Identity Guard is an identity theft protection service offered by Intersections Inc. The company was founded in 1996 and it was a pioneer in this industry. Intersections Inc. has good customer reviews and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
During this period of more than 20 years, Identity Guard has protected the identities of more than 47 million people and the number continues to grow. Over 140,000 cases of identity fraud have been solved so far by Identity Guard.
Identity Guard has recently partnered with IBM to use their Watson software for monitoring and processing data, which was a very important improvement, given that our personal data is being shared online these days, more than ever. The online environment facilitates ID theft and all sorts of data breaches, hacking schemes and so on, which put our information at risk and can lead to dire consequences: your bank account can be emptied, thieves may use your ID to apply for credit cards in your name, to get loans, buy things, lease apartments and so much more.
What does IBM Watson do?
The Watson software was developed by IBM and is a very complex one, with artificial intelligence capabilities. Watson is revolutionary, because it can analyze and process billions of bits of information in a very short time, which means it can monitor your identity very effectively and it can also detect any abnormalities and alert you almost in real-time, in case of any suspicious changes related to your identity.
This software can continuously scan and identify threats such as different types of malware, data breaches, phishing attempts, high-risk transactions and more.
IBM Watson monitors the Dark Web and this type of monitoring is included with all plans offered by Identity Guard. If your personal information is detected anywhere on the Dark Web (black market sites, secret chat rooms, underground forums, etc.), you will be alerted.
What does Identity Guard include with its plans?
The features included with Identity Guard differ from plan to plan. There are some features included with all three plans, while others are only available with some of the plans.
Dark web monitoring and a risk management score are available with all three plans. The Risk Management Score feature measures the risk of you becoming an ID theft victim and gives you tips on how to mitigate that risk.
All 3 plans include the $1 million insurance with stolen funds reimbursement, which is a very attractive feature that other services only include with their premium plans.
Customer care is the same for all three plans, too. It is US-based and in case you fall victim to ID theft while you are an Identity Guard customer, the company will assign you a personal case manager to assist you in your identity recovery process. This dedicated case manager will assist you throughout the entire process and will continue to monitor your case for 60 more days after your identity has been successfully restored.
All Identity Guard customers who sign up for a plan will have an account created and they will have access to an online identity dashboard. From there, they can easily get access to their alerts, watch the progress of their ID restoration case and more.
What does Identity Guard monitor?
Here is what Identity Guard monitors with all three plans:
- Personal data on the Dark Web
- Social Security Number
- 5 financial account numbers
- Unlimited credit card numbers
- Health insurance ID numbers
- Driver’s license number
- Your passport number
- Up to 5 email addresses
- Up to 5 phone numbers
- Your name
- Your home address
- Your date of birth
Also, if you opt for a Family plan, you get ID theft protection for your children as well. Your kid’s information will be monitored on the surface, deep and dark web.
If you sign up for a Family plan and you want to add an adult in your family to be protected by Identity Guard, you have to provide their name and email address. Identity Guard will send them an invitation by email and they will be added to your membership. Their account can only be accessed by them and you won’t have access to their personal information, for privacy reasons.
As far as you are concerned, in order to enroll you have to provide your full name, your address, your phone number, your email address, your date of birth and your social security number. Once you give them all the requested information, you will be enrolled within approximately 10 minutes.
Identity Guard for businesses
Identity Guard also offers services for businesses: employment benefits and breach response.
If your company has suffered a data breach, Identity Guard can help you mitigate the effects and come up with the best solutions. There are 2 plans you can choose from: Essentials and Total Protection. You can find out more ab out each by contacting them.
Alerts and notifications from Identity Guard
Identity Guard will alert you in case of:
- Account takeovers such as cable, internet, utilities
- New account applications such as utilities, wireless carriers, non-credit
- Transactions such as wire transfers, address changes, etc.
- Tax fraud
- Pay day loans
- Potential threats such as malware
- Data breaches
- Phishing scams
- Requests to open checking or saving accounts using your personal data, at local, regional or national banks
In case of any suspicious activities related to your identity, Identity Guard will immediately send you alerts via your mobile phone (through the mobile app) or email.
