IDENTITY GUARD® Review: Can IBM Watson Keep Your Identity Safe?

Identity Guard with Watson

33% Off!




  • Powered by IBM Watson AI
  • Stolen funds insurance
  • US-based case manager
  • Dark web monitoring

Identity Guard® is one of the leading providers of identity theft protection and credit monitoring.

To stay on the cutting edge, the company has partnered with IBM® Watson™, an artificial intelligence system that dramatically expands its protection capabilities.

Identity Guard now has the ability to anticipate and help prevent identity theft, rather than just react to it after the fact. And with three different service plans, it has one that will fit every budget.

Table of Contents
  1. About Identity Guard
  2. What is Watson?
  3. How Identity Guard Works
  4. Cyberbullying
  5. How IG Helps Protect Your Identity
  6. How IG Helps Monitor Your Credit
  7. Identity Guard Pricing Plans
    1. Value Plan
    2. Total Plan
    3. Premier Plan
  8. How to Sign Up for Identity Guard With Watson
  9. Will Identity Guard Work for You?

About Identity Guard

Identity Guard’s parent company, Intersections, Inc., was founded in 1996 as one of the founding organizations in the identity theft protection field. Since then, the company has expanded to address privacy and data protection for both individuals and businesses.

Over the past 20 years, Intersections has provided protection for more than 47 million identities. In the process, they’ve resolved more than 140,000 cases of identity fraud. The company is working to stay ahead of the curve on new developments in the industry, which is why they’ve partnered with IBM Watson.

Through the parent company, Intersections, Inc., Identity Guard has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+ (on a scale of A+ to F), where it has been BBB accredited since its founding in 1996.

What is Watson?

Watson is an artificial intelligence first introduced by IBM in 2010. What makes Watson unique is its adaptability, a capability it has comparable to humans. That adaptability gives it many applications, including cybersecurity and identity theft protection, which is why Identity Guard incorporated Watson into its system.

Identity Guard’s utilization of Watson is described as:

“… a powerful early warning system…(with) state-of-the-art artificial intelligence capabilities (that) continuously scour billions of data points to discover vulnerabilities and alert you when your identity may be at risk. Think of it as a “radar” that is always protecting your identity.”

New information is created on the internet at a prodigious rate. It’s almost impossible to wrap your head around it. This rapid and massive growth in information presents substantial complications for security. Identity Guard employs machine learning capabilities to address those challenges. It can sort through data rapidly, as well as detect malware infections and keep up with new identity theft tactics.

Identity Guard, and the artificial intelligence it implements is shifting cybersecurity from a reactionary position to a protective one that helps to identify threats before they become a problem. Identity Guard is the first identity theft protection service to incorporate Watson. With it, potential fraudulent activities can be detected in as little as three seconds.

How Identity Guard Works

Identity Guard works by monitoring millions of pieces of information that make up your identity. This is becoming increasingly necessary due to the growing complexity of the average person’s life.

It’s no longer simply a matter of protecting your Social Security number. Today you may have dozens of account numbers connected to bank accounts, investment and retirement accounts, your mortgage, car loans, student loans, and credit cards. This is exactly why Identity Guard has partnered with Watson. It enables the service to more effectively monitor your entire identity picture.

Identity Guard provides quick alerts to let you know about a threat as soon as it’s detected. This is important because the sooner you become aware of a threat, the more effective you can be in minimizing or even eliminating the damage it may cause.

In addition to regular credit monitoring, Identity Guard helps protect against the following identity threats:

  • Synthetic ID Theft (the combining of fake information with your name and Social Security number)
  • Child ID Theft
  • New Account Fraud
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Account Takeover Fraud
  • Tax Fraud (using your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job)

Identity Guard is also constantly monitoring the Dark Web. That’s the shadowy corner of the Internet where personal information is being bought and sold.

But what’s equally important with Identity Guard is that you won’t have to go it alone if you’re a victim of identity theft. If theft is identified, you’ll be assigned a personal case manager to help you resolve the situation. Each of their plans even includes a $1 million insurance policy** for stolen fund reimbursement.

