Identity Guard Identity Theft Protection Review
Identity Guard is an identity theft protection service that offers more than simple credit monitoring services. It alerts you to changes in your identity profile that indicate possible identity theft or credit card fraud with four different levels of service each with different pricing and different features (note that prices are subject to change):
- Essentials - $9.99/month
- Gold - $14.99/month
- Total Protection - $19.99/month
- Platinum - $24.99/month
Identity Guard Protection Services
All plans offer social security number monitoring, online "black market" monitoring, id verification alerts, account takeover alerts, lost wallet protection, password protection, and $1 million in ID theft insurance.
The Gold package adds address change monitoring, daily monitoring all three of your credit bureau reports, PC keyboard encryption software, account access via a mobile app, and a monthly credit report and credit score plus credit analyzer for your Experian credit report. The Gold package doesn't offer password protection.
The Total Protection package builds on the Gold package, but gives you access to all three of your credit reports and credit scores on a quarterly basis, provides credit analyzer for all three credit bureaus, adds public record monitoring, and PC antivirus software.
Finally, the Platinum package offers all the services of the other packages and monthly credit report and credit score access.
You can try out any of the packages with a two-week trial, but the trial requires you to enter your credit card number. If you don't cancel before the trial period ends, your credit card will automatically be charged for the subscription price.
All the plans have $1 million in identity theft protection insurance with no deductible. Identity theft protection insurance can be used to cover the costs incurred from clearing ID theft including compensation for lost wages and travel and child care.
Identity Guard vs. Lifelock
Lifelock’s Identity Theft Protection service is comparable to Identity Guard’s service. However, none of Lifelock’s plans provide quarterly or monthly credit report or score updates.
Lifelock’s product provides free fraud alerts – placed directly to your Equifax and TransUnion credit reports (indirectly to Experian reports). Identity Guard doesn’t offer the fraud alerts, but this is something you could do for free if you’d prefer to receive credit monitoring with your identity monitoring product.
The Total Protection plan at $19.99 per month seems to be the best value, in terms of credit monitoring, with monitoring on all three credit reports and scores, and quarterly updates to all three reports and scores.
You can monitor your credit reports - mostly for free - all year long. First, you can enroll in Credit Karma - access to your TransUnion and Equifax credit scores and credit report, Credit Sesame - access to your Experian credit report and credit score, and Quizzle - access to your Equifax credit report and credit score.
You can also order a free copy of your credit reports each year through AnnualCreditReport.com. These will give you an indication to changes in your credit profile that indicate identity theft. What you don't get from these services, however, is ID theft insurance to help offset the cost of dealing with a stolen identity.