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Identity Guard Review – Is This ID Theft Protection Service Right For You?


FEATURED PROMOTION

Pros

  • thumbs-upSophisticated threat monitoring
  • thumbs-upFast notifications
  • thumbs-upAffordable pricing

Cons

  • thumbs-downUnimpressive mobile app
  • thumbs-downSo-so customer support
  • thumbs-downNo free trial

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Fifteen years ago, my husband was the victim of identity theft. A thief using his name stole $12,000 from our bank account, and it took us hours of work over several months to clear it up. And we got off easy compared to some victims. A serious case of identity theft can damage your credit, destroy your good name, and even get you arrested.

Aura’s Identity Guard service can help protect you against these perils. This identity theft protection service tracks your personal data online and alerts you to security threats. 

By catching identity theft early, Identity Guard helps prevent the thieves from causing too much harm. And its identity restoration tools help you repair any damage they’ve caused already. To figure out whether this service is right for you, take a closer look at its features.

Key Features of Identity Guard

Many of Identity Guard’s capabilities are similar to those of other credit monitoring services. However, it has some unique features that enable it to do the same things better and faster.  

Identity Monitoring

Identity Guard’s key feature is its identity monitoring. The software scans online articles and social media sites each day looking for the threats to your online identity. 

With the higher-tier Total and Ultra Plans, Identity Guard also provides credit monitoring. It checks your credit file regularly for suspicious activity, such as new accounts in your name.

Dark Web Monitoring

Identity Guard’s tireless monitoring of your personal info isn’t limited to public websites. It also checks the dark web, where hackers often sell personal information gleaned through data breaches. 

The service searches the dark web for your name, Social Security number, and driver’s license number. If it finds any of them, it sends you a warning.

Risk Notifications

All identity theft protection services warn you of suspicious activity. That lets you act right away to stop identity fraud — for instance, by changing your account passwords. But Identity Guard is noted for the speed of its alerts.

All warnings show up in your Identity Guard dashboard. You can access this dashboard on the web or the Identity Guard mobile app for iOS and Android. Your dashboard also includes a risk management score to show the overall level of danger to your identity. 

In addition, you receive near-real-time notifications of dangers through the mobile app. It alerts you to data breaches, changes in your accounts, and personal info found on the dark web.

Identity Restoration

If you have already been a victim of identity theft, Identity Guard helps you control the damage. The service assigns you a dedicated case manager based in the U.S. They help you pull your credit report, check your credit score, and alert the credit bureaus. And the service provides $1 million in identity theft insurance to restore your financial losses.

Identity Guard also provides a lost wallet service. If your wallet is lost or stolen, customer care walks you through the process of canceling your credit and debit cards to prevent theft. 

Safe Browsing Tool

Finally, Identity Guard offers safe browsing tools to help stop identity theft before it happens. Its browser extension protects your privacy online, blocking ads, trackers, data mining, and phishing attacks.


Identity Guard Plans & Pricing

Identity Guard offers three tiers of identity theft service. Each of these tiers includes both an individual plan and a pricier family plan. You can pay for any level of service by the month or save 17% by paying for a year in advance.

Even Identity Guard’s basic plan provides access to several key features, such as dark web monitoring. However, you must pay for a higher service tier to unlock all its features.

Value Plan

The lowest-cost Value Plan costs $8.99 per month or $90 per year for individuals. For families, it’s $14.99 per month or $150 per year. This service provides basic identity protection features, including:

  • Data breach notifications
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Risk management report and score
  • Alerts about high-risk transactions
  • Alerts to personal threats detected by Watson
  • Identity theft insurance
  • Safe browsing tools 
  • A U.S.-based customer care team

Total Plan

Individuals can upgrade to the mid-tier Total Plan for $19.99 per month or $200 per year. The family version of this plan costs $29.99 monthly or $300 per year. 

The Total Plan provides the same features as the Value Plan plus bank account monitoring and three-bureau credit monitoring. It provides monthly access to your credit score from either Experian or TransUnion.

