Identity Defense Review
Despite the fact that Identity Defense is a relative newcomer to the identity protection industry, they offer a comprehensive service that puts them on par with a number of their competitors. Users have three unique plans to choose from that come at different price points. Identity Defense also offers two months of free service to users that pay annual rather than monthly subscriptions.
In addition to the enticing price element, Identity Defense provides a number of innovative features, including 3-bureau credit monitoring, monthly credit scores, dark web monitoring, and much more. Because of the extensive features and competitive pricing, Identity Defense earns our recommendation.
Quick Facts/At a glance:
- 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring offered based on selected plan
- Prices range from about $7-$10/month, or $100-$300/year if you purchase an annual plan, depending on whether you have an individual or family plan and the level of plan you choose.
- Identity Defense monitors information usage, such as changes in bank information or credit checks run in a user’s name
- Users are immediately alerted by the means of their choice whenever their identity is used
- Identity Defense recovers stolen funds and offers up to $1 million in Identity Theft Insurance
Identity Defense’s Services & Features
Identity Defense offers three types of plans with an impressive range of coverage features. Though all users can enjoy Identity Defense’s sophisticated AI-powered platform, risk-management reporting, and dark web monitoring, users that opt to upgrade to more inclusive plans can benefit from monthly credit scores, address monitoring, 3-bureau credit monitoring, social insight reports, and bank account takeover monitoring. These innovative features are bolstered by stellar customer service, 24/7 monitoring, a mobile application, and much more to keep users up to speed at all times.
|Pricing||$9.99/month* OR $99.99 (if billed annually) $6.99/month* OR $69.99 (if billed annually)||$9.99/month* OR $99.99 (if billed annually)||$14.99/month* OR $149.99/year (if billed annually)|
|Credit Bureau Monitoring (1,2 or 3 bureaus)||N/A||3||3|
|Dark Web Monitoring||YES||YES||YES|
|Change of address. monitoring||NO||YES||YES|
|Identity Theft Insurance||YES||YES||YES|
|Additional Feature||None||Monthly Credit Score||Social Insight Report|
*Prices based on individual plans
Data current as of 1/27/2020
Credit Bureau Monitoring
Identity Defense customers enjoy 3-bureau credit monitoring as a standard feature included in their plans. Essentially, this service scans a user’s credit files and cross-references them against the three national credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
If any changes are detected, the user is notified immediately as it may be a sign of identity theft. It’s important to monitor changes in credit reports using all three agencies because they each operate separately, meaning that the information that they receive could be different. While one agency might pick up on suspicious activity, the other two may miss it entirely.
In the event of a data breach or some other form of suspicious activity — ranging from new accounts being opened to a change of address — Identity Defense alerts its users immediately using the notification method of their choice. As email and phone information are required upon signing up, these are the primary means by which users are contacted.
Dark Web Monitoring
Dark Web Monitoring is available to Identity Defense users across all three payment plan levels. This service is a fraudulent activity prevention mechanism that allows users to check to see if any of their personal information is floating around on the Dark Web. Such information can include a user’s address, social security number, bank information, or other sensitive data that could lead to a breach, costing the user significant amounts of money. If any personal or sensitive information is found on the Dark Web, users are notified immediately by Identity Defense using the notification mechanism of their choosing.
Change of Address Monitoring
Unlike Dark Web Monitoring, Change of Address Monitoring is only available to Identity Defense users that purchase the Plus ($9.99/month for individuals) or Complete ($14.99/month for individuals) plans. This product tracks a form of fraud in which identity thieves use change of address cards to reroute your mail to the address of their choosing.
In doing so, they can receive your credit card bills, bank statements, and plenty of other correspondence loaded personal information that they can use to scam you. When Identity Defense detects a suspicious address change, they notify users immediately and secure any potentially-vulnerable information.
Identity Theft Insurance
Identity Defense offers users up to $1 million in Identity Theft Insurance to cover financial or any other losses occurring as a result of fraudulent activity. However, the fine print on the Identity Defense site notes that this provision is covered by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. and not by Identity Defense itself. They further note that coverage may not be available in all areas.
In addition to the three individual coverage options available to users, Identity Defense also provides plans for families. Each plan offers the same level of coverage and features corresponding to the individual plans, although the prices for the family plans are slightly more expensive. The Essential Family Plan starts around $9.99 per month or $99.99 annually; the Plus Family Plan is advertised at $12.99 per month or $129.99 annually, and the Complete Family Plan comes in at $17.99 per month or $179.99 annually.
Banking alerts are available to Identity Defense users that opt for the Complete Plan, either on the individual or family level. This coverage feature tracks a user’s bank account log-in history and alerts a user if their bank account has been the subject of a suspicious log-in or has been taken over entirely by an identity thief. This is important because once a thief takes over an account they can use it to make unauthorized transactions, draining your funds in minutes.
One additional feature that Identity Defense makes available to its complete plan users is a Social Media Insight report. Effectively, this option harnesses IBM® Watson™ technology to monitor your social media activity and look for areas where you may be making yourself vulnerable to phishing or any other kind of identity theft attack. If a weak spot is identified, Identity Defense will notify you immediately and help you secure yourself.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Identity Defense is an interesting identity theft security option for users looking for competitive prices and innovative security features. The service conveniently offers rates for any budget and allows users to choose the extent to which they want to protect themselves.
Whether you’re only interested in dark web and risk management reporting or you desire an alternative that goes deep in protecting you with features like monthly credit scores, 3-bureau credit monitoring, and more, Identity Defense has something for you. As they are still relatively new, there is a possibility policy or other kinks still need to be ironed out, but in the long-run, they could be a great identity theft security option.