Identity Guard vs ID Watchdog
How We Compare the Brands
Protecting your personal identity is critical, which is why you want the best identity protection tool available. To help you choose, our experts put two top-performing services head-to-head to compare their credit monitoring, information protection, recovery services, and bonus features. We selected Identity Guard vs ID Watchdog because they offer similar levels of protection. While both are reliable services, only one can come out on top.
- Lost wallet protection
- Advanced machine learning capabilities
- Dark Web Monitoring
- Customer support is not 24/7
- Different price plans are confusing
- Identity recovery support could be stronger
- Full identity restoration promise
- Easy to use dashboard
- Immediate alerts about possible fraudulent activity
- Credit reporting is a premium-only option
- No mobile app
- No bank account protection
|Credit Monitoring||Winner||Loser |
|Information Protection||Tie||Tie |
|Recovery Services||Loser||Winner |
|Additional Features||Winner||Loser |
|Customer Service||Loser||Winner |
To save you the time sifting through your credit reports and checking for anomalies or changes, you can have an identity protection service do it for you. Identity Guard partners with IBM® Watson™ artificial intelligence program to search thousands of public records, financial details, and credit information as well as checking for payday loans. If you get its Total plan, Identity Guard monitors your credit file at the three main credit agencies and sends you a monthly credit score*, while the Premium plan also provides an annual three-bureau credit report.
ID Watchdog Plus plan only scans one credit report, while with the Premium option you’ll get all three credit agencies checked. You can freeze your credit report if you’re concerned about fraudulent activity. Both plans keep track of any attempts to open new credit cards and monitor payday loans.
Winner: Identity Guard
Identity thieves can attempt to get your personal information by trying to change your mailing address in order to get mail with your personal details, stealing your Social Security number, or hacking marketing databases for your details.
Identity Guard scans the web for illegal use of your social security number and if private information is being traded online. It checks that your mailing address hasn’t been changed or if your email address has been hacked, and tracks your bank account information. It also scans thousands of public records.
ID Watchdog also monitors public records that include driving licenses and certifications to check that none of your personal details have been changed without your knowledge. It looks for any unusual transactions made in your name such as wire transfers or mortgage applications and even checks pawn store loans.
If your identity is stolen, despite your greatest efforts, you’re going to want robust support to help you deal with the myriad of notifications, card cancellations, and phone calls that need to be made as a result. All of this is lumped together under the rubric of recovery services.
Identity Guard has $1 million of insurance** to cover the costs of restoring your identity, including legal fees, travel expenses, and lost wages. The company provides you with a dedicated caseworker to advise you on how to restore your identity, but there isn’t a lot of active help in making the actual phone calls.
ID Watchdog really stands out for its identity recovery service. While it also provides $1 million insurance to cover costs, it goes above and beyond with its Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists. These individuals work with you and on your behalf to notify credit agencies, banks, and credit card companies about the theft, order your new credit cards and support you through all the steps to restore your identity fully. You don’t have to make all those daunting calls on your own.
Winner: ID Watchdog
Feature #1: Fraud alerts. Identity Guard will send you an alert via phone, text, or email if it detects any unusual activity on your financial accounts or if your personal details are detected. You’ll then be invited to speak with a consultant to decide what to do next. ID Watchdog also sends email or SMS notifications if there is any sign of fraudulent activity or if your information appears anywhere suspicious.
Feature #2: Mobile app. Identity Guard has a free mobile app which is easy to use to keep up with your identity status. ID Watchdog doesn’t offer a mobile app.
Feature #3: Cybersecurity tools. ID Watchdog doesn’t offer any additional cybersecurity tools or virus protection, but Identity Guard does. Identity Guard includes anti-phishing software and a safe browsing extension.
Feature #4: Lost wallet protection. Another service offered by Identity Guard but lacking with ID Watchdog is coverage for if your wallet is lost or stolen. Identity Guard will help you cancel all of your credit cards.
Feature #5: Family coverage. Identity Guard has a pricing plan that lets you add your children to the protection plan since children are frequent targets of identity thieves. ID Watchdog doesn’t offer this service.
Winner: Identity Guard
Fast customer service is extremely important when it’s your identity that’s on the line. ID Watchdog offers 24/7 customer support via a toll-free phone number or via email with fast response times. Identity Guard’s toll-free telephone support is not available round the clock.
Winner: ID Watchdog
Both ID Watchdog and Identity Guard offer multiple price plans. ID Watchdog has a Plus plan for $14.95 per month and a Premium plan for $19.95. Both plans come with a discount if you pay for a whole year at a time. Identity Guard has a whole range of plans beginning at $9.99 a month and rising to $29.99 per month for a family plan (all adults and children within the same household).
Winner: Identity Guard
Why We Prefer Identity Guard Over ID Watchdog
The extra features such as cybersecurity tools, lost wallet protection, and the opportunity to include your children and partner within one plan tips the balance for us. That said, ID Watchdog is still a good choice for its identity recovery services and top customer service.
* 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.
** Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group‚ Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms‚ conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms‚ conditions‚ and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. We are compensated by the companies referenced in this article. This article does not represent the views or opinions of the companies mentioned. Features periodically change and we recommend checking each company’s website for full information.