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Identity Guard Review 2020 | Plans, Pricing, Credit Monitoring

9.1
ProtectionRating

Customer Service

9

Ease of Use

9

Value

9

Features & Services

9.5

Internet of things, internet of this, internet of that – the internet is indeed the common thread that runs through most of the 7 billion people that inhabit this earth. From setting your dentist’s appointment to finally buying that handbag you’ve been eyeing for so long; the internet has truly rewritten the rules of everyday life. And the moment that Wi-Fi signal goes blank, all hell seems to break loose. Right?    

For the most part, this rapid evolution is good, even necessary. However, this transformation has a dark underbelly that has been rearing its ugly quite frequently in recent times. We’re sure you’ve heard the stories. Personal information of millions ending up out in the open, people having their bank accounts wiped clean, and the list goes on. Maybe you’ve been a victim too.

And here’s the scary bit.

The hackers are getting smarter by the minute. You plug one leak, they will find three other. This risk is much greater. And the antivirus that you updated ages ago isn’t going to cut it anymore. The only way to ensure your online safety is to take active measures. Subscribing to a well-reputed ID protection service is a solid first step.   

Today, we will learn about identity theft and protection and why it is vital to keep you and your loved ones safe.

We will also be reviewing a well-known ID protection software called Identity Guard.    

Identity Guard Review

Let’s put Identity Guard under the microscope and explore in detail if it lives up to its tall reputation.

What Is Identity Guard?

Identity Guard’s story began back in 1996 when its parent company Intersections Inc. laid the groundwork for the current ID theft protection industry. It’s based in Chantilly, Virginia and apart from being one of the oldest in the business, it is also one of the best. Close to 50 million people have entrusted Identity Guard with their online protection and so far it seems to have done a decent job.      

Key Features

Identity Guard derives its horsepower from IBM's Watson artificial intelligence, which truly puts it at the cutting edge of ID theft protection. You will have access to both Android and iOS mobile apps, which are very easy to get used to. It also provides an additional layer of security with a handful of useful features such as anti-phishing features and extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers.

Quite a few websites these days have activity tracking cookies that monitor the visitors’ activity and browsing preferences without their express consent. The anti-phishing feature will help you stop the tracking cookies in their tracks.   

Pricing and Plans

Identity Guard has categorized its offers into 3 protection plans. You can test-drive each of these plans without paying a dollar for 30 days. However, currently, there are no bulk discounts on offer – which is a bummer if you were looking to score some post Holidays discount.  

1. Basic Value Plan

It will set you back $8.99 a month. The low monthly payment won’t dent your savings much and is perfect to get used to ID theft protection if you’re a newbie. Even at this price, you will receive up to $1 million in case of financial loss resulting from ID theft. Moreover, you will also be provided administrative support in the shape of an exclusive case manager to oversee the identity restoration process.    

2. Identity Guard Total Protection

At $19.99 a month, this plan is almost double the cost of the Basic Value Plan. However, there are two key advantages here, in addition to all the features of the basic plan. One, you will have added protection in the shape of surveillance of your financial assets such as your bank accounts and credit health. You will be immediately notified if any foul play is detected. Secondly, you will also be provided your credit score from VantageScore 3.0 every month.        

3. Identity Guard Premier

If budget is not an issue then you should consider this plan. It will run you a monthly bill of $24.99. The extra charge buys you comprehensive surveillance of your credit. You will get credit monitoring reports from Equifax, Experian. FICO and VantageScore 3.0. This will be in addition to the features of the previous plans.      

4. Family plans

Identity Guard has made it quite easy to bring your entire under the cover of protection. The family plans are priced according to the number of individuals you bring under protection:   

  • Identity Guard Couple Plan At $14.99 a month, it will accommodate two adults under the same address.
  • Parent and Children Plan will cost you $29.99 a month and will keep safe one adult and all the minors under the same address.
  • Identity Guard Family Plan will protect two adults and all the minor children. 

​Pros

  • Identity Guard provides a wide list of online ID security features and restoration services, which include but are not limited to credit screening, dark web scanning, SSN, bank account and public record screening.
  • The surveillance framework is built upon IBM Watson's artificial intelligence, making it more intuitive and robust.  
  • It’s hard to ignore the $1 million insurance policy if you ever fall prey to ID theft. Moreover, you will also be eligible for up to $2000 for 5 weeks to make up for lost income and for spousal and childcare expenses of up to $2,000 per policy period. 
  • You will have added security in the shape of features such as anti-virus software, password protection, ad blocking, tracking cookie blocking, keyboard encryption software, and an anti-phishing mobile app.

Cons

  • You will be provided help with only financial loss and criminal identity restoration. If there’s a breach in your medical or tax record, then Identify Guard won’t be able to help much. 
  • Refunds will be hard to come by. However, the 30-day trial period makes it quite easy to back out if you feel like it.  

Summary

Considering the feature list and its long history, Identity Guard is right up there with the best. However, its Total Protection and Premier plans are quite expensive, especially when you consider that the only additional feature for the extra charge is the credit reports. That said the affordable Basic Value plan and risk-free 30-day make it a compelling option if you’re out shopping for online protection.    

Understanding Identity Theft

* The score you receive with Identity Guard is provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. It is calculated using the information contained in your TransUnion credit file. Lenders use many different credit scoring systems, and the score you receive with Identity Guard is not the same score used by lenders to evaluate your credit.

What Is It?

Surprisingly, the term identity theft is not new; it’s been around for more than half a century. When someone gains access to your personal or financial information without your clear consent, that is known as identity theft.  

How Identity Theft Can Wreak Havoc With Your Life

From being pushed to the brink of bankruptcy to mangled credit; identify theft can harm you in more ways than you can imagine. Here are some serious threats you’re faced with after having your identity stolen:

  • Fake bank accounts can be opened in your name and loans can be availed without your knowledge.
  • The hacker will most probably max out your credit or debit cards. 
  • It’s quite common that ID theft victims have their tax records tampered.
  • And the damage doesn’t end there. Once the ID thief is done wiping your account clean, your information will most likely be put up on the black market.

Here’s Why You Should Invest In ID Protection

  • Spending a few dollars on ID protection is far less expensive than having your family’s private moments ending up on Google. Here are a few reasons, why it makes sense to sign up for an ID protection service”
  • Constant surveillance: A hacker has plenty of ways to sneak in. An ID protection service will plug in most of these leaks thus significantly increasing your odds of staying safe. 
  • Timely alerts: The damage will be multiple times over if you fail to respond immediately in case of a security breach. Your ID theft service will immediately notify you if it senses unauthorized access attempts.    
  • It will get you back on track: There may be a rare instance where the thief gets away with your hard-earned cash. However, if you have signed up with an ID theft service, there’s a good chance you will recover a good chunk of your losses.   

What to look for in an ID protection service  

  • Here’s what to consider when choosing your service provider:
  • Take your time: Comparing plans of several ID protection services may not be as fun as browsing the latest collection of your favorite brand. However, if you take the time to consider the pros and cons, it will make your life a lot easier down the road.   
  • Let the testimonials guide you: Don’t fall for the fancy language on their websites. Always review customer testimonials as they will tell you if the service is as good as it promises to be.  
  • Clarity: Ask questions and then some. Never make assumptions, especially about their insurance policy. If they evade your questions, then it’s a good sign to drop the service from consideration.  

** Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group‚ Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms‚ conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms‚ conditions‚ and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.

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