Identity Guard formed in 2001 in Chantilly, Virginia to offer consumers a variety of services that help prevent identity fraud and theft. In 2016, Identity Guard took a significant step forward by launching Privacy Now, an IBM Watson-powered service that uses advanced cognitive computing to study trends and detect potential fraud.

Also in 2016, Identity Guard started Identity Guard Business, a new website that businesses can use as an employee benefit or to help customers affected by data breaches.

How Does Identity Guard Work?

Identity Guard primarily protects identities by monitoring account activity. For instance, if someone uses your Social Security number to open a credit card account, the company will detect the action and alert you.

Identity Guard also works with the three major credit bureaus to spot uncharacteristic behaviors, including sudden changes in your credit rating and high-value purchases. Credit bureaus, of course, make mistakes. Some of those mistakes even help criminals commit identity fraud. Still, they remain the most authoritative sources in the U.S., so it makes sense for Identity Guard to work with them.

Finally, Identity Guard uses IBM Watson analytics to track identity theft trends that may affect specific customers.

Common Identity Guard Reviews

For the most part, customers are pleased with the services that they get from Identity Guard. Many of them like that Identity Guard has tapped into the analytical powers of IBM Watson to discover potential identity fraud as quickly as possible. Many customers also say that they feel like they get their money’s worth for the plan that they chose.

Positive reviews of Identity Guard describe a proactive company that notifies its customers immediately when someone opens a new credit card, checking, or savings account. More often than not, the account belongs to the correct person. On some occasions, though, alerts from Identity Guard made it possible for people to stop identity theft at an early stage before criminals could charge large sums of money to their accounts.

Not all of Identity Guard’s reviews, however, are positive. Customers that choose the Value and Total plans complain that customer service reps from Identity Guard call repeatedly, encouraging them to update to the more comprehensive and expensive Premier plan. From the perspective of these customers, Identity Guard sends unnecessary spam email and inconveniences them with phone calls at bothersome times of the day.

Even customers that complain about Identity Guard, however, rarely say that they didn’t get the services they expected. This suggests that Identity Guard works well. If you don’t like high-pressure sales, though, becoming a customer could turn into an annoyance.

What Makes Identity Guard Stand Out?

Identity Guard stands out because it’s the only identity theft protection company that uses IBM Watson analytics. Watson is one of the most powerful computers in the world. By tapping into its strengths, Identity Guard can process information faster than other companies.

Is Identity Guard for Me?

Identity Guard works well for most of its customers. You will likely appreciate its products if you want basic identity theft protection and a $1 million insurance plan that protects you from paying for items and services that you didn’t purchase.

Unfortunately, Identity Guard doesn’t do much more than alert you to potential threats. Once you receive the threats, you have to do the hard work of canceling accounts and contacting the credit bureaus. If you want a company that will do those chores for you, then you should look elsewhere.