Identity Guard Review
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Identity Guard Review

This Identity Guard review covers exactly what’s included in their subscriptions along with pricing, security, user experience, customer support and the mobile application. Let’s get started to see if Identity Guard is a trustworthy identity monitoring service and who it would be best for.

  • Individual plans for personal use range from $8.99 to $24.99 a month
  • Identity theft insurance with a maximum reimbursement of $1 million
  • Three credit bureaus monitored with Total or Premier plans
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Identity Guard
Identity Guard
Identity Guard
  • Price: $8.99 to $24.99/ month 
  • Best Feature: Credit monitoring 
  • Good For: Individuals and families

Identity Guard

Features

Here’s exactly what Identity Guard does to help protect users from identity theft.

Credit Monitoring

Identity Guard helps to protect identities primarily by monitoring credit. With the top-tier plans, they’ll monitor credit from all three credit-reporting agencies, namely Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Users will receive monthly updates with the Premier plan.

Financial Monitoring

Aside from credit changes, scores and reports, Identity Guard also monitors finances. Any bank account takeovers or requests to open checking or savings accounts with a user’s information will be promptly sent to the user with the Total and Premier plans. They’ll also be notified if their address is detected on any financial forms.

Extra Features

Finally, Identity Guard also has some cybersecurity features like safe browsing tools, a dark web scan, and an anti-phishing mobile application. Let’s talk more about what each of these entail:

  • Dark web scan: The dark web, an area of the Internet where all users are anonymous, is a hotbed of cybercrime. Identity Guard will send users an alert if their credentials are found on the dark web, alerting them if they are so they can change their passwords.

Related: The Best Password Managers of 2020

  • Risk management report: This report shows how at risk of identity fraud any particular user may be.
Identity Guard Risk Management Score
Identity Guard Risk Management Score. Screenshot from website.
  • Safe browsing tools: Identity Guard has a browser extension that helps protect users’ privacy online, which protection against phishing attacks, an ad and flash blocker, tracking protection, mining protection and more.
  • Anti-phishing mobile app: Aside from the Identity Guard Classic app, the company also offers the Anti Phishing by Identity Guard app, which can detect and block phishing websites on Chrome, Dolphin and Samsung Internet.
  • Social insight report: Using artificial intelligence from IBM Watson, the social insight report analyzes their Facebook account to assess their “online image” and even suggests improvements. Note that not all accounts include Watson; if they don’t, they’ll be called Classic instead.

Users will receive SMS, app and email alerts. If their identities are stolen, they are eligible to receive up to $1 million in reimbursement at maximum, the industry standard for identity theft insurance.

Privacy and Security

Since Identity Guard is based in the United States, the company is subject to Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes, the international surveillance alliances. This means that under certain circumstances, they could be legally forced to hand over customer data, which is why we checked out Identity Guard’s privacy policy to see exactly what customer data they keep.Personal Data EncryptionFirst of all, anyone considering Identity Guard should know that they may offer information to third parties or free services.  However, the company maintains that they don’t share any of your data with third parties for advertising or marketing purposes, just to “fulfill the product”. Of course, it’s up to the user how much information they want to input into Identity Guard, but the more information they give, the more the service can monitor (and also share with third parties, potentially), so it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. At minimum, this will include the user’s username, password, birthday, Social Security number and their payment information.

Fortunately, customer data is encrypted with AES-256, the current industry standard, so overall we’re pretty confident that Identity Guard will protect your sensitive data.

User Experience

On a more positive note, setting up and using Identity Guard was very easy. First, we selected our plan and created a username and password, filling in other information like:

  • Birthday
  • Social Security Number
  • Name
  • Address
  • Billing information.
Filling out Identity Guard Information
Filling out Identity Guard Information. Screenshot from website.

After we paid, we were in the Identity Guard Dashboard, but to view our alerts, we needed to verify our identity in two ways: by answering a few multiple-choice questions as well as some threat questions.

Identity Guard Threat Questions
Identity Guard Threat Questions. Screenshot from website.

The more information given to Identity Guard, the more data they can spit back at the user, particularly for the AI-powered features like the social insight report and risk management report. Once we filled in some information, it was easy to navigate between the Dashboard, the alerts, the Watchlist, plus our credit reports and scores.

