Infographic: Summer Driving Safety Tips

Free from ice patches and frigid temperatures, you might think that driving in the summer is a breeze compared to during the winter. On the contrary, the summer months of June, July, and August see 29% road deaths than winter months, making it the most dangerous driving season.

The hazards of summer driving are less obvious at first glance, so follow these guidelines to keep safe:

summer driving safety

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Infographic: Home Swimming Pool Safety

Smart pool owners understand that safety comes before everything. Having a backyard swimming pool makes your home the perfect place for family and friends to let loose on balmy summer afternoons, but brings its own set of safety risks and challenges requiring constant attention.

Parents must be particularly observant, as drowning is the primary cause of accidental death in the U.S. for children ages 1-4, while thousands more kids are treated for pool-related injuries every year.

To ensure that your swimming pool is a safe area for everyone, follow these tips:

summer pool safety

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Identity Guard Review – 2019

Identity Guard Review - 2019

Identity Guard provides robust credit and identity monitoring services and flexible plans, but if your identity should get stolen, you’ll be the one doing all the heavy lifting to restore it.

Quality and Warranty

Identity Guard advertises restoration assistance, but it only includes phone support, which isn’t even 24/7, and a $1 million identity theft insurance. If your identity should be stolen, the company covers the recovery costs up to $1 million in legal fees, travel expenses, lost wages, and child care. The insurance doesn’t cover losses incurred during the theft, and its availability varies by state, while the limit depends on your subscription.

It’s worth mentioning the scores are calculated using the data from the three national credit bureaus. But Identity Guard relies on CreditXpert to calculate your score, which isn’t something lenders usually use to evaluate your credit. And CreditXpert scores differ from those provided by FICO. So it comes as no surprise that Identity Guard says the score is provided for educational purposes only.


Identity monitoring covers any suspicious activity on your name, SSN, bank accounts and credit reports.

Note: it doesn’t monitor your driver’s license. And it only allows you to add one email, physical address, and phone number.

Credit reports and scores – the high-tier plans provide access to your credit reports from the three agencies updated on a quarterly or monthly basis, and your credit score.

Credit analyzer is an online tool that helps you simulate how your financial choices might affect your credit.

Lost wallet protection provides up to $2,000 in emergency cash, while the company assists in canceling your lost or stolen credit cards.

Notifications – if your accounts show suspicious activity, the service sends alerts by text, phone, or email. Each time a new account is opened in your name, or your existing accounts are edited, you get an ID verification alert.

Mobile app by Identity Guard is not its strongest point. It provides you alerts and scores, but there isn’t much you can do from it. Plus, the Android app is desperately dated, with the last update rolled out in 2014. The iTunes app was updated in early-2018 but still sports a 1.9-star rating.

Cybersecurity – some of Identity Guard plans bundle computer security software:

  • PrivacyProtect keyboard encryption tool encrypts your keystrokes to thwart keyloggers, but it only works on Windows.
  • ZoneAlarm antivirus suite comes complete with a firewall, anti-malware, and anti-spyware modules.
  • ID Vault password manager encrypts and stores your passwords, credit card information, aliases, etc.

IBM Watson – Identity Guard deploys IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence cognitive computing to sift through news, social networks, and publicly available reports for mentions of your personal details. It also scans the Dark Web marketplaces to detect if your ID is up for sale on the black market.


Identity Guard has three tiers of individual and family plans available in monthly subscriptions. You can cancel any time without incurring termination fees.

Note: family plans cover all adults and children living in one household.

  • Value - $8.99/mo for individuals and $14.99/mo for families
  • Total - $19.99/mo for individuals and $29.99/mo for families
  • Premier - $24.99/mo for individuals and $34.99/mo for families

All plans include IBM Watson AI, $1 million insurance (its limit depends on your plan), a dedicated case manager, risk management score, online dashboard and mobile apps, alerts about mentions of your ID on the Dark Web, high-risk transactions, potential threats, an anti-phishing mobile app, and a safe browsing extension.

Total adds alerts on monthly credit score from the three bureaus, three-bureau credit changes, bank account takeovers, and requests to open new savings or checking accounts on your name.

Premier tops it off with the 3-bureau credit report, and a social insight report (Facebook-only).

For comprehensive credit monitoring, you’ll have to opt for the high-tier plans. But overall, Identity Guard is a viable solution for families as the rates are affordable when compared to its competitors’ offers.


Identity Guard customer service, unfortunately, generated a slew of negative reviews. If you sign up via one of Identity Guard’s affiliates, for example, you might get a better deal than with Identity Guard itself. But users report the company may fail to honor the discounts provided by affiliates.

One of the disturbing and recurring complaints, however, is the delay in alerts about suspicious activity and credit inquiries.

The customer service is available Monday through Friday during work hours. Good luck if you receive an alert on a weekend.​


The browser-based dashboard is user-friendly but riddled with promotions to upgrade. The navigation menus are straightforward, and everything is one-click away – your alerts, status of your accounts, and reports.

Identity Guard mobile experience, however, leaves a lot to be desired both regarding updates and usability. The fact that an identity protection company fails to update its mobile app in the last four years speaks volumes about how it handles its customer data. A mobile app that hasn’t received a single security patch this long can’t be trusted.

Not helping is the fact that a good part of the cybersecurity tools is Windows-only, so Mac users paying for high-end plans can’t use the extra benefits.

