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Identity Guard vs Experian (2021): Which Identity Theft Protection Service Should You Get?

As more people carry out online activities, the threat of identity-based fraud increases. Identity Guard and Experian understand this, offering a suite of tools to help safeguard highly-targeted personal information and finances.

Identity Guard, for instance, boasts nearly two decades of experience in identity protection products that suit a range of consumers. On the other hand, Experian, which is known more as a credit reporting company, has also entered the identity theft protection services market with its product called IdentityWorks. Here’s a look at how these tools are protecting your identity and keeping your information secure. 

Identity Guard vs Experian Comparison Chart

NameIdentity GuardExperian IdentityWorks
 Identity Guard logo
PriceCheck Plans at IdentityGuard.comCheck Plans at Experian.com
InsuranceUp to $1,000,000Up to $1,000,000
Dark Web MonitoringYesYes
Anti Virus SoftwareOptionalOptional
SSN MonitoringYesYes
Sex Offense MonitoringYesYes
Secure ID Vault for PasswordYesNo
FICO ScoreNoYes
Mobile AppYesYes
24/7 Customer SupportNo (Mon-Sat, business hours only)No
Form of Customer SupportUS-based dedicated case managerUS-based fraud resolution specialist

Identity Monitoring and Protection

Identity Guard and Experian offer robust identity theft protection services but the former comes with more preventive tools while the latter has a better social media monitoring feature. 

On the left, an example of Identity Guard’s mobile alerts; on the right, Experian’s lost wallet protection.

Identity Guard and Experian will largely monitor your personal information and activity online. Both tools offer dark web surveillance and will scan the Internet for any misuse of personal information like your social security number or credit card details. Consequently, they will attempt to have any of this information removed when it is incorrectly listed on a suspicious website.

Again, these are mostly ‘monitoring’ features, alerting users of potential instances of fraud and identity theft. However, Identity Guard does offer some preventive services as well, including a safe browsing tool and an anti-phishing mobile app. 

Other Tools

Additionally, these platforms come with their own set of social media tools although they serve different purposes. In Experian, the Social Media Monitoring feature will alert members if their personal information is being shared on social networking sites. Moreover, a user’s social media profile will also be monitored for potentially risky content, including foul language or references to drugs or alcohol. This is especially useful for parents who want to ensure their children’s safety from cyberbullying or even sexual abuse.

Identity Guard, on the other hand, uses its Social Insight Report to simply assess your social media image. Like Experian, it monitors your content, identifying potentially risky or controversial content that could harm your reputation. But it will not scan these social media channels to check if your personal information is being shared.

Nonetheless, Identity Guard does come with better criminal and sex offender registry monitoring. Whereas Experian will only notify subscribers if a sex offender moves in a neighborhood, Identity Guard will scan registries and police reports to see if your name is incorrectly included. 

Financial and Credit Monitoring

You get higher insurance coverage from Identity Guard but more extensive credit monitoring features from Experian.

Both tools monitor credit and debit activities, notifying users of unusual transactions or purchases.

Given the booming e-commerce market, the online world draws a lot of attention from identity thieves. For Identity Guard and Experian, this means keeping an eye on your financial transactions. This is largely centered on high-risk transaction monitoring and credit score monitoring.

With Identity Guard, you can track your credit card spending habits and bank account activities. Unusual purchases and high-risk transactions can be immediately detected. In addition, Identity Guard members can also rely on the platform to monitor their finances. Some of the relevant features include alerts for bank account takeovers and requests, as well as retirement plan and investment account monitoring. 

Meanwhile, Experian also follows most of the offerings from Identity Guard. You also get alerts for suspicious activities that can impact your credit negatively. However, Experian will provide semimonthly FICO score from Experian, as well as quarterly FICO scores from the top 3 credit reporting agencies. 

Insurance

Aside from protecting your identity, you also get insurance from both services. With Identity Guard, the identity theft insurance can be reimbursed for up to $1,000,000 in losses. The benefit can be used to cover costs incurred from identity theft, including attorney’s fees and lost funds. For identity restoration services, you will be assigned a dedicated case manager to process your requests. Meanwhile, Experian’s insurance policy ranges between up to $500,000 or $1,000,000 depending on your plan. You will also be connected to a dedicated fraud resolution specialist. 

Pricing

Identity Guard and Experian offer various plans with different coverage options. 

Identity Guard and Experian plans are more affordable when billed yearly. Note that monthly fees for Experian’s annual subscription are estimates only.

Currently, Identity Guard offers three plans—Value, Total, and Ultra. With the platform’s Value Plan, you get dark web scanning, credit and financial monitoring, and a safe browsing tool. Identity Guard’s succeeding plans build on these features. For example, its Total Plan will add standard credit protection. Meanwhile, its top-tier offering called Ultra, will include white glove customer service and criminal monitoring. All three plans come with a customer care team and an identity theft insurance of up to $1,000,000. 

With Identity Guard, you can also choose whether to get a plan for an individual or for a family. A Family Plan, for instance, will include coverage for two adults and minor children in a single household. 

Experian, on the other hand, offers two plans: IdentityWorks Plus and IdentityWorks Premium. The main difference between Experian’s Plus plan from its Premium offering is in the number of credit bureaus monitored, and the frequency of FICO scores received from these credit reporting agencies. The pricing for each of the two plans, however, will depend on coverage. With Experian, you have three coverage options: one adult, an adult, and up to 10 children, and two adults and up to 10 children. 

If you opt for an IdentityWorks Plus plan, you can benefit from the insurance of up to $500,000. The Premium option, on the other hand, has a coverage of up $1,000,000. 

Verdict

Experian is more affordable for larger families and will come with a better social media monitoring tool. On the other hand, Identity Guard is value-for-money for individuals and families, while also offering better criminal monitoring features.

Identity Guard and Experian are both great options for identity theft protection. Both services share similar security and monitoring features, and are priced comparably.  

In terms of value, Experian is definitely more affordable for larger families than it is for individual users. While its plans are a tad bit more expensive than Identity Guard, it does include coverage for up to 10 children. Moreover, Experian’s social media monitoring tool is a welcome feature for parents who want to protect their children from criminal and predatory activities online. You can view Experian IdentityWorks plans here

Individuals and smaller families, on the other hand, will find Identity Guard as the better deal. Across all of its plans, members stand to benefit from identity theft insurance of up to $1,000,000. In addition, the service’s criminal and sex offender monitoring feature is more comprehensive than that of Experian. If you’re interested in availing a plan for yourself or your family, you can check your options here

FAQs

📌 Does Identity Guard and Experian offer a free trial?

Currently, Identity Guard does not offer a free trial. On the other hand, Experian offers a 30-day free trial for both Plus and Premium plans. We recommend trying out the Premium option so you can test all the features.

📌 Does Experian offer a lost wallet assistance feature?

Yes, Experian offers lost wallet assistance. This feature ensures information in your wallet—credit card details, driver’s license, and ID numbers—are all stored securely. In case your wallet is lost or stolen, you can have a fraud resolution agent from Experian help recover it. These agents can help you cancel cards and notify banks and creditors.

📌 Can Identity Guard also monitor my 401k?

Yes, Identity Guard includes 401k monitoring but only for its Ultra plan.

📌 Is the sex offender registry in Experian available in its two plans?

The sex offender registry feature is only available in Experian’s IdentityWorks Premium plan.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.