ProtectMyID

ProtectMyID Review: Identity Theft Protection

Identity Theft Protection
 
Sign up for ProtectMyID
Rating:
Bottom Line:
An expensive option for ID theft protection and lacks in protection; only includes Experian credit report monitoring; 7-day trial for $1 with enrollment in ProtectMyID
Full Review:
3 2014-08-20 09:46:48 ProtectMyID is an identity theft protection service offered by Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus. Although the service is quite overpriced, it still offers three-bureau credit monitoring, Internet scanning, identity theft recovery support, and $1 million in insurance.


Pricing

ProtectMyID.com's identity theft protection service costs $19.95/month. This plan includes active monitoring of only your Experian credit report, credit cards, new financial accounts or applications, address changes and public records.

ProtectMyID also offers ChildSecure, a service that will monitor your child's Experian credit file and alert you to any suspicious activity for an additional $6.95/month. Since children's credit files usually go unchecked until after they turn 18, children are particularly vulnerable to identity theft, which can ruin their credit before they have even begun to establish a genuine credit history.


Signup

The signup process was very quick and easy, and took us less than five minutes to complete. All you do is type in your personal information, confirm your address and select how you'd prefer to pay to begin your membership.


Once your membership begins, you immediately have full access to your account on ProtectMyID as well as its smart phone application called Experian's ProtectMyID. This app is available for free in both the iPhone app store and the Google Play Store. The app gives you access to your fraud alerts, risk assessment — which breaks down your risk of being a victim of identity theft — as well as the fraud resolution center. The app's resolution center gives you a step-by-step process to follow if you fall victim to identity theft. The process includes the necessary phone number to call, which we found helpful.


Identity Theft Protection

ProtectMyID scans the Internet to ensure that your social security number, credit and debit card numbers are not being used without your knowledge. In order to receive this protection, you must provide ProtectMyID with your account numbers once you have subscribed. Unfortunately, ProtectMyID will only scan for a maximum of three credit and debit accounts, which may be disappointing to subscribers who wish to protect more than three accounts. ProtectMyID also monitors the U.S Postal Service database for any address changes in addition to alerting you if any creditor reported address changes occur.


In addition to ProtectMyID's active identity monitoring, you also receive active monitoring of only your Experian credit report. Even ProtectMyID will alert you right away if any changes are posted to your Experian credit file. You'll have the option of receiving text message, email or mail alerts. Even though daily monitoring of your Experian credit report is a good feature to have, it's not as effective in catching possible theft as monitoring all three credit bureaus, as other identity theft protection services do. This is because not all types of credit are reported to every bureau, so, with ProtectMyID, a new line of credit could be opened in your name but only reported to one of the other bureaus and you may not even know.

In the event that your credit or debit cards are lost or stolen, ProtectMyID's Lost Wallet service will help you cancel them immediately. In order to take advantage of the Lost Wallet service, you must enter these cards in your online account individually. If a bank or card issuer holds you liable for any fraudulent charges made on any of your cards, ProtectMyID will reimburse you.


Credit Report Monitoring Information

ProtectMyID will alert you if any changes are posted to your Experian credit report. The service refers to these changes as the five key changes which include new accounts, inquiries, public records, address changes and potentially negative information — such as a lost credit card. This means that if any of the five key changes show up on your credit report, you will receive an alert via email, text message, phone app or traditional mail, depending on your preference. If you decide to receive alerts via traditional mail then your social security number will be blacked out.


Since ProtectMyID is provided by Experian, one of the three credit bureaus, it's no surprise that you are given access to your full Experian report. Though you do get to look at your Experian credit report right away, if you want to see your credit score you will be required to pay the extra $3.95 fee, and, after 30 days, you will need to pay another if you want to see an updated Experian credit score again. In general though, the Experian credit report you are provided with is thorough and easy-to-read. If you choose to receive your other two credit reports, TransUnion and Equifax, it costs an additional discounted price of $31.95. The three-bureau credit report you receive for this price is only available online for 30 days, so it's a good idea to print it out.

One of the most beneficial aspects of ProtectMyID's credit report monitoring is the "Dispute Information." This tool allows you to dispute anything on your Experian credit report online through ProtectMyID, and you're even provided with the contact information for the other two bureaus — Equifax and Transunion — so you can easily dispute anything on those reports as well.


Identity Theft Assistance

If you do become an identity theft victim while subscribing to ProtectMyID, you'll be insured for $1 million, which covers certain expenses including lost wages and legal fees. You'll also have access to a dedicated resolution specialist who will speak to you by phone and assist you in taking all the necessary administrative and legal steps necessary to restore your identity.


ProtectMyID's website and phone app provide you with a step-by-step guide on what to do when you realize your identity is stolen. We found this guide to be very helpful because once people realize they are victims of identity theft they usually panic, so having this guide with tools available to them will, hopefully, help alleviate the stress when the identity theft is detected.


Customer Service

You can contact ProtectMyID's customer service representatives via phone, email or mail. Customer service representatives are available on Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. We found its customer service representatives to be helpful and easy to contact.


Conclusion

ProtectMyID isn't the best choice for consumers in terms of credit report monitoring because it only offers one-bureau monitoring. The price of $19.95/month is steep, especially if you choose to add on the cost of your credit score or TransUnion and Equifax credit report as well. If identity theft is a concern, ProtectMyID's Internet scanning, recovery support, and $1,000,000 in insurance makes this a so-so option.

Sign up for ProtectMyID | Compare to Other Identity Theft Protection


 
Service Details:

Price:7-day trial for $1 with enrollment in ProtectMyID; $19.95/mo
Fraud Monitoring:Monitors only Experian credit report, credit cards, new financial accounts or applications, address changes, public records
ID Theft Insurance/
Guarantee:
$1,000,000 insurance
Reports Delivered:One Experian credit report
Computer Security:None

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