Things to Consider

  • Not much in terms of identity restoration assistance
  • Negative customer reviews about the company’s support service
  • Insurance limit – the low-tier plan only gets a fraction of the advertised $1 million
  • Alert delays – Identity Guard sends you an alert once an update hits the credit bureau, not immediately after someone uses your credit

Important Tips

  • You might find a better deal with Identity Guard affiliates, but customer reports suggest the company may fail to honor affiliate discounts.
  • The company changes its pricing from time to time, and you can switch plans to get better coverage. But to do so, you have to cancel your current membership, and then sign up again.


Identity Guard is a feasible solution for families, and its credit monitoring service is solid. But if you’re looking for a company fully-equipped to help you should the worst happen, consider its competitors.



  • Monthly reports
  • Scores from all three credit agencies
  • $1 million insurance (varies by plan)
  • Affordable family plans
  • Antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spyware, password manager, anti-keylogging tools


  • The credit score is calculated using CreditXpert
  • The best features are available in premium-tier plans
  • The interface is riddled with promotions
  • Only monitors for one email and phone number
  • Doesn’t monitor driver’s license
  • Sub-par mobile app
  • Alert may come with delays

Privacy Guard Review – 2019

Privacy Guard Review - 2019

Privacy Guard provides you with comprehensive credit reporting, credit monitoring and identity theft assistance. Top benefits include credit reports and scores form the three national credit bureaus, a credit simulator, and daily credit monitoring.

Quality and Warranty

Privacy Guard subscriptions come with a 14-day trial period. It’s not free, however, but costs $1. Like many other identity protection services, Privacy Guard offers a $1 million in identity theft insurance to recoup losses from theft, including fees and lost wages. But the terms vary by state, so inquire with the sales agent. Privacy Guard doesn’t have yearly contracts, so you can cancel any time without incurring cancellation fees.


Daily credit monitoring – Privacy Guard checks Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion for information that indicates a potential identity theft, such as changes in your address, new accounts, as well as public records and any derogatory information added to your credit file. Should it find something, it contacts you, and if the activity is illegitimate, the company provides information on how you can resolve the issue.

You can also track your scores and set custom alerts for specific changes or milestones.

Assistance in canceling lost or stolen cards – you can register up to 10 credit cards and document numbers. If any of them get lost or stolen, the company can cancel the cards for you.

Identity theft guidance – Privacy Guard does not handle the related paperwork but can provide you with the necessary documentation to file disputes, and advise you throughout the process.

Cybersecurity – the company provides you with computer security software.

Reimbursement – Privacy Guard reimburses you for filing for a copy of your driving record, which could affect your insurance eligibility or employment chances. The company also reimburses you for a Medical Insurance Bureau file, which includes information about your health, medical tests the insurer has paid for, chronic conditions, and your risky activities or hobbies. With the help of this information, you can see if someone is using your medical insurance fraudulently.

Financial calculators and neighborhood reports – the service can provide you with custom reports on neighborhood statistics if, for example, you consider buying a new home. A top-tier Privacy Guard plan provides you with a detailed overview of the neighborhood crime rates, home values, demographics, pollution, and even climate.


The company offers a 14-day trial period for $1. Beyond that, you can cancel any time without incurring early cancellation fees. There is no price lock guarantee, however.

Privacy Guard offers three monthly subscription tiers, all backed by the $1 million insurance:

  • ID Protection at $9.99/mo includes dedicated ID fraud resolution support, ID verification monitoring, Dark Web, SSN, and public web monitoring, national change of address monitoring, annual public records report and monitoring, online fraud and lost wallet assistance.
  • Credit Protection at $19.99/mo offers triple-bureau credit reports, scores, and credit monitoring, monthly credit score tracking, credit information hotline, dedicated ID fraud resolution support, credit scores simulator, and financial calculator suite.
  • Total Protection at $24.99/mo includes all of the features of ID Protection and Credit Protection plans and adds child SSN monitoring, neighborhood reports, registered offender locator, reduced pre-approved credit card offers, personal records reimbursement, and emergency cash.


Customer service is accessible by phone or email Monday through Friday 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET, and on Saturdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET. Their site also provides useful information on credit and identity theft.

Unfortunately, the Privacy Guard support service has earned a bad reputation due to numerous customer complaints about the lackluster quality, long wait times, and billing issues.


Signing up for Privacy Guard is simple. After entering your name and address, you need to provide your SSN to verify your identity and submit your credit card information. From there, you can activate your three-bureau credit monitoring, get your hands on your credit report and access other features.

The user interface is a bit dated, but you should have no difficulty finding the information you need. The service also does a good job of providing you highly detailed explanations of your scores, complete with a breakdown of factors that are helping and those that are hurting your score.

On top of that, Privacy Guard gives a roundup of the discrepancies in your credit reports across the three different bureaus. This can help you detect erroneous information one of the bureaus may have on your file.

A nifty what-if simulator lets you estimate how your scores might change based on your actions, for example, if you pay down debt or have a credit inquiry.

Things to Consider

  • No child ID protection – if you have kids, you would have to buy a full-fledged standalone plan for each. Child SSN monitoring is only available in the top-tier plan.
  • No mobile app or mobile alerts.
  • No bank account monitoring.
  • Although the credit monitoring feature is useful to alert you to risks, and the company offers some assistance along the way, it’s ultimately up to you to take care of your identity theft.
  • In 2013, Privacy Guard’s parent company Affinion Group paid $19 million to affected customers in a government action regarding allegations of misleading marketing practices.

Important Tips

  • Privacy Guard regularly checks your credit report for account changes, which is something you can do for free at sites like, Credit Karma, or Privacy Guard advantage is you get access to credit reports from all three bureaus in one place, while free sites provide you with reports from two bureaus at most.
  • Emergency cash – if your cards are lost or stolen when you are on a trip more than 100 miles away from home, Privacy Guard can send you up to $1,000 in cash and a prepaid one-way ticket home.