** 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.


As an example of how far on the front lines Identity Guard is, they now provide alerts of potential cyberbullying. With the growth of social media, this has become a growing problem. Identity Guard even provides access to the Megan Meier Foundation for assistance if one of your children is dealing with cyberbullying.

How IG Helps Protect Your Identity

Identity Guard offers a wide range of services and features designed to protect your identity. Most are available on all plans, including the low-cost Value Plan (except where indicated after each description).

IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence. As described above, Watson is an artificial intelligence that monitors and processes billions of pieces of information. You’ll be alerted of potential threats to your identity.

$1 million insurance with stolen funds reimbursement. Covers you for losses due to identity theft through stolen funds reimbursement.

US-based dedicated case manager. The case manager will help you resolve identity theft issues, and monitor your case for 60 days after the resolution of the problem.

Risk management score. Identity Guard provides this score to measure how well you’re managing your risk of identity fraud. It will also show how behaviors and lifestyle can affect your score.

Online identity dashboard. Identity Guard gives you easy access to your plan services, including all identity protection tools, on one dashboard.

Mobile application. Your membership extends to your iOS and Android mobile devices. This will also enable you to monitor activity on the go.

Alerts of 1) your personal information on the Dark Web, 2) high-risk transactions, and 3) potential threats detected by Watson Artificial Intelligence. You’ll be alerted when information such as your Social Security number or any registered account numbers and other information appear on the Dark Web. That will include monitoring of thousands of black-market websites, secret chat rooms, and underground forums.

You’ll also be alerted of account takeovers, wire transfers, tax refunds, payday loan applications, utility service applications, and cell phone service applications. As well, Identity Guard will update you on security breaches, phishing scams, and malware vulnerabilities.

Anti phishing mobile app. This will help protect your mobile devices against phishing scams. These are techniques scammers use to get you to provide them with your personal information, such as account numbers or your Social Security number.

Safe browsing extension. This feature will help protect your computer from malicious content with an add-on for Safari, Chrome and Firefox web browsers. It delivers proactive malware protection by blocking various malware delivery channels. It also blocks tracking cookies, to help protect your personal information.

Social insight report. This report will analyze your Facebook timeline, providing an assessment of your online image and any recommended actions to improve it. It’s another benefit offered by Watson. It’s available only on the Premier Plan.

Your child’s information on the Dark Web (family plans only). Monitors the Dark Web for your child’s personal information. This includes black-market websites, secret chat rooms and underground forums.

Potential cyberbullying on social media (family plans only). Provides alerts of potential cyberbullying. That includes details of detected content and the people involved, as well as guidance on what steps to take, including access to the Megan Meier Foundation for assistance. It’s available only on the Premier Plan.

How IG Helps Monitor Your Credit

Identity Guard offers several services specifically designed to enable you to monitor your credit. These are available on the premium plans only, and not the Value Plan.

Monthly credit score*. Your score will be a Vantage 3.0 credit score based on credit data from TransUnion. This service is available on the Total and Premier plans only.

*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.

Bank account takeovers. You’ll be alerted when new information or a new account holder is added to an existing account. This will include any changes involving your name, address or email address. Accounts covered include checking and savings accounts, as well as retirement accounts. This service is available on the Total and Premier plans only.

Requests to open checking or savings accounts with your information. You’ll be alerted when requests using your personal information are detected to open a new bank account at banks and credit unions across the country. This service is available on the Total and Premier plans only.

3-bureau credit report. Get your annual credit report with information from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This service is available on the Premier Plan only.

