PrivacyGuard Identity Theft Protection
Starting at under $10 a month, PrivacyGuard works hard to protect your personal information.
- Monthly charges range from $9.99 to $24.99
- Monitoring for credit scores and reports, financial accounts, dark web and more
- Identity theft insurance with maximum reimbursement of $1 million
It’s no secret that identity theft can result in financial losses, as criminals steal people’s bank account information, credit card numbers and other personal information to obtain quick PayDay loans. So paying money to prevent identity theft may seem a little odd, but once you consider the potential losses if your identity is stolen, it makes all the more sense. Here, we’re discussing the costs associated with PrivacyGuard, which is one of our favorite services overall. The best part? It was pretty easy on our wallets, too.
While some other identity theft protection services made us commit to a year minimum, all of PrivacyGuard’s plans are monthly, starting at $9.99 with the Identity Protection plan. The Credit Protection plan, which includes monitoring from three credit bureaus, costs $19.99 a month, and to combine the two plans into the Total Protection plan cost us $24.99 a month, which is a slight discount considering the services we got.
|Identity Protection||Credit Protection||Total Protection|
|Monitoring of 3 Credit Bureaus||x||✓||✓|
|Credit Score Alert Frequency||x||✓||✓|
|24/7 Triple-Bureau Daily Credit Monitoring||x||✓||✓|
|Email and Text Alerts||✓||✓||✓|
|Dedicated ID Fraud Resolution Agent||✓||✓||✓|
|Public and Dark Web Scanning||✓||x||✓|
|Social Security Number Monitoring||✓||x||✓|
|Driver’s License and Passport Monitoring||✓||x||✓|
|Bank Account Monitoring||✓||x||✓|
|Debit and Credit Card Monitoring||✓||x||✓|
|USPS Address Change Verification||✓||x||✓|
|Email, Phone, Name, DOB Monitoring||✓||x||✓|
|ID/ Application Verification Monitoring||✓||x||✓|
|Public Records Monitoring||✓||x||✓|
|Children’s Social Security Number Monitoring||x||x||✓|
|Online Fraud Assistance||✓||x||✓|
|$1 Million ID Theft Insurance||✓||x||✓|
|Lost and Stolen Wallet Protection||✓||x||✓|
|Annual Public Records Report||✓||x||✓|
|Reduced Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers||x||x||✓|
|Registered Offender Locator||x||x||✓|
|Emergency Travel Assistance||x||x||✓|
|Medical Records Reimbursement||x||x||✓|
While $24.99 a month certainly isn’t the absolute lowest price we’ve seen from a similar service, it’s middle of the road, and considering the comprehensive coverage, very reasonable. However, if you’re looking to protect an entire family, PrivacyGuard may not make as much sense, as they only offer individual subscriptions, with no discounts if you buy more than one at once. Instead, look for a company that has subscriptions that cover two adults and up to 10 children; yes, they exist. Check out the best identity theft protection for families to learn more.
The PrivacyGuard App
Part of PrivacyGuard’s plans is its mobile app, called Digital Protection on the Apple store and Digital Protection by PrivacyGuard on the Google Play store. What does it do, exactly?
- Provides a secure browser
- Guards against phishing attacks
- Ensures that nothing is sent to the cloud
- Protects personally identifiable information from malware.
Now, another option instead of using PrivacyGuard’s app is to get a VPN, which totally encrypts web traffic as opposed to preventing phishing and malware. We recommend this over using PrivacyGuard’s app, which isn’t the most user-friendly, as evidenced by its 2.6 rating on the Apple store as well as our own experience testing it out in our PrivacyGuard review. While we didn’t test out the Android version, there were only two reviews on the Google Play store, both negative, which didn’t speak highly. Unfortunately, when it comes to a great mobile app, PrivacyGuard didn’t quite hit the mark. If you’re concerned about hiding your IP address and web activity, check out our list of the best VPNs.
Why It’s Worth It
Is PrivacyGuard worth their prices? We say yes, and here’s why:
- Monitoring from all three bureaus: With the Credit Protection and Total Protection plans, you’ll get credit scores from all three major credit bureaus in the U.S, Experian, Transunion and Equifax.
- $1 million reimbursement maximum: This is the industry standard for the maximum reimbursement of our identity theft insurance, available under the Total and Identity Protection plans only.
- Try for $1: Sure, we would’ve preferred a free trial, but the fact that PrivacyGuard let us try out their service for two weeks for only a dollar didn’t make us mad, either.
- Reasonable prices: Starting at only $9.99 a month, PrivacyGuard is middle of the road when it comes to pricing.
- Comprehensive financial and criminal monitoring: The Total Protection plan monitored all of the areas we look for, from our bank accounts to our Social Security numbers and a ton more.
How You Can Pay For PrivacyGuard
We paid for PrivacyGuard with a regular old Visa, but if you don’t have one, here are all your options:
- American Express.
Now, some other identity theft protection services offer some alternative forms of payment, everything from Paypal to cryptocurrency. We are a bit disappointed that PrivacyGuard sticks to the major credit cards, as that required us to share our bank account information with them directly. However, at least PrivacyGuard encrypts the information with SSL,1 a Secure Socket Layer often used by online retailers.