Privacy Guard provides the usual credit and identity monitoring services you can find elsewhere. But it doesn’t offer some of the useful features, such as child ID monitoring and protection, a mobile app, and bank account monitoring. The service is average at best.



  • Monitoring of all three major credit bureaus
  • 14-day $1-worth trial
  • Identity theft recovery guidance
  • Lost wallet assistance
  • $1 million insurance
  • Financial calculators and neighborhood reports


  • Lack of identity theft prevention features
  • No comprehensive child ID protection
  • No bank account monitoring
  • No mobile app
  • Poor customer support

LifeLock Review – 2019

LifeLock Review - 2019

LifeLock, a Symantec company, is a robust service with many strong features wrapped in plans ideal for individual users. But it’s too pricey if you need to monitor for the entire family, while its basic plans have fairly limited features.

Quality and Warranty

LifeLock offers a $1 million insurance stating it will reimburse you “dollar for dollar” should the worst happen and your identity gets stolen. A closer look at their pricing structure reveals, however, that the company’s reimbursement limit depends on your subscription. In other words, you need to subscribe to a high-tier plan to have that $1 million protection.

The company also offers monthly and yearly subscriptions complete with a 60-day money-back guarantee. You can cancel any time without incurring early cancellation fees, too.


Personal data monitoring – one user can track one Social Security Number, and only one driver's license number, which is understandable. But you can also track your mother's maiden name, up to 10 bank accounts and credit cards, up to five addresses, emails, and phone numbers.

Alerts – whenever the service detects your address in online searchable documents or identifies that someone is trying to open a bank account in your name using your SSN, it alerts you immediately via email, phone, or text, based on your preferences. If a financial transaction is in question, you can approve or reject it from the dashboard or mobile app.

Lost wallet assistance comes handy if you should ever need help getting a new driver's license, credit cards, or insurance cards.

Bank account monitoring is the one feature that makes LifeLock worth the investment. LifeLock will monitor your bank account for any fraudulent activity by using read-only access to view your recent transactions. You can review your transactions directly from LifeLock interface, too, but the major benefit here is the company will keep an eye on your account to secure lines of credit.

You can also customize your alerts and receive notifications for transactions exceeding a certain amount.

Note: LifeLock lets you monitor your 401K account, a feature you won’t find with many competitors in the field.

LifeLock mobile app for iOS and Android gives you access to all the resources you have in your browser-based dashboard. Notably, in many cases, competitors’ mobile apps come with chopped functionality. But LifeLock’s app is polished and advanced, letting you approve or reject financial transactions and chat with LifeLock customer service.

Dark Web monitoring – LifeLock monitors black market sites where identity thieves sell stolen IDs and alerts you if it finds your data is up for sale.

LifeLock can also remove your name from pre-approved credit card mailing lists often targeted by identity thieves.


LifeLock doesn’t have the easiest-to-digest pricing structure. The three plans on its pricing page may or may not reflect discounts, but the actual roster of plans contains more than a dozen items. It is this list you want to check before subscribing because it includes the prices without the discounts, which is what you get to pay when your next billing period is due.

LifeLock Standard for one user is priced at $9.99/mo or $109.89/year and gets you SNN monitoring, credit alerts from one bureau, and up to $25,000 coverage for identity fraud-related losses.

LifeLock Advantage for one user costs $219.89/year or $19.99/mo and adds alerts about credit card and banking activity, as well as monitoring for crime recors. It also raises cover for ID theft losses to $100,000.

LifeLock Ultimate Plus costs $29.99/mo or $32.89/year and gets you up to $1 million reimbursements for stolen funds, as well as alerts for 401K and investment activities. It also adds three bureau credit reports and score monitoring.

Also, LifeLock Junior addon costs $5.99/mo or $65.99/year, while LifeLock Senior addon is priced at $19.99/mo or $219.89/year for both of your parents. But if you want to add your spouse to your plan, you have to pay the full price. As a result, your LifeLock bill can quickly bloat if you’re going to monitor data of your entire family.

For additional $3-$5/mo, you can get Norton Security Online to any of these plans. It might block malware attacks and protect your Win, Mac, Android, and iOS devices from spyware. Since it’s a Symantec product, which ranks high among consumer antivirus suites, Norton could be worth the investment, but the full Norton Security suite is still more robust than its online sibling.

LifeLock doesn't offer a free trial but backs your purchase with a 60-day money-back guarantee and zero dollars early termination fees.


LifeLock provides 24/7 customer service via toll-free phone number. Its identity restoration agents, however, are only available during business hours, which makes sense because they have to work with banks and other institutions to resolve identity theft-related disputes.


LifeLock web-based dashboard offers a clean and intuitive user interface complete with credit scores, recent alerts, reports, self-descriptive tabs, and a wealth of useful information in the FAQs section. Its mobile app allows editing information and approving or rejecting transactions, as well as receiving alerts, and contacting the customer service directly.

Things to Consider

  • LifeLock’s reputation is not perfect. FTC fined it $12 million for deceptive advertising practice in 2010, and another $100 million in 2015 for failure to apply critical security measures to protect consumer data – a sequence of ironic precedents for an ID theft protection company.
  • USA Today picked up a story about a woman whose ex-husband opened a fraudulent LifeLock account to spy on her. When the victim contacted LifeLock for assistance, the company tried to blame it on her, refusing to acknowledge the responsibility.
  • LifeLock provides credit report monitoring on a yearly basis.
  • The $1 million insurance is actually a part of the high-tier plan only.
  • Their low-tier plans provide limited protection without financial monitoring.

