Identity Guard is flying high on our list of the best identity theft protection services thanks to its artificial intelligence and plenty more besides. Since you’re here, it’s likely you are very careful with your sensitive information like credit card details or Social Security. But even with that care, it can’t stop big companies losing your data to attacks from hackers and scammers. Once that data is lost, your main line of protection is identity theft protection software.
Identity Guard lets you monitor personal information, and relax knowing you’ll get alerts if there’s suspicious activity, like a sudden dip in your credit score. All the information you need is in one dashboard so it’s easy to see this otherwise sprawling and mysterious world, summarized in one place.
While no tool can stop identity theft at all levels, Identity Guard will not only alert you as soon as it happens but it can also help you to recover your identity and be secure again as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
All our reviews of identity theft protection apps and services examine features, pricing, alternative options, and what you actually get with each product. We do not go hands-on with these services for our reviews because it is almost impossible to accurately simulate and test these services. In order to properly test ID Theft apps we would need to purposefully hack accounts to assess the level of protection, provide personally identifiable information that would compromise our reviewer, and we would need to perform multiple credit checks – all over the course of several months.
Identity Guard: Plans and pricing
At time of publishing, 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 $7.50/month while a family plan costs $12.50/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 $16.67/month for an individual and $25/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.
The top tier, Ultra, is charged at $25/month individually or $33.33/month for family. This gets you its “white glove resolution concierge” service, meaning should you have an identity theft issue you won’t have to do very much at all to go from under threat to secure again. Unlike the other tiers this also covers 401k and investment account monitoring, home title monitoring, a social media insights tool, credit card monitoring and more.
Identity Guard: How easy is it to use?
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.
Only Identity Guard’s Premier plans offer the social insight report, a tool that can help you manage your 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.
While all the services are essential in their own way, you have to decide what’s most important to determine the right plan. 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 as 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 you to stay abreast of all changes to accounts and aware of the risk posed to personal information. The service’s response to a threat is timely and allows you to stay proactive about protecting your 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.
Identity Guard: Features
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 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.
Should you choose Identity Guard?
Identity Guard is a solid service for fraud protection and identity recovery services. It’s particularly helpful in uncovering threats using AI technology, and you can rest assured that you’re 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, you’ll need to pay out for a higher tier plan. That’s fine, as it compares well to rivals like Identity Force, although doesn’t quite match some on features.