Identity Guard Credit Monitoring

With monthly updates from Experian, Transunion and Equifax, Identity Guard worked to keep us on top of our credit scores and reports.

  • Identity theft protection powered by IBM® Watson™ AI
  • Impressive $1 million in identity theft insurance
  • Multiple service levels, from basic to advanced
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Page Contents

They say the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes, but we think credit should be added to that list. Your credit score can greatly affect your life, from getting a loan to buy a new home to renting that shiny new car you have your eyes on. However, according to the Federal Trade Commission, 26% of people found potential errors in their credit reports from the three bureaus, Experian, Transunion and Equifax,1 which is why it’s important to stay on top of your credit. Well, Identity Guard is here to help. They’re an identity monitoring service that can monitor your credit for you, automatically sending alerts to your phone. Just how does it work? Let’s get into it!

Credit Monitoring with Identity Guard

To get complete credit monitoring from the three bureaus mentioned above, you have to sign up for the Total or Premier plans. When we reviewed Identity Guard, we signed up for the Premier plan to test out all the features available, but the Total plan will get you a monthly credit score and will alert you to any changes in your credit. However, to get the full report, the Premier plan is essential. Keep in mind that checking your credit score won’t affect your credit in any way,2 so there’s no harm in checking monthly as opposed to annually.

Identity Guard App
Identity Guard App

Identity Guard’s Additional Features

Aside from credit monitoring the Total and Premier plans include a few other features to protect our identities online, from a dark web scan to address monitoring to financial account monitoring. Let’s talk about exactly what those features entail:

  • Dark web scan: Billions of stolen passwords are bought and sold everyday on the dark web, which is a part of the Internet only accessible through special software where all of the users are anonymous. Identity Guard scanned the dark web to make sure our credentials were safe, alerting us if they were found so we could change our passwords ASAP.
  • Address monitoring: If anyone made an address change request to USPS using our address, we’d get alerted.
  • Risk management report: Identity Guard gave us a score that showed how at risk we are to identity fraud. Our score? An almost perfect 98, not to brag!
  • Safe browsing tools: Identity Guard also throws in some cybersecurity features that we didn’t get with other identity monitoring services. Their browser extension protected us against phishing, ads, tracking, data mining, and more.
  • Anti-phishing app: When we were using our phones, we were protected from phishing via the Anti Phishing by Identity Guard app. As long as we were using Chrome, Dolphin or Samsung (we prefer Chrome, personally), we were protected against phishing websites. That’s a huge relief as 29% of phishing attacks use stolen credentials.3
  • Bank account takeovers: If anyone tried to take over our bank accounts, we’d be notified.
  • Checkings or savings accounts: Say someone tried to open a checking or savings account using our information; we’d be notified as soon as Identity Guard detected it.
  • Tax refund alerts: If anyone used our Social Security numbers on tax refunds, we’d know about it as soon as Identity Guard does.
  • Social insight report: Finally, Identity Guard even analyzed our Facebook to check that our online image was one we wanted to portray. They did this using artificial intelligence technology from IBM® Watson™, which was pretty cool.

In a nutshell? If Identity Guard detected anything out of the ordinary regarding our credentials, we’d get alerted. But that doesn’t mean that we were 100% protected from identity theft, as no service can guarantee total prevention. Rather, Identity Guard gave us identity theft insurance, so if our identities were stolen, we could’ve been reimbursed for up to $1 million. This is typical of identity monitoring services, so Identity Guard certainly makes the cut.

Identity Guard Subscriptions

When it comes to signing up for Identity Guard, you can choose between the Total and Premier packages to get credit monitoring, with Premier including the full reports. Plans are available on a monthly or annual basis, with options for individuals as well as families, which covers all adults and children living in one house. To save money, choose the annual plan. Although you’ll have to pay a larger sum upfront, over a year’s time, you’ll save 17%, putting more money back into your pocket. Go deeper into your subscription options on our Identity Guard pricing page.

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To get credit monitoring for an individual, you can either pay $19.99 a month or $200.04, but for the credit reports, the cost jumps up to $24.99 a month or $249.96 a year.

