Identity Guard Family Plans
Identity Guard provides subscription options for families ranging from $14.99 to $34.99 a month.
- Identity theft protection powered by IBM® Watson™ AI
- Impressive $1 million in identity theft insurance
- Multiple service levels, from basic to advanced
You protect your family in a million little ways, from buckling in their seatbelts to checking for monsters under the bed, but what about protecting their identities? Even kids aren’t immune to identity theft, believe it or not. In 2017 alone, almost a million kids had their identities stolen which cost families a combined $540 million out of pocket.1 Clearly, you need to do something to protect your family members’ identities, and Identity Guard is here to help. Their family subscription option covers all of the adults and children in one household, but how exactly does it work? We’ve tested it out and will tell you everything you need to know about how Identity Guard protects families and their identities.
Identity Guard Monitoring: How It Works
When it comes to protecting identities, Identity Guard works both on and offline in a few key areas, depending on which subscription you end up going with:
- Criminal areas: Identity Guard scanned the dark web for our family’s credentials, making sure that they weren’t being bought and sold. If you’re unfamiliar, the dark web is an area of the Internet where all of the users are anonymous, so you can see why it’s a hotbed of cybercrime. In fact, 10% of Internet users in the United States have used technologies that would allow them to access the dark web,2 although it’s total number of users is unknown.3 Still, Identity Guard gave us much more peace of mind when it came to the hodgepodge of theft and crime that exists on the dark web.
Tip: If you want monitoring from all three major credit-reporting bureaus in the United States, sign your family up for the Premier plan.
- Financial areas: We tried out the Premier plan, which gave us monthly credit score updates from all three bureaus (that’s Transunion, Equifax and Experian, to be specific). We also got full reports from each bureau. We’d also get alerted if anyone tried to take over our banking accounts or open new savings or checking accounts in our names, or used our information in a tax refund. Finally, if someone submitted an address change form to USPS to intercept our mail, we’d know as soon as Identity Guard detects it.
- Cybersecurity: Sometimes, the first step to identity theft is phishing, so Identity Guard gave us tools to keep the information on our laptops and phones safe. On our laptops and various tablets, we downloaded a browser extension that covered not only phishing but also ads, tracking from websites, data mining, etc. We also used the Anti Phishing by Identity Guard app to protect us on Samsung, Dolphin, and Chrome Internet. Since we’re a family of Chrome-users, this was super helpful.
So, with these tools, is your family 100% protected from identity theft? In short no; that’s something that even the most comprehensive identity theft protection companies can’t guarantee (and if they do, run in the other direction).
However, Identity Guard does offer identity theft insurance in case a family members’ identity does get stolen. If that’s the case, the subscription holder could get up to $1 million in reimbursement. So even though identity theft isn’t completely preventable, at least Identity Guard will take care of your family if it happens, god forbid.
Identity Guard Family Subscription Options
As far as personal subscriptions go, Identity Guard offered our family, i.e group of digital security experts, three plans to choose from— Value, Total and Premier.
|Dark Web Scan||✓||✓||✓|
|Risk Management Report||✓||✓||✓|
|Safe Browsing Tools||✓||✓||✓|
|Anti-Phishing Mobile App||✓||✓||✓|
|Monthly Credit Score||x||✓||✓|
|Credit Changes and Reports from 3 Bureaus||x||✓||✓|
|Bank Account Takeovers||x||✓||✓|
|Requests to Open Checkings or Savings Account with Your Information||x||✓||✓|
|Tax Refund Alerts||x||x||✓|
|Credit Score and Report||x||x||✓|
|Social Insight Report||x||x||✓|
|Monthly Family Price||$14.99||$29.99||$34.99|
|Yearly Family Price||$150||$300||$350.04|
Keep in mind that these family plans cover all of the adults and minors at one address, so it’s much cheaper to buy a family plan instead of multiple individual plans. All plans include that identity theft insurance we mentioned before, but for the most protection, get the Premier plan.
FYI: If you’re part of a family, it makes more sense to buy a family versus multiple individual subscriptions, as they are heavily discounted.
