PrivacyGuard (opens in new tab) is an identity theft protection service that can help you protect your credit and personal information and prevent identity theft. It offers a separate credit and identity plan to cover financial and personal information respectively, and a total protection plan that covers both.
In this PrivacyGuard review, we’ll weigh up its pros and cons so you can determine if it’s right for your needs.
Plans and pricing
PrivacyGuard offers three tiers of price plans (opens in new tab): Identity Protection ($9.99 a month) to cover your personal and sensitive information; Credit Protection ($19.99 a month) to cover your financial and credit information; or Total Protection ($24.99 a month), which offers all of these features combined.
In the Identity Protection plan, PrivacyGuard will actively monitor the public and dark web for things like your social security number, driver’s license, passport, and public records. You’ll also be covered up to $1 million under its ID theft insurance.
Meanwhile, PrivacyGuard’s Credit Protection plan offers 24/7 triple-bureau daily credit monitoring. This means that your credit files will be scanned at the US’s three national credit reporting agencies—Equifax (opens in new tab), Experian (opens in new tab), and TransUnion (opens in new tab). You’ll also receive monthly credit score tracking across all three bureaus.
With PrivacyGuard’s Total Protection plan, you’ll have access to all these features as well as to a dedicated ID fraud resolution agent. All of PrivacyGuard’s plans include the PrivacyGuard app, secure browser, and keyboard technology. Plans are billed monthly, and PrivacyGuard currently offers a 14-day trial period for just $1.
Both the Credit Protection and Total Protection plans offer 24/7 daily triple bureau credit monitoring as well as monthly credit reports and scores. By monitoring all three national agencies in the US, you can catch changes that might only show up on one credit report. Plus, with email and text alerts you can get early warnings that your credit may be in jeopardy.
PrivacyGuard’s Identity Protection plan offers public and dark web scanning in real-time, on sites where stolen identity information is sold. In addition, PrivacyGuard will monitor sensitive but non-financial data like your email address, phone number, social security number (SSN), and date of birth. This plan also offers a yearly public records report, which provides all of the public records information it's found into one clear document.
PrivacyGuard’s identity monitoring services are fairly comprehensive, but the focus is clearly on financial products, especially the Credit Protection plan’s triple bureau monitoring. Also, PrivacyGuard doesn’t offer any options for covering spouses or children, with all packages geared towards individuals.
However, all of PrivacyGuard’s features can be accessed from your desktop or device via secure browser technology, which encrypts your keystrokes and protects information from malware.
Interface and in use
Once you’ve selected your plan, you’ll be prompted to “start enrollment” to sign up. The process is fairly straightforward, and will require you to use your email to create a username and password. After that, you’ll be prompted to enter your personal and billing information, including your SSN, before having your membership number and app invite emailed to you.
Once you’re set up, you can monitor your reports from your desktop, or your Android or iOS device. Categories are laid out with corresponding icons and prompts for alerts, or for you to provide more information.
As a PrivacyGuard member, you’ll also receive unlimited access to the Credit Information Hotline, a toll-free support center, to help you understand your credit reports and how to spot inaccuracies. There are also FAQs and credit and identity theft educational materials on the PrivacyGuard site. Plus, with the Total Protection plan, you’ll have access to a dedicated fraud resolution agent.
As one of the US’s three main credit bureaus, it's no surprise that Experian’s IdentityWorks (opens in new tab) is a credit-focused product. It has similar features as standard compared to PrivacyGuard, like triple-bureau credit monitoring and identity theft insurance of up to $1 million.
Its premium package, though, goes one step further than PrivacyGuard’s, with the ability to lock and unlock your credit file. This could be useful if you need to instantly prevent access to your credit report, and is easier and quicker than freezing your credit.
If paying annually, the IdentityWorks Premium package works out to be practically the same price ($299.99) as PrivacyGuard’s Total Protection plan ($299.88) and, additionally, allows you to cover two adults and up to 10 children. Accordingly, IdentityWorks’ plans are more suited to families than businesses. Read our Experian IdentityWorks review for more information.
Another of PrivacyGuard’s main competitors is LifeLock from Norton (opens in new tab). The good thing about Norton is that, as a leader in the anti-malware market, it uses its own comprehensive antivirus software to protect your devices. However, you won’t get the same stolen funds reimbursement (up to $1 million) unless you opt for the Ultimate Plus plan.
At $24.99 a month for the first year, the LifeLock Ultimate Plus plan’s features - like unlimited device coverage and the ability to lock your credit file - are comparable to those of other competitors discussed here. However, this price will increase to $349.99 a year after that first year. Read our LifeLock review to find out more.
Identity theft can take a number of forms: from accessing your financial information to even your personal data, and the effect on your credit can be long-lasting. PrivacyGuard offers two distinct plans: one for identity protection and one for credit protection, as well as a combined plan to help you protect your information.
The good thing about all of its plans is that you’ll get the same level of alerts to let you know if your information has been compromised, and the same support to help you navigate any breaches. Plus, PrivacyGuard’s interface is clear and easy to use. Its Total Protection package, however, is somewhat lacking in options for families or businesses, but is competitively priced considering PrivacyGuard’s stellar reputation.