Important Tips

You have to provide LifeLock with a limited power of attorney for the company to assist you in restoring your identity and credit score, should your identity be compromised.


LifeLock provides excellent identity theft protection features and 24/7 customer support, but the prices aren’t family-friendly, while the reimbursement insurance depends on your subscription.



  • 24-hour support
  • Monitors Dark Web
  • Bank account and credit monitoring
  • Provides credit reports
  • Scans public records
  • Recovery assistance
  • Robust mobile app
  • 60-day money-back guarantee


  • Not suited to families and anyone on a budget
  • Monitors fewer accounts than the competition
  • No free trial
  • Questionable reputation

IDShield Review – 2019

IDShield Review - 2019

IDShield identity monitoring services are ideally priced for spouses and large families, while its $5 million insurance on identity restoration and a licensed private investigator get IDShield a competitive edge over its pricier competitors. It may lack some credit monitoring perks, but it offers a surprisingly robust package at a modest price.

Quality and Warranty

IDShield provides a $5 million coverage of your identity restoration, should it ever be stolen. It’s not the same as insurance other companies offer to cover your ID theft-associated losses (fees, wages, etc.). Instead, IDShield will spend up to $5 million to restore your identity to its pre-theft state. This includes investigation and rebuilding your credit rating. There is no extra fee for the $5 million service guarantee – it comes with every IDShield plan.

Their ID restoration services are handled by Kroll Inc., a private investigative firm, while its credit-monitoring data comes from only one credit agency on a quarterly basis. Also, IDShield does not offer any composite creditworthiness score, such as those from Vantage of FICO.


IDShield watches for anything unusual associated with your personal information – known breaches, credit activity, and IDs sold on the Dark Web.

Credit activity information comes from only one credit bureau. You receive quarterly credit reports and three additional annual credit reports.

Personal data monitoring by IDShield embraces a surprising amount of data you can track. You can add only one driver’s license per person, but up to 10 bank account numbers, credit/debit cards, medical ID numbers, emails, and up to 11 phone numbers. And if you add a spouse to your plan, you effectively double the maximum number of monitored accounts.

IDShield also monitors your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, searching for posts and words associated with foul language, drugs, violence, and unauthorized use of your personal information.

Also, IDShield looks at court orders, payday loans, and other publicly available documents to detect any illegal activity attributed to you.

Cybersecurity from IDShield comes down to a Splikity password manager. It’s cross-platform and cloud-based, so you can use it on all your devices. But there is no anti-malware or anti-phishing solution on offer.

IDShield mobile app for iOS and Android shows all pending alerts, your recent credit score, and the information the provider is monitoring for you. The app also sends you push notifications if there is suspicious activity on any of the monitored accounts. It’s also quite sleek and robust and has a panic button you can use to connect with an investigator if something looks off.


IDShield pricing structure is a stark contrast to other services in a way that it offers the same service and features in all its plans. The only difference is the number of people covered by a plan.

You are billed either on a monthly or yearly basis, but annual subscriptions do not provide any discounts. You can cancel any time by sending a written notice to the company. There are no early cancellation fees, but there is no free trial either.

IDShield Individual is a single-user subscription modestly priced at $9.95/mo, while IDShield Family subscription at $24.95/mo covers you, your spouse or partner, and up to eight minors or dependents. When your kids turn 18, they will no longer be eligible for the special pricing of the family plan. But IDShield will provide all the necessary information so that you can transition them to their individual accounts.

Here is a brief roundup of what information IDShield monitors for each person on your plan and what services it includes:

  • Personal information – passport number, SSN, driver’s license, date of birth, name, address, social media accounts, up to 10 phone numbers, and 10 emails
  • Financial information – loan and lease, up to 10 bank accounts, up to 10 credit cards
  • Public records
  • Criminal records
  • Fraud monitoring and alerts
  • Stolen wallet assistance
  • $5 million ID restoration guarantee


For non-emergency assistance, you can call or email IDShield from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central time on weekdays. IDShield agents are quick in dispensing smart ID protection advice. But a Kroll Consultation and Restoration investigator is available 24/7 in the event of an identity fraud emergency.

Since a confirmed ID theft is the worst case scenario, an individual investigator will be assigned to you to fix as much damage as possible. You will have to give the company a limited power of attorney to handle the case for you. Again, the company will spend up to $5 million to restore your stolen identity.

If you were to lose your wallet, the company also helps by canceling your cards for you. Its FAQs section has helpful guides on how to get a new driver’s license or replace a stolen green card.


Setting up and using IDShield is a straightforward process. Submit your personal information, the last four digits of your SSN, process the payment, choose five security questions and enter all the accounts you wish to monitor. You can now access your three-month credit score history pulled from one credit agency. IDShield lists your score complete with advice on how to improve it.

The service alerts you when there are new reviews of your bank account or credit card activity, but it doesn’t include investments and retirement accounts.

Its mobile app has a sleek interface complete with a panic button for contacting IDShield investigator in the event of an emergency. A demo mode helps you get accustomed to the UI, while the app prevents you from taking screenshots, which means spyware can’t do it either.

Things to Consider

  • No recovery reimbursement for lost money in the event of an ID theft
  • No anti-malware or anti-phishing tools
  • Quarterly credit score monitoring from one reporting agency only

Important Tips

When identity theft is confirmed, the restoration process deals with all three national credit reporting agencies.​


If you want identity protection for your entire family, IDShield is probably the best service available at a reasonable price. Individuals willing to pay up for more detailed coverage may want to explore alternatives.