Subscription Options

Identity Guard has options for business and personal use and within those two categories, individuals and groups. Users can choose from annual or monthly contracts with any plan.

Personal

Identity Guard has three personal options: Value, Total, and Premier. Clearly, the Premier plan provides the most coverage for both individuals and families, although it’s a bit pricey at either $24.99 a month or $249.96 a year for an individual. We recommend signing up for a year, as it includes a 17% discount. All plans include a $1 million reimbursement maximum for identity theft, but only the Total and Premier plan monitors credit scores and reports from all three credit-reporting bureaus.

Identity Guard Personal Subscriptions
Identity Guard Personal Subscriptions

Business

Identity Guard also offers both individual and group business plans with even more cybersecurity features like keyboard encryption software, antivirus software as well as more identity monitoring features, from public record monitoring to lost wallet protection. Pricing is different, based per code rather than per user.

Identity Guard Business Subscriptions
Identity Guard Business Subscriptions

While annual plans must be cancelled within 30 days of purchase for a refund, users can cancel monthly plans anytime. Occasionally Identity Guard also offers 30-day money-back guarantee plans which have to be cancelled within the enrollment period for a refund.

Customer Support

Users that need help with Identity Guard can call their phone line weekdays from eight AM until 11 PM or Saturday between nine AM and six PM, EST. For Identity Guard with Watson, the artificial intelligence software from IBM, the number is 1-855-443-7748, but for the Classic accounts, call 1-800-452-2541. Or, email [email protected] for Watson suers and [email protected] for Classic users. While they do have a section of online FAQs, it’s pretty minimal and there’s no live chat option, which was a bit disappointing.

The Identity Guard Classic App

The Identity Guard Classic app is where users get alerts, access credit information, changes to public records, addresses, accounts and apps in their names, and check out the latest news on identity theft incidents.

The Identity Guard Classic App
The Identity Guard Classic App. Screenshot from Google Play store.

Unfortunately, the app has a really low rating from iOS users, only a 2.2 out of five stars. One user wrote in a recent one-star review,

“App is overly simplistic with little to no details. I have three credit tracking services and Identity Guard missed everything that affected my credit score. I opened new accounts, no alerts.”

Fortunately for Android users, the app has a 4.5 rating on the Google Play store. Hopefully, Identity Guard can update their iOS update to make it more in line with their Android app.

Recap

Overall, we appreciate Identity Guard’s comprehensive features and there are low prices available on the lower-tier plans. However, those super concerned about privacy may want to find an identity monitoring service that does not share information with third parties and is not based in the United States.

FAQs

Is Identity Guard any good?

Overall, we appreciate Identity Guard’s comprehensive features and there are low prices available on the lower-tier plans. However, those super concerned about privacy may want to find an identity monitoring service that’s not based in the United States and that doesn’t share information with third parties.

Which is better, LifeLock or Identity Guard?

Overall, we’d recommend LifeLock over Identity Guard. LifeLock has a much better iOS app, as the LifeLock ID Theft Protection app has a 4.6 on the Apple store compared to a 2.2 from Identity Guard. Plans from both companies start at $8.99 per user per month.

What does Identity Guard do?

Identity Guard monitors any changes to a user’s credit file as well as their checking and savings account. If changes are detected, Identity Guard will alert the user through email, SMS or the Identity Guard Classic app. There are also more cybersecurity features available like dark web monitoring and anti-phishing software.

How much is Identity Guard per month?

Personal subscriptions cost between $8.99 and $24.99 a month or between $90 and $249.96 for an individual, or between $14.99 and $24.99 a month or between $150 and $250.04 a year for families. For business subscriptions, the annual individual cost per code is either $36 or $120, while the annual family cost per code is either $76 or $264, depending on the features. Users who purchase through Security Baron receive a 20% off discount.

Which identity protection is best?

PrivacyGuard provides the best identity theft protection. They have extremely comprehensive credit and identity monitoring, affordable pricing starting at $9.99 a month and flexible contracts.

Where is Identity Guard located?

Identity Guard is located in the United States. That means that they’re under the jurisdiction of the three international surveillance alliances, Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes. If there’s reasonable cause, the company could be forced to hand over customer information.