Identity Guard Identity Theft Protection
Around 15 million people in the U.S. have their identities stolen and used fraudulently each year. Identity theft can ruin your credit and have a serious negative impact on your finances. Having your identity stolen and then having to fix the situation is a dreaded process no one wants to go through.
To protect yourself, you might want to look into signing up with an identity protection company to monitor your private financial information around the clock. Identity Guard was founded over a decade ago by Intersections, Inc., a foremost authority in business and corporate management services.
Identity Guard's primary goal is to make identity theft protection and credit bureaus reports available to consumers across the country.
What Does This Company Do?
To begin, Identity Guard protects a wide range of information including social security numbers, street and e-mail addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank accounts, public records, criminal records, driver's license numbers and medical insurance. It's relevant to note that they do not monitor any sex offender registries.
Features and Benefits
In terms of features, you'll benefit from mail list removal, credit history reports and monitoring.
The company starts by monitoring your credit, identity, and public records. Each weekday they go over your credit files and are always prepared to alert you of any changes or suspicious activity. Your credit score and report are always handy 24/7 when you log in to your account.
You'll get quarterly updates with three credit scores based on information provided by Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Your public and personal information like your name and social security number will also be carefully monitored regularly online and you'll even receive a quarterly report to keep you updated on any changes
Identity Guard provides convenient and prompt alerts via text, phone and email and members can even download the mobile app to receive alerts even quicker.
Identity Guard has three main types of security software programs to help protect against identity thieves and hackers from getting their hands on your information.
Anti-Virus - Members can download the ZoneAlarm® program to their computers to help protect against cyber threats.
Keystroke Encryption - PrivacyProtect® is a dynamic program that encrypts your keystrokes and makes them unrecognizable to malware when you browse the internet
Password Protection - ID Vault® is a system that stores your login credentials and credit card information allowing you to have one-click access to your online accounts. Whether it's your personal online banking account or favorite online store, you can log on safely with this system.
What really stood out in terms of additional benefits was their lost wallet protection. If you're traveling far from home and happen to have your wallet stolen or lost, Identity Guard will provide you with up to $2,000 in emergency cash. Identity Theft also offers members up to $1 million in identity theft insurance for expenses in rare the case that they ever became a victim of identity theft.
There are a couple of disadvantages you will notice if you enroll with Identity Guard. The first one is that they use their own scoring model so the scores will likely differ from lenders.
The second downside is that there's no mobile phone application to view credit reports. This would have been a convenient feature for Identity Guard to include in its packages. You should take this into consideration before making any significant financial decisions.
Membership Plans and Signing Up
Identity Guard offers three main types of memberships. The Essentials plan is $9.99 per month. It includes social security number monitoring, identification verification alerts and monitoring, along with up to $1 million in Identity Theft Insurance.
The second plan, Total Protection, is $19.99 per month. This plan includes everything the Essentials plan offers along with public record monitoring, address change monitoring, PC antivirus and encryption software, and quarterly 3 credit score and credit report updates.
The third plan is the Platinum Plan. It's only $24.99 and offers the best value in terms of taking advantage of everything Identity Guard has to offer. With this plan, you get total and complete coverage and protection along with monthly credit score and credit report updates from all three major credit bureaus as opposed to just quarterly.
If you would like to give Identity Guard a try before committing to a monthly membership, you can try any of the three plans for 30 days for just $5.00.
Signing up is easy and only takes a few minutes once you figure out which type of membership plan you'll get. You'll fill out a brief form and enter all of your personal information along with your payment information to secure the order to start the membership.
Identity Guard has a helpful support team on staff to answer all of your questions and walk you through the signup process if needed. They also have a resource center for your convenience. The resource center page is available to members and non-members and shares important articles and news regarding identity theft along with tips and strategies to help protect yourself and your loved ones.
Verdict - Great
Identity Guard offers a plethora of services ranging from credit monitoring to lost wallet protection, and scoring information. Identity Guard has three distinct plans that are tailored to your needs and preferences in terms of protection and coverage. None of the plans are outrageously priced. They're all reasonably valued and comprehensive. That way, if you want to protect your personal information online and have a reputable company monitor it around the clock, you don't have to pay an arm and a leg.
Credit experts, including Ryan Greeley from Answers.com, recommend Identity Guard for anyone interested in monitoring their credit and or safeguarding their identity. Identity Guard has helpful tools and staff members on call to answer your questions and address your concerns when you need it. It's nice that this company offers a no obligation $5 monthly trial option for potential members so they can get a feel for how the service works and the benefits as a whole before committing and paying the regular monthly fee.