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Best Identity Protection 2017: CSID vs Lifelock vs Identity Guard and More

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Someone hacks into the doctor’s office where you are a patient. They steal your name along with your social security number. Next thing you know, phone calls and mail from people you don’t know are saying you owe them thousands of dollars. You try to explain yourself and say that you didn’t make these charges and buy these things but all paperwork shows that you did.

Too many people find themselves in a situation like this. That’s why identity theft protection is truly lifesaving. Companies who specialize in protecting your identity keep your life in your hands.

Below is a comparison table of the identity theft protection companies reviewed in this article. The table shows how we chose our ranking. Click on the read review links in the table to jump straight to a company’s review.

 Identity ForceIdentity GuardLifelockCSIDEquifax ID PatrolID WatchdogIntelius ID ProtectPrivacy Guard
Overall Ranking1st2nd3rd4th5th6thN/AN/A
Customer Service & Reputation4.53.754.0313.51.51.5
Price4.54.54.54.53.543.53.5
Family/Child Protection4.53.04.044111
Items Monitored & Coverage54.753.52.532.52.52.5
Mobile Access45.04.543444
Total Score4.54.24.13.62.92.62.52.5
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

What Is Identity Theft Protection?

The top identity theft protection companies look out for you 24/7. They monitor your personal data so you can sleep well at night knowing you’re covered. Items monitored may include your social security number, driver’s license, social media, financial accounts, credit applications and more. However different companies may cover different things so be sure to reference our Identity Theft Protection Companies Comparison Table to see who covers what side by side.

Before reading this article it’s important to know the definition of and the difference between a service guarantee and an insurance amount. Many of these companies offer $1 million worth of protection for one or the other. So, to help you out, here is an explanation of each.

  • Service Guarantee – The maximum amount of money a company can offer you if their service is faulty.
  • Insurance Amount – An amount of money given to you if your identity is stolen. This money is to be used to help you gain your identity back, since identity theft is so pricey.

IdentityForce Review

#1

Visit Website

IdentityForce monitors practically everything imaginable. You can also monitor your child by adding them onto your plan. Unfortunately, there is no family plan available from IdentityForce so you’ll have to add-on a plan for each person in your family you want monitored, which can get expensive. If your identity is stolen while using Identity Force you’re covered with their $1 million insurance plan. They also offer 24/7 support in case your identity is stolen. When it comes to monitoring your personal data, no one else has better coverage for the price.

Pros

Cons

  • More coverage than many other companies
  • Monitors driver’s license number, sex offenders, email and more
  • 24/7 phone support and live chat and email from 8am-8pm, plus FAQs
  • Child plan available as an add-on
  • Established in 1978 with long history in industry
  • $1 million insurance protection
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Bank and credit card activity alerts
  • No family plan
  • Must upgrade plans for credit report/score monitoring

Pricing and Packages

IdentityForce offers a 14 day free trial!

 UltraSecureUltraSecure+Credit
PriceRegular Price: $17.95/month or $179.50/year

Discount for our Readers: $12.95/month or $129.50/year
Regular Price: $23.95/month or $239.50/year

Discount for our Readers: $19.95/month or $199.50/year
Optional ChildWatch Add-On $2.75/month or $27.50/yearCheckmarkCheckmark
14-Day Free TrialCheckmark
Sex Offender MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
Pay Day Loan Monitoring
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Change of Address MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
Court Records Monitoring
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Fraud Monitoring
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Identity Score & Report
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Identity MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
Fraud Alert Reminder
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Medical ID Fraud ProtectionCheckmarkCheckmark
Junk Mail Opt-out
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Identity Threat Alerts
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Delete NowCheckmarkCheckmark
Online Protection Tools (Anti-Phishing, Anti-Keylogging, etc.)CheckmarkCheckmark
Lost Wallet AssistanceCheckmarkCheckmark
Fraud Resolution SpecialistCheckmark
Identity Restoration AdvisorCheckmarkCheckmark
$1 Million Identity Theft InsuranceCheckmarkCheckmark
Credit Score Simulator
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Three Bureau Credit ScoresCheckmark
Three Bureau Credit ReportsCheckmark
Three Bureau Credit MonitoringCheckmark
Credit Score Monitoring
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Buy an Instant Credit ReportCheckmark

Coupon Code

IdentityForce offers two plans, UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit, with the option of adding on their supplemental Child Watch plan to either subscription. The standard cost of the UltraSecure IdentityForce plan is $17.95/month or $179.50/year, but our readers are eligible for the discounted rate of $12.95/month or $129.50/year. The standard cost of UltraSecure+Credit is $23.95/month and $239.50/year, but our readers can get this service for $19.95/month or $199.50/year. Click here to take advantage of these offers! You can also visit our dedicated IdentityForce coupon page to discuss current offers.