There are of course some additional perks for customers who sign up for the pricier plans.
Both Total and Premier customers also get alerts in case of 3-bureau credit changes such as new credit inquiries, new public records, collections etc.
They also get a monthly credit score, although it is not the popular and widely used FICO score. Identity Guard offers the Vantage 3.0 credit score, which is based on data from TransUnion.
If you sign up for the most expensive plan, which is Premier, you also get an annual 3-bureau credit report (from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion).
The Premier plan also includes alerts related to “potential cyberbullying on social media”, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and so on.
You also get access to a social insight report with the Premier plan. This report uses Watson to analyze your Facebook timeline and show you what kind of online image you have. It also gives you tips and recommendations on how to improve your social image.
Identity Guard’s safe browsing extension
Another useful additional protection tool offered by Identity Guard is its browser extension. This add-on is available for all the common browsers: Chrome, Firefox and Safari and it is very useful in protecting you from malware.
The add-on works by blocking the channels commonly used to share malware through. The extension blocks Flash, ads, malvertisements and phishing attempts, tracking cookies.
What does the Identity Guard mobile app offer?
Mobile support is vital nowadays and any reputable business knows that. Identity Guard offers a mobile app with its identity theft protection service. The app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices and it can be downloaded for free on the Apple App Store or Play Store.
The iOS app has 13.2 MB and works on devices that run iOS 11.0 and above. The app is available in both English and French.
The Android app has 4.1 MB and works on devices that run Android 5.0 and above.
The Identity Guard mobile app offers several useful tools. One important one is the anti-phishing protection.
It can also be used to see any notifications and threat alerts such as Dark Web alerts, ID verification alerts, in case of any changes to your address, name, email address and so on. You also get access to your risk management score.
If you signed up for Total or Premier, you can also get credit monitoring alerts and access to your credit score.
In this digital era we’re living in, identity theft is a real threat that needs to be addressed properly. Opting for an identity theft protection service is the first step we can take to try to avoid it from happening and Identity Guard is definitely one of the best options to consider. Identity Guard serves individuals, their families and businesses alike.
It relies on technology to offer you the best and most efficient protection, by using the IBM Watson software with artificial intelligence. Identity Guard has plans for all needs, offers US-based customer support, a generous $1 million ID theft insurance and mobile support for both iOS and Android. Your dedicated case manager is so dedicated that it continues to monitor your case for 60 more days after your ID has been restored, which denotes commitment and professionalism.
One of Identity Guard’s biggest strengths is its versatility when it comes to its available plans. This ID theft protection service offers 3 types of plans: Value, Total, Premier. These plans are available for individuals and for families. For each option, you can choose between monthly billing or annual billing, with the latter costing you less money.
Here is the Individual offer:
Value: $8.99 per month with monthly billing and $7.50 per month with annual billing
Total: it is priced at $19.99 per month with monthly billing and $16.67 per month with annual billing
Premier: this plan is priced at $24.99 per month with monthly billing and $20.83 per month with annual billing
Here is the Family offer:
Value: priced at $14.99 per month with monthly billing and $12.50 per month with annual billing
Total: priced at $29.99 per month with monthly billing and $25 per month with annual billing
Premier: priced at $34.99 per month with monthly billing and $29.17 per month with annual billing
All these plans include a 30-day money back guarantee, which is a standard one, although there are competitors who offer up to 60 days.
Identity Guard is very careful when it comes to assisting its customers. You can reach customer support by phone or email.
Their phone number is 1-855-443-7748.
You can contact them by email at email@example.com
The response time for emails is around 24 to 48 hours.
Unfortunately though, there is no live chat support available and phone support is not available around the clock. You can contact them Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 11 pm (EST) and Saturday between 9 am and 6 pm. There is no phone support available on Sundays.
Identity Guard also has a useful section on their website, called “News & Insights”, where you can find a lot of useful articles on topics such as how to remove a fraud alert, how to keep your company cybersecure when you are remote, how to prevent credit fraud, how to prevent identity theft and many more.
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