Identity Guard Total Protection Review: Identity Theft Protection
|Sign up for Identity Guard Total Protection|
|Most complete ID theft protection service; full credit report monitoring; free Internet security suite; 25% discount & free 30-day trial|
[Editor's Note: For a limited time, Identity Guard is offering a discount of $5.00 off every month ($14.99 instead of $19.99, 25% off) and a free 30-day trial to NextAdvisor.com visitors. There is no coupon code required to take advantage of this offer but you must click on a link from our site. So simply click on any Identity Guard link on NextAdvisor.com to take advantage of this limited time discount pricing.]
Identity Guard Total Protection is the most comprehensive identity theft protection service and really lives up to its TOTAL PROTECTION® moniker. Total Protection has the most extensive fraud monitoring we've found and offers its whole service at a great price with NextAdvisor's exclusive offer, just $14.99 per month (regularly $19.99 per month) after the 30-day free trial. The service has a vast array of features that help protect all the ways identity thieves might attack, through your credit files, your Social Security number, your bank accounts, your computer and more.
Identity Guard also offers protection for children with its kIDsure program. This plan allows you to add your children to an existing adult's plan for only $5/month. kIDSure monitors for your child's information on criminal records, DMV records, utilities records, as well as scans for Social Security number exposure on the Internet black market. The children you sign up have to be under the age of 18, and you have to be their legal guardian.
Identity Guard starts your protection with daily monitoring of your credit report at all three bureaus, which starts as soon as you sign up. Many other leading identity theft protection services do not provide any credit report monitoring, much less three bureau monitoring. In theory, if all the other fraud monitoring is working, you don't need credit report monitoring to protect your identity, but in reality we think it's a highly valuable tool and the best way to catch identity thieves that have been able to circumvent other measures and open a new account in your name. Furthermore, monitoring your credit is something we believe most people should be doing anyway in order to maximize their credit scores.
In addition to credit monitoring, Identity Guard provides the most extensive fraud monitoring of any of our reviewed services. The service monitors public records for any changes in your name, scans databases for application or Social Security fraud, and monitors the Internet's black market for any use of your credit cards or other personal information. They've also recently added anti-keylogging software, lost wallet protection (they can cancel your credit card accounts and give you up to $2,000 advance if you need it) and a Personal ID Risk Assessment. With the addition of Zone Alarm Internet Security software, a total Internet security suite including anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, anti-phishing and more, Total Protection now also protects your computer and all your Internet activity from fraud.
Like many credit report monitoring services, Identity Guard Total Protection completes daily scans of all 3 of your credit files and notifies you of any changes. It also gives you all 3 of your credit scores every quarter. It also has some very useful credit tools like the Credit Analyzer which allows you to see what effect taking different actions (such as paying off a balance or missing a statement) can have on your credit score. Many people are surprised at the dramatic effect one action can have on their score.
All these features make Identity Guard not just the top identity theft protection service, but a best-in-class credit report and score monitoring service as well. None of our other identity theft protection services offer so much credit data. If anything new is found on your credit report, they will alert you by e-mail immediately. They also make it very easy to place fraud alerts with the bureaus yourself if you want to take that extra preventative step. You get all those for free with your 30-day trial so even if you decide you don't like it, you get to keep at no cost all three credit scores and a public records report.
In the unlikely event that you are a victim of identity theft while an Identity Guard Total Protection member, Identity Guard supplies you with $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance coverage and access to their Identity Theft Recovery Unit. While the $1,000,000 policy is nice, we feel the large dollar amount of these polices are not really necessary because people are not liable for fraudulent transactions made in their name so the direct monetary loss of identity theft is not usually anywhere near seven figures. We do greatly value the Identity Theft Recovery Unit, though, as the real cost of identity theft usually lies in victims' 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 your good name. The ID Theft Recovery Unit helps you minimize these costs and get your good name and credit back as quickly as possible
The signup process for Identity Guard is relatively quick - you will go through a short series of screens asking you for information, including payment information. To verify your identity, you will be asked for your Social Security number, date of birth, and the answers to 5 multiple-choice questions of information in your file. By default, the credit scores and alerts are available instantly online and through e-mail. If you want hard copies mailed to you however, you can call their customer service number and get them at no extra charge.
Identity Guard recently updated their member center so that it is now extremely useful. They make it easy to see what protections 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 available. Be sure to register all your credit card and bank accounts right away. In the event of a credit card theft, you can report the incident to Identity Guard and they will handle all the details for you, including reporting the cards as stolen and getting new cards issued to you.
Identity Guard offers generous customer service phone hours (8am-11pm M-F and 9am-6pm Sat) as well as postal mail and e-mail contact methods. When we tried contacting them, a customer service representative answered almost immediately, and was able to provide useful advice about the service. Reporting for lost or stolen cards can be done on the phone or through your account, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Overall, Identity Guard offers the most protection of any identity theft protection service we've reviewed. It is a bit more expensive than some other good alternatives, but for those that also want to keep tabs on their credit data or are just really serious about identity theft protection, Identity Guard Total Protection is the best way to go.
NextAdvisor Identity Theft Protection Blog Headlines
Federal Authorities Seize 7-Elevens in Connection to ID Theft Case
Federal authorities seized 14 franchised 7-Elevens in Long Island and Virginia and arrested nine owners and managers in connection with an identity theft case. The nine are charged with making millions of dollars by exploiting more than 50 illegal immigrants.
Can I Sign My Spouse Up for Identity Guard's kIDSure Program?
Q: My spouse and I share all the same bank accounts and credit cards, so I don't feel those need additional monitoring. Would I be able to sign my spouse up for Identity Guard's kIDSure? A: No, you will not be able
Sutter Health Security Breach Puts 4,500 at Risk for Identity Theft
A Northern California-based health system, Sutter Health, announced a security breach that put patient's personal information in jeopardy of possible identity theft. Sutter released a public notice that stated police found the protected health information while conducting an unrelated investigation. The Sacramento Business
Is It Safe To Put Personal Information In An Email?
Q: I received an email from my bank telling me that my account is in jeopardy and that I need to respond via email. To verify my identity, they want me to include my full name, Social Security number and
Identity Guard Total Protection Forum Posts
- Do my husband and I have to sign up separately?
Yes, unfortunately, for you and your husband to get the most protection you'd need to both sign up individually and pay $14.99 each per month, which...
- Is there a family plan for Identity Guard?
Unfortunately, Identity Guard does not currently offer a family plan. In order for you and your husband to both get complete identity theft...
- Can I sign my wife up for the kIDSure program?
No, unfortunately you will not be able to sign your wife up for the kIDSure program under your main membership. The only people eligible for kIDSure...
- Do my husband and I have to sign up separately?
if I wanted to sign up for my husband and my self since we have all joint credit mainly, do I have to do separate sign ups and pay double per month?...
- Can I sign up for Identity Guard via mail?
Unfortunately, no, you can not sign up for Identity Guard via mail, however, they do allow you to sign up via phone or online. If you feel more...