In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission received 490,000 identity theft complaints, which was a 47% increase since 2014. Identity theft is becoming an increasingly larger problem as the years progress. You may be questioning what you can do to protect yourself from these criminals. There are companies, such as Identity Guard, that can help protect your identity by paying a monthly subscription.
Intersections, Inc., one of the most reliable companies for identity theft, established Identity Guard nearly two decades ago. Since this time, Identity Guard has been ranked as “Best In Class Overall” and “Best in Prevention” by Javelin Strategy & Research for several years in a row. There are different plans available for purchase through Identity Guard, but here is an in-depth detail of their mid-tier plan, Total Protection, to determine if it’s a good deal.
- Total Credit Monitoring: Identity Guard offers complete and total credit monitoring services for each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. Total Protection also allows you access to your credit report and scores from each of the bureaus every quarter.
- Emergency Funds: If your wallet is misplaced or stolen, you may find yourself without money to pay bills, purchase necessities, or even get fuel until you get your cards replaced. Identity Guard is the only company that provides you with $2,000 in emergency cash from your account to you.
- ID Vault: If a criminal discovers your password or log-in information, your identity is in danger. Identity Guard Total Protection provides an ID Vault that will protect your passwords from criminals. Plus, you’ll have one-click access to your online shopping, bank, and other accounts.
- PC Protection: Few identity protection companies offer full protection for your computer as well as your personal information. This feature can be incredibly important, especially since malicious software can steal your social security number and bank account information. Identity Guard provides keystroke encryption and antivirus software.
- Family Plan: Another great feature about Identity Guard is that you can get Total Protection services for your whole family. Whether you need to cover two adults, one adult and a child, or two adults plus children, there is a plan for every size of your family.
Identity Guard Total Protection provides comprehensive security for your social security number, banking information, public records, and more for just $19.99 per month. With this plan, you’ll also have total credit monitoring with all three credit bureaus, which is essential to stopping a criminal in their tracks. Your computer, a primary target for criminals, is also protected with this plan due to the keyboard encryption, antivirus software, and Identity Guard’s signature ID Vault. If you need to insure your family, you can also do this starting at $26.99 per month. There’s no doubt that Identity Guard’s goal is to provide complete and total protection for their clients.
- No 24/7 Support: One of the biggest drawbacks to Identity Guard Total Protection is the lack of 24/7 support. No one wants to wait until the morning to call and inform their protection service that their identity was compromised.
- No Credit Inquiry Alerts: When you apply for a new credit card, bank account, or utility, companies check your credit. Credit inquiry alerts are the best way to stop a criminal before they have the ability to spend money in your name.
- No Mail List Removal: One of the easiest ways for a criminal to steal your identity is through credit card offers that we often toss in the trash or recycling bin. A thief can retrieve these offers, fill them out, and send them in to get a card in your name. Identity Guard doesn’t offer any mail list removal for any of its plans.
- On the Pricey Side: The price of Identity Guard Total Protection is $19.99, which is a little on the pricey side when compared to the monthly subscription of other companies. With that being said, Identity Guard offers more for the price, as well.
Identity Guard is overall a really great company, but Total Protection has a few drawbacks. The biggest of which is the lack of 24/7 support. Having adequate support is one of the most important things any company can offer their customers. Credit inquiry alerts are also essential to prevent an identity thief from creating accounts in your name. While the lack of mail list removal is inconvenient, it’s possible for someone to remove themselves from these lists using OptOutPrescreen.
Identity Guard clearly provides comprehensive coverage for everyone that needs to protect their identity. A great benefit of Identity Guard are the family packages offered to people. Insuring two adults, one adult and a child, or two adults and children is incredibly easy. Plus, Total Protection provides security for your computer, passwords, and credit history.
Of course, there are bad aspects to this plan. For one, there is no 24/7 support. Customers can use the website, mobile app, or email, but are unable to contact anyone by phone outside of business hours. The lack of credit inquiry alerts isn’t that big of a deal considering you’ll receive quarterly credit history reports. As for the plan being too pricey, $19.99 isn’t much, especially when you consider the price of having your identity stolen. Other companies do have cheaper plans, but the price versus features isn't as great as Identity Guard. Overall, Identity Guard Total Protection is a great deal for anyone looking for a credit protection service.
If the plan sounds great, you can even try it out for $5 for the first 30 days. Identity Guard gives you the chance to give Total Protection a chance and if you don’t like it, you can cancel it without any questions.