Read our IdentityForce Review

Identity Guard™ Review

#2

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Identity Guard™ monitors your identity and helps protect it. In the case that your identity is stolen, Identity Guard™ will help pay to have it recovered no matter how it happened (even if it wasn’t their service’s fault). This is one of the main reasons why they are our #2 pick, because most services do not offer this kind of financial relief.

Pros

Cons

  • $1 million in insurance*
  • Monitoring alerts
  • A+ BBB rating (been BBB accredited since 1996)
  • Family plans available
  • 24/7 phone support for those who have lost or had their credit cards stolen
  • 30-day free trial
  • Does not monitor sex offenders
  • Must upgrade plans for credit report/score monitoring

Pricing and Packages

 EssentialsTotal ProtectionPlatinumCouple (2 adults)Parent + Children (1 adult + children)Family (2 adults + children)
EssentialsTotal ProtectionPlatinumCouple (2 adults)Parent + Children (1 adult + children)Family (2 adults + children)
Price Per Month$8.99$19.99$24.99$27.99$24.99$29.99
Social Security Number MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Online “Dark Web” MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
ID Verification AlertsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Account Takeover AlertsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
$1 Million Identity Theft InsuranceCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
3-Bureau Credit MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Credit Report from All 3 BureausQuarterlyMonthly
Credit Score from All 3 BureausQuarterlyMonthlyCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Lost Wallet ProtectionCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Identity Theft Victim AssistanceCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
3-Bureau Credit AnalyzerCheckmarkCheckmark
Address Change MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
ID Vault Password ProtectionCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Credit ScoresAll 3 scoresAll 3 scores
Mobile AppCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Public Records MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
PC Keyboard Encryption SoftwareCheckmarkCheckmark
US Based Dedicated Case ManagerCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
PC Antivirus SoftwareCheckmarkCheckmark
Child Identity Monitoring (kID Sure®)CheckmarkCheckmark
Identity DashboardCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Anti-Phishing AppCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Online Financial ToolsCheckmarkCheckmark

Coupon Code

Enrolling with Identity Guard through our link saves you 10% off the homepage prices! You can also visit our dedicated Identity Guard coupon page to discuss current offers.

Read our Identity Guard™ Review

LifeLock Review

Visit Website

#3

LifeLock offers a couple of different plans for you to choose from. They offer what they call a “Family Plan” but really it’s just adding all the plans together (there is no discount for each person). They have a $1 million service guarantee and they also offer a child plan to add-on to any adult plan. However, with their $1 million service guarantee, LifeLock only pays if there is a fault on their end. So, if someone from work steals your personal information by accessing work files and ends up stealing your identity, LifeLock is not at fault for this and they will not compensate for damages.

Pros

Cons

  • Detects use of personal information to apply for a line of credit, utilities, cell phone plans, etc.
  • Monitors your driver’s license, mother’s maiden name and medical information
  • A- BBB rating
  • 24/7 support
  • Monitors websites to make sure your credentials are not for sale
  • Features include court records scanning and sex offender registry
  • Offers more coverage than some other competitors
  • $1 million service guarantee
  • Child plan is available as an add-on to an adult plan
  • Lowest monthly monitoring price in the industry
  • Delay on notifications for credit reports
  • No fraud alerts
  • No family plan discount
  • Does not monitor all transactions at all businesses
  • Does not monitor email
  • Must upgrade plans for bank account coverage and credit report/score monitoring

Pricing and Packages

LifeLock offers a 30 day free trial.

 Lifelock JuniorStandardAdvantageUltimate Plus
PriceListed Price: $5.99/month or $65.99/yearListed Price: $9.99/month or $119.88/year

Discout for our Readers: $8.99/month or $98.90/year
Listed Price: $19.99/month or $239.88/year

Discout for our Readers: $17.99/month or $197.90/year
Listed Price: $29.99/month or $359.88/year

Discout for our Readers: $26.99/month or $296.90/year
Identity Threat Detection and AlertsCheckmark
File-Sharing Network SearchesCheckmark
Credit File VerificationCheckmark
LifeLock Identity Alert SystemCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Lost Wallet ProtectionCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Address Change VerificationCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Reduced Pre-Approved Credit Card OffersCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Black Market Website SurveillanceCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Live Member Support 24/7/365CheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
$1 Million Total Service GuaranteeCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Fictitious Identity MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
Court Records ScanningCheckmarkCheckmark
Data Breach NotificationsCheckmarkCheckmark
Online Annual Credit Reports and ScoresCheckmark
1 Credit Bureau
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3 Credit Bureau
Credit Card, Checking and Savings Account Activity AlertsCheckmarkCheckmark
Investment Account Activity AlertsCheckmark
Checking and Savings Account Application AlertsCheckmark
Bank Account Takeover AlertsCheckmark
Credit Inquiry ActivityCheckmark
File-Sharing Network SearchesCheckmark
Sex Offender Registry ReportsCheckmark
Monthly Credit Score TrackingCheckmark

Coupon Code

You can visit our dedicated Lifelock coupon page to discuss current offers.

