The massive data breach at Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Network has left accountholders worrying that their credit card information could fall into the wrong hands. Now the technology giant is hoping to ease concerns by offering free identity theft protection to affected customers.
The PlayStation Network links gamers worldwide in live play and serves the company's Qriocity movie and music services.
Sony says the ID theft protection will be free for 12 months after enrollment. The company says PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders should expect an email in coming days with instructions on how to enroll in the AllClear ID Plus program by Debix Inc.
Sony CEO, Sir Howard Stringer - Getty Images Those who enroll will receive monthly status reports and alerts if the program detects their personal information is being misused. The program also includes an insurance policy that provides up to $1 million in relief for covered costs for a year after an identity theft incident.
Customers will have until June 18 to sign up for the program.
Sony shut down its PlayStation Network on April 20, a day after it said it began investigating unusual activity. The company later disclosed a data breach that it said resulted from a sophisticated criminal attack designed to steal personal and credit card information.
Without offering a specific timeline, the company signaled in a blog post Thursday that service on the PlayStation Network could be restored soon.
Sony is also enticing potentially wary customers with a "welcome back" program that includes complimentary entertainment downloads and a 30-day membership to its PlayStation Plus premium service.