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IDShield Identity Protection: A Great Bargain

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UPDATED to reflect price changes. This review was originally published June 27, 2019.

IDShield, a low-cost way to protect your online identity, gives you the choice of using information from one or all three major credit reporting agencies, including quarterly credit reports and monthly credit scores. You also get a helpful administrator password.

But the service lacks two-factor authentication, a credit enhancement simulator, or 24/7 technical support, and its sign-up procedure was frustratingly long and awkward. It is still a good business if you are primarily interested in monitoring your credit files. IdentityForce UItraSelect + Credit costs more, but has more comprehensive privacy monitoring; IDShield Identity Protection is still one of the best identity protection services.

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I signed up and paid for IDShield’s individual monthly service in early 2019, along with four competing services, with IDShield still only offering information from the TransUnion credit bureau. I used IDShield for almost three months, with the service keeping an eye on my accounts and credit.

IDShield costs and what is covered

IDShield does not offer a free trial, but it is among the cheapest identity protection services, although it has raised its prices from the last time we reviewed it.

Its awkwardly formulated Individual 1 Credit Bureau Monitoring plan costs $ 12.95 a month. On the downside, you get what you pay for, as this plan only draws credit data from TransUnion.

In the spring of 2019, IDShield added an individual 3 Credit Bureau monitoring plan that also uses data from Equifax and Experian. At $ 17.95 a. Month this is half the LifeLock Ultimate Plus & # 39; monthly price and provides more credit file information.

For $ 25.95 per For months, the IDShields Family 1 Credit Bureau Monitoring service is an inexpensive way to protect your identity as well as your spouse and up to 10 children. It includes monitoring your TransUnion credit file.

IDShield’s three-agency plans keep track of your complete credit history while keeping track of abuses and include quarterly full credit reports from each agency.

$ 32.95 per The Month Family 3 Credit Bureau Monitoring plan, also introduced in the spring of 2019, uses credit data from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion and is still cheaper than LifeLock’s top individual plan. Unfortunately, there is no discount for any IDShield plan if you pay for a year ahead.

Except for the number of monitored credit bureaus. IDShield’s one-agency and three-agency plans are exactly the same, a rarity in an industry where the best perks are usually saved for the most expensive plans.

MORE: 11 Simple Tips to Avoid Identity Theft

Both IDShield plans carry out the same monitoring for a variety of ID theft methods and offer the same benefits, including quarterly credit reports, monthly VantageScore credit scores, and up to $ 1 million for identity recovery and lost funds.

The parent company LegalShield also offers a variety of other services, from legal assistance to insurance for truck drivers. You will also be signed up for an affinity program that offers discounts at Kohl’s, Target, Verizon, Ticketmaster and a variety of other dealers and service providers.

LegalShield assesses A + with the Better Business Bureau without open complaints.

IDShield plan comparison chart

IDShield Individual 1 Credit Bureau MonitoringIDShield Individual 3 Credit Bureau MonitoringMonthly costs$ 13 $ 18family Plan$ 26, covers 2 adults & up to 10 children $ 33, covers 2 adults & up to 10 childrenMobile appsYes Yescredit ReportsTransUnionEquifax, Experian, TransUnionCredit bureaus are monitoredTransUnionEquifax, Experian, TransUnionFrequency of credit reportsQuarterlyQuarterlyCredit Score FrequencyMonthlyMonthlyType of credit scoreVantageScore 3.0VantageScore 3.0Bank, card accounts are monitoredYes YesMonitoring the black marketYes YesSex offender notificationYes YesData breach warningsYes YesMonitoring investment accountsYes YesMax. ID theft coverage$ 1 million $ 1 millionMax. lost wages$ 1,500 per week for 5 weeks $ 1,500 per week for 5 weeks

Credit scores and monitoring

IDShield’s three-agency plans keep track of your complete credit history while keeping track of abuses and include quarterly full credit reports from each agency.

A few other identity protection services that we’ve reviewed only offer annual credit reports, which you can also get for free through annualcreditreport.com. Only PrivacyGuard offers a monthly credit report, but it is a “merged” with data from all three agencies.

Depending on your plan, IDShield provides one or three monthly credit ratings for VantageScore 3.0 to assess your credit rating before trying to get a car loan or mortgage. If you have a crisis of identity theft, IDShield can work with all three credit bureaus to recover your credit.

The service scans both the open and the dark web in case your personal information appears where they should not be. In addition to court records, payday loan companies and social media accounts, it monitors your bank and credit card accounts as well as investments.

MORE: Credit reports vs. credit scores: what’s the difference?

Insurance and services

IDShield used to have $ 5 million available per year. Subscriber for identity theft investigation and credit recovery, but that did not include refund for money stolen.

The insurance service is now in line with other identity protection services and provides up to $ 1 million for a subscriber’s credit recovery and reimbursement of funds. It adds what it calls an unlimited service guarantee that promises to do what it takes to restore your identity and good credit.

IDShield was easily the longest and most frustrating of the five identity protection services for me to create. The whole process took a week.

IDShield will even notify creditors, financial service providers, law enforcement agencies and debt collection agencies about the status of your investigation. If the investigation hits an impasse, investigators promise to bring in heavy mothers such as the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys and others.

