Disclosure: As is common in the travel industry, Dr. Maloney was provided with compensation for the purposes of review for this article by Identity Guard. While it has not influenced her review, PointsandTravel.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. All Photos are by the author or are mentioned below the photo. There may be affiliate links in this article.
Identity Guard® Protection for Life
I never thought a lot about guarding my identity online, even though I do take a lot of precautions from the beginning as most people do. I have not had problems with identity theft like many of my friends. Take one of them for instance, who will remain nameless! She is always getting her identity hacked in some form or another. She is constantly getting alerts or emails or papers in the mail stating that she was denied credit to places like PayPal, Kohl’s, Verizon, even the purchase of a car! She had her social security number stolen as well, which may have contributed to her problems when it came time to file her annual taxes.
Identity Theft Issues
So I interviewed her about her experiences. She basically said it was a nightmare to keep all these credit inquiries off of her credit. Some of them would stay on her credit for months, even years, as she couldn’t get them off her credit report if she did not react to the issue right away. She always had to stay on top of it, which was a big bother. No matter what was going on in her life, she had to call, wait on hold for several minutes only to finally speak to someone – who most of the time were not that sympathetic to her problem of “it wasn’t me”!
Each time, she would get a case number, write it down in her now full “credit problem” folder. Writing down who she spoke to, date, case number, and what the resolution was. Many times it didn’t get resolved, so she would have to go through the entire process again and call back. In her experience, she would get an average of 3-4 credit related inquires about every 2 months.
Freeze the Credit Bureau’s
She eventually put a solid “freeze” on all three of the main credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Later, she ran into a huge problem when she was trying to refinance her home loan. The paperwork was all filled out, but when it came time for the loan company to run her credit, it was denied (temporarily) through the IRS, as they would not provide her most recent taxes to the loan company. She had to go down to the loan officer’s office at a specific date and time with the phone number to the IRS to get it released from them to send over the information about her taxes to the loan company. It was nothing short of a huge bother and time-consuming.
How to Not Go Through These Issues
Since I haven’t experienced this, I was happy when Identity Guard® asked me to try out their services of protecting my credit and alerting me to when someone was attempting to use my credit history. Since I wanted to try it out, I tried the Premier Family Protection Plan.
With this plan, I get advanced identity protection for individuals interested in credit information:
- Dark Web Monitoring
- Risk Management Report
- Safe Browsing Tools
- Anti Phishing Mobile App
- Monthly Credit Score*
- Address Monitoring
- 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring
- Tax Refund Alerts
- Credit Score* and Report
- Social Insight Report
Purchase Identity Guard
Identity Guard covers all the basics of identity monitoring – things like your name, social security number, bank accounts, credit reports, etc. They offer three plans – Value, Total, and Premier plan that each offer everything from budget to luxury coverage. It also offers identity theft insurance and has a support hotline. It has state-of-the-art artificial capabilities (IBM® Watson™ Artificial Intelligence) that can scour billions of websites and data points for your protection. Think of it as a team of watchdogs that know your every move and know when it is NOT you. They will alert you whenever they detect a risk. This intelligence knows exactly what to look for and is constantly scanning and looking tireless for you. They help protect your personal, social (social media), and financial identity! 20 years ago things were different, but today the dark web is alive and well.
So Why Put Your Identity to Risk?
I have decided that I don’t want what happened to my un-named friend to happen to me. I simply don’t have the time or the energy to be dealing with that type of thing. It is also very important to me to keep my credit scores high and in good shape. I am also trying to teach my kids the same thing, so that when it comes time for them to apply for their own apartment, electricity, phone, etc, that they can do this on their own. And why should I spend my time and energy on this when I can order Identity Guard Protection and they do it for me? They are always working for YOU!
* The score you receive with Identity Guard is provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. It is calculated using the information contained in your TransUnion credit file. Lenders use many different credit scoring systems, and the score you receive with Identity Guard is not the same score used by lenders to evaluate your credit.