Read our LifeLock Review

What’s it Like to Have Your Identity Stolen?

Having your identity stolen is no picnic. Just watch what happened to Jim. (Note: this video is from Identity Guard™.)

Identity Theft Protection Companies Comparison Table

 Identity ForceIdentity GuardLifelockCSIDEquifax ID PatrolID WatchdogIntelius ID ProtectPrivacy Guard
Identity ForceIdentity GuardLifelockCSIDEquifax ID PatrolID WatchdogIntelius ID ProtectPrivacy Guard
Ranking1st2nd3rd4th5th6thN/AN/A
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Lowest Price Per Month$12.95$8.99$8.99$9.99$16.95$14.95$19.95$19.99
Family PlanCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Child PlanCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Free Trial14 Days30 Days30 Days7 Days
Monitors SSNCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Monitors Bank AccountsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Monitors Credit CardsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Monitors LoansCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Monitors InsuranceCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
(Must Request)
Monitors Medical RecordsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
(Must Request)
Monitors Driver's LicenseCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
(Must Request)
Monitors Public RecordsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Monitors Criminal RecordsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Monitors Sex OffendersCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Monitors AddressCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Monitors EmailCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Recovery AssistanceCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Lost/Stolen Wallet AssistanceCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Service Guarantee$1 Million100%$1 Million
Insurance$1 million$1 Million$1 Million$1 Million$1 Million
Mail List RemovalCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Credit ReportsCheckmark
3 Bureaus
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3 Bureaus
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3 Bureaus
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TransUnion Only
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3 Bureaus
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3 Bureaus
CheckmarkCheckmark
3 Bureaus
Credit ScoreCheckmark
3 Bureaus
Checkmark
3 Bureaus
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3 Bureaus
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3 Bureaus
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3 Bureaus
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3 Bureaus
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3 Bureaus
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

Be sure to read all the reviews because there are some companies we don’t find as reputable as the others in this article. We definitely suggest avoiding some companies because we found some items that were a bit alarming. Be sure to read the pros and cons for all companies below.

CSID | Equifax ID Patrol | ID Watchdog | Intelius ID Protect | Privacy Guard

CSID Review

#4

Visit Website

At first we thought CSID was strictly a B2B identity theft protection solution. However, we contacted them and found out differently. It’s difficult to find the webpage directly to their pricing and packages so we’ve provided a direct link to it above. CSID has low prices, but they do not cover as much as their competitors which is why they aren’t ranked higher.

Pros

Cons

  • $1 million insurance
  • Family plan
  • Monitors sex offenders
  • Phone and email support (hours not listed)
  • A+ BBB rating
  • No child specific plan although children are included in the family plan
  • No lost wallet assistance
  • Does not monitor your driver’s license, bank accounts, credit cards or credit score

Pricing and Packages

Both plans below cover the same items.

Protector Plus $9.99/month

Protector Plus Family Plan $11.99/month

  • Credit monitoring
  • CyberAgent internet surveillance
  • Court and public records monitoring
  • Non-credit loan monitoring
  • Child monitoring (only for family plan)
  • Change of address
  • Sex offender report
  • Social security number
  • $1 million insurance
  • Identity restoration

Equifax ID Patrol Review

#5

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Equifax ID Patrol has one of the best Family Plans we have seen. On top of that, they monitor most items that competitors monitor. Where they lack is their customer service, that’s why they are not ranked higher on our list. TrustedID was previously in this article but has been acquired by Equifax.

Pros

Cons

  • Great Family Plan that includes up to 2 adults and 4 children
  • Monitors your driver’s license number and email
  • Phone support and FAQs (hours not listed on website)
  • $1 million identity theft insurance
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Bad customer service
  • Some customers have been charged after they have cancelled
  • Does not monitor public records

Pricing and Packages

 ID PatrolID Patrol PremierComplete Family Plan
Price$16.95/month$19.95/month$29.95/month
Number of People1 Person1 PersonUp to 2 Adults and 4 Children
Daily Monitoring of Equifax, Experian, TransUnion Credit FileCheckmarkCheckmark
Daily Monitoring of Equifax Credit ScoreCheckmarkCheckmark
Equifax Credit File for Up to Four Children DailyCheckmark
Equifax Credit Report and Score - Unlimited AccessCheckmarkCheckmark
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion Credit Reports 1/yearCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Report LockingCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Credit AlertsCheckmarkCheckmark
Automatic Fraud AlertsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Alert SharingCheckmark
Web DetectCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Financial AlertsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Identity ReportCheckmarkCheckmark
Lost Wallet AssistanceCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Identity Theft AssistanceCheckmarkCheckmark
$1 Million Identity Theft InsuranceCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark

