Identity Guard Review

Sophisticated identity theft protection featuring IBM® Watson™ artificial intelligence

By
&
Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Sep 8, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Sep 8, 2021
Identity Guard Logo Header
9.5
/10
Editor's Rating
Credit monitoring, financial monitoring, a dark web scan, criminal monitoring; these are just some of the areas that Identity Guard monitors. Starting at just $8.99 a month, you can't find prices much lower than Identity Guard.
View Packages see rating breakdown
Call Identity Guard® : 877-719-0299
Page Contents

Eager to determine whether Identity Guard was a trustworthy identity monitoring solution, we took a deep dive into every aspect of the service, including subscription options, pricing, security, user experience, customer support, and their mobile application.

First, we compiled a brief overview of what Identity Guard offered:

  • Individual plans for personal use ranging from $8.99 to $24.99 per month
  • Identity theft insurance** with a maximum reimbursement of $1 million
  • Monitored three credit bureaus (with Total or Ultra plans)

Identity Guard

Editor's Rating
Overall Rating
9.5
  • Identity theft protection powered by IBM® Watson™ AI
  • Impressive $1 million in identity theft insurance
  • Multiple service levels, from basic to advanced

Video Review

Gabe Turner, our Chief Editor, tested out Identity Guard on our Youtube channel. Watch below to see the app in action.

Features

Next, we looked at each way Identity Guard helped protect users from identity theft.

Identity Guard - Web Dashboard
Identity Guard – Web Dashboard

Credit Monitoring

Primarily, Identity Guard monitored our credit to protect our identities. With the top-tier plans, they monitored credit from all three reporting agencies, namely Experian®, TransUnion®, and Equifax®. As Ultra plan subscribers, we received monthly credit score* updates.

Financial Monitoring

Aside from credit changes, scores and reports, Identity Guard also monitored our finances. From our 401(k) and investment accounts to high-risk transactions, debit and credit cards, Identity Guard had a close watch on them all. Any bank account takeovers or requests to open checking or savings accounts with our information was promptly sent our way. We were even notified whenever our address was detected on any financial forms!

Extra Features

Finally, we were pumped to test out Identity Guard’s cybersecurity features like their safe browsing tools, dark web scan, and anti-phishing mobile application. Read on to find out more about what each one entailed.

  • Dark web scan: The dark web, an area of the Internet where all users are anonymous, is a hotbed of cybercrime. As part of our membership, Identity Guard sent us alerts if our credentials were found on the dark web. The one time this occurred, Identity Guard explained the situation plainly and prompted us to change our passwords.
  • Criminal and sex offense monitoring: If the system found our names on a sex offender registry or police report, we would have been notified as soon as Identity Guard detected it.
  • USPS address change monitoring: We appreciated that Identity Guard made sure our mail wasn’t being redirected to anyone else. In fact, their team would have notified us if someone even attempted to make that happen.
  • Home title monitoring: If someone opened a home title in our names, Identity Guard let us know immediately.
  • Risk management report: Identity Guard produced a report that showed us how at risk we were for identity fraud.
Identity Guard Risk Management Score
Identity Guard Risk Management Score. Screenshot from the website.
  • Safe browsing tools: Identity Guard even had a browser extension that helped protect our privacy online, fighting against phishing attacks, blocking ads, flash, trackers, and mining.
  • Anti-phishing mobile app: Aside from the Identity Guard Classic app, the company also offered us the Anti Phishing by Identity Guard mobile app, which detected and blocked phishing websites on Chrome, Dolphin, and Samsung Internet.
  • Social insight report: Using artificial intelligence from IBM® Watson™, the social insight report analyzed our Facebook account to assess our “online image” and even suggested improvements.

We regularly received communication from Identity Guard via SMS, app, and email alerts. If our identities were stolen, we were eligible to receive up to $1 million in reimbursement, the industry standard for identity theft insurance.

Identity Guard Identity Theft Protection Features

Price per month $8.99 – $24.99
Credit score monitoring Yes
Sex offender registry monitoring Yes
Risk management report Yes
Identity theft insurance reimbursement maximum Up to $1 million
Live chat customer support No
Customer information shared with third parties? Yes

Privacy and Security

Since Identity Guard was based in the United States, the company was subject to Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes, the international surveillance alliances. This meant that, under certain circumstances, we could be legally forced to hand over customer data, which made us uncomfortable enough to check out Identity Guard’s privacy policy. We wanted to see what customer data they keep.