MORE: Best Identity Theft Protection Services

IDShield covers everything from the cost of new documents (such as a driver’s license or passport) to fees for notaries and accountants. If you need to, they will reimburse you for child or older care costs (up to $ 2,000) directly related to identity screening and recovery, as well as a maximum of $ 1,500 per week (for five weeks) for lost wages and $ 2,000 for travel expenses.

The plan also has lost or stolen wallet protection that can help you cancel old credit cards and get new ones, as well as tell you how to get a new driver’s license and other documents.

Alerts and alarms

IDShield does not place warnings and notifications on your online account’s summary web page, nor is there a category that can be accessed quickly. It took some time to get used to the web interface design, but I figured that diving into credit or identity monitoring sections on the left side put the messages in your face.

Alarms range from credit and debit card activity to bank account alerts and can cover up to 10 investment accounts.

Notifications can be emailed to you or sent to your phone, but they also appear in Android and iOS IDShield apps. If a registered sex offender moves in within a certain distance from your home, you will receive a card indicating his or her place of residence. However, IDShield missed out on a sex offender, as PrivacyGuard noted. During my three-month trial, IDShield sent me two other minor warnings.

Setup

IDShield was easily the longest and most frustrating of the five identity protection services for me to create. The whole process took a week. I suspect mine may be a special case, but it still doesn’t inspire confidence in IDShield’s technical support infrastructure.

The process started with choosing the single-agency IDShield individual plan (the three-agency plan was not yet available) and selecting my state of residence. At this point, the company was trying to sell me on LegalShield’s legal services, small businesses and commercial drivers; I rejected all of them.

In the next form, I entered my name, date of birth, address, email, home phone, and the last four digits of my social security number, followed by a username and password and a credit card number to pay for the service.

So far so good. But the activation email I received 3 hours later was for LegalShield, not IDShield. It did not contain the membership number I needed to activate my IDShield account.

MORE: What to do if your Social Security number is stolen

IDShield’s phone tech support people were just as confused as I was. They found that I had two different membership numbers. One could have been a residue from the subscription that I had to try IDShield for a previous review, but I had no issues with the Identity Force, Identity Guard or LifeLock that I had used before too. It may be that IDShield does not completely delete personal data once users have completed subscriptions.

IDShield’s technical support staff said I should sit hard and promised to call me back. The next morning, I received an email, not a phone call, with a new membership number. But the IDShield site said it could not find an account with this number.

I answered the email and asked for help, got no response after waiting for 2 hours and finally just called the company again. After hearing the same music while I was on hold, I was told by technical support staff that there was a problem on their servers.

To make a long story short, it took a week and four calls for tech support to get my IDShield account set up. During this period, several emails that I sent to the company only received automatic replies.

One of the reasons for this mess may be that IDShield does not have technical support staff on duty 24/7. Its crew is there from 7 p.m. 7 to 7 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday. Many other identity protection services offer 24/7 technical support. But in an identity emergency, IDShield has people available to help night or day.

Interface and tools

Like other identity protection services, IDShield has a web interface and mobile apps for iOS and Android. The site uses a secure HTTPS connection, but its interface is crowded. Whatever plan you subscribe to, the company labels its web interface as “IDShield Plus.”

The Overview page lists 15 rectangles, each with a different feature, which can be a bit confusing until you have a visual memory of their location. They range from credit rating and tracker to public records and a surveillance card for the buyer. Only VantageScore – based on my TransUnion credit report in my one-agency plan – has a splash of color where green is good and red is bad.

Some boxes, like Social Media Monitoring, require one more step. Click on the box and fill in your passwords to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn so IDShield can keep track of these services.

A left navigation bar links to credit and identity monitoring, lost wallet protection and helpful tips, as well as Vault password manager that works with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari browsers. (An IDShield spokesperson told us that the password manager won’t get much use and may be lost.)

IDShield does not offer two-factor authentication to prevent anyone with your password from accessing your information. The only identity strength has this security enhancing feature; the others say it’s important or they’re working to integrate it, but it’s a bit unforgivable that they haven’t yet.

IDShield’s Android and iOS apps were a bit weak, but welcomed me with my TransUnion VantageScore along with the latest alarms. The Apps Settings menu lets you change your password and included information about the Vault password manager, protection tips, and how to reduce unwanted marketing calls. All screens show the technical support phone number.

Cancels IDShield

I couldn’t find a way to cancel my IDShield subscription through the web interface. So, I emailed the company’s tech support people an email inquiry and got an instant autoresponder that my situation would be resolved within 24 to 48 hours.

About a day later, I received an email confirmation that my subscription had been canceled. Unfortunately, legal emails from LegalShield continued.

bottomline

IDShield’s three-agency monitoring plans are an undeniable cost, especially if you are primarily interested in keeping track of your credit reports and scores, or want to monitor your family’s personal data. If you do not face any particular threat of identity theft, you may not have to pay any more.

However, LifeLock Ultimate Plus offers the most comprehensive identity monitoring (and a compelling antivirus software deal) to the truly paranoid, though it costs twice as much as IDShield and lacks credit information. The happy medium among the best identity protection services is IdentityForce UltraSecure + Credit, which offers both inclusive personal data monitoring and quarterly credit reports and scores.

Credit: Tom & # 39; s Guide

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Source: on 2019-10-23 16:48:45

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