  • High-tier features in all plans
  • Excellent family plan
  • Monitors wide range of personal information
  • Scans public records, social media
  • Credit monitoring and credit reports
  • 24-hour emergency support
  • Inexpensive
  • Up to $5 million for identity restoration
  • Password manager


  • No reimbursement
  • Uses only one bureau data
  • No composite credit score
  • Limited support hours
  • No free trial
  • No security software

Identity Force Review – 2019

Identity Force Review - 2019

Identity Force has been around for four decades offering an excellent solution for individual users. It’s on the expensive side, and it may not be perfect for families, but it’s worth a look.

Quality and Warranty

Identity Force backs its services with 24/7 support, restoration and recovery assistance, and a $1 million identity theft insurance coverage.

Their lower-tier plan has a 14-day free trial and a money-back guarantee, but not their higher-tier subscription.


Monitoring – the company monitors your personal information and detects suspicious and potentially illegal trading and selling of your credentials on the Dark Web. It also monitors public records for criminal, court, and sex offender records and the information about your driver’s license, medical benefits, and payday loans. You can add multiple addresses and phone numbers to monitor for unauthorized address changes.

Additionally, you can set Identity Force to alert you to any transactions exceeding a specific amount as well as keep track of your monthly spending on all your accounts.

Lost Wallet Assistance provides quick help in canceling and replacing your credit, debit, and ATM cards, if you should lose any of them.

Social Security Number Tracking monitors your SSN for an unfamiliar name, alias, or address, which is often a sign of identity theft.

Restoration and Recovery Assistance professionals take care of calls and paperwork whenever you need to dispute a transaction.

Credit Reports in the high-tier plan – you get regular credit reports from the three national credit bureaus. Identity Force tracks your score on a monthly basis and has a credit score simulator.​

ChildWatch – Identity Force’s family-oriented features include basic monitoring of your children’s information. It’s not nearly as comprehensive as it is for the primary account holder, though. If you would like for the complete roster of monitoring features to be enabled for your children, you have to pay the full price for each additional subscription.​

Cybersecurity – you receive a free bundle of SentryBay software, which includes anti-keylogger and anti-phishing modules. It’s not a complete antivirus suite, in a way that it only focuses on keyloggers and phishing scams, but it’s a robust supplement to any computer security system you may be running.​

Alerts – should the company detect any suspicious activity, it sends you immediate notifications to your email or via SMS. Also, you get the report in your dashboard complete with the brief description of the activity and a tag signaling the “risk level” of the event. The description may not be as comprehensive as to describe the issue in detail, so you would have to look into each case individually and contact corresponding institutions and Identity Force support for clarification. But you do have an option to initiate a dispute right from your dashboard.​

An archive of all your alerts is stored under the Associated tab you can view from the web-based dashboard.

Delete Now is a bi-weekly report that gives you an insight into how many websites have your personal information. The report tells you what information the sites display to the world, and what parts of it are available for sale to data brokers.​

Each item on the list comes with a Delete or Opt Out option. Press Delete and Identity Force sends a removal request to the site admin. The Opt Out option requires that you provide Identity Force with a screenshot of your driver’s license, which grants the company the right to request removal of your information from the site on your behalf.​


Identity Force has two plans:

  • UltraSecure - $17.95/mo or $179.95/year
  • UltraSecure + Credit - $23.95/mo or $239.50/year

Both plans have identical features, but UltraSecure+Credit includes credit reports from the national credit bureaus. ChildWatch is an optional addon you can enable for both plans.

Do note that UltraSecure has a 14-day free trial, but UltraSecure+Credit does not. Also, cancellation fees apply if you wish to bail early.


Support is accessible by phone and email. Sales agents are available on weekdays during work hours, but ID restoration experts are on hand 24/7.

The company blog runs a recount of recent data breaches you want to keep an eye on for hacks that may put your data at risk. The website also has FAQs and a knowledge base of terms, tips and tools useful for identity protection, as well as calculators for mortgage consolidation, loan or credit card comparison, auto leasing versus buying, and more.


Setup is painless as long as you have all the information at hand – driver's licenses, SSN, accounts, you name it. The web-based interface is clean, intuitive and divided into seven self-descriptive tabs – My Services, Alerts and Reports, Download, Account Management, Resources, and Support.

Identity Force recently released an updated build of its mobile app for iOS and Android. Although it’s a step forward compared to its previous version, it still is a bit clunky and lacks usability. Primarily, it's a monitoring app – you can't make any significant changes without the browser-based dashboard.​

Things to Consider

  • Identity Force only monitors for top ten most recognized banks.
  • If you choose to cancel your account, the procedure is manual.
  • Child coverage is provided for a separate fee if you wish to monitor your child’s identity, SSN, complete with the identity theft insurance.
  • The company boasts an A+ rating on BBB, but the overwhelming majority of customer reviews are negative and revolve around poor customer support, technical issues and misunderstanding of the ChildWatch feature. Some customers complain the company doesn’t honor its refund policy if only some features don’t work.
  • Accidents that take place before you sign up to Identity Force don’t seem to be covered.

Important Tips

  • The free trial only applies to UltraSecure.
  • If an accident happens before you sign up to Identity Force, but is discovered and reported during your membership, you should be eligible for their Restoration and Recovery Assistance.
  • If you choose to pay for a full year in advance, Identity Force provides two months of service for free.


Identity Force is expensive, but it offers comprehensive features in a well-designed interface. It is a feasible solution, but if you want complete monitoring enabled for the entirety of your family including kids, you may want to look elsewhere.