Identity Guard Pricing Plans

Identity Guard offers three different service plans, with each available for both individuals and families. If you enroll through one of the links on our site, you will receive a 20% discount. The plans, pricing, and services are as follows:

Value Plan

This is Identity Guard’s most basic program, providing identity theft protection. The individual plan is priced at $8.99 per month, while the family plan is $14.99. (All family plans cover all adults and children residing within the household)

Services available with the Value Plan include:

  • IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence
  • $1 million insurance with stolen funds reimbursement
  • US-based dedicated case manager
  • Risk management score
  • Online identity dashboard
  • Mobile application
  • Alerts of 1) your personal information on the Dark Web, 2) high-risk transactions, and 3) potential threats detected by Watson Artificial Intelligence
  • Anti-phishing mobile app
  • Safe browsing extension
  • Your child’s information on the Dark Web (Family plan only)

Total Plan

The Total Plan offers all features of the Value Plan, providing identity theft protection, plus credit monitoring services. It’s $19.99 per month for individuals, while the family plan is $29.99 per month.

Services provided under the Total Plan include:

  • All services of the Basic Plan for both individuals and families
  • Monthly credit score
  • Bank account takeovers
  • Requests to open checking or savings accounts with your information

Premier Plan

The Premier Plan is Identity Guard’s top of the line protection plan, offering all the features of the Total Plan, plus additional services for both identity theft protection and credit monitoring. It’s $24.99 per month for an individual, and $34.99 per month for a family plan.

Additional services provided under the Premier Plan include:

  • All services of the Basic and Total Plans for both individuals and families
  • 3-bureau credit report
  • Social insight report
  • Potential cyber bullying on social media (family plan only)

How to Sign Up for Identity Guard With Watson

To sign up with Identity Guard, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Home address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Social Security number
  • Your credit card information for billing purposes

The entire sign-up process can be completed in about 10 minutes. Various levels of encryption and access control are employed to secure the security of transmitted data.

You will need to create a user ID and password for your account. Membership begins immediately after you complete enrollment.

You can add your children to a family plan, however other adult members of your household will need to be invited to sign up by email. There’ll be no additional charge for their enrollment, nor will any adults be able to access the personal information of other adults in the household.

Cancelation.*** You can cancel your subscription at any time. Since cancellations are processed at the end of each billing period, you’ll continue to have access to your account until the end of the term. There is no credit, refund, price adjustment, or any other discount, compensation or recompense for partial use as a result of early cancellation.

Customer service. Available by phone, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM, and Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (all times Eastern). Identity Guard can also be contacted by email.

Identity Guard Mobile App. Available through the App Store for iOS devices, 9.3 or later. It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Available on Google Play for Android devices, 5.0 and up.

Will Identity Guard Work for You?

Given the amount of information available on each one of us, some sort of identity theft protection and credit monitoring system has become an absolute necessity. The time to get a plan is before you become a victim. The sooner you can begin protecting yourself after a theft has been detected, the greater your chances of minimizing the damage.

With its partnership with Watson, Identity Guard has increased its reputation as one of the very best identity theft protection and credit monitoring services available. You can choose a Value Plan for under $9 per month – or less than $15 per month for a family – and that will provide you most of the protection you’ll need. But if you have a particularly complicated financial situation, or you’ve been the victim of identity theft in the past, you may want to choose one of the premium services instead.

Identity Guard is a cost-effective way to help protect against or minimize the complete financial disaster that identity theft can become. It’s time to think of identity theft protection and credit monitoring as another form of insurance. In that sense, Identity Guard is one of the best insurance plans you can buy.

Try Identity Guard Today!

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About Kevin Mercadante

Since 2009, Kevin Mercadante has been sharing his journey from a washed-up mortgage loan officer emerging from the Financial Meltdown as a contract/self-employed "slash worker" – accountant/blogger/freelance blog writer – on He offers career strategies, from dealing with under-employment to transitioning into self-employment, and provides "Alt-retirement strategies" for the vast majority who won’t retire to the beach as millionaires.

He also frequently discusses the big-picture trends that are putting the squeeze on the bottom 90%, offering workarounds and expense cutting tips to help readers carve out more money to save in their budgets – a.k.a., breaking the "savings barrier" and transitioning from debtor to saver.

Kevin has a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Montclair State University.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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