In a Nutshell
- Impressive AI algorithm powered by IBM technology
- Credit monitoring across 3 bureaus
- Dark Web monitoring to detect PII use on illicit fora
- Relatively new to the market
- Top tier is more expensive than competitor providers
- Cloud-only monitoring
A Brilliant Solution For
- People that want to be tipped off about any use of their personal information on the Dark Web
- Those that need comprehensive address monitoring
- Customers looking to work for a newer and more agile player in the identity theft protection space
How Does It Work
Identity Defense is an entirely cloud based system. Users are able to log in to an online environment which is hosted on the provider’s website. The tool does not include desktop-based privacy protection features such as a password management vault or a browser extension. Instead, after signing up, users provide the company with key credentials such as their address, name, and financial information. Once this has been provided, the tool uses its AI-based detection algorithm to constantly scan the clear and Dark Webs for any mentions of these. If these are detected, then users are immediately alerted in order to allow them to take defensive action.
What Does The Service Watch Out For
Identity Defense keeps an eye out for:
- Address changes. The service looks for any mentions of your home or business address on the internet and will alert you in case these are seen.
- Account takeover activity. If users’ bank account information is detected anywhere on either the clear or Dark Web then they are alerted too. This can often be an indication that cybercrooks are plotting to take over the account by sharing users’ financial details.
- Plus and Complete subscribers also get access to 3-Bureau credit monitoring. This notifies users in case any changes to their official credit ratings are detected. Again, this could indicate that fraudulent activity is at hand.
Additionally, the tool looks out for:
- Leaked business details. These can be used in impersonation attempts.
- Social Security number (SSN) mentions. As users should never post their Social Security number online—any time this is mentioned is suspicious and could be an indication that cyber criminals are plotting nefarious activities.
Identity Defense offers a $1 million identity theft insurance guarantee. This guarantee is underwritten by “insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American Internation Group Inc.” according to the provider’s website.
Therefore, the extent of what users may be able to have reimbursed in the event of a successful cyberbreach will likely depend upon these providers’ policies and terms and conditions. Additionally, coverage details may vary depending upon which jurisdiction and location the user is in.
The service’s specialty, however, is in its proactive monitoring of the internet and Dark Web using IBM Watson. While the team says that they undertake basic credential recovery services, it cannot be compared in this respect to more advanced providers that have entire trained teams working on customers’ behalf to secure details and lock down compromised accounts.
How Easy Is It to Use?
Because Identity Defense is a cloud-only provider, it’s quick and easy for customers to get set up on. Users simply have to sign up for an account online to get the ball rolling. To do that, users choose whether they are interested in individual or family protection and select the tier, and billing cycle (monthly or yearly) that they are interested in.
After gaining access to the cloud based dashboard, users provide the tool with their PII. And then the monitoring magic happens on the backend.
Identity Defense is available for individual users and families. The family tier covers one household and extends the monitoring provided to the user’s immediate dependents.
Three tiers are available: Essential ($6.99 / month billed annually); Plus ($9.99 /month billed annually) and Complete ($14.99 / month billed annually).
Essential offers access to Identity Defense’s AI-based detection platforms and includes Dark Web monitoring and risk management reporting. By upgrading to Plus, users can enjoy 3 Bureau Credit Monitoring, a monthly credit score checker, and also get address monitoring. On the top tier (Complete) users receive a social insight report and bank account takeover monitoring and notifications.
Pricing is as follows for individuals:
Pricing is as follows for family subscribers:
Promotional pricing is available for the first year only. Thereafter, the service renews at a higher (“regular”) rate.
Help and Support
If users need help then they can open an online ticket through the back end of the website. While Identity Defense is lacking an openly accessible knowledge base and telephone support, users have generally found it easy to reach the team when they required to do so.
Identity Defense is a relatively new player on the identity theft protection market. It’s a cloud only tool—but its PII monitoring is powered by some very impressive AI tech provided courtesy of IBM Watson. Its higher tiers offer credit bureau and account takeover monitoring. While it’s not the most rounded option on the market, for those that want the basics of keeping track of identity theft attempts on the internet and Dark Web, it’s a good and fairly priced service.