Personal Data Encryption

We learned that Identity Guard offered information to third parties or free services, although it wasn’t used for advertising or marketing purposes. Of course, it was up to us how much information we wanted to input into the Identity Guard app, but the more information we gave, the more the services could monitor (and also share with third parties, potentially), so it was a bit of a double-edged sword. At a minimum, this included our usernames, passwords, birthdays, Social Security numbers, and payment information.

Fortunately, their customer data was encrypted, but it was only encrypted with 128-bit encryption, and the industry standard is 256-bit. While the company hadn’t experienced any data breaches so far, it was clearly not the best choice for those of us who were extremely concerned about privacy.

If you fall into that category, consider upgrading to a service with 256-bit encryption like Experian IdentityWorks. As detailed in our Experian IdentityWorks review, higher encryption means the software is better equipped to safeguard your most sensitive information.

User Experience

On a more positive note, setting up and using Identity Guard was very easy. After we filled in our information and paid, we viewed our alerts in the Identity Guard Dashboard and verified our identity in two ways: we answered a few multiple-choice questions and a couple of threat questions.

Filling out Identity Guard Information
Filling out Identity Guard Information. Screenshot from website.

The more information we gave Identity Guard, the more data they could spit back at us, especially for the AI-powered features like the social insight and risk management reports.

Identity Guard Threat Questions
Identity Guard Threat Questions. Screenshot from website.

Once we’d input all our information, it was easy to navigate between the Dashboard, the alerts, and Watchlist, plus, our credit reports and scores*.

How Much Does Identity Guard Cost?

For individual plans, Identity Guard costs either $7.50, $16.67, or $25 a month if you sign up for a year. For families, those prices rise up to $12.50, $25, or $33.33 a month with annual plans. However, if you sign up on a month-to-month basis, the cost is either $8.99, $19.99, or $29.99 for an individual, or $14.99, $29.99, or $39.99 for families.

Feature Value Total Ultra
401k and Investment Account Monitoring No No Yes
Annual Credit Report from 3 Bureaus No No Yes
Bank Account Monitoring No Yes Yes
Credit and Debit Card Monitoring No No Yes
Credit Monitoring from 3 Bureaus No Yes Yes
Criminal and Sex Offense Monitoring No No Yes
Customer Support Based in U.S Yes Yes Yes
Dark Web Monitoring Yes Yes Yes
Data Breach Notifications Yes Yes Yes
High Risk Transaction Monitoring Yes Yes Yes
Home Title Monitoring No No Yes
Identity Theft Insurance with $1 Million Maximum Reimbursement Yes Yes Yes
Monthly Credit Score from 1 Bureau No Yes Yes
Risk Management Report Yes Yes Yes
Safe Browsing Tool Yes Yes Yes
Social Media Insights Report No No Yes
USPS Address Change Monitoring No No Yes
White Glove Resolution Concierge No No Yes
Cost for individual monthly plan $8.99 $19.99 $29.99
Monthly cost for individual annual plan $7.50 $16.67 $25.00
Total amount billed for individual annual plan $90.00 $200.04 $300.00
Cost for monthly family plan $14.99 $29.99 $39.99
Monthly cost for family annual plan $12.50 $25.00 $33.00
Total amount billed for family annual plan $150.00 $300.00 $396.00

Identity Guard had options for business and personal use and within those two categories, individuals and groups. Regardless of which subscription plan we selected, we got to choose from annual or monthly contracts. Identity Guard started at just $7.50 per month for one person or $14.99 per month for the entire family. We had no trouble finding an Identity Guard plan that worked for us. Identity Guard has a plan for spouses as well, a rarity in the identity monitoring industry.

Identity Guard had three personal options: Value, Total, and Ultra. Clearly, the Ultra plan provided the most coverage whether through the individual plan or the Identity Guard family plan, although it was a bit pricey at either $25 per month or $300 per year for an individual. We signed up for a year because we knew we were testing the service, and it included a 17 percent discount. All plans included a $1 million reimbursement maximum for identity theft, but only the Total and Ultra plans monitored credit scores and reports from all three credit-reporting bureaus.

Unfortunately, Identity Guard doesn’t offer a free trial. However, they do provide a 30-day money-back guarantee, which can work as a trial. Try the software out, and if you aren’t satisfied within those 30 days get your money back. It’s a sort of DIY free trial for Identity Guard.

We were satisfied with Identity Guard’s 30-day guarantee as a substitute for a free trial. If you’d rather go the try-before-you-buy route, our IdentityIQ review and our LifeLock review both are good places to start.

