Images via IGphotography.)

What does this mean for you? How will finding your information on these websites and submitting an opt-out request make a difference?

In March of 2022, 11.6 billion scam text messages were sent on U.S. wireless networks. Removing your phone number from these websites can cut down on spam calls and texts.

Moreover, the websites selling your information aren’t immune from data breaches, further exposing your information to unknown sources. Thus, removing your personal data can reduce your risks for identity theft. Prevention is much better than the work required after your identity has been stolen.

Just ask my parents.

Several years ago, they found out someone had opened credit cards in both of their names. Now, it’s a constant struggle any time they open a bank account or apply for a new line of credit. They have to go through extra verification to prove it’s really them — plus they have spent hours and hours getting things removed from their credit reports.

Discover’s new privacy protection feature will look for your information and automatically request removal on your behalf. This can save hours of your time by not having to do it manually on your own — and with less of your personal details out there, it may prevent future issues with your identity being stolen.

Related: 5 steps to take when your personal information is compromised

Bottom line

Discover conducted a survey in late March 2022 and found that 83% of consumers expressed concern over the misuse of their personal information, while 31% believed they have no control or not much control over that data. The new Online Privacy Protection tool is the issuer’s response to these concerns, and it’s free to those who have a bank account or credit card with Discover.

You can access this tool in the Discover mobile app, and once enabled, it’ll scan for your data every few months — and automatically submit removal requests on your behalf.

Featured photo by Hannah Wei/Unsplash.

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