dentity Guard is one of a number of new identity protection tools available online today. At a price of $19.99 per month, Identity Guard protects your credit, online identity, and more. Is it the right choice for you?
- Pricing Packages
- The Good
- The Bad
Identity Guard Features
Identity Guard Theft Monitoring
Email Notifications: If major changes are made to your credit score, you will receive an email.
Tri-Bureau Monitoring: Identity Guard provides 24/7 monitoring for Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Tri-Bureau Credit Reporting: You will receive a credit report from each of the three bureaus once every year.
Personal Information Monitoring: Identity Guard monitors your personal information for any changes made in public databases and websites.
Monthly Credit Score: Identity Guard uses its own credit score calculation system to provide an approximation of your FICO credit score.
Identity Guard Theft Protection
Antivirus Software: Subscribers receive free access to antivirus software for as long as their account is active.
Account Balances: The service displays the balance on all existing loans and credit accounts.
Credit Inquiries: Your credit report includes all inquiries into your credit score and credit account.
Public Records Reports: Your report includes information about changes in public records.
Soft and Hard Inquiries: Your report lists all soft and hard inquiries into your credit history on your credit report.
$1 Million Warranty: If your information is stolen while subscribed to Identity Guard, the company will provide you with up to $1 million in coverage for all your direct financial losses.
Dedicated Recovery Team: If your identity is stolen, Identity Guard provides a dedicated recovery team who will help contain damages, issue fraud alerts, and perform other essential loss prevention tasks.
Wallet Recovery: If you lose your wallet while subscribed to the service, then Identity Guard will assign a specialist to your case who will help cancel credit cards, contact banks, and perform other valuable services which protect you from further loss.
Other Identity Guard Features
Credit Score Estimation: Identity Guard explains which factors have a negative or positive effect on your current and future credit score.
Text Alerts: Receive credit change and notification alerts via text message.
Support: Identity Guard provides customer support over email, phone, and social media. This support covers typical business hours and runs approximately 15 hours a day, but it’s not 24/7.
Mobile Apps: Apps are available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry for your convenience. Users can also access their credit reporting account from any mobile device.
Identity Guard Essentials
Online “Black Market” Monitoring
ID Verification Alerts
$1 Million Identity Theft Insurance
Public Record Monitoring
Quarterly 3 Credit Score Updates
Identity Guard Platinum
Total Protection, Plus:
Monthly Credit Score Updates
Monthly Credit Report Updates
The Good on Identity Guard
Superior Credit Monitoring Services
Identity Guard takes credit monitoring to the next level. Credit protection services include regular credit reports, constant credit monitoring, and tri-bureau credit scores from a single place. After signing up for Identity Guard, you’ll be able to access credit reports from all three major credit bureaus and view your monthly-updated credit scores.
One of the most unique and useful features offered by Identity Guard is the Credit Analyzer tool. Credit Analyzer tells you how a certain decision could affect your credit score. If you apply for a loan, for example, how much will that lower your credit score? What will your credit score be in a year? The Credit Analyzer helps you make smart financial decisions by telling you how those decisions will affect your credibility as a borrower.
Five Different Identity Protection Plans
While most identity protection services have two or three different plans, Identity Guard has five. This helps you customize your identity protection plan and pay for exactly what you need – nothing more, nothing less. Plans range from the basic Identity Guard Essentials, which starts at $9.99 per month, to the more comprehensive Identity Guard Platinum, which costs $24.99 per month. Depending on the level of protection you need, you can pick and choose the plan which caters to your needs.
Identity Protection for Kids
Many people are surprised to learn that kids are frequently the targets of identity theft. Most kids don’t check their credit scores every year or apply for loans, so identity theft can proceed unnoticed for years before the kid notices. Identity Guard has a plan built especially for kids called Identity Guard for Kids. Identity Guard for Kids costs $9.99 per month and provides most of the basic monitoring service of other Identity Guard plans. If you want to protect yourself and your family, then the kids package is an excellent option.
Constant Monitoring and Vigilance
Identity Guard uses several scanners and protective tools to monitor your identity. These tools tend to offer superior protection compared to other identity protection services. Tools include social security number scanning, ongoing surveillance of the internet for any fraudulent uses of your identity, computer protection software, lost wallet protection, public records monitoring, and much more. The tools are designed to protect you at home and on-the-go.
Dedicated Identity Theft Recovery Unit
If your identity is stolen while using Identity Guard, then the company will assign a team of recovery experts to get your life back in order. In addition, Identity Guard will cover all financial losses you incur from identity theft up to a limit of $1 million. To provide further peace of mind, Identity Guard also offers unlimited toll-free access to customer service credit education professionals.
Online Software and Protection
When you subscribe to Identity Guard, you also get free subscriptions to computer protection software called ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite. This suite of tools is free for the life of your Identity Guard enrollment and provides anti-spyware and antivirus defense. For an added layer of protection, Identity Guard also includes a software tool called PrivacyProtect which helps you prevent keyloggers from stealing your information.
Wallet Loss Protection Services
Losing your wallet is an awful feeling. That’s why Identity Guard offers comprehensive wallet loss coverage. After your wallet is stolen, Identity Guard will help you contact credit card companies and banks to cancel cards and issue fraud alerts. If this is the first time your wallet has been stolen, then this guidance is extremely helpful and can help you avoid dangerous identity theft consequences before they become serious.
Excellent Mobile Apps
Many identity protection services don’t offer mobile apps or mobile security. That’s a huge flaw in a world where mobile viruses and spyware are more common than ever before. Fortunately, Identity Guard does offer mobile apps for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry and all of the apps are well-designed. The apps allow you to view any recent changes to your accounts and receive change alerts over your mobile device. It’s a relatively small feature, but if you’re on your mobile device a lot, then this can be very useful.
The Bad on Identity Guard
No FICO Credit Scores
There’s a difference between credit reports and credit scores. Unfortunately for users who want to monitor their credit scores, Identity Guard only allows credit reports. You cannot view your FICO score with this service. Since your FICO score is the first quality many lenders look at when assessing your credit worthiness, it’s important to keep track of your score and your history. However, it’s important to note that Identity Guard does show credit scores on your account, although that credit score is calculated uses its own proprietary model and is not used by lenders or financial institutions.
No Sex Offender Registry Monitoring
Identity Guard does an excellent job of monitoring public records for any changes involving your personal information. However, it does not monitor sex offender registries for changes involving your personal information. This isn’t a huge problem, but if you suspect a sex offender is using your identity to mask their real identity, then this can pose some major issues for you in the future.
Our Verdict on Identity Guard
Identity Guard is one of the most customizable and powerful identity protection services available today. There are five different packages available, each of which offers different levels of service according to your unique needs.
Even on the most basic plan, Identity Guard provides powerful monitoring services and credit reporting. These services help you identify theft as it’s happening and prevent devastating consequences.
Overall, this service has remarkably few flaws. The only major “issue” with Identity Guard is the lack of a FICO credit score. The credit scores you see on your Identity Guard report, however, provide a good approximation of what you can expect your FICO score to be.
With five different plans available – including plans for your kids – Identity Guard is a powerful and customizable service that can be adjusted to suit your unique needs. Try the free trial today to experience why Identity Guard has such a dedicated user base.