Last Updated: January 28, 2021
- Dark Web Scanning: Supported
- Public Records Monitoring: Supported
- Child Identity Monitoring: Unsupported
- Identity Theft Insurance: $1 million
- Mobile App: Available
- Credit Management Support: Extensive
- Cybersecurity: Decent
- Privacy: Decent
Adult identity protection with personal credit management
- Up to $1 million ID theft insurance
- Scans the Dark Web
- Delivers credit-related services
- Provides cybersecurity and privacy tools
- No plans for children
- 3-bureau credit score updates only
- Only uses 128-bit encryption
- Unavailable outside the US and Canada
What Is Identity Guard?
Identity Guard is an ID protection solution powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and forms a unified digital threat protection platform with other security tools. The company was established in 1996, a time before cybersecurity became an everyday concern. The sister brands include antivirus software Intrusta, VPN Hotspot Shield, and privacy solutions FigLeaf and PrivacyMate.
Identity Guard is perfect for personal use, as it gives you the ability to see any suspicious activity involving you or your loved ones’ data. Businesses can use ID Guard to deliver on-demand data breach recovery services to customers and extend robust cyber protection to their employees.
Over the years, the brand has teamed up with many biggest players in the financial industry and helped to protect 47 million identities. Our Identity Guard review looked at the basics and explored some overlooked aspects of what this service offers to shed light on its practicality and reveal any possible downsides.
Identity Guard Features
Although you can’t take advantage of all features with a single plan, we’ll discuss everything to give you an idea about what is possible.
Perhaps Identity Guard’s best claim to fame is its use of Watson, IBM’s famed supercomputer driven by AI and analytical software.
Using Watson’s cognitive computing power, ID Guard keeps tabs on uncountable pieces of information that make up your identity. It applies predictive analysis to mine data and provides you with personalized advice about proactive identity protection.
Identity Guard tirelessly scours the different layers of the internet to let you know when your sensitive information has been leaked and stop fraudsters in their tracks. As follow as the different round-the-clock monitoring services ID Guard provides:
The Dark Web is the hidden black market of the internet. Since it is inaccessible through regular browsers, you need identity theft protection services to scan it in case a cybercriminal is using your personal information.
Identity Guard with Watson scans the Dark Web for your social security number, credit card credentials, financial account details, health insurance information, and more. The software will then notify you if it finds anything suspicious. You can do this yourself thanks to background check services like TruthFinder.
ID Guard tells you when any of your savings and checking account information changes, including account holder additions, email address updates, and address modifications. On the Ultra plan, you can enjoy additional monitoring services that cover your 401k and investment accounts.
The company alerts you whenever there’s a request to open a savings or checking account using your data. It doesn’t matter whether the application is done with a national, regional, or local financial institution. If the bank or credit union is in the US, Identity Guard will catch it.
Whenever your information is used in risky financial transactions, Identity Guard will let you know. Bank account takeovers, wire transfers, tax refunds, and payday loans, cell service, and utility service applications are notable examples of the high-risk transactions this service keeps a close eye on.
Public Record Monitoring
To know when you’re about to become a victim of identity fraud, ID Guard tracks certain publicly available documents with your name to help prevent criminals from succeeding. These include:
Home Title Records
Another Identity Guard protection Ultra feature is home title theft prevention. The software scans for any attempt to change your property’s ownership.
Criminal and Sex Offense Databases
Identity Guard can detect if and when your name is included in a police report or sex offender registry.
United States Postal Service Address Monitoring
If someone tries to change your address on the USPS database, ID Guard can notify you. This way, your mail, and packages won’t end up in the wrong hands.
ID Guard pays close attention to your credit data and shows you any potential issues involving your identity. The company also helps manage your finances to increase or preserve your credit score by watching the following:
Identity Guard credit monitoring comes with the Total and Ultra plans, showing you any data changes from the big three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
Credit Score Updates
By subscribing to the highest tier, you will receive a monthly Identity Guard credit score update based on TransUnion data and using VantageScore 3.0. Developed by the major credit-reporting agencies themselves, this credit scoring model is more similar to FICO® 9 than to FICO 8 (the most popular model among US lenders).
Since ID Guard gives you an insight into your credit for educational purposes only, you should know that the factors that make up your VantageScore 3.0 credit score (ranging between 300 and 850) are:
- Payment history (40%)
- Variety and age of credit accounts (21%)
- Credit utilization (20%)
- Amount of Balances (11%)
- Recent credit (5%)
- Available credit (3%)
For small businesses that choose the Total Protection Plan, the company provides quarterly Identity Guard credit score updates based on data from the three credit bureaus.