  • 24/7 monitoring complete with medical identity monitoring
  • Excellent web interface
  • Delete Now reports
  • Lost wallet and restoration and recovery assistance
  • $1 million identity theft insurance


  • Expensive
  • Manual cancellation
  • Extra cost for child coverage
  • The mobile app lacks in features and usability
  • Negative customer reviews

Frontpoint Medical Alert System Review – 2019

Frontpoint Medical Alert System Review - 2019

Frontpoint is one of the leading home security providers offering integrated, cost-efficient, 24/7 monitoring plans that bundle Life Safety medical pendants with panic buttons.

Quality and Warranty

Frontpoint uses equipment by General Electric, so the quality is consistent and spare parts/replacement devices are always available. Their equipment is ergonomic, compact, and easy to install and use.

The company offers a three-year limited warranty, so if your medical pendant stops working for some reason, Frontpoint replaces it.

Some parts are not covered by the warranty, however. Such is the case with the battery in Frontpoint's control panel, so inquire with your sales agent about the warranty details.

Frontpoint also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.​


Frontpoint is primarily a home security system that provides professional monitoring to prevent burglaries. But Life Safety is a special feature that comes integrated with all of its plans at no extra charge.​

Life Safety covers you for health- and medical-related emergencies by providing you with a Panic Pendant with a button. It’s a convenient portable device designed with elderly and disabled customers in mind:

  • You can use it as a necklace with an attached lanyard or as a wristwatch.
  • It’s water- and shock-resistant, so you can take a shower with it or rest assured it doesn’t go off and trigger a false alarm if you drop it.
  • Its panic button is recessed. You need to press it during at least two seconds for the pendant to send the alarm to the monitoring station. The recessed button effectively reduces accidental false alarms.​

When you press the panic button, the security monitoring station calls you. If you do not answer, the monitoring station dispatches police to your house. Alternatively, you can change your preferences and have your monitoring station dispatch a medical response team instead. To change that setting, contact Frontpoint support directly.

The Panic Pendant you buy with your monitoring plan comes pre-programmed and fully operational out of the box. If you buy more pendants at a later point, Frontpoint tech support configures them before shipping.

Frontpoint Qolsys IP touchscreen panel comes with the two-way voice feature, allowing the monitoring station agents to call you when an alert is triggered to verify if police or medical dispatch is necessary. If you do not respond, the station dispatches police or medical response, based on your settings. It also comes complete with a 24-hour backup battery, integrated camera to take snapshots of people disarming your system, or when an alarm is triggered. It also includes an internal siren and is compatible with Z-Wave and Amazon Alexa third-party devices for home automation and voice control.


Frontpoint fees come in two parts – equipment and monitoring plans. For instance, a Panic Pendant will set you off $39.99. The Qolsys touchscreen panel is $3879.99, but a simpler version of it, Simon XT, is $238.

Frontpoint monitoring plans come in one- and three-year flavors:​

  • Protection $34.99/mo includes 24/7 monitoring, fire and environmental protection, and life safety.
  • Interactive at $44.99/mo comes with the mobile app remote control, mobile alerts, geofencing, and crash-and-smash protection complete with sensor history.
  • Ultimate at $49.99/mo adds live video streaming, video and image history, and home automation for door locks, thermostats, lights, and motion-activated video recording.


Frontpoint relies on Rapid Response Monitoring Services for 24/7 security and medical monitoring. RRMS is an established company with monitoring stations in New York and California servicing both East and West Coasts clients.

RRMS monitors your system for burglary, environmental, and medical alerts. Their equipment and cybersecurity protections are top-notch and come with various backup methods – redundant power systems, UPS to protect their Internet and wireless data feeds, biometric controls for the personnel, firewalls, encryption, and VPN.

Each Frontpoint customer has a dedicated file at RRMS. If an alarm is activated, RRMS automatically connects to the customer’s home layout and corresponding data, complete with established protocols, deviations set by the client, and two-way voice communication with the client’s control panel.

The agent can also view your latest security camera feed saved in the cloud, which is necessary in states that required “verified response” before dispatching emergency personnel.

Your Frontpoint file also comes complete with the emergency contacts you wish to be alerted in the event of a medical or personal emergency, so RRMS contacts them, too.

RRMS has a dedicated Life Safety Monitoring Division to monitor for medical alerts specifically. Each agent in this division has Emergency Medical Technician and Security Industry Association certifications. Spanish-speaking operators are also on-duty 24/7.

The Frontpoint support agents are available 8:00 am – 11:00 pm on weekdays and 10:00 am – 7:00 pm on weekends. The team is helpful and professional.​


Frontpoint's security system is DIY – your hardware ships pre-programmed, complete with peel-and-stick adhesives, and setup manuals. The Panic Pendant is wearable, so does not require installation – you just have to decide on the best way to wear it.

Things to Consider

  • Only one- and three-year contracts are on offer.
  • 85% cancellation fee applies if you want to bail early.
  • Equipment upgrades come at an extra cost.
  • Sales agents may not disclose contract duration or cancellation fees.
  • Frontpoint runs a hard credit check to give you a personalized quote.
  • The system is cellular-only, so you need a perfect signal.
  • The Panic Pendant is the only device covering your medical alert needs, which may be insufficient for families with advanced medical alert needs.

Important Tips

  • To change the default from dispatching police to the medical alert responder when an alarm is triggered, contact Frontpoint customer service.
  • The Panic Button is always active. When pressed, it triggers an alarm even if the system is disarmed.


Frontpoint Life Safety medical alert monitoring comes as a standard feature of all it monitoring plans. It’s not cheap, but if you are investing in home security with medical alerts, Frontpoint is an excellent all-in-one solution.



