Identity Guard® Total Protection® Review Identity Theft Protection 5 2016-06-02 14:24:06

Identity Guard® Total Protection® Review

Sign up for Identity Guard® Total Protection®
Rating:
Bottom Line:
Most complete identity theft protection service we reviewed; 3-bureau credit report monitoring; credit report/score updates every quarter; 25% discount & free 30-day trial

Full Review:
[Editor's Note: Identity Guard® is offering NextAdvisor.com visitors a special deal on the individual plan, including a 25% discount off the monthly fee and a free 30-day trial. 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 discounted price.]

In our opinion, Identity Guard Total Protection® is the most comprehensive identity theft protection service we have reviewed and it really lives up to its total protection moniker. Identity Guard has the most extensive fraud monitoring we've found and offers its whole service at a great price, especially the individual plan with NextAdvisor's 25% discounted offer. The service has a vast array of features that help protect you against the many ways identity thieves might attack, through your credit files, social security number, bank accounts, computer and more.


Pricing

Identity Guard Total Protection offers three types of memberships: individual, couples and family, no annual contract or commitment required. The individual plan costs $14.99/month (including NextAdvisor's 25% discount) and can be tried free for 30 days before you make a financial commitment. Couples who would like to get protection together can sign up for the couples plan, which costs $22.99/month and covers two adults in the same household. The family plan allows two adults plus up to 15 children in the same household to receive coverage for the monthly price of $24.99. Neither the couple or family plans offer a 30-day trial, it should be noted.

Children added to a family plan will be protected under its kID Sure monitoring. The family plan allows up to 15 children to be added, but the primary adult member must provide proof of legal guardianship and all children on the plan must be under the age of 18 years old.


Signup

The signup process for Identity Guard is relatively quick — after choosing which plan is right for you, the site will guide you through a short series of screens asking for your information, including payment information. Once you completely answer the questions and have your information verified, your identity protection begins. Your credit scores and three-bureau reports are available online immediately upon signup. If you want hard copies mailed to you, however, you can call customer service number and get them at no extra charge.

To add another adult to your account, the primary member (the person who initially signed up) will receive an email with an enrollment link. Simply forward this email to the other adult in your household and they can sign up for their Identity Guard protection. Neither adult will have access to each other's information, for security purposes, though only the primary member can change billing information. Children can be added under the kID Sure Child Monitoring protection area by the primary member; only this person will be able to view children's information.


Identity Theft Protection

Identity Guard offers daily monitoring of your credit report at all three bureaus, which begins shortly after you complete the enrollment process. We find Identity Guard's thorough credit report monitoring to be a highly valuable tool because it alerts you in the event that there are certain changes detected in your name.


In addition to credit report monitoring, Identity Guard provides some of the most extensive fraud monitoring of any of our reviewed services. Identity Guard monitors public records for certain changes in your name, scans numerous databases for application or social security fraud, and monitors the Internet's black market for the use of your credit cards or other personal information. If Identity Guard notices certain changes to or presence of your registered personal information in its data sources, then the service will promptly send you alerts via email, phone calls or text messages. When you sign up your alerts are automatically set to email, however, you can opt to change the alerts when you sign into your account or call a customer service representative to assist you. We found these alerts to be a valuable service because if in fact the activity is fraud then you have more of an option and opportunity to catch the fraud before it gets too far.

Identity Guard also provides a selection of software to protect your computer. Privacy Protect, an anti-keylogging software, stops thieves from monitoring what you type when you're online. ID Vault software allows you to store your online account and credit card information for security while online shopping. And to top it off, ZoneAlarm Internet Security software, a total Internet security suite, provides antivirus and antimalware protection for your computer.

Other identity protection services Identity Guard offers are lost wallet protection (a representative from the Identity Theft Recovery Unit can cancel your credit card accounts and send you up to $2,000 advance from one of your accounts if you need it) and a personal public record report.


As mentioned above, Identity Guard also offers protection for children with its kID Sure Child Monitoring, which 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 must be their legal guardian.

Identity Guard Total Protection aims to protect you and your family's identity across multiple fronts, including your credit, public records as well as Internet and computer use. While no protection can be 100% complete, Identity Guard offers the most comprehensive protection we've found.


Credit Report Monitoring Information

Similar to many credit report monitoring services, Identity Guard Total Protection completes daily scans of all three of your credit files and notifies you of certain changes. We were particularly impressed that it provided contact information for all of the creditors listed on our credit report, something few other services include. Identity Guard Total Protection gives you all three of your credit scores every quarter. It also has some very useful credit tools, such as the Credit Analyzer which allows you to see what effect taking different actions (such as paying off a balance or missing a statement) could have on your credit score. You can review your credit reports, as well as view your credit scores and look at a breakdown of the positive and negative factors shaping it.


All of these features make Identity Guard not just the top identity theft protection service, but a great credit report and score monitoring service as well. None of our other reviewed identity theft protection services offer so much credit data. If certain information is found on your credit report, Identity Guard will alert you by email promptly. The service's direct links and instructions on how to place fraud alerts make it very easy to complete them 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 credit reports.


Identity Theft Assistance

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 its Identity Theft Recovery Unit. While the $1,000,000 policy is nice, we feel the large dollar amount of these policies 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.


Customer Service

Identity Guard has an extremely useful member center, which makes it easy to see what protections you have and haven't activated as well as what updated information is available to you. The service is also great about letting you know via email when you have new reports available. Be sure to register 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 a representative will help you handle, including reporting the cards as stolen and getting new cards issued to you.

Identity Guard offers generous customer service phone hours — Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET — as well as postal mail and email contact methods. When we tried contacting Identity Guard, a customer service representative answered almost immediately, and was able to provide useful information about the service. Reporting for lost or stolen cards can be done on the phone.


Conclusion

Overall, Identity Guard offers the most protection of any identity theft protection service we've reviewed. It's not the cheapest service (nor is it the most expensive), 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 and offers a great value.

Sign up for Identity Guard® Total Protection® | Compare to Other Identity Theft Protection

If you have a question or concern we haven't answered on our site, please let us know. Your question will be added to the NextAdvisor Forums so that we and other experts in our community can answer it. Due to volume, we aren't able to respond to every question, but we answer as many as we can.



Product Details

Price:Free 30-day trial & $14.99/mo individual (includes 25% discount);
$22.99/mo couple;
$24.99/mo family
Fraud Monitoring:Monitors 3-bureau credit reports, credit cards, public records, SSN, bank accounts, applications, Internet security
ID Theft Insurance/
Guarantee:
$1,000,000 insurance
Reports Delivered:3 bureau credit scores and a public record report each quarter
Computer Security:ZoneAlarm Internet security suite; anti-keylogging software; ID Vault software

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