Identity Guard provides online identity protection, and ranks among the best identity theft protection services. Even the most savvy web users may not know exactly what it is, but it is important regardless of the extent of your web browsing. Most people have made purchases online, have social media profiles, or have put at least some identifying information such as an address or a phone number on the internet - all activities that can put us at risk of identity theft. Identity Guard provides tools that allow web users to monitor their personal information, including alerts that may indicate suspicious activity like a sudden dip in a person's credit score. These services put all this information in one place so that it's easy to stay in-the-know.
However, while these tools can help you reduce your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft, they can't prevent a data breach in which your information is stolen or prevent you from providing your information to scammers. They can also only help you reclaim your identity and reverse the damage to your reputation to a certain extent.
Identity Guard review: Platform
Currently, Identity Guard has three levels of plans for both individuals and families. All plans include AI-driven protection, $1 million insurance with stolen funds reimbursement, a U.S.-based case manager, risk management score, an easy-to-read online identity dashboard, and a mobile app.
Identity Guard’s Value plan for an individual costs $8.99/month while a family plan costs $14.99/month. This plan covers the basics, scanning the Dark Web for your information, identifying high-risk transactions, and uncovering potential threats of fraudulent use of your personal information.
The higher tier Total plans and the Premier plans both add credit score and bank account monitoring to the services offered. These plans cost $19.99/month for an individual and $29.99/month for a family. There is no free credit score monitoring option, and it is worth noting that, per federal law, you are entitled to one free credit report a year. This type of report can be relatively easily obtained via Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. Similarly, you can monitor your credit score for free using services like CreditKarma or the financial institution that issued your credit card.
Identity Guard’s design is very user-friendly. The different types of alerts appear as cards on the dashboard and the easy-to-navigate tabs also highlight important sections, including reports and scores and a customizable watchlist. The dashboard is pleasantly color-coded, so any outstanding alerts jump out immediately.
Plan provider: Identity Guard
Credit monitoring? Dependent on plan
Bank account monitoring?: Dependent on plan
Dispute assistance? Yes
Identity Guard review: Product
Only Identity Guard’s Premier plans offer the Social Insight report, a tool that can help customers manage their online reputation. This tool scans your Facebook timeline, assesses your online identity, and recommends how you can improve your image. This may be particularly helpful for professionals looking to clean up their online presence or families who want to prevent cyberbullying.
In sum, depending on the chosen plan, Identity Guard also offers:
- Social Insight Reporting
- Credit Score Reporting
- Dark Web Monitoring
- Bank Account Takeover Monitoring
- Alerts of Potential Cyberbullying
While we find that all these services are essential in their own way, users have to decide for themselves what's most important to determine the right plan for them. We noted that the Value plan omits some key data monitoring, like bank account take over monitoring. While the Value plan may seem like an attractive option for people who don’t want to spend too much in identity theft protection, we recommend that you opt for a higher tier plan for better protection on par with offerings from other identity theft protection services like IdentityForce UltraSecure + Credit and ID Watchdog.
Sophisticated AI technology makes Identity Guard an attractive option for consumers. It's what makes Identity Guard stand out from its competitors. It not only monitors for existing threats, but also anticipates future threats by adapting to the ever-changing online environment our data finds itself in.
Near-instant alerts allow the consumer to stay abreast of all changes to their accounts and aware of the risk posed to their personal information. The service’s response to a threat is timely and allows the consumer to stay proactive about protecting their identity online by providing quick alerts, easy identity recovery options complete with expert guidance and the possibility of stolen fund reimbursement. However, the level of threat detection you receive, as a customer, largely depends on the subscription plan you choose.
Depending on the plan you choose, the types of reporting you will receive are more cutting-edge than most other services you could opt for.
Should you become a victim of identity theft, a case manager will be assigned to you and will walk you through all the necessary steps to make sure that the thief stops using your sensitive information. However, Identity Guard does not work with pre-existing fraud victims and does not provide an attorney to act on behalf of a customer. Additionally, while there is $1 million in identity theft insurance for all plans, money may be difficult to recover without indisputable evidence of fraud.
If monitoring your credit and being able to access your credit report are part of your identity theft protection needs, then forgo the Value plan, which does not include any credit alerts. But regardless of plan, you’ll receive full credit restoration services should your credit and identity be compromised. The process includes filing police reports, reaching out to financial institutions, and canceling credit cards. However, Identity Guard does not work with pre-existing fraud victims and does not provide an attorney to act on behalf of a customer.
Identity Guard review: Tools
The Identity Guard dashboard itself lacks tools and resources. For example, while the information you see in the dashboard is useful to make sure your identity is safe, Identity Guard does not offer advice on how to raise your ‘Risk Management Score’ if it is low.
Part of using Identity Guard Total Protection is installing Google Chrome extensions that can help you better identify unsafe sites and phishing scams. Other browser-embedded functions are available for Safari and Firefox.
Should I choose Identity Guard?
Overall, Identity Guard is a solid service for fraud protection and identity recovery services. It’s particularly helpful in uncovering threats using AI technology, and customers can rest assured that they are receiving the best-in-class when it comes down to web scanning technology. However, to be fully satisfied with the service and to really benefit from Identity Guard, customers should choose a higher tier plan.