According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, around over 17 million Americans had their identity stolen in 2014. 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.
Identity Guard's primary goal is to make identity theft protection and credit bureaus reports available to consumers across the country. Identity Guard also monitors 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.
Identity Guard Plans
Identity Guard offers three main types of memberships.
Identity Guard Essentials
The Essentials plan is $8.99 per month. It includes social security number monitoring, identification verification alerts, and monitoring, along with up to $1 million in Identity Theft Insurance.
Identity Guard Total Protection
The second plan, Total Protection, is $16.99 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.
Identity Guard Platinum
The third plan is the Platinum Plan. It's only $22.99 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.
Signing Up for Identity Guard
If you would like to give Identity Guard a try before committing to a monthly membership, you can try any of the three plans free for 30 days.
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 Features
In terms of features, you'll benefit from mail list removal, credit history reports, and monitoring. It's relevant to note that they do not monitor any sex offender registries.
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 certain changes. 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 Security Software
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.
Users should be aware that the ZoneAlarm® program is only available during the length of your membership to IdentityGuard.
Identity Guard Benefits
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 from your accounts.
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.
Identity Guard Drawbacks
There are a couple of disadvantages you will notice if you enroll with Identity Guard. Compared to the competition, the service lacks some convenience features such as driver's license number monitoring and the option to monitor multiple email addresses on one account.
In addition, the way IdentityGuard calculates credit score is different compared to other credit lenders. IdentityGuard provides credit scores for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. Although lenders use many different scoring systems, they are calculated using the information contained in your Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit files.
Customer reviews and company reputation are two great ways to determine whether or not you should get an Identity Guard Identity Theft plan.
On the Better Business Bureau, Identity Guard is an Accredited Business with an A+ score. Trustpilot, a website that ranks companies purely from customer reviews, rates Identity Guard a 7.2/10. Keep in mind that the experiences of one customer are not representative of the company as a whole, but it is important to spot potential issues you may have with the company early nonetheless.
Identity Guard Customer Service
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.
Identity Guard Review Recap
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.