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Barry Kessel has quite the extensive history in marketing. He’s currently leveraging over three decades of experience to lead the marketing efforts at Identity Guard®, an industry leading identity theft protection company (and one of our top picks for best ID Theft services). Learn more about Barry and gain some valuable insights into the product he proudly stands behind.
Tell us about your background
I have worked in marketing and advertising for 35+ years, working across a range of Fortune 500 companies – from IBM, CitiBank, P&G, Audi, Pfizer, etc. in a range of strategy, creative and consultative positions. I have much experience in direct, database and digital marketing as well as brand development.
What inspired you to take this position?
I like the promise and value proposition of Identity Guard®: harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create a robust Identity Protection service by giving the consumer personal cybersecurity.
Given recent data breaches, what can consumers do to protect their identity?
You can keep a keep a close eye on your credit scores and reports, but that is a backward view.
Change your passwords often and don’t use the same password across accounts (SafeSmartLiving recommends Dashlane password manager). Whenever possible, use 2-factor authentication.
The reality is your personal data has most likely been breached. Now you have to watch all your financial transactions and accounts carefully to make sure a bad actor isn’t trying to be you. Identity Protection is a must-have.
Any real-life examples of how Identity Guard® has saved someone?
It happens daily – we send alerts and ask subscribers if a request for credit or an account opening or a transaction was made by them. We have helped over 150,000 people resolve and recover from identity theft.
What sets Identity Guard® apart from competitors?
First, we leverage Watson AI to continuously scour for data that is personally relevant to the subscriber.
Our alerts are the most complete and fastest in the industry, as verified by an independent third party. Many alerts come within 3 seconds.
Most differentiating is our commitment to being accessible and to providing guidance and assistance. Our U.S.-based call center is second to none. We call it “personal cybersecurity with a human touch.”
How do you stay current with the latest industry news/trends?
I read lots of online security/insurance info – but I prefer to stay tuned into the consumer and not the industry. So I read a range of papers and watch and listen to many news outlets to understand consumer sentiment.
We recently conducted important consumer research and found that consumers are anxious about the misuse and lack of control over their personal data. They don’t trust companies as guardians of their data – they believe when there is a breach, companies are more concerned about protecting themselves rather than the consumers whose data was stolen.
Who’s your mentor and what have you learned from them?
I’ve had many mentors in my career – I really look up to Lester Wunderman, who founded the marketing agency that bears his name. He wrote a consumer bill of rights that is brilliant. My favorite is “Don’t talk to me just because you can.” So true – most commercial marketing is irrelevant: just look at your inbox or monitor your robocalls.
What do you do for fun?
I am a music hound and a pretty decent guitarist. I also write music, poetry, fiction and essays.
Anything else you’d like to add?
There has never been a better time to be at the intersection of marketing and technology. It’s exciting to be a part of the digitalization of media and messaging and to help provide a technology service that provides meaningful value.
Thanks Barry for sharing your advice and expertise with us. Learn more about Identity Guard® in our in-depth review.
How did you learn that your identity had been compromised?
Identity Guard® Disclosures
*The scores you receive with Identity Guard® are provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. Lenders use many different scoring systems, and the scores you receive with Identity Guard® are not the same scores used by lenders to evaluate your credit.
Credit scores are provided by CreditXpert® based on data from the credit reporting bureaus. If you do not cancel your membership, your card will be charged a monthly fee based on the membership plan you choose. You man cancel your membership anytime simply by contacting Identity Guard®.
**Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions, and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.
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