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ProtectMyID Review

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A few months ago, I wrote a LifeLock review in which I broke down their services and tried to figure out if the service was worth it. My conclusion was that the service was comprehensive but outside of the $1M guarantee, didn’t offer anything you couldn’t do yourself (do it yourself identity protection covers what you can do). With identity theft protection services, you’re really buying peace of mind and a service plan where they do the work for you. Is the time it takes to do it yourself worth more than $9 a month? If it is, then companies like LifeLock are worth it. If you prefer to do it yourself and are diligent enough to keep at it, then you certainly could do it yourself.

So why a review of ProtectMyID? A service that seems to be similar to LifeLock? Two reasons:

  • They offer a 30-day free trial, and,
  • It’s run by Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus.

One of the biggest concerns with LifeLock is the fact that you’re giving them your sensitive information to begin with. With ProtectMyID, you’re just identifying yourself because Experian already has all of you information! It’s like using myFICO to check your credit scores, you aren’t giving your data to a third party, you’re giving it to the main party itself. (in myFICO’s case, that’s Fair Isaac Corporation)

Service Overview

For all intents and purposes, ProtectMyID offers the same type of service that LifeLock and other identity theft protection services offer with two notable differences:

1. Constant Monitoring of Credit Reports

LifeLock, and similar companies like TrustedID, put fraud alerts on your credit reports, ProtectMyID takes it one step further by monitoring your credit reports (at Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) daily. In my opinion, this is something you can’t possibly feasibly do yourself and marks a departure from the standard offering.

In addition to this daily monitoring, they have an alert system that notifies you, by SMS if you want, of any changes to your account like address changes, new credit applications, or new account openings. This is similar to what other services offer however ProtectMyID likely does it faster because they are checking every day.

2. No eRecon

LifeLock offers a service where they search through websites known to traffick in personal information and looks for yours. ProtectMyID doesn’t offer this or anything like this.

One feature that is similar but slightly different is the $1 million guarantee. For a ProtectMyID customer to be eligible, they must file a police report within 10 days from the date you received the identity theft notification (by SMS or email) or first learned of the identity theft. You then have to report that theft to the Experian Fraud Resolution Department, available M-F, 6AM-6PM. Finally, you have to notify the two other bureaus of the theft. It’s not an unreasonable set of rules but it’s more than what LifeLock requires. The amount and scope of coverage between the two are similar though.

About Identity Theft Protection Services

After looking at both Lifelock and ProtectMyID, I still come to the same conclusion that you’re buying a bit of service (the stuff you can do yourself, DIY identity theft protection) and a lot of identity theft insurance. If you want the insurance, I think ProtectMyID, especially since you can give it a test run for 30 days, is probably a better offer.

LifeLock’s eRecon doesn’t seem like that great of a differentiator. Thieves don’t post sensitive information on websites, even if they’re selling them. They’re simply selling lists and unless LifeLock plans to start buying lists, which is probably illegal, then they probably won’t find your name for sale.

If I had to choose, I’d choose ProtectMyID.

{ 19 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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19 Responses to “ProtectMyID Review”

  1. Joe says:

    This was helpful, thank you.

  2. Steve Ely says:

    Good review. You make a point that is lost on most people. If you’re going to sign up for ID Theft Protection from ANYBODY, why give your sensitive personal identity information to somebody new? You’re just increasing your exposure, and what level of confidence do you REALLY have that their security procedures are really protecting your sensitive data.

  3. Avery says:

    I never use protectMyID or lifelock.

  4. Mark Glowacz says:

    I never heard of ProtectMyID but it is an interesting product. Have you checked out Debix? I was a customer and let the service lapse; I’d be curious to see your impressions of their service in comparison to these other two.

  5. Todd Sims says:

    Why have the same company who sells your information protect it? Will they continue to market your private info to “select stratigic partners”? I think an independent co. would better serve an individual. Just a thought.

    • karen says:

      ACTUALLY PROTECTMYID DOES INCLUDE INTERNET SWEEPER AND SECOND experian doesnt sell ur personal information it just has it its one of the major national credit bureaus…i suggest going to experian.com if u dont know what a credit bureau is.

  6. Cruzin says:

    I purchased ProtectMyID with the free trial. What a disaster. Each time I logged in, I would get a panel asking me to register my kids. My kids are grown and out of the house. Any where I went on the site, the same panel would come up. I called in and was told that it’s a known problem. After 10 days of not being able to use the service, I canceled. The biggest laugh was when the help desk associate said, sir remember us if you would like to come back. I stopped her and said, you couldn’t get the website to work for me, why would I ever come back? If they can’t run a website, I wouldn’t trust them with my identity.

    • Mayank says:

      I totally agree with you.. Even I experienced the same.

      Their Website totally sucks, if they can run their website, I cannot trust them either.

  7. Jim says:

    Karen,
    I went to Experian. After looking over the list of services they sell, using them to protect your ID is like putting the Fox in charge of the Hen House. I agree with Todd.

  8. Jeremy says:

    I think it would be harder to trust an independent company and most importantly see if they are genuine. Majority of online sites are full of scams themselves. Even Lifelock.com practiced deceptive business, read the article here:
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/03/lifelock-accused-of-running-con-operation/

    To Todd: They don’t sell your information, otherwise…they’d be doing the same thing as black market sellers…selling identities. What they do is sell a “profile”, as in what the person usually buys, to companies with a legally-recognized reason. They don’t sell your personal information at all. FYI, you can opt of that service if you call the credit bureau.

