Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) releases a list of the most common issues that plague taxpayers called the Dirty Dozen. This year, identity theft is the number one problem for American citizens for the second year in a row. This ranking is due to the fact that identity theft is continuously on the rise at an alarming rate. The best way to protect yourself is by subscribing to an identity protection service.
Identity Guard was founded nearly two decades ago by one of the most reliable companies for identity theft, Intersections, Inc. Identity Guard been ranked as “Best in Class” for several years in a row by Javelin Strategy & Research. Identity Guard has several service tiers available, but here is an in-depth review of Identity Guard Essentials to help you determine if it’s worth $9.99 per month.
- Complete Protection: Identity Guard Essentials offers total protection for your social security number, full public record, driver’s license, and more. Unique to Identity Guard, vehicle registration is also monitored, ensuring your information is safe even through your car.
- Bank Account Application Alerts: You need to know if someone has applied for a bank account in your name. Thankfully, Identity Guard Essentials lets you know immediately if a criminal attempts to do just this so that you can act quickly.
- Family Pans and kID Sure: If protecting your family is important, you can upgrade and receive total family protection rather than purchasing plans separately. Plans are as low as $26.99, and some even cover your children with Identity Guard’s kID Sure package.
- Emergency Cash: Identity Guard is one of the only companies to give you emergency cash in the event that your wallet is stolen. If you need money, you can receive up to $2,000 from your account to cover expenses until you get replacement cards.
- Protection from Mass Breaches: It seems like every day we hear about a big company that experienced a data breach. Identity Guard protects its consumers from mass data breaches so you can rest easy at night, knowing that no matter what happens, your information is safe.
Identity Guard focuses on providing complete and total protection for each of its clients, ensuring that your information is safe no matter what happens in life. The family plan is perfect for someone looking to insure their entire family, particularly as it can be cheaper than purchasing every plan separately. Finally, assistance with mass data breaches is crucial for any identity protection service, since millions of people are victims of this type of fraud.
- No Credit Monitoring: One of the first signs that a criminal has gotten access to your information is a drop in your credit score. Since Identity Guard Essentials doesn’t offer any credit monitoring, you may only find out about a theft after charges have occurred.
- No Mail List Removal: Pre-approved credit card offers are annoying, but did you know they are also dangerous? Thieves can fill out these applications and mail them in to get cards in your name. The lack of mail list removal with Identity Guard Essentials puts clients in danger of theft.
- No 24/7 Support: If you suspect your identity or wallet has been stolen, you don’t want to wait until the morning to call for assistance. Unfortunately, you’ll have to do just that with Identity Guard as the company offers no live support outside of regular business hours.
- No Mobile App: Due to the lack of 24/7 support, Identity Guard suggests customers go online or use the mobile app to make claims. Unfortunately, the mobile app is only available with the middle- and top-tier packages.
- Not Compatible with Mac: Identity Guard offers protection for all PC users, but there is currently no protection for Mac users. If you own a Mac, you’ll have to do without or purchase an outside plan to protect your computer.
It’s possible to look past the fact that Identity Guard doesn’t offer any credit monitoring. After all, if something happens to your identity, your social security number is usually the target. Additionally, you can remove yourself from mailing lists manually using OptOutPrescreen. However, it is difficult to accept the fact that Identity Guard doesn’t offer 24/7 live assistance and Essential customers have no access to the mobile app.
The biggest issue with Identity Guard is the lack of 24/7 support. If a customer has their wallet stolen at 2 AM, they will need assistance immediately to cancel all of their cards. With that being said, the other issues with Identity Guard aren’t deal breakers. You can opt out of mail lists yourself using OptOutPrescreen, and all customers have access to the website, which is available 24/7. There are also free programs you can download on your Mac to compensate for the lack of PC protection.
The good features that Identity Guard offers outweigh the bad easily, especially for only $9.99 per month. Not only do you receive total protection, including monitoring your social security number and vehicle registration, you can also get assistance if you identity was exposed due to a mass breach. Plus, if you have a family (or decide to start one) you can protect everyone under the same plan.
Overall, Identity Guard offers a lot of services for a low price. For less than $10 per month, you can guarantee you won’t be the next victim of a criminal looking for a quick paycheck.