Our Top Picks
Choosing the Best Identity Theft Protection Service
The lists below are designed to help consumers understand which companies demonstrate superior performance in a particular category to facilitate their decision-making process.
The 4 Best Identity Theft Insurance Providers
The 4 Best Identity Theft Protection Services for Business
The 4 Best Identity Theft Protection Services for Seniors
The 4 Best Identity Theft Protection Services for Students
What Identity Theft Protection Service Features Matter and Why?
Identity Theft Recovery details the services the identity theft protection company offers to help victims of ID fraud reclaim their identity. Many companies have fraud specialists standing by to assist consumers with repairing the damages caused by identity theft. They may also offer lost wallet protection to assist in canceling lost or stolen credit or debit cards. The best ID protection services also provide identity theft insurance to cover the costs of reclaiming an identity and enable consumers to put fraud notifications on their accounts to inform the credit bureaus of the situation. Focusing on this category when selecting an identity theft protection service is a good idea because these are the tools that help consumers resume normal life following identity theft.
- Fraud Alert Reminders - The company will remind you when the fraud alert on your account is about to expire so you can renew it.
- Fraud Specialist - The company provides access to fraud specialists to help you manage your fraud case.
- Identity Theft Insurance - The company offers insurance to reimburse you for costs related to restoring your identity.
- Lost Wallet Protection - The company offers assistance with canceling and replacing lost or stolen debit/credit cards.
Information Protection is an important category that indicates what types of personal information the identity theft protection service monitors. All of the best ID theft protection companies cover the basics like Social Security number, full name, address, and debit/credit cards. Some companies also monitor information from public records and any loans taken out in the consumer's name. This category is definitely worth paying attention to because it is essentially the foundation of identity theft protection services.
- Address - The company protects against any unauthorized use of your address.
- Bank Accounts - The company protects against any unauthorized use of your bank account information.
- Credit/Debit Cards - The company protects against any unauthorized use of your credit or debit cards.
- Loans - The company protects against any unauthorized loans made in your name.
- Name - The company protects against any unauthorized use of your full name.
- Public Records - The company monitors any information about you in public records.
- Social Security Number - The company protects against any unauthorized use of your Social Security number.
Additional Services is a broad category covering all the extra tools and services offered by an ID theft protection company. Many offer credit monitoring and reports, and send alerts whenever any suspicious activity is noted. Families might be interested in child ID protection since identity thieves may attempt to steal children's personal information as well. Medical identity theft is another common problem, where thieves use a person's health insurance to receive medical treatment. This category comprises a lot of extras and, depending on the individual, some of these features could be very important elements of their ideal ID theft solution.
- Child ID Protection - The company protects against any unauthorized use of your children's personal information.
- Credit Monitoring - The company monitors your credit reports for any suspicious activity.
- Credit Reports - You can get access to your credit reports through the company.
- Credit Scores - You can get access to your credit scores through the company.
- Early Warning Alerts - The company provides early warning alerts following suspicious behavior.
- Mailing List Removal - The company will remove your name from mailing lists to help protect your personal information.
- Medical ID Theft Protection - The company monitors your medical benefits for any suspicious activity.
- Security Freeze - You can place a security freeze on your credit reports if fraud or identity theft is suspected.
Support describes the different options consumers have to contact the identity theft protection service. Popular options include email and phone support. Live chat is another option that's great for convenience and quick communication, although it is less common than phone or email support. Certain identity theft protection companies also have a strong presence on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, so consumers can reach out to them there. This category is fairly important because being able to speak to someone quickly is crucial in cases of potential ID theft.
- Email - The company has an email or ticket system dedicated to support.
- Live Chat - The company offers live chat support.
- Phone - You can contact the company by phone to get support.
- Social Media - You can contact the company with questions through their social networks.
Learning Materials explains the resources the ID theft protection service provides on their website to help consumers understand their service. This may include video tutorials explaining how to use certain functions in one's online account or a knowledge base of help articles. Some companies also have an industry-related blog containing useful tips on how consumers can keep their identities safe and what to do in the event of a stolen identity. This category probably won't play a large role in most people's decisions but it can still be very useful, especially to those who are new to identity protection services.
- Blog or Articles - A blog or relevant articles on identity theft protection are provided by the company.
- FAQs - The company provides a list of answers to frequently asked questions.
- Knowledge Base - The company provides a knowledge base of detailed help articles.
The Mobile category details the availability of a mobile app and its features. The top identity theft protection services offer an app that's available on multiple platforms in addition to a mobile-friendly website. The apps typically enable users to access their identity theft protection account and view any alerts of suspicious activity. Mobile shouldn't be a deciding factor when choosing an ID theft protection company, but it can be beneficial, particularly for those who spend a lot of time away from the computer.
- Access Account - You can access your account from a mobile device.
- Alerts - You can view identity theft alerts from a mobile device.
- Android App - The company has an Android-specific app.
- Favorable Reviews - The company has a combined 3.5 stars or greater for their iPhone and Android apps.
- iPhone App - The company has an iPhone-specific app.
- Mobile Website - The company has a mobile-specific website.
- Tablet - The company has a tablet-based app.