Identity Guard ID Theft Protection Overview

By: Hailey | Last updated February 6, 2020
Identity Guard review glasses social security card identity protection

Identity Guard is an all-in-one identity theft protection service known for its integration of artificial intelligence for better user security. They have been operating since 2001 and has since been offering top-tier services along with affordable prices. They are based in Virginia.

Aside from being available for individual and family use, they also cover protection for businesses. They provide tools to avoid data breaches and response for these.

Identity Theft

While it may be common nowadays to create a social media account and post information about ourselves online, it can also be a risk for our identity. This is because these can be stolen and used by others to commit crimes resulting to financial gain or others. Without your knowledge, your name may have been used by another person for you to be held responsible for their actions.

Some of the common information that are used by identity thieves include credit card info, names, date of birth, and social security number.  While you technically cannot prevent this totally, you can lessen the chances of it from happening by using identity theft protection services.

Identity Guard Features

Identity Guard gives you alerts regarding any activities done under your identity available 24/7. The level of security it provides, and the number of people covered depends upon the plan that you will subscribe to.

Credit Monitoring

The most important feature of the identity theft protection is credit bureau monitoring. Through this feature, you can see any new inquiries about your credit. In case there are any that you did not make personally, you can quickly report it to your service provider as to prevent any charges against you. The credit monitoring provided by Identity Guard includes the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. To get access to this feature, you need to be subscribed to their Total or Premier plan.

With the Total or Premier plan, you can also get alerts for banking information. This includes any suspicious activities such as having any request to open new savings and checking accounts, changing your address, name, and information from your bank. IRAs are also covered. Any changes to these will result to notifications sent towards you.

Alerts

Identity Guard gives alerts available 24/7 regarding any risky transactions named under your identity. This is because acting quickly is the best solution in case this happens as you cannot have total prevention. These are sent through the mobile application and through your provided email. These alerts are accurate as they are managed by IBM Watson’s Artificial Intelligence. This AI scans for any threats and alerts you instantly regarding these. The level of risk will be displayed along with additional information such as date of activity, source of financial activity, and the option to recognize this activity as valid.

Dark web monitoring

The dark web is the part of the internet that is frequented by shady users whose identities are anonymous. This gives them the space to make illegal transactions such as selling of credit information and personal data. Without your knowledge, you and your family’s information including social security number, addresses, and banking information may already be included in its marketplace. Identity Guard constantly watches the dark web for these information 

Identity theft insurance

To help you with recovering in case your identity and money will be stolen, Identity Guard has a $1 million protection included in all of their plans. A dedicated case manager will be assigned to help you in the process of reimbursement.

Change of address monitoring

In case a suspicious address change under your bank account will be made, the Watson AI will immediately notify you about it. This also happens if your address for checking and savings account will be altered.

Family inclusive

Because any person who will expose their identity online are vulnerable to having their identity stolen, Identity Guard offers plans that give security for your family. Both adults and children can be added to this plan. They will be given an email that will ask for necessary information for them to be protected.

Tools

Aside from constant alerts about any changes to your bank and credit accounts, Identity Guard also gives you several tools to have a better identity security. Some of these includes a mobile application from where alerts can be seen, a web browser extension for safe browsing, and a Social Insight Report.

Watson AI

Identity Guard uses artificial intelligence as to make credit security faster and wider in range. Their AI is called Watson. It can go throughout the internet and through the credit bureaus’ data to look for particular information you need. Billions of information can be processed by the AI to continuously monitor your information and instantly inform you of any suspicious activities in relation to it.

User Experience

Identity Guard’s signing up process was fast and easy. They will only ask for your credit card information and social security number for starters. Once payed for, Identity Guard gives you full access to their in-browser extension and mobile application. 

To give better reports about your account, you will be asked some personal questions regarding your identity. This also gives you better information written in the Risk Management Report feature in case you are subscribed to the Premier Plan.

Identity Guard has a browser application along with a mobile application. The interface of both are simple and intuitive. They contain important information at first glance for better user experience.

Pricing Plans

The pricing plan of Identity Guard is divided into three for individual use. These differs in terms of features and price. They also offer three plans for family use.

Individual Use

The first plan is the Value Plan which is priced at $8.99 per month. This is recommended for those who will need the necessities for information security. Included in its features are Dark Web Monitoring, Risk Management Report, Safe Browsing Tools, and Anti Phishing Mobile App.

The second plan is the Total Plan which is priced at $19.99 per month. This gives you the important feature of Monthly Credit Score reports which may advise you in case of a suddenly lower credit score commonly given to those with suspicious activities under their name. it also comes with Address Monitoring, 3-Credit Bureau Monitoring and Tax Refund Alert.

Last is the Premier plan priced at $24.99 which includes Credit Score and Report along with Social Insight Report.

These plans are reduced by 17% if billed annually. The prices are listed respectively: $7.50 per month, $16.67 per month, and $20.83 per month. Given that they do not offer refunds, it is better for users to do a trial run first for one month before subscribing for a whole year in case they are confident with the product.

Family Plans

The family plans of Identity Guard give the same features included with each plan with a higher price but with more user slots.

The Value Plan is priced at $14.99 if billed monthly and $12.50 per month if billed annually.

The Total Plan is priced at $29.99 if billed monthly and $25.00 per month if billed annually.

The Premier Plan is priced at $29.17 if billed monthly and $34.99 per month if billed annually.

These plans cover an unlimited number of family members as long as they are in the same household.

Cons

So far, most of the features and tools that we featured about Identity Guard are of high quality for its affordable price. The only cons to using it are:

  • Giving sensitive data – For them to be able to track your information better, you are required to give sensitive data such as your Social Security Number and e-mail address. This may discourage some to continue signing up for their service.
  • Lack of guidance – While it may advise you instantly in case any shady activities are done under your identity, it lacks any user guidance for you to respond better.
  • Recovery – Identity Guard is good for detecting any fraudulent activity that may occur to your account but has shortcomings in terms of recovery from financial losses. The case manager that will be provided for you is their only help for this. They do not offer attorney assistance. The $1 million insurance given may also be difficult to be rewarded to you if there is not enough evidence of the fraud.
  • No-money-back guarantee – They do not return refunds which makes it hard for unsatisfied customers to quit from subscription. You can choose to subscribe to either a monthly or yearly subscription, though, which allows you to test their services first.

Recommendation

Identity Guard is recommended for those who want to make sure that their data is not used without their consent. As identity thefts are more common than expected, having an AI constantly scanning through billions of data for you for any signs of illegal is a big help.

The features and tools provided by Identity Guard are all usable in keeping your information secure. Their pricing plans are affordable and flexible in terms of user slots.

By: Hailey | Last updated February 6, 2020