Setting Up Identity Guard for your Family
Not every identity monitoring service offers protection for the whole family, but Identity Guard isn’t the average identity monitoring service. Getting our family started with Identity Guard only took a few minutes. We opted to do the Premier plan as we wanted the most protection and monitoring. Once we selected that plan, we created a username and password and filled in our family members’ information, like their names, Social Security numbers, birthdays, as well as our home address and payment information. Next, we had to answer a few multiple-choice questions to verify our identities, a common part of identity theft protection signups. Now, Identity Guard asked for a lot of our family’s information; the more we gave them, the more areas they could monitor, especially when it came to the social insight report and risk management report. But since we’re digital security experts, safety is always in the back of our minds, which leads us to our next section…
Is My Family’s Information Safe?
Have you heard of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes? No, we’re not talking about mythical monsters, but the international surveillance alliances that the United States is a part of, something you may have missed in history class. Basically, it means that under certain circumstances (think espionage), the U.S can legally force companies to hand over customer data. And since Identity Guard is based in the U.S, that means that your personal information may not be so personal, depending on what they keep. Sure, this is unlikely to actually happen, but it’s something to keep in mind, especially for the privacy-concerned.
One last thing about Identity Guard’s digital security— all of our family’s information was encrypted using 128-bit encryption, which is a bit less than the current industry standard of 256-bit. Sure, the company hasn’t had any data branches to date, but if privacy is a huge concern of yours, Identity Guard probably isn’t the best pick for your family.
Identity Guard On The Go
There’s nothing that makes us busier than our family. From dance recitals to soccer games, it seems like we’re always on the go when it comes to supporting family members. But even when we were freezing on the football bleachers, the Identity Guard Classic app made it easy to multitask. Now, note that if you signed up for Identity Guard with IBM® Watson™, you’ll use the Identity Guard app for iOS or Android, but we signed up when the Classic app was still an option.
In a nutshell, we used it to see exactly what was happening with our identities, from our credit scores and reports to any changes in our accounts, apps, public records, and more. It was nice to receive notifications only when there were changes detected; this meant that we didn’t have to constantly log into our account on Identity Guard’s website to get updates. Fortunately, we didn’t have to use the app much, but when we needed it, it was pretty convenient.
Identity Guard is a great option for families; it has comprehensive monitoring, affordable and flexible subscription options, and a decent mobile application. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for every family; if you’re more concerned with privacy, we recommend looking for a service with 256-bit encryption as opposed to 128-bit. For more options, check out our list of the best identity theft protection services, all tried and tested by our team of experts.
- Is Identity Guard any good?
Overall, we appreciate Identity Guard’s comprehensive features and there are low prices available on the lower-tier plans. However, those super concerned about privacy may want to find an identity monitoring service that’s not based in the United States and that doesn’t share information with third parties.
- Which is better, LifeLock or Identity Guard?
Overall, we’d recommend LifeLock over Identity Guard. LifeLock has a much better iOS app, as the LifeLock ID Theft Protection app has a 4.6 on the Apple store compared to a 2.2 from Identity Guard. Plans from both companies start at $8.99 per user per month.
- How much is Identity Guard per month?
Families will pay anywhere $14.99 and $24.99 a month or from $76 to $264 a year for Identity Guard.
- Where is Identity Guard located?
Identity Guard is located in the United States. That means that they’re under the jurisdiction of the three international surveillance alliances, Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes. If there’s reasonable cause, the company could be forced to hand over customer information.
- What does Identity Guard do?
Identity Guard monitors any changes to a user’s credit file as well as their checking and savings account. If changes are detected, Identity Guard will alert the user through email, SMS or the Identity Guard Classic app. There are also more cybersecurity features available like dark web monitoring and anti-phishing software.
Javelin. (2018). 2018 Child Identity Fraud Study.
Statista. (2019). Share of internet users who have used technologies that allow access to the dark web as of February 2019, by country.
Police Chief Magazine. (2020). The Digital Alleyway: Why the Dark Web Cannot Be Ignored. policechiefmagazine.org/the-digital-alleyway/