  • Quality GE equipment
  • Wearable Panic Pendant with the recessed button
  • Wide selection of sensors and indoor/outdoor cameras
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Cellular
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Life safety and environmental disaster protection in all plans at no extra cost
  • Home automation in high-tier plan


  • Long-term contracts
  • 85% cancellation fees
  • Hard credit check
  • No landline option
  • Live and recorded video available in the top-tier plan only
  • One medical alert device may be insufficient for families with advanced medical needs

Vivint Medical Alert System Review – 2019

Vivint Medical Alert System Review - 2019

Vivint's home security system integrates medical monitoring designed for children, senior customers living alone, and people with special health needs. Its system is a robust, proprietary build that comes with professional installation, a broad range of devices, and medical pendants. It’s not cheap, but Vivint is available in contract and contract-less options.

Quality and Warranty

Vivint proprietary equipment comes with a 120-day warranty. It’s sleek, robust, and stands out from the crowd of generic lookalike devices you will find with many other providers. Its medical pendants are also discreet and inconspicuous, and you can wear them any way you like.


Vivint's medical monitoring feature consists of medical pendants and Vivint's wireless alarm control panel.

SkyControl is the provider’s 7-inch touchscreen panel that allows you to pair your sensors with your security system, arm/disarm your system, lock doors, view live and recorded video feed from your security cameras, and control your Z-Wave-powered smart home automation devices. It also lets you activate emergency services directly.

Vivint's customizable remote not only allows you to arm and disarm the system remotely but comes with a panic button. It’s customizable because you can assign it different functions based on your needs – adjust lights, lock doors, or call the emergency services.

Your control panel also comes with the two-way voice communication. When you press the panic button, your monitoring station contacts you directly via your panel to confirm whether police or medical responder is necessary.

The Panic Pendant has a 300-feet range around your control panel and is temperature- and water-resistant. It withstands humidity and temperatures 32° F to 120° F, but you shouldn’t submerge it in water.

It is compact at 1.65x1.20x0.5 inches weighing less than an ounce, but also discreet enough to come across as a fitness tracker. You can wear it as a necklace, belt, wristband, or lanyard. Alternatively, you can attach it to a wall or car visor.​


Contract and contract-less options are available with Vivint:

  • No-contract – if you buy your equipment up front, you can choose to pay for your security and medical monitoring on a month-to-month basis. No early cancellation fees are involved.
  • FlexPay is Vivint’s way of luring you into a 42-60-month contract. You can pay for your equipment in monthly installments, but the cancellation fee is 100% of whatever is left on your contract.

Vivint has two monitoring plans:

  • Smart Home at $39.99/mo – 24/7 monitoring, mobile app, alert notifications
  • Smart Home Video at $49.99/mo – adds full home automation integration on top of security monitoring

Medical pendants are listed under the additional equipment you can buy for $34.99 each.


Instead of contracting a third-party monitoring company, Vivint owns and operates its monitoring stations. Its emergency support is live 24/7/365.

When you press the panic button for at least 3 seconds, your medical pendant sends an emergency alert to the monitoring station. LED illumination confirms your signal was sent.

Once the monitoring station receives your alert, a Vivint agent contacts you in under 10 seconds – the standard set by the company. The monitoring specialist calls you directly through the two-way voice communication in your control panel to assess the situation and dispatch help.

If you do not respond, the monitoring station dispatches police to your home.

On a side note, Vivint customer service responsible for technical troubleshooting, installation and sales has generated numerous negative customer reviews. The company’s misleading sales tactics have earned Vivint quite a few lawsuits in several states. Lengthy queues on tech support can be daunting, too.


Vivint technicians install your system, and the installation fee is $49.99. Any technical issue that requires troubleshooting by a Vivint technician will set you off another $49.99 if you can’t solve the issue by yourself.

To add a medical pendant to your system, you fill out a form on the company website to have it shipped to you. Once you have it, you must contact Vivint Smart Home Specialist by chat or phone to have it added to your system. That’s a little convoluted and more complicated than allowing the customer add a preconfigured pendant without waiting for the tech support.

Using your medical pendant is hassle-free. In older models, press the panic button for 2-3 seconds and wait for the LED light on the top of the pendant to come on at least for one second to confirm the signal transmission. Next-gen pendants have LED lights on their top and bottom and flesh red when activated.

Once your signal is sent, your control panel siren should sound, and Vivint 24/7 monitoring station is alerted.​

Things to Consider

  • The Vivint medical pendant only works within the 300-feet range of your touchscreen panel. If there are walls or floors in the way, the range is smaller. Some companies have GPS tracking in their pendants and can track you anywhere you are when you trigger an alert.
  • The pendant is water-resistant, meaning you should not submerge it in water. Some competitors offer waterproof pendants you can wear while having a bath.
  • Vivint requires excellent cellular signal strength – not ideal for rural areas.
  • 100% cancellation fees paired with 3.5-5-year contracts may be off-putting.
  • Vivint offers no money-back guarantee.

Important Tips

  • If your pendant is triggering false alarms, check it to ensure the panic button is not stuck. If your pendant has gotten wet or has been dropped, it may be damaged, hence sending false alarms. A replacement costs $60, which is $40 more than the cost of the pendant when you buy it.
  • If you are not interested in owning the equipment, you should qualify for a monitoring-only contract.
  • You can upgrade your Vivint contract or add extra equipment, but you can’t downgrade it.


Vivint's medical alert system is expensive, but its features are just about average. Buying its medical pendant makes sense if you already own a home security system by Vivint. But if you are looking for a security system with the medical alert functionality, there are better options.



