Identity Guard Review

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Identity Guard is an identity protection and fraud prevention service with a variety of tools that are designed to keep your data and personal records safe.

The company offers individual and family plans, with optional add-on features like credit score and tax refund monitoring.

It seems like every day you hear another story about a major corporation being breached and hackers stealing millions of their customers’ records.

With all these headlines, you’ve probably wondered about signing up for an identity protection service.

If you’re considering whether or not Identity Guard is right for you or if you’re curious to learn more about how it works, you’ve come to the right place.

What is Identity Guard?

Identity Guard was one of the world’s first identity theft protection services. Founded in 1996, the company used to go by the name Intersections Inc.

Fast forward to today, and Identity Guard is now owned by Aura. The company has over 47 million customers and has helped detect and resolve over 140,000 cases of fraud.

They’ve also partnered with Watson, IBM’s state-of-the-art artificial intelligence platform, to deliver even more advanced services.

Identity Guard Plans

Let’s review the different plans and features that you can get as an Identity Guard customer.

Identity Guard Value

The Identity Guard Value plan is the company’s entry-level account.

The Value plan costs $8.99 each month, or $90 if you opt for annual billing.

Identity Guard Value Plan Features:

  • Your account and personal data will be monitored by IBM Watson’s Artificial Intelligence platform
  • You will be insured up to $1 million if your funds are stolen
  • Access to U.S.-based case manager if you have an issue
  • Risk management score
  • Access to your account through the Identity Guard mobile app
  • You’ll be alerted if any of your data is shared on the dark web
  • You’ll be alerted in the event of any new high-risk transactions that take place online
  • You’ll get access to Identity Guard’s anti-phishing mobile app and safe browsing extension

Identity Guard Total Protection

The Identity Guard Total plan includes the same benefits of the Value plan plus more.

The cost of Identity Guard Total is $19.99 each month if you opt for monthly billing.

If you plan to use the service for the whole year, you can save $40 by going with the annual plan, which costs $200.

Identity Guard Total Protection Features:

  • Identity Guard Value Plan features plus…
  • Monthly credit score report (from one credit bureau)
  • If your credit score changes across any of the three major credit bureaus, you’ll get an alert
  • If your bank account is taken over, you’ll be notified

Identity Guard Premier

The Identity Guard Premier plan is the company’s premium account, which includes all of the same features as the Value and Total plans plus even more.

The Premier plan costs $24.99 monthly or $250 annually.

Identity Guard Premier Plan Features:

  • Identity Guard Value and Total Plan features plus…
  • Credit report from all three major credit bureaus (as opposed to just one bureau, which comes with the Total plan)
  • Social insight report—powered by Watson—analyzes Facebook activity for signs of cyberbullying, aggressive language, and indications of self-harm. This feature might be especially appealing to parents who want to keep their kids safe online.

Identity Guard Family Plan

With each of the plans listed above, there’s an option for a family version, which extends the same coverage to all adults and children that live in the same household.

As you might expect, family plans are slightly more expensive.

Identity Guard Family Plan Pricing:

  • Identity Guard Value Family Plan: $14.99 monthly or $150 annually
  • Identity Guard Total Family Plan: $29.99 monthly or $300 annually
  • Identity Guard Premier Family Plan: $34.99 monthly or $350 annually

Identity Guard Business Services

Identity Guard offers Breach Response services for businesses whose data and cyberinfrastructure have been compromised.

You can also sign up for a business plan that includes identity protection services for all of your employees.

Identity Guard Cost

As I discussed above, Identity Guard has several different price points depending on the level of services you want.

Here’s a quick summary of the costs of each plan:

Identity Guard Individual Plans

  • Identity Guard Value Plan: $8.99 monthly or $90 annually
  • Identity Guard Total Plan: $19.99 monthly or $200 annually
  • Identity Guard Premier Plan: $24.99 monthly or $250 annually

Identity Guard Family Plans

  • Identity Guard Value Family Plan: $14.99 monthly or $150 annually
  • Identity Guard Total Family Plan: $29.99 monthly or $300 annually
  • Identity Guard Premier Family Plan: $34.99 monthly or $350 annually

Identity Guard App

Customers can access their accounts on-the-go with Identity Guard’s mobile apps.

In the App Store, the Identity Guard Classic and Identity Guard with AI apps each have a 2.2-star rating (out of 5). Yikes!

Fortunately, their apps are rated much better in the Google Play Store, where the Identity Guard Classic has 4.5 stars (out of 5), and Identity Guard with AI has 4.1 stars.

Signing Up and Getting Started

To sign up for an Identity Guard account, click the Start My Membership button in the middle or top right-hand corner of your screen.

Next, enter your email and password to create an account.

Then enter your first name, last name, home address, and phone number.

At the next step, enter your date of birth and Social Security number (SSN). Keep in mind that your SSN is required to monitor your identity, so if you aren’t comfortable providing it, it’s time to turn around.

Once that’s done, all that’s left to do is enter your billing information, and you’re all set!

If you go with annual billing, you’ll pay a larger lump-sum fee. If you prefer monthly, you’ll only have to pay for the current monthly charge, and the card you enter will be automatically billed for future months.

Is Identity Guard Safe?

While the company supposedly specializes in protecting your data, I do not see anything on Identity Guard’s website that boasts about the security protocols they use to keep your data secure.

Let’s hope they use leading-edge cybersecurity tools because they have access to millions of customers’ Social Security numbers.

Customer Service and Support

Identity Guard has customer support agents standing by Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time.

On Saturdays, support is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time. Live support is closed on Sundays.

If you’re an Identity Guard with Watson account holder, the number to call is 1-855-443-7748.

The number for Identity Guard Classic account holders is 1-800-452-2541.

You can also send them an email anytime at customercare@identityguard.com.

Pros and Cons of Identity Guard

Pros

  • Solid service for monitoring your Social Security number, high-risk transactions, account takeovers, and sketchy social media and dark web activity
  • Impressive identity theft insurance coverage up to $1 million
  • You can cover your whole family with one account

Cons

Alternatives to Identity Guard

Each of these companies has different plans and pricing options, so you’ll have to do your homework to find the best one for you.

The most popular identity theft protection alternatives to Identity Guard include:

  • LifeLock
  • Intellus
  • Identity Force
  • ID Shield
  • myFICO
  • Identity Defense
  • ID Watchdog
  • Experian

Identity Guard FAQs

Is the Identity Guard Any Good?

Yes. Identity Guard is a good identity theft prevention service that also offers credit monitoring, credit reports, and assistance with data breaches.

Which is Better LifeLock or Identity Guard?

LifeLock is a larger company than Identity Guard, however, it’s hard to say which service is better. Both companies offer similar plans and similar levels of service. If you’re having a hard time deciding which one is better for you, I recommend giving both companies a call and seeing which one has a better price for the exact services you want.

Is Identity Guard Legit?

If you’re serious about paying for an identity theft protection service, Identity Guard is one of the original services in the industry and is probably worth a look.

For under nine bucks each month, you’ll get the peace of mind that comes with having someone watching out for suspicious online activity, which, unfortunately, happens more frequently each day.

Whether or not you go with a paid identity theft protection service, it’s always a good idea to follow common-sense best practices. Avoiding public Wifi and sketchy websites, using a VPN, and using a unique password for every online account that you have are just a couple steps you can take to prevent bad actors from accessing your data.

While you can’t prevent bad actors from attempting to access your data, you can take proactive steps to decrease the likelihood they are successful in those endeavors.

Here’s to keeping your online accounts safe and preventing identity theft before it has the chance to happen!

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