Keeping our identities secure has never been more important. In fact, identity theft hit an all-time high in 2016, and it shows no signs of slowing.
More than 15 million Americans encountered some level of identity fraud last year. And the total amount of money lost due to fraud? A whopping $16 billion. These unsettling numbers are justifiably causing more people to look into companies like Identity Guard®, to stay one step ahead of criminals.
Identity Guard offers monitoring designed to shield customers and help protect their identities. It offers some unique features that may help you to keep track of your identity and personal information, all for a small monthly fee.
So, should you put your identity in the hands of this company? Let’s take a look at both the perks and drawbacks of signing up for Identity Guard.
Table of Contents:
What You Get With Identity Guard
Identity Guard takes a multi-pronged approach to helping its customers shield their important information. The company offers ways for users to actively take part in helping protect their identities.
Here’s what customers will enjoy when they sign up:
- Advanced Identity Protection with IBM® Watson™ Artificial Intelligence
- Same-day alerts for potentially suspicious activity
- Monitoring for use of your SSN, credit cards, and bank account numbers
- Safe browsing extension for your web browsers
- Monthly credit score* based on data from Transunion® (Total and Premier plans only)
- Cyber bullying alerts with family plans
- Reimbursement insurance**
The Big Perks
The thing that really makes Identity Guard stand out from the pack is that it helps protect your total identity. The same program that helps protect your banking and financial information also provides the digital technology you need to browse the web safely.
This makes Identity Guard a great option if you prefer to use one comprehensive tool instead of using two separate companies for identity protection and cyber protection.
Identity Guard Goes to the Dark Places for You
Many of us know there is a black market on the Internet where hackers and criminals exchange the stolen financial details of their victims. However, few of us know how to access it. What’s more, many people wouldn’t even want to dig around to unlock the dark places where criminals do their dirty work on the internet.
Identity Guard makes it so that you never have to. The company provides a service that actually monitors the black market to look for your Social Security Number, registered credit cards, and bank account numbers.
An alert will be created if your personal information is detected. This is an important feature because it makes it possible to stop criminals in their tracks before money is taken from you or purchases are made in your name.
Learn More: Have You Ever Heard of an Identity Score?
Backed by Insurance
Customers are provided with reimbursement insurance totaling $1 million. This insurance can be used toward things like legal fees, lost wages, and travel expenses resulting from identity theft. However, it’s important to note that it can’t actually be used as reimbursement for losses incurred during the theft.
Related: LifeLock Review – Protecting Your Identity
Using Identity Guard
It’s easy to like the company’s dynamic user interface when viewing your Identity Guard account online. Each user has a personalized dashboard with information about their accounts and notifications for any issues that may require attention.
Also, the Identity Guard app (available for Android and Apple) is definitely worth installing if you’d like to monitor your identity while on the go.
You can have access to your account notifications, credit reports, and credit scores right from your mobile device. The app also offers clear steps to take if your identity does come under attack.
Where Identity Guard Falls Short
Some customers may be disappointed that the company’s help hotline isn’t available around the clock. This can be a big nuisance if you’re having an issue late at night or early in the morning.
Resource: How and Why to Freeze Your Credit
There are several cost tiers to choose from when signing up for Identity Guard.
The most popular plan offers all of the features that are available from the company for $19.99 per month. Customers can also pick a scaled-down version for just $8.99. However, this plan doesn’t come with credit monitoring or credit reports.
There are two plans that offer monthly credit scores. This upgrade will cost you between $15.99-$23.99 per month. All of these plans provide identity protection for a single user or a family. Identity Guard family plans cover all adults and children residing within the same household.
What if you want to protect your entire family from identity theft? Identity Guard actually provides family plans for an additional charge.
The Final Word on Identity Guard
Identity Guard is a solid product if you’re looking for an identity protection service that is comprehensive in its approach.
If you’re protecting a personal empire, you might want to choose a company that offers tougher protection and real-time remediation if you have the means to do so.
However, Identity Guard is a solid tool for the average person. It essentially offers a constant way to manage your identity for less than you probably spend on coffee per month.
* 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.
** 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