  • Sleek equipment
  • Medical pendant with a panic button and LED light
  • Wireless
  • Speedy emergency response
  • Contract-less or financing options are available


  • Medical pendant only works within the 300-feet range of the panel
  • Medical pendant should not be submerged in water
  • Replacing the pendant is more expensive than buying a new one
  • Expensive upfront equipment costs
  • Negative customer reviews
  • Lengthy contracts

LifeShield Medical Alert System Review – 2019

LifeShield Medical Alert System Review - 2019

LifeShield focuses on home security with 24/7 professional monitoring provided by five monitoring stations run by Protection 1. Its system is wireless, customizable, and easy to relocate, and you can opt for a monthly subscription with no lock-in contracts. But its medical monitoring features are limited, while the company’s customer service reputation is less than stellar.

Quality and Warranty

LifeShield manufactures its own equipment and offers a basic set for free lease when you sign up. If it should fail, the company replaces it at no charge. But if you choose to buy the equipment, the company only provides a 12-month limited warranty that doesn’t cover promotional items and normal wear and tear.


LifeShield's baseline equipment package includes a control panel, fire, and CO detectors, a keypad, a keychain remote, a wireless security tablet, one motion detector, and door/window sensors.

Its Life Safety features include a panic button on your control panel, another one on your keychain remote, and 24/7 professional monitoring for medical alerts in its Advantage plan.

LifeShield’s control panel has a panic button that, when pressed, sends a signal to the monitoring station. An agent then tries to contact you via the two-way voice communication feature embedded in your control panel. If you can’t be reached, or if the agent confirms you need help, the monitoring station dispatches medical services to your home.

A significant disadvantage of this setup is that families with children prefer to disable this feature to avoid false alarms. Also, you need to interact with your control panel directly to trigger the medical alert, which out-rules several scenarios when you simply can’t get to the panel.

There is no medical pendant or wristband on offer, but their keychain remote can be used as a medical panic button on top of its remote arm/disarm commands. It only has two buttons – Stay/Away and Cancel/Off. When you press and hold both buttons for two seconds, the keychain sends a distress signal to your control panel. You also need to be somewhere around your control panel – not further than 30-50 feet away – to trigger the medical alarm.

Notably, the panic button needs to be configured separately – it doesn’t come enabled by default. Other than that, it’s minimalist and easy to use, and ships ready to work with your system. You can assign it to a specific user to track who comes and goes, and who triggers a medical alert. The system supports up to 8 users.

Perhaps, the most significant advantage of LifeShield is in its Quadruple Defense system based on four communication modes that function as a backup for one another – cellular, Internet, landline, and text notifications. If one network fails or your area has a weak signal, your system relies on any of the remaining three networks for timely alerts.​


LifeShield has two plans, both available in 30- or 60-month contracts with hefty cancellation fees and a month-to-month subscription you can cancel any time. But make sure you read the fine print in your agreement. To qualify for the monthly subscription, you must undergo a credit check.

  • Security Essentials kicks in at $20.99/mo and comes with a $200-worth starter kit containing the control base, a keypad, a keychain remote, two wireless entry sensors, and one motion detector. It also bundles a fire safety sensor and a security tablet for self-monitoring. It’s not apt for medical alerts since it does not provide professional monitoring.
  • Security Advantage is priced at $24.99/mo and comes with the equipment kit worth $299.99. The kit consists of 11 items, and bundles 24/7 professional monitoring, video monitoring, one indoor camera, and 30 days video storage for your security camera feed. It also offers a mobile app to control your system remotely.


LifeShield provides 24/7 professional monitoring via five Protection 1 monitoring stations, which have a triple redundant system consisting of primary, backup, and disaster recovery centers.

When an alarm is triggered, operators can reach you through your two-way voice communication control panel to confirm the emergency and dispatch police or medical responders. If your home security system is equipped with video cameras, your operator can also access your video feed in the event of an emergency.

LifeShield customer and tech support are available 8 am – 9 pm during weekdays and 9 am – 6 pm during weekends. No live chat option is on offer, alas. It’s worth noting the company has generated quite a few negative reviews as of late, mostly due to declining support quality and issues setting up the equipment.


LifeShield offers a DIY installation. There is no direct line for tech support, so if you need assistance, you have to go through automated machines to request technical assistance.

On the bright side, your equipment ships preconfigured, complete with peel-and-stick adhesives and a mobile app with basic instructions. And if you choose to have a professional technician install your system, you can order the service for $99.99.

Things to Consider

  • Professional installation is priced at $100, which is higher than average.
  • You have 30 days to cancel your service without incurring early cancellation fees.
  • Long-term contracts come with a 100% early termination fee.
  • Your long-term contract auto-renews, unless you specify otherwise well in advance.
  • Home automation is not implemented as LifeShield equipment is not compatible with third-party devices or other security systems.
  • As a new customer, you have to undergo a hard credit check.

Important Tips

  • The control panel has a 24-hour battery backup but should be plugged into a power outlet.
  • The base provides crash-and-smash protection – if a burglar breaks it, it immediately alerts you and local authorities.


If 24/7 professional medical alert monitoring and medical panic button devices are top priority when you choose your home security system, LifeShield might not be the best option. It’s reasonably flexible but lacks equipment for proper medical alert monitoring, such as medical pendants, wristbands, or long-range GPS trackers available with some of their competitors.



  • Keychain remote can be used as a medical panic button
  • The control panel has a panic button and two-way voice communication
  • Five monitoring stations
  • Reasonable rates
  • No-contract option is available
  • DIY or professional installation


  • No medical pendants
  • Close-range panic button in the keychain remote or on the base itself
  • Limited selection of equipment
  • Short warranty
  • Negative customer reviews
  • Professional monitoring is only available in the high-tier plan