May 26, 2011, 7:32 AM — Free games and goodies are fun and all, but the important part of Sony's data breach-related compensation for its customers is the identify theft protection that it said it would offer for free.
Yesterday Sony started sending out emails in order to make good on that offer. In order to take advantage of the offer, you have to opt in and be a resident of the United States (obviously I'm talking about US-based gamers in this post: Sony is offering this service on a region-by-region basis) with an active account as of April 20th, 2011. You have to act by June 28th, 2011.
In case yours got caught in a spam filter, here's a copy of the email that's going out:
Identity Theft Protection Offer for PlayStation(R)Network and Qriocity(TM) Customers
Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment have made arrangements with Debix to offer AllClear ID PLUS to eligible PlayStation(R)Network and Qriocity account holders in the United States who are concerned about identity theft.
AllClear ID PLUS is a premium identity protection service that uses advanced technology to deliver alerts to help protect you from identity theft. The service also provides identity theft insurance coverage and hands-on help from expert fraud investigators.
Sony has arranged, at no charge to eligible PlayStation(R)Network and Qriocity account holders, for twelve months of this service to be provided by Debix to those who choose to enroll. In order to be eligible, account holders must be residents of the United States with active accounts as of April 20, 2011.
If interested, please submit your email address by June 28, 2011, at 11:59:59 PM CST at: http://us.playstation.com/news/consumeralerts/identity-theft-protection/
Please note, you must enter the same email address used to register your PlayStation(R)Network or Qriocity account. Once your email address is validated, you will be sent your AllClear ID PLUS activation code.
Sony Computer Entertainment & Sony Network Entertainment
Note that the original email contained a link customized to my email address, but it seems like you can still use the one I embedded above and sign-up, assuming you meet the conditions to qualify.
Once you sign up you have to wait for a second confirmation email. Sony says it can take up to 72 hours to receive that.
I urge all PSN members to take advantage of this offer, just in case. So far I haven't heard of any kind of wide-spread impact from the data breach, but it never hurts to be careful.
Now if Sony could just get the Playstation Store online, we'll be all set. In the meanwhile, it sounds like purchasers of new release Dirt 3 (an off-road driving game) are out of luck when it comes to multiplayer. Dirt 3 comes with a code that you use to enable its multiplayer features, and you need to enter that code via the Playstation Store. No store, no multiplayer.
The debacle continues...