Ultra Plan

Identity Guard’s highest level of service is the Ultra Plan. It costs $29.99 per month or $300 per year for individuals, $39.99 per month or $400 per year for families. It provides all the same features as Total, plus:

  • Additional Monitoring. Ultra monitors your credit and debit cards and your 401(k) and investment accounts. It provides address change monitoring and home title monitoring and looks for your name in criminal and sex offense records. It even checks your social media accounts and provides a social insights report to improve your online image.
  • White-Glove Fraud Resolution. With the Ultra Plan, you get more than basic help dealing with identity fraud. A personal concierge handles the process of cleaning up the mess and restoring your identity.
  • Annual Credit Report. This tier provides yearly access to your credit report from all three credit bureaus. That’s in addition to the free annual credit report you can request from each credit bureau on your own.

Advantages of Identity Guard

Based on our analysis, Identity Guard appears to stand out from its competitors in several ways. Its biggest perks are:

  • Affordable Pricing. Identity Guard charges less for both basic and top-tier protection than most services. Its basic plan is a particularly good value at as little as $7.50 per month.
  • Ease of Use. The Identity Guard dashboard lists all threats to your identity in one place. Clicking on any of them shows you what the danger is and the recommended action. And with the higher-tier plans, you can view your credit score or initiate a security freeze right from the dashboard.
  • Sophisticated Threat Monitoring. The software scans numerous information sources daily, including news articles and social media posts. It also performs dark web monitoring, a feature some cheaper services don’t provide.
  • Fast Notifications. There’s no such thing as true real-time notifications. However, Identity Guard’s alerts are about as fast as a service can get.
  • Million-Dollar Protection. With Identity Guard, even Value Plan users get $1M identity theft insurance coverage. Some competing services provide half this amount or even less.

Disadvantages of Identity Guard

Despite its many perks, Identity Guard’s service isn’t perfect. Its downsides include:

  • Limited Access to Credit Reports. Only the top-tier Ultra Plan provides a copy of your credit report. And even that plan only gives you one report per year.
  • Weaker Encryption. Like all services, Identity Guard protects your personal data by encrypting it. However, it only uses 128-bit AES encryption rather than the stronger 256-bit AES that’s the industry standard.
  • So-So Customer Support. Reaching this company’s customer support isn’t always easy. There’s no live chat, and phone support isn’t available overnight or on Sundays. 
  • Unimpressive Mobile App. Reviewers in the Apple and Google Play stores aren’t terribly impressed with the Identity Guard Classic app. One Apple reviewer who uses three credit tracking services said Identity Guard missed threats the others caught.
  • No Free Trial. Unlike some credit monitoring services, Identity Guard doesn’t offer a free trial period.

How Identity Guard Stacks Up

Identity Guard is not the only identity theft service on the market. Its various competitors offer similar features but with different perks and pricing. For example, look at how it stacks up against one of its best-known competitors, LifeLock.

Identity GuardLifeLock
Per-Month Pricing $7.50 to $39.99 $12.50 to $81.99 
Dark Web MonitoringYesYes
Address Change AlertsWith Ultra Plan onlyIncluded with all plans
Credit MonitoringWith higher-tier plans onlyIncluded with all plans
Credit Freeze AvailableYesNo
Identity Theft Insurance$1 million with all plansCoverage varies by plan

Final Word

Paying for an identity theft service like Identity Guard isn’t the only way to protect yourself from identity theft. There’s a lot you can do on your own, such as creating strong passwords and using antivirus software. Free credit monitoring services also provide some protection.

But if you decide it’s worth spending money on a service, Identity Guard is a good choice. Users say it does a good job finding threats and alerting you promptly. And its prices are hard to beat.

Identity Guard has a few weaknesses, like its lack of 24/7 customer support and its unimpressive mobile app. But we’d still say it stacks up well against the competition.

Pros

  • thumbs-upSophisticated threat monitoring
  • thumbs-upFast notifications
  • thumbs-upAffordable pricing

Cons

  • thumbs-downUnimpressive mobile app
  • thumbs-downSo-so customer support
  • thumbs-downNo free trial
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Amy Livingston is a freelance writer who can actually answer yes to the question, "And from that you make a living?" She has written about personal finance and shopping strategies for a variety of publications, including ConsumerSearch.com, ShopSmart.com, and the Dollar Stretcher newsletter. She also maintains a personal blog, Ecofrugal Living, on ways to save money and live green at the same time.

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