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Really, what’s the point, right?  I mean, you can do all this stuff yourself, for free.  Well, here’s the point – I’ve been using Identity Guard for over a year now and wouldn’t do without it.  I love the “No News is Good News” updates, the FICO score dashboard, the account change alerts and the “dispute an entry” quicklinks.  Frankly, it’s been a huge stress reducer and I’m not even fully using all the features (though I plan to be doing so as the year progresses).  For $14.95 per month it includes credit monitoring, credit card vaulting, password vaulting, online (and mobile) lockbox for key documents (as in less paper) and information as well as several computer security and identity theft features.  The site is easy to use and it is essentially “one stop shopping” for critical personal information services.

I did review and compare several services and Identity Guard ranked consistently at or near the top, I can’t speak personally to other services, but there are several sites that compare credit monitoring companies and plans.  To be fair, this article from Smart Money disagrees with me and makes several free suggestions – $30 to lock all your credit reports so no one can pull them (this also affects any credit checks that you require, though), use the free annual credit reports and file disputes with the companies yourself, etc.  All true – this is not a necessity and may not be worth the expense to you.  For me, it keeps an area of my life managed with little to no effort on my part and provides paperless peace of mind.