Identity Guard® Review
If fear of identity theft is your primary reason for credit report monitoring, there is no question that Identity Guard Total Protection is your best option. Even if identity theft is just one factor, Identity Guard's exhaustive list of features, discount and 30-day free trial make it worth serious consideration. In addition to daily three-bureau credit report monitoring, Identity Guard Total Protection offers an extremely impressive and potent arsenal of tools to help protect you from theft and credit card fraud. With the NextAdvisor discount, the service costs $14.99 per month for an individual plan after the 30-day free trial. There are no annual contracts and you can cancel your membership at any time.
If you and your spouse want to save money and purchase a plan together, Identity Guard offers a couple plan that covers two adults in a single household for $22.99/month. There is also a family plan that covers two adults and up to 15 children in the same household for $24.99/month. Keep in mind, credit monitoring only applies to the adults on the plan, not the minor children, and neither the couple or family plans have a free trial.
Signing up for the free trial is quick and you just need to enter some basic personal information like your name, address and social security number to get started. This is all done on a secure, encrypted web page, so you do not have to worry about the security of your personal information. Once your enrollment is complete and you have set up your personal log in information, you will be able to visit the member area anytime. In the member center, you can see which identity protection tools you have and haven't activated as well as what updated information is available to you. They are also great about letting you know via email when you have new reports or scores available. Be sure to register your credit card and bank accounts right away to take advantage of their excellent identity theft protection.
Immediately upon enrolling, Identity Guard Total Protection® gives you daily three-bureau credit report monitoring with email alerts, your credit scores based on data from all three bureaus and three-bureau credit report updates. The scores are based on the CreditXpert scoring system, which isn't the same as the FICO system that most lenders use, but is a very good approximation of it. Identity Guard gives you credit scores from the three bureaus and an updated public record report every three months.
When you enroll youll receive 3-bureau credit report updates based on data from Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®. Youll receive quarterly credit report updates, including one immediately upon enrollment. Furthermore, the information you get from the 3-bureau credit report updates combined with ongoing 3-bureau credit monitoring makes Identity Guard a very effective service for keeping a close eye on your credit.
Your subscription includes access to a very useful Credit Analyzer. You can try out different scenarios, such as paying off your credit card by a certain amount or applying for a new loan, to see how your credit will be affected.
Identity Guard also features proactive identity theft protection, including monitoring public records for certain changes in your name (as well as giving you a public record report and an updated one every quarter), scanning for application or social security fraud, and monitoring the Internet's black market for the presence of your credit card numbers, Social Security number or other personal information. If they find use of your personal information, you will be alerted immediately.
Children are often targeted by identity thieves. Thus, Identity Guard members who choose the family plan will be able to protect up to 15 children in their household with the service's kID Sure monitoring, an excellent identity theft protection tool that helps protect children. kID Sure® monitors criminal records, DMV records, utilities records and scans the Internet black market for their social security number. The children you sign up have to be under the age of 18, and you have to be their legal guardian.
In addition, Identity Guard provides lost wallet protection (they can cancel your credit card accounts and give you up to a $2,000 advance from one of your accounts if you need it). In the event of a credit card theft, you can report the incident to Identity Guard and its professionals assist you with reporting your cards as stolen and getting new cards issued to you.
Identity Guard also includes $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance to cover you in case you somehow are still victimized while enrolled in the service. The real value of the identity theft service is their Identity Theft Recovery Unit, where you'll have the help of experienced fraud recovery agents to help you throughout the entire process. We've found that the real cost of identity theft is the victim's inability to get credit for long periods of time, the cutting off of current credit accounts, and the time, effort and expense it takes to restore the victim's good name and the ID Theft Recovery Unit helps you minimize these costs as well as get your good name and credit back as quickly as possible.
One of the most notable extra services provided by Identity Guard Total Protection is the Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite at no additional cost, an award-winning Internet security solution including anti-virus, firewall, anti-phishing and anti-spam software with hourly security updates. This normally costs $44.95 per year to buy, but is a part of your Total Protection enrollment and includes all virus definition updates and annual renewals as long as you maintain your membership. Unfortunately this feature is currently only available for PCs. Of course if you don't want or need this security software you don't have to download it. Your subscription also comes with anti-keylogging software.
Identity Guard offers generous customer service phone hours (8 a.m.to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday) as well as postal mail and e-mail contact methods. When we tried contacting them, there was a bit of a wait time; however, the customer service representative on the line was able to provide useful information about the service. Reporting for lost or stolen cards can be done on the phone.
Overall, Identity Guard Total Protection can't be beat in terms of features and functionality. It offers both a great credit report monitoring service and, from our perspective, the best identity theft protection you can get. Take it for a spin with the 30-day free trial and get your credit report and scores today.
|Credit Scores:||Free scores based on data from Equifax, Experian & TransUnion|
|Credit Reports:||Reports from all 3 bureaus|
|Trial Period & Price:||Free 30-day trial & $14.99/mo individual (includes 25% discount); $22.99/mo couple; $24.99/mo family|
|Credit Monitoring:||All 3 bureaus|
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