Experian IdentityWorks review

Experian IdentityWorks is a powerful app with deep instructional info

Experian IdentityWorks
(Image: © Experian)

TechRadar Verdict

Experian IdentityWorks is a powerful identity theft protection app designed for everyday users. It has some of the most extensive educational information available, including a blog with hundreds of informational articles. However, some people may be hesitant to use the app because Experian is known for a 2015 data breach that compromised 15 million accounts. Despite this, Experian IdentityWorks is a comprehensive and helpful app.


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    Helpful website

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    Extra alerts are useful

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    7-day free trial

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    Three tiers of plans

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    Discount for paying annually


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    Only two paid tiers of plans

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    No dedicated app for smartphone

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Our series on identity theft protection apps will evaluate the features, pricing options, competition, and also the overall value of using each app. However, these are not full hands-on reviews since evaluating identity theft protection apps is almost impossible. It would require several months of testing, purposefully hacking accounts to see if the protection app works, handing over personally identifiable information, performing multiple credit checks, and risking exposure of the reviewer’s personally identifiable information.

Even years later, practically all reviews and news stories regarding Experian IdentityWorks begin with the same disclaimer. This review is no exception, but it's questionable whether that is genuinely fair. IdentityWorks, a brand you're probably not familiar with, is a corporation owned by Experian, whose name you're probably familiar with, but not for the right reasons. One of the most well-known data breaches up to that date was revealed by this consumer credit reporting organization in 2015, including the leak of over 15 million client records. Truth be told, there have been several data breaches subsequently, but perhaps the irony of a credit reporting agency disclosing a significant breach was what garnered international attention.

That incident occurred over ten years ago. This movie reference will be recognized by serious buffs, but it might bring to mind a scene from The World According to Garp where Robin Williams is looking for a home. Unexpectedly, a plane lands in the living room. He chooses to purchase it. "The chances of another plane hitting this house are astronomical," he claims. Here, the same holds true. Experian probably improved data security more than other businesses. Additionally, one may contend that the possibilities of a second serious data leak are, at best, "astronomical."

Plans and Pricing

Experian offers a number of plans to choose from depending on how many adults and children there are in your household (Image credit: Experian)

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Experian IdentityWorks: Plans and pricing

There is a free tier of plan, known as Basic, but it only has a few features. It covers a free Experian credit report and FICO score, a dark web surveillance report, and a FICO score tracker. While it is definitely affordable, it does not provide much protection.

Moving up to the Premium plan, this is a one adult plan for $24.99 monthly. It adds 3 bureau credit monitoring, financial account takeover alerts, change of address alerts, and social network monitoring alerts among its lengthy list of features. It also provides for up to $1 million identity theft insurance.

Why do identity theft prevention software assume we could have "up to" 10 kids? That may be your preference, but the Census Bureau has a different viewpoint. Two children on average have remained in most families over time in the US, with even fewer the average in the UK. That hasn't stopped IdentityWorks from providing price options for the app that allow up to 10 children and one or two adults to use it. This remains a most perplexing rubric, without a doubt.

For anything more than a single adult, the top Family plan is the one to select. This plan provides protection for two adults and up to ten children. It has a cost of $34.99/month, and has the same features as the Premium plan except for one detail below.

We did not find any annual discounts. There is a short, 7-day free trial, but it requires purchasing the plan, and then canceling it in the window making it more of a money back guarantee in the first week window.


Experian does not offer a standalone app for IdentityWorks and instead the service is baked into its credit report app (Image credit: Experian)

Experian IdentityWorks: Interface

Thank goodness we're working with a big company here that can create an app. IdentityWorks employs a dashboard with tabs up top and a wizard that shows how many steps you've finished or accounts you've configured, much like how Norton LifeLock presents everything in a simple and straightforward way. The interface is neat and understated, in contrast to PrivacyGuard, giving the impression that you are working on something important rather than playing Pokemon. (The PrivacyGuard website and app have just a bit too much color to our eye).

Although there are links to both Android and iOS apps on the Identity Works website, most consumers do not anticipate this. It is disappointing that it is for the Experian app, not a specific IdentityWorks app.

Experian IdentityWorks: Features

Despite the enormous quantity of information on threat detection on their website and in the app, as well as the hundreds of blog posts at Experian.com, IdentityWorks still frequently duplicates the capabilities of Norton LifeLock and other products. You may monitor your credit, check your credit score, find out if a sex offender moves near you, and get alerted if someone tries to steal your bank account information. Standard fare, but IdentityWorks does include a few unique additions. 

Verification of court records is one that is uncommon with other programs. If there is a check or change to your court records (if they even exist in the first place), you will be notified. Additionally, IdentityWorks simulates credit checks and FICO scores more accurately. The frequency with which you can access and evaluate these credit checks varies between the Premium and Family versions; with Premium, you can examine a daily FICO credit score, but with Family you also get a daily Experian credit report, which may be a little too frequent.

Experian IdentityWorks: The competition

Norton LifeLock is the one main rival of Experian. Anyone who is familiar with the identity theft industry is aware of LifeLock's position as a leader and is probably also aware of Experian. Experian is primarily a credit reporting organization, whereas Norton focuses on security. They gain an advantage in the market and in all the ways you may damage your credit (or have someone else damage your credit for you). However, there is a choice to be made regarding how much you care about identity theft in terms of security and privacy – your good name being tarnished – or how much it affects your credit and the ability to buy a new home or automobile. Both are crucial as two sides of the same coin in the end,, but potential users need to be cognizant of the product they are choosing.

Experian IdentityWorks: Support

Experian does not list a direct phone or email to contact them with an issue. Rather, when you click on “Contact us,” user are taken to a help center, which has an assortment of articles. However, for direct contact, users are advised to obtain an Experian credit report, and then call the number on that for assistance.

We would prefer an easier way for users to be able to contact Experian.

Experian IdentityWorks: Final verdict

In the end, because personal security—rather than just your credit—is at stake, we would recommend Norton LifeLock over Experian IdentityWorks. Credit is actually just one component of identity protection. There are questions regarding how a criminal might harm your reputation and what is required to get your record expunged. In addition to credit and financial problems, you might be interested in learning more about how someone is using your online persona for their own gain.

Indeed, Experian IdentityWorks offers some really useful teaching materials. It can be a smart alternative if your main concerns are your finances and credit, but some customers will surely find it difficult to move past that data leak.

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John Brandon

John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.

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