Identity Guard is a reputable identity protection service offered by a company founded more than 20 years ago. The company is based in the United States, but Identity Guard also has a Canadian version of the service, through its partnership with Aimia.
Identity Guard boasts on having resolved more than 140,000 cases of identity theft so far. Over 47 million identities have been protected with the help of this service and the number continues to grow.
Identity Guard has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and great ratings from Trustpilot, Tom’s Guide, NextAdvisor, to name just a few.
There are two types of protection you can enroll for with this identity theft protection service: Identity Guard Classic or Identity Guard with IBM Watson. The plans we presented under the “Price” section of this review are for Identity Guard with IBM Watson. If you want to opt for the Classic version, you have to contact their sales team for more information.
What does Identity Guard include with its plans?
The three plans offered by Identity Guard are Value, Total, Premier. You can choose between Individual or Family protection with each of these plans. You can also opt for monthly billing or annual billing, but the monthly billing will obviously cost you more. With the annual billing you will save 17%.
All the plans offered by Identity Guard come with a 30-day money back guarantee. If you opt for a Family plan, you can also protect your children’s identity, as long as they are under 18 years old.
In order to be able to add family members, you need to provide their name and email address. Their accounts will be kept completely private, so you won’t be able to access them.
How does it work?
Once you opt for a plan, you have to provide some standard information, in order to benefit from identity theft protection with Identity Guard. You will have to provide your full name, date of birth, address, phone number, email address, credit card information and Social Security Number.
Here are the features included with all three plans:
- IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence
- $1 million insurance with stolen funds reimbursement
- An US-based dedicated case manager
- Access to their ‘risk management score’ feature
- A mobile app that is compatible with Android and iOS and it includes anti-phishing protection
- A safe browsing extension; the extension is compatible with all the common web browsers, including Chrome, Safari and Firefox; the extension is useful for blocking tracking cookies, Flash, malvertisements and more
- An online identity dashboard
- Dark Web monitoring; the IBM Watson software continuously scours the internet for any malicious use of your personal information, including hidden chat rooms and the Dark Web, where cyber crimes of all kinds are thriving
If you opt for Total or Premier, you also get monthly credit scores. The score should only be used for informative purposes though, as it is not the same with that used by lenders who evaluate your credit.
For Premier customers, there is also a 3-bureau credit report included.
The alerts sent by Identity Guard are for activities such as: tax fraud, bank account takeovers (if there are any email or address changes, if there is a request to open a new bank account with your personal information and more), wire transfers, utility service and cell service applications, payday loan applications and more. If your personal information appears anywhere on the Dark Web, you will also be immediately notified (for instance, if your credit card number is found on the Dark Web).
Identity Guard doesn’t just notify you and help you recover your identity in case it gets stolen. It also keeps monitoring your case for 60 more days after the problem has been resolved, to make sure your identity is 100% restored and you are back on the right track.
What does IBM Watson do?
Identity Guard was very proud to announce its ‘transition to the 21st century’ and to take its identity theft protection service to a higher level, through its partnership with IBM Watson. IBM Watson is a very complex software with cognitive computing. Watson comes with AI (artificial intelligence) programming and it can analyze billions of bits of data within seconds. With the help of IBM Watson, Identity Guard can constantly monitor all your personal information at an incredibly fast pace, which makes this service very effective. Watson can detect a various number of threats, from malware vulnerabilities to phishing attempts, data breaches and so on.
Mobile app features
The mobile app included with Identity Guard is compatible with iOS and Android devices. The app includes anti-phishing protection and comes with several useful features: credit monitoring alerts, credit score and factors, Dark Web alerts, threat alerts, risk management score.
Identity Guard is a reputable identity theft protection service. It has great overall ratings, a rich set of features to offer and plans for both individual and family protection. The fact that it’s teamed up with IBM Watson has made the service even more appealing, because the complex software can monitor billions of pieces of data in an extremely short time and it guards your identity 24/7.
Why should you sign up for an identity theft protection service?
Research shows that identity theft occurs every 2 seconds and recovering your identity requires hundreds of million hours. That is a lot of time to sacrifice, as is constantly monitoring your personal data by yourself. When someone gets a hold of your personal information, a series of unpleasant consequences can follow:
- You can have your bank accounts emptied
- The ID thief can make medical claims in your name
- The ID thief can commit crimes using your name
- The ID thief can try to get credit, a loan, a mortgage and so on in your name
Identity theft protection services don’t have the capacity to stop identity theft from happening, but they can help you mitigate its effects and also assist you in recovering your identity, if necessary. All these services monitor your data on a 24/7 basis, using complex programs and they alert you immediately in case of any suspicious activities related to your identity. If caught on time, the effects can be less unpleasant. You can freeze your credit card in due time and you can take any necessary measures before it is too late.
Identity theft protection services also offer substantial insurances with stolen funds reimbursement. In case of ID theft, they will assign a specialist to handle your case and assist you step by step to reclaim your identity. Insurances go as high as $1 million and the money is meant to cover legal expenses and other costs that come with restoring your identity.
There are three plans available with this identity theft protection service, if you opt for Identity Guard with IBM Watson. If you prefer the Classic version of the service, you have to contact customer support to get more information.
The plans offered by Identity Guard are: Value, Total, Premier. With all three plans you can opt for the individual version or for the family protection option.
Here is the pricing for Individual use:
Value: $7.50 per month
Total: $16.67 per month
Premier: $20.83 per month
Here are the prices for the Family option:
Value: $12.50 per month
Total: $25 per month
Premier: $29.17 per month
For all these, we gave you the annual billing option, which saves you 17%. You can also be billed monthly, but the monthly rates will be bigger.
Individual costs with monthly billing:
Value - $8.99 per month
Total: $19.99 per month
Premier: $24.99 per month
Family costs with monthly billing:
Value - $14.99 per month
Total: $29.99 per month
Premier: $34.99 per month
Identity Guard offers a 30-day money back guarantee with all its plans.
When it comes to customer support, you can contact Identity Guard through email at email@example.com and the reply time is around 24 to 48 hours.
You can also contact them via phone, at 1-855-443-7748.
Their working hours are Monday – Friday, from 8 am to 11 pm (EST) and Saturday, from 9 am to 6 pm. (EST)
Unfortunately, at the time of writing this review, Identity Guard had no live chat support available, which can be a bit of a drawback, giving that other competitors offer it.
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