FYI: To get credit reports from all three bureaus, a.k.a the most comprehensive credit monitoring available, you’ll need to buy the Premier Plan.

Can you try Identity Guard for free? Well, yes and no. Sometimes, the company offers 30-day money back guarantees, but currently, there’s no free trial. One option is to sign up for an annual subscription and cancel within 30 days to receive a refund; however, you’ll still have to shell out a decent amount of money upfront, which is probably not ideal for most people. If you’re unsure about Identity Guard, we recommend signing up for a monthly package and then cancelling within that period if you don’t like it. Learn more about your free trial options, which may change as time goes on.

Is My Data Safe with Identity Guard?

In order for Identity Guard to truly protect us, we had to give them a ton of data, from our birthdays to our home addresses to our bank account information. If you’ve turned on the news recently, you’ve probably seen a dozen or more security breaches from large tech companies, so keeping your data safe is always a concern. So, what does Identity Guard do to protect your data?

Firstly, Identity Guard encrypted our data using 128-bit encryption, which was a bit disappointing as the industry standard is 256-bit. And when we checked out their privacy policy, we found that they may share our information with third parties, although this wasn’t for marketing or advertising purposes. On top of that, since Identity Guard is based in the United States, they could be forced to hand the federal government our data, given the jurisdiction of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes. In sum? If you’re super concerned about privacy, Identity Guard definitely isn’t your best bet. To explore other options, read our page on the best identity theft protection, or, if you have a family, the best identity theft protection for families.

Identity Guard Logo Header

Need Help With Identity Guard? Here’s What To Do

If you’re having trouble with Identity Guard, your best bet is to call their phone support directly. Weekdays, they’re available from eight AM until 11 PM, and Saturdays, they’re available from nine AM until six PM EST. You can also email them or check out their online FAQs, but we found the FAQs to be a bit lacking in terms of comprehensiveness.

For Classic accounts, email customersupport@identityguard.com, but for Watson accounts, email customercare@identityguard.com. If you just bought a new Identity Guard subscription and are not sure which it is, it’s Watson; Classic accounts are supported but no longer sold by Identity Guard.

Tip: While Classic accounts use the Identity Guard Classic app, Watson accounts use the regular Identity Guard app.

Is It Worth It?

Considering that victims of identity theft lost an average of $7,761,4 Identity Guard can most likely pay for itself if your identity is stolen. Plus, we love that they have plans for individuals and families, which covers all of the adults and children in one household. Identity Guard will make it easy to stay on top of your credit, which is a good indicator of identity theft. But just who is Identity Guard ideal for?

Buy Identity Guard if you’d like…
  • Credit scores and reports from all three bureaus: With the Premier plan, you’ll get updates from Experian, Transunion and Equifax including full reports.
  • Identity theft and cybersecurity protection: Identity Guard not only monitors your identity, but it also gives you some more protection from your computer and mobile device.
  • Identity theft insurance: Get up to a $1 million in reimbursement if your identity is stolen while using Identity Guard.
But don’t get it if you were looking for…
  • Better privacy: From its 128-bit encryption to its iffy privacy policy, Identity Guard isn’t the best service we’ve tested when it comes to privacy.
  • Free trial: Currently, Identity Guard doesn’t offer a free trial, so you’ll have to pay some money upfront to use it.
  • Most comprehensive identity monitoring available: Even though Identity Guard covers the basics, we’ve reviewed other identity monitoring services that cover more areas.

Want to learn even more about Identity Guard? Check out our pages on their app and spouse coverage, or read our comparisons of Identity Guard versus Complete ID, IdentityForce or Infoarmor.

Citations
  1. FTC. (2012). Report to Congress Under Section 319 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.
    ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/reports/section-319-fair-and-accurate-credit-transactions-act-2003-fifth-interim-federal-trade-commission/130211factareport.pdf

  2. TransUnion. (2020). How Often Should I Check Credit Score?.
    transunion.com/article/how-often-should-I-check-credit-score

  3. Phishing Box. (2020). 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report.
    phishingbox.com/assets/files/images/Verizon-Data-Breach-Investigations-Report-DBIR-2019.pdf

  4. BJS. (2017). Victims of Identity Theft, 2014.
    bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/vit14.pdf