3-Bureau Annual Credit Reports
You’re entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus once every 12 months whether you use ID Guard or not. However, agreeing to pay the Ultra Identity Guard price gives you access to them all from one convenient source.
With incomplete data, a single credit report may not paint an accurate picture. Receiving TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax credit reports annually make it easy to check their accuracy and spot errors.
3-Bureau Credit Analyzer
The Identity Guard Total Protection plan also enables you to see how different financial decisions can affect your credit with the credit analyzer.
Based on your credit information from the three credit bureaus, you can experiment with various activities like making punctual payments, closing an account, moving balances between accounts, and initiating credit inquiries.
Identity Guard sends instant notifications through its mobile app and via email and SMS whenever it detects fraudulent activity and shows you how to protect yourself.
If you buy codes for any of the Identity Guard data breach response plans, the recipients get to receive ID verification and account takeover alerts. The brand uses its vast network of creditors and financial institutions to notify concerned parties about the smallest of changes to accounts.
Risk Management Score
The personal plans let you use the risk management score to see how actions and lifestyle decisions impact the risk of ID fraud. Echoing most other Identity Guard reviews, we encourage you to capitalize on it to increase your identity protection.
ID Theft Victim Assistance
If you fall victim to identity theft, ID Guard will help you to avoid your bad situation from getting worse. A US-based case manager will guide you toward recovery.
This representative can help your impacted credit accounts, provide advice when filing a police report, offer instructions on how to deal with the major credit bureaus, and more. Even after your problem is solved, your dedicated case manager will personally monitor your case for 60 days.
Social Media Insight Report
Using Identity Guard with Watson, you can instantly learn about social media privacy concerns. By assessing your online profiles, the service offers recommendations and assists you in managing your settings to avoid oversharing sensitive information.
ID Guard evaluates your Facebook timeline to paint your so-called Social Image. Your Social Image is healthy when your posts have little to no adverse language and you don’t digitally speak up about controversial topics.
Safe Browser Tool
The browser extension proactively neutralizes any malicious software by blocking common delivery channels, such as Flash, malicious advertisements, and phishing. It is available on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
This anti-malware browser extension works as a privacy tool too, as it can block content and ad trackers to safeguard your privacy from prying marketers.
Lost Wallet Protection
The Identity Guard Total Protection and Essentials plans give you help when you lose your physical wallet. By swiftly canceling your plastic, the service stops any illegal transaction before it happens and reviews your credit report to identify any consequential fraudulent activity.
Identity Guard can draw up to $2,000 from one of your accounts and send you emergency cash to help cover your expenses until your financial institution fixes your problem.
Available to all data breach plan subscribers, ID Vault® is a password manager that safely stores and encrypts your login details and credit card data.
Keyboard Encryption Software
Identity Guard Total Protection gives you access to the PrivacyProtect® PC keyboard encryption app. This software encrypts your keystrokes to prevent cyber threats from capturing and recording what you type.
While it would have been nice to have a mobile version, this sophisticated anti-keylogging software will give you an additional level of security when browsing online.
PC Antivirus Software
The ZoneAlarm® Internet Security Suite keeps the most notorious cyber threats at bay with its reliable firewall, antivirus, and anti-spyware protection.
AES 128-Bit Encryption
ID Guard uses a 128-bit level of encryption. While the company claims that it uses the most advanced encryption tech there is, it isn’t completely truthful. The biggest key size in the AES standard is 256 bits.
But is Identity Guard safe? A resounding yes! After all, it’s impossible to crack 128-bit encryption over a short period with the equipment hackers use today.
Then again, no Identity Guard review would favor it over the 256-bit kind. The decision to use the less impregnable cybersecurity solution is one of the most common Identity Guard complaints you will find.
ID Theft Insurance
Falling victim to ID fraud might not excuse you from liability. In 2018, 3.3 million victims had to deal with $1.7 billion fraud-related out of pocket costs.
By using this company’s identity protection services, you automatically get $1 million in ID theft insurance. Like every other Identity Guard review, we agree that this coverage conforms to the industry standard.
