A year ago, Chris (a 3GO co-founder) got a call that turned his world upside down for a week. His mother’s email account was hacked. Once the hackers controlled her email, they were able to compromise other accounts, spam her contacts, and, worst of all, steal assets.
Knowing his mom would need help, Chris jumped in to try to undo the damage. He spent hours figuring out how the hackers got in and, eventually, locating all the settings, filters and forwarding they used to keep his mom locked out. He logged over 20 hours on the phone with banks, health insurers, credit card companies, and more.
How to Unhack your Mom’s email in 40 hours
It was painful, but Chris was eventually able to fix everything without significant financial impact. The incident was emotionally draining for everyone involved, and Chris knew if nothing changed it could easily happen again. He learned that one-in-five victims of identity theft are repeat victims.
He started thinking about how he could explain enough about the complicated world of online security to his parents. Not everything – enough so they could help keep themselves safe. Chris knew his parents needed to be online and didn’t want them to be afraid.
Here a scam, there a scam, everywhere a scam, scam
News of this incident spread to his friends and his parents’ friends. The experience of losing control of an email, social media or other account seemed to be universal. There were stories of confusing Medicare fraud and the loss of important savings. It wasn’t just older adults getting scammed, either. Chris heard about people from every generation getting their identities hijacked and online assets stolen.
“This is crazy,” he thought, “how prevalent is this?” It didn’t take long to learn just how common identity theft and other online scams are. He realized that he and his parents were lucky. They caught the breach early and he had spent his life in technology so had knowledge, skills and contacts that could help. “What do other people do when this happens to them?” he wondered.
Common, way too common
Alex, 3GO’s other co-founder, knows all too well how common this story is. During his time at Google and other Silicon Valley companies, he saw thousands of similar incidents unfold. In fact, in a recent Harris poll, nearly 60 million Americans reported being affected by some form of online fraud or hacking.
Chris reached out to Alex while he was helping his parents. They discussed how difficult the process had been and how Chris’ parents could have taken some simple (and some not so obvious) steps to protect themselves. Together, they crafted a protection strategy that would address >90% of the dangers Chris’ parents would face online.
3GO is Born
That strategy became the basis for 3GO.
For lack of a few key protection strategies and an actual human to talk to when things go wrong, too many Americans remain at risk. Not only is there an abundance of confusing information out there, it’s time consuming and difficult to keep up with the ever-evolving security threats. The combination of not knowing which threats are relevant, recommendations that are confusing at best, and a constantly changing threat environment can be paralyzing. Most consumers are left needlessly exposed.
3GO gives our members the knowledge and tools they need to keep their identity and assets protected without having to be a technical or a security expert. We continuously identify new threats and breaches so you don’t have to. And we relay the necessary steps required for you to stay safe clearly and simply, without resorting to technical jargon.
We founded 3GO because we believe everyone can and should be safe to take advantage of everything the internet has to offer – from communications and shopping to banking and health care. Our vision is a world where everyone is confident and protected online.