Is There A Free Trial?
Want to try out PrivacyGuard for free? Keep dreaming. Currently, PrivacyGuard doesn’t offer a free trial. However, we could try their service for 14 days and only get charged a dollar, which is pretty close to free. Just make sure you cancel within that time period to avoid getting charged for the whole month!
FYI: If you sign up for PrivacyGuard and cancel within 14 days, you’ll only be charged a dollar, making it a virtually risk-free transaction.
How To Cancel
There are a few different ways to cancel PrivacyGuard, including:
- Account: Simply log into your account and click cancel like we did. This is by far the most straightforward option, and it doesn’t require any postage, either.
- Email: The second easiest way, in our humble opinion, is to email their support staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Letter: If you’re more of an old-fashioned type of person, you can write PrivacyGuard a letter requesting cancellation using the mailing address PrivacyGuard, P.O Box 41249, Nashville, Tennessee 37024-1249.
- Phone: Finally, you can call PrivacyGuard to cancel by dialing 1-800-374-8273.
Since all of their plans are monthly, cancelling didn’t incur us any fees, and we had the rest of the month to enjoy their service before it was stopped.
PrivacyGuard is owned by a company called Trilegiant Corporation,2 based in Stamford, Connecticut. Along with PrivacyGuard, Trilegiant also owns and operates other membership-based services spanning multiple industries, from entertainment to shopping to consumer protection. Founded in 1991,3 Trilegiant has over 100 million members across all of its services, which include brands like AutoVantage, Shoppers Advantage and the National Card Registry.
Note: Since PrivacyGuard’s parent company Trilegiant Corporation is based in the U.S, the company could be forced to hand over customer information under the jurisdiction of Five Eyes, Nien Eyes and 14 Eyes, surveillance alliances. However, nearly all of the services we’ve tested are also based out of the U.S, so this is hard to avoid when looking for identity theft protection services.
When we dug a little deeper intro Trilegiant, we found some pretty interesting stuff. In 2009, the company got in trouble for some deceptive business practices, namely billing customers for memberships that they never signed up for and refusing to let people cancel. As a result of this class action lawsuit, Trilegiant had to pay up to $25 million to people across the nation who were wrongly billed.4 Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time that PrivacyGuard faced legal trouble; in 2006, they settled in another class-action lawsuit for the same crimes. However, the settlement may have been a good thing for the company; they were forced to make cancelling easy, which we think they’ve achieved.
Keep in mind that it’s been about 11 years since the last class-action lawsuit, so we think PrivacyGuard has changed their ways. One thing that certainly made us feel better was their page from the Better Business Bureau;5 despite their multiple class-action lawsuits, the company has zero customer complaints in their 12 years on the site. But we understand if their litigious past is a dealbreaker. If that’s the case, check out the other services we liked on our list of the best identity theft protection.
Overall, we’re really pleased with PrivacyGuard and think it’s worth the price, no matter what plan you choose. From $9.99 to $24.99 a month, PrivacyGuard gave us the monitoring we needed without breaking the bank. And while they can’t completely prevent identity theft, the same as any other service, that $1 million reimbursement maximum if our identities were stolen gave us total peace of mind.
- How much does PrivacyGuard cost?
PrivacyGuard costs either $9.99, $19.99 or $24.99 a month, depending on whether you choose the respective Identity Protection, Credit Protection or Total Protection plans. There are no annual subscriptions available. If you want to try out PrivacyGuard, you can use it for 14 days and only pay $1, but there’s no free trial period available.
- How do I cancel PrivacyGuard?
To cancel PrivacyGuard, either call the company at 1-800-374-8273, write them at PrivacyGuard, P.O Box 41249, Nashville, Tennessee 37024-1249, email them at email@example.com or log into your account and click on the button that says cancel, probably the easiest option.
- Does PrivacyGuard have an app?
PrivacyGuard does have an app, called the Digital Protection app for iOS and the Digital Protection by PrivacyGuard app for Android devices. Unfortunately, the app has really low ratings, only a 2.6 from the Apple store; there were only two reviews on the Google Play store, and both of them were negative, although there’s not a publicly available rating.
- What plans does PrivacyGuard have?
PrivacyGuard offers three plans in total: the Identity Protection plan, the Credit Protection plan, and the Total Protection plan, which combines the two for the most comprehensive coverage.
- What is PrivacyGuard?
PrivacyGuard is an identity theft protection service based in Stamford, Connecticut. They are owned by the Trilegiant Corporation, which owns several consumer protection, entertainment, travel and shopping membership services.
SSL. (2020). What is SSL?
Trilegiant Corporation. (2020). Homepage.
Crunchbase. (2020). PrivacyGuard. crunchbase.com/organization/privacyguard
Cleveland19. (2009). Consumer Alert: Class Action Lawsuit Against Trilegiant Corporation.
Better Business Bureau. (2020). Trilegiant Corporation / Affinion Group.