    To Jim: It’s better than spending thousands, upon thousands of dollars trying to regain your identity back. My cousin went through this painful process and had to spend a great amount of money out of his pocket to regain his identity back. A few dollars a month to protect identity is well worth the value.

    To Cruzin: I have never experienced that problem when I log in. You can’t really write an argument if you really haven’t used their services. One minor quirk on a website doesn’t equate to trusting a company. If that really did happen, than that must have been fixed a long time ago.

  9. TeraDusenberry says:

    Actually their toll free number is not working, and I tried via email with no response as to canceling my account. I am very upset and will reporting them to the BBB

  10. Rick C says:

    1) Suppose I find out my personal data is for sale on some web site that traffics in PIA. What can I do about it? Nothing. I live life assuming my data has been stolen and act accordingly.
    2) Lifelocks $1M guarantee only protects against Lifelock failure. Good luck proving it. How do I value my loss to file a claim? It could be time consuming and expensive. Most HO insurance covers ID theft incidents.
    3) My bank offers inexpensive daily credit report monitoring. I know it works, as every time I have have bought a car or taken out a mortgage I get an email reporting it.
    4) The TrueAddress service could be valuable. I have a close friend who got cleaned out of a nice $100K, and it started with a surreptitious change of address to the PO. Is there any other entity that offers that? Also, state motor vehicle records need to be monitored for address change, so thief isn’t trying to scam a fake ID.

  11. James M. Busby says:

    SCAM! We used this service as suggested from our credit union, and it bounced us twice. All of these products are scams. If you buy into these things and such, like extended warranties, I have some land down here in Florida to sell ya.

    If your info is gonna be stolen, it will be “stolen” from the number of different servers your E-stores use. Did you just see the 50,000 names Amazon just lost in a hack? Do you shop at Amazon? Your info has already been mined and banked ten times over. Don’t be naive. Fact is, unless you are “Important”, no one cares about you except the marketers (who stole your info first!)

    Don’t support insurance scams. Isn’t home-owner’s enough?

  12. Mayank says:

    Hi All,

    Let me share my experience and some insight about Protect my ID.

    1) There service might be good after you sign up. But the signup process is the most horrible by any industry standards.

    – If you choose not to auto renew you account next year, the very next day you will get an email that you membership is CANCELLED.

    - Once you sign up, All of a sudden the website goes blank page.

    - If you try to call them to sign up again and tell the issue that you are facing, none of the customer representative really is clear with the Sign up process, and they all will keep charging you money.

    - Their website, where you put in all your information is pathetic, all of a sudden one fine day you will find that all the information is erased

    God know who is managing their IT Systems but I know feel secure by all of my above experience.

    Regards,
    Mayank

  13. CWatson says:

    I got LifeLock because of its advertising in NRA magazines (and maybe AARP). But it is charging my credit card $18 per month for their most basic protection level! I found this Bargaineering website because AAA is now offering ProtectMyID FREE WITH AAA MEMBERSHIP (YOU MUST ENROLL IN ProtectMyID Essential IN ORDER TO RECEIVE BENEFITS). Or PROVIDES EXTRA SURVEILLANCE THROUGHOUT YOUR DAILY LIFE FOR $6.95/MONTH (56% DISCOUNT FOR AAA MEMBERS) to monitor the other two credit bureaus. Does anyone need this? Does anyone need AAA or any other insurance? I’ve found AAA worthwhile. After the reviews on this website, I’ve decided to cancel my LifeLock and get the free version of ProtectMyId, since I am gonna keep AAA.

    • Frank says:

      I belong to AAA also and called the 800 for ProtectMyId to find out more info and have them give me examples of how certain cases would be handled. I was talking with Humberto, yes a spanish accented cust service rep. After a couple questions and working thru an example, the line got disconnected!! Guess they are only interested in people who want to sign up without asking ?’s. There was a section in the Terms of the Contract about arbitration that I wanted to clear up and understand, but never got around to that. It is free thru AAA for the basic service and only Experian is used to monitor, but for $69/yr you can get the other two credit agencies and a 1Mill insurance. You see, ProtectMyId will help you resolve an ID theft case, but they charge you for it. THe insurance helps cover it, but the free plan is a $25K insurance, and Humberto said it could cost more, which is then out of pocket to you. If you can’t get straight answers from the rep, then you are just rolling the dice. But again, at least thru AAA, the basic plan is free. Don’t know if I will sigh up or not.

  14. Ron Mueller says:

    Until today, I used ProtectMyID via my AAA membership. Last week I received an alert from ProtectMyID but couldn’t log into my page to get the details on the alert. I called customer service and they initiated a trouble ticket. Today they called and said my account was deleted due to a security issue, with no further explanation.
    I also use LifeLock and have never had any problem with them. I received an alert from them at the same time and they are looking into it. At least they haven’t called to tell me they are dropping me.
    Take my advice and use LifeLock instead of ProtectMyID.

  15. Samir says:

    Experian also runs The Work Number which is a terrible job verification system. Terrible, terrible. That’s why I hesitate to use ProtectYourId. However, Target is now offering free ProtectYourID memberships to people. I am so mad. I wish they had offered LifeLock as I trust LifeLock so much more. You know you can also monitor your credit report for free at creditkarma. That’s what I use.

  16. bsmyther says:

    Thanks for the review. I found it very useful to the point and short : )


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