Underwritten by American International Group‚ Inc. insurance company affiliates or associates, this financial product isn’t without limitations and conditions. But it can help you get back on your feet. With this insurance, you are entitled to the following payouts:
- Lost wages: $2,000 per week (maximum of 5 weeks)
- Eldercare, spousal care, and child care costs: $2,000 per policy period
- Travel expenses: $1,000 per policy period
With a $0 deductible per policy period, you don’t have to pay a single penny upfront to get your money.
Identity Guard Apps
The mobile app for iOS or Android gives you access to your account. Although the user experience is better on a desktop, the app has an Online Identity dashboard that lets you quickly view your alerts and key tools.
Identity Guard provides a separate specialized anti-phishing app, protecting your iOS and Android devices from new and old phishing scams.
ID Guard has no live chat support. For membership inquiries, alert questions, account unlock requests, you can speak with a brand representative over the phone or through email. The latter promises a response time of 24 to 48 hours. We found the brand’s knowledge base quite helpful too.
Further, Identity Guard’s US-based Member Services department isn’t available 24/7. The office hours of the customer care team are 9 AM to 8 PM (EST) from Monday through Friday and 9 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays.
Identity Guard Pricing
The personal Identity Guard plans are perfect for individuals who want to reduce their risk of identity theft. The prices start at:
- Monthly: From $8.99
- Annual: From $89.99 ($7.50/month)
- Monthly: From $14.99
- Annual: From $149.99 ($12.50/month)
With the Identity Guard family plan, adults in your household can also use the membership. There is no Identity Guard free trial available, but the brand’s annual subscriptions are refundable. Do keep in mind that you can only request a refund after the first year and must do so within 30 days of being charged the renewal price.
Businesses can use ID Guard’s identity theft protection services to help affected customers minimize their losses in case of a data breach. You can buy anywhere from 5 to 3,000 enrollment codes in a single transaction, each for every impacted customer. Enrollment codes expire within 90 days and are nonrefundable.
The following are the data breach plans:
- Individual: $36/code/year
- Family: $76/code/year
- Individual: $120/code/year
- Family: $264/code/year
All plans come in a one-, two-, or three-year plan, but there is no multi-year discount.
Identity Guard vs. LifeLock
Regularly considered the two best identity monitoring services, ID Guard and LifeLock provide fantastic tools to help you safeguard your cybersecurity and privacy. But let’s look at the differences between the two.
Unlike Identity Guard, LifeLock doesn’t use Watson. Instead, it leverages Norton technology. Since its members enjoy a VPN, LifeLock has the edge over ID Guard in the online protection department. LifeLock lets you sign up for your membership even when you’re outside the US or Canada, which isn’t the case with ID Guard.
LifeLock has a higher limit of insurance, and stolen funds reimbursement doesn’t affect its payout for expenses related to ID theft disputes like attorney fees. Moreover, LifeLock offers ID theft protection plans designed for children, while Identity Guard doesn’t offer this at all.
When it comes to pricing, Identity Guard has the upper hand as LifeLock’s prices are more expensive. It costs an extra $5.99 per kid in the LifeLock family plan, which means that your expenses can quickly add up. LifeLock also has weaker support for credit monitoring and management, as it doesn’t offer advanced tools like a credit score simulator.
Verdict – How Good Is Identity Guard?
After testing it ourselves, we can only agree with other positive Identity Guard reviews. The many fantastic tools it offers are a huge help in protecting yourself from identity theft and other crimes. ID Guard’s reasonable prices make it one of the most affordable among the industry’s top identity theft protection services.
Admittedly, its site’s blocked content is a major turnoff. As an American living or vacationing overseas, you’d have to get back home or use a VPN before you can subscribe.
Regarding the minor deficiencies in some of the Identity Guard plans, we’re confident that the brand can address them shortly.
ID Guard detects signs of identity theft by monitoring public records, financial accounts, and the Dark Web. The service alerts you when it notices any suspicious activity involving your name and provides expert recovery assistance if you fall victim to identity theft.
Yes, Identity Guard is safe to use. The service was founded by Intersections Inc., which has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. This rating doesn’t reflect the sentiment behind Identity Guard reviews but does indicate that the brand doesn’t have any issues with authorities, practices honest advertising, and resolves customer disputes satisfactorily.
Yes, the company provides some great benefits. Judging by our Identity Guard review, the brand certainly has some of the best identity monitoring services on today’s market.
While both companies offer great services, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to extend your ID theft protection to your kids, LifeLock is the clear winner. But if you want a subscription for adults only, ID Guard is a more attractive option. After all, Identity Guard costs less and comes with more useful credit management tools.