ID Watchdog Review

#6

Visit Website

ID Watchdog offers two plans and neither include family or children. You must purchase an additional package for each person you want covered. That can add up pretty quickly. They don’t offer a free trial but they do have a 30-day money back guarantee so if you find out you’re not crazy about ID Watchdog within the first 30 days, you can get your money back.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 email and phone support
  • 100% Identity Theft Resolution guarantee
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • A+ BBB rating
  • No family or child plan
  • Does not protect your driver’s license or bank account
  • No lost wallet assistance
  • Must pay extra for credit reports/scores and monitoring from all 3 bureaus

Pricing and Packages

 PlusPlatinum
Price$14.95/month or $149.95/year$19.95/month or $219/year
Basic Identity MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
Advanced Identity MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
Cyber MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
Email and SMS NotificationsCheckmarkCheckmark
Full Service Identity RestorationCheckmarkCheckmark
Credit Report MonitoringCheckmark
1 Bureau
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3 Bureaus
Credit Reports and ScoresCheckmark
NPI MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark

Intelius ID Protect Review

Visit Website

Intelius ID Protect’s website has barely anything on it. It’s difficult for us to recommend them since there’s not much information online about them either. However, they do have an A+ rating with the BBB and offer a 7-day free trial. So you could test them out for 7 days and cancel your membership after that if you’re not satisfied.

Pros

Cons

  • 7-day free trial
  • Phone support and FAQs (not 24/7)
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Website is very bare
  • No family or child plan
  • Does not monitor your driver’s license
  • No lost wallet assistance
  • Complaints about billing

Pricing and Packages

  • $19.95/month
    • Credit score from all 3 bureaus once a year
    • $1 million identity theft insurance
    • Monitor changes to your credit report & public records
    • Get alerts for signs of potential identity theft
    • View and track your credit score
    • See who has looked at your credit report

Privacy Guard Review

Visit Website

Privacy Guard has little to no information about what their package monitors on their website. They also have a history of randomly canceling their customers’ plans. Not sure if this was a quirk in their system or what’s behind that but if you want protection – we suggest you try another company.

Pros

Cons

  • Try it for 14 days for $1
  • Monitors email
  • FAQs, email and phone support (hours not listed on site)
  • No family or child plan
  • Must request for certain items to be monitored
  • Customers say they randomly cancel your service
  • Customers aren’t pleased with their customer service
  • No BBB rating

Pricing and Packages

  • $19.99/month
    • Triple-Bureau credit report
    • Triple-Bureau credit scores
    • Daily credit monitoring
    • Monthly credit score tracking
    • Toll-free hotline
    • Identity fraud support service

How to Pick an Identity Theft Protection Company

A total of $16 billion was stolen from 12.7 million identity theft victims in 2014. That would be like every person in Pennsylvania having their identity stolen. (FYI, Pennsylvania is the sixth most populated state in the U.S.) These numbers continue to increase every year. That’s why protecting your identity is so important. Here are some things you should consider when making your decision.

  1. Your first concern should be the company’s reputation. Do they stick to their word? Do they help you when they say they will? Finding an identity theft protection plan is useless if they don’t monitor your identity. So although cost will play a factor, it is not the most important concern because you’ll need a company that does the job. It’s important that you’re able to pay the monthly fee but your identity’s safety is the primary concern.
  2. After you’ve narrowed the companies down you need to decide which features you can do without. Which items are considered additional perks and are negotiable to reduce the cost.

Protect yourself before it’s too late. Don’t get into thousands of dollars of debt that you didn’t even accrue! Find the perfect identity theft protection company for you so you don’t end up like Jim.

Have you had an identity theft scare?

Identity Guard™ Disclosures
*The scores you receive with Identity Guard™ are provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. Lenders use many different scoring systems, and the scores you receive with Identity Guard™ are not the same scores used by lenders to evaluate your credit.
Credit scores are provided by CreditXpert® based on data from the credit reporting bureaus. If you do not cancel your membership, your card will be charged a monthly fee based on the membership plan you choose. You man cancel your membership anytime simply by contacting Identity Guard™.
**Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions, and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.

Kimberly researches everything before she buys. She wants to make sure she is getting the best bang for her buck by purchasing the best product/service, which is why she loves her work. She has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and has been researching and writing professionally since 2013 to help consumers make more educated decisions.

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