With three different packages available providing different levels of credit monitoring and identity theft protection, Identity Guard is one of the best credit report monitoring services to fit most people’s needs. The price is reasonable, and it’s one of the few services that provides all three FICO scores and access to all three credit reports.
Identity Guard offers an option to receive all three credit reports from all three bureaus, plus all three FICO scores quarterly. Combined with daily monitoring of changes to your credit reports, delivered by text, phone or email, this should offer all the credit monitoring most people need.
The Identity Guard Total Protection package — the full-scale identity theft protection service — was ranked number one by PC World and incorporates ZoneAlarm security software to protect your data. The rationale is that most people’s most personal financial and identity-related information is available on their PC or through the Internet. To be truly protected in today’s high tech world, your computer and Internet activity must be secure.
Identity Guard Total Protection provides anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-keylogging software, as well as the exclusive ID Vault software, which encrypts and stores usernames, passwords and credit card information, then logs you into your personal accounts automatically for added safety against keylogging.
In addition, Identity Guard monitors the Internet, including chat rooms and social media sites, and public records for activity that could indicate attempts at identity theft. According to the company website, this benefit sets Identity Guard apart from its competitors.
How the Service Works:
The key to Identity Guard’s ease-of-use and accessibility is 24/7 Internet access to your account through your Identity Dashboard. This website displays your current credit score right on your home page, as well as providing access to your credit history — you can see where you’ve been in order to track your progress and set your goals for the future. The message center gives you daily monitoring alerts so you’ll find out about any problems fast.
The Identity Dashboard also makes it easy to upgrade your service and to navigate the different features available, whether you purchase the basic “Watchful Eye” service, the Extra Caution package, or the full-featured Total Protection.
When you enroll in the program, you’ll receive a two-week trial period free. You will need to provide your credit card information even for the free trial. The disclaimer that you must cancel before the trial period ends or you will be charged for monthly enrollment is written in a large font, in a box on the side of the sign-up page.
For $9.99/month with the “Watchful Eye” service, you’ll get credit bureau monitoring of all three credit reports and internet surveillance, which lets you know if your social security number, bank account information or credit card information has been used online. You’ll get daily credit monitoring reports. You also get $2,500 in identity theft insurance.
Upgrade to the “Extra Caution” package for $14.99/month and you’ll also receive credit bureau monitoring for all three bureaus, your three FICO scores, and access to all three credit reports three times a year. This is the most popular package, since it provides access to all three scores and reports, which can vary widely. You’re covered with up to $1 million in identity theft insurance (except in New York).
For $17.99 a month, you get the deluxe Total Protection package, which includes a host of added benefits, including the ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite firewall and virus protection software.
The greatest benefits are available with the Total Protection package. In addition to daily monitoring of your identity and credit, ZoneAlarm software, plus quarterly credit scores and reports, this package provides:
ID Vault personal password protector
Daily monitoring of your identity and credit, with alerts delivered by phone, email or text
Quarterly credit reports and scores
MOBILE LOCKBOX® for secure storage and access to your personal and financial records via your SmartPhone or PC
Encrypts your online connection
Lost Wallet Protection
Access to ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center
Unlimited toll-free customer service with access to credit education specialists
IDENTITY GUARD® $1 million loss reimbursement (except in NY)
The Bottom Line:
All three credit reports and scores (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax)
Access to service via your computer or SmartPhone
2-week trial period
Computer security protection at a low monthly rate
Can cancel any time
$1 million identity theft insurance
Must cancel two-week trial membership before the trial period ends or you will be charged the monthly fee
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