Business

Essentials Total Protection
Social Security Number Monitoring Yes Yes
Online “Black Market” Monitoring Yes Yes
ID Verification Alerts Yes Yes
Account Takeover Alerts Yes Yes
Identity Theft Victim Assistance Yes Yes
Lost Wallet Protection Yes Yes
$1 Million Identity Theft Insurance Yes Yes
ID Vault Password Protection Yes Yes
Address Change Monitoring No Yes
3 Bureau Credit Monitoring No Yes
Credit Report Updates from all 3 Bureaus No Yes
Credit Scores from all 3 Bureaus No Yes
Quarterly Credit Score Updated No Yes
3-Bureau Credit Analyzer No Yes
Account Access via Mobile App No Yes
Public Record Monitoring No Yes
PC Keyboard Encryption Software No Yes
PC Antivirus Software No Yes
Individual Annual Price Per Code $36 $120
Team Annual Price Per Code $76 $264

Identity Guard offered both individual and group business plans with even more cybersecurity features like keyboard encryption software, antivirus software, and more. In contrast to other identity protection tools, Identity Guard’s pricing was based per code rather than per user.

Customer Support

Identity Guard’s customer support was less than stellar. We called their phone line, which was open weekdays from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. and Saturday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., EST. While we found a section of frequently asked questions on the Identity Guard website, online support was pretty minimal. The lack of a live chat option was another issue we found disappointing.

While the absence of a live chat window wasn’t a dealbreaker for us, the majority of identity theft services have jumped on the live chat bandwagon. If you’re looking for a more robust customer service experience, read our review of IdentityForce.

The Identity Guard Classic App

We used the Identity Guard Classic app to receive user alerts, access our credit information, and check out the latest news on identity theft incidents.

The Identity Guard Classic App
The Identity Guard Classic App. Screenshot from Google Play store.

Unfortunately, the app had a really low rating from iOS users, only a 2.2 out of five stars.

One user wrote in a recent one-star review,

“App is overly simplistic with little to no details. I have three credit tracking services and Identity Guard missed everything that affected my credit score. I opened new accounts, no alerts.”

Android users felt a bit differently, giving the app a 4.5 rating on the Google Play store.

Identity Guard IBM® Watson™ users should do their own research about the apps iOS and Android apps that work with that version. We only tested out the Classic version.

For what it’s worth, the Identity Guard Classic app was still more intuitive than the app experience we noted in our IdentityForce review. While still an excellent choice for identity theft protection, IdentityForce’s app just wasn’t up to par in terms of navigation and user experience. If you’d prefer desktop access over mobile, check out ID Watchdog. In our review of ID Watchdog, we noted the absence of a companion app for mobile access, but the company’s impressive identity restoration assistance pretty much made up for it.

Recap

Overall, we appreciated Identity Guard’s comprehensive features and low prices on the lower-tiered plans. However, we still felt that anyone super concerned about privacy might want to find an identity monitoring service that does not share information with third parties.

Identity Guard’s identity theft insurance** had a maximum reimbursement of $1 million.

** Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group‚ Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms‚ conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms‚ conditions‚ and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.

* The score you receive with Identity Guard is provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. It is calculated using the information contained in your TransUnion credit file. Lenders use many different credit scoring systems, and the score you receive with Identity Guard is not the same score used by lenders to evaluate your credit.

Identity Guard® FAQs

  • Is Identity Guard any good?

    Overall, we appreciate Identity Guard’s comprehensive features and low prices. However, we have some privacy concerns as a result of the service sharing user information with third parties.

  • Which is better, LifeLock or Identity Guard?

    We recommend LifeLock over Identity Guard. While plans with both companies start at $8.99 per user per month, LifeLock’s iOS app is rated higher. Users give it a 4.6 in the Apple Store, which is much higher than the 2.2 Identity Guard has.

  • What does Identity Guard do?

    Identity Guard monitors changes in our credit file as well as our checking and savings accounts. If changes are detected, Identity Guard alerts us through email, SMS, or the Identity Guard Classic app. There are also more cybersecurity features available, like dark web monitoring and anti-phishing software.

  • How much does Identity Guard cost?

    Identity Guard costs:

    Value Total Ultra
    Cost for individual with month-to-month plan $8.99 $19.99 $29.99
    Monthly cost for individual annual plan $7.50 $16.67 $25.00
    Total amount billed for individual annual plan $90.00 $200.04 $300.00
    Cost for family with month-to-month plan $14.99 $29.99 $39.99
    Monthly cost for family annual plan $12.50 $25.00 $33.00
    Total amount billed for family annual plan $150.00 $300.00 $396.00
  • Which identity protection tool is best?

    In our opinion, PrivacyGuard provides the best identity theft protection. They have extremely comprehensive credit and identity monitoring, affordable pricing starting at $9.99 per month, and flexible contracts.

  • 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.