ID Watchdog Review
ID Watchdog is an award-winning identity theft security service that looks out for weak points that could potentially lead to cases of identity theft across billions of data points. Its services include credit report monitoring, dark web monitoring, change of address monitoring, subprime loan monitoring, and high-risk transaction monitoring. The company offers plans for individuals and families, as well as around-the-clock customer care every day of the year to make sure that you and your loved ones are protected at all times. For customer convenience, ID Watchdog also offers a mobile app for consumers who want to keep tabs on their cybersecurity from remote locations. The identity theft security provider received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and was recognized by Javelin Strategy and Research as a Leader in Detection and Prevention for three years. All of these factors combine to make a fraud prevention provider worthy of recommendation.
- ID Watchdog offers credit report monitoring across all three bureaus for Platinum Plan customers
- Individual plans range from $15 per month to $20 per month, family plans range from $26 per month to $35 per month
- ID Watchdog Platinum plans monitor financial accounts for unusual activity, while dark web monitoring, public records monitoring, and change of address monitoring are standard for all plans
- ID Watchdog provides email alerts and also generates alerts through its app
- All users are paired with an identity theft resolution specialist and covered at up to $1 million in identity theft insurance. Platinum members also receive up to $500k in 401(k)/HSA Stolen funds reimbursement
ID Watchdog’s Services and Features
If you’re willing to shell out the cash, ID Watchdog’s services and features are nothing short of comprehensive. On an individual level, its coverage includes five different types of monitoring and an identity profile report. The company provides customizable alerts for breaches, social network risk, sex offender proximity, and national provider data breach. Finally, it offers around-the-clock support 365 days a year for fraud alert assistance, credit freeze assistance, lost wallet vault and assistance, and solicitation reduction for those who get tired of telemarketers. A number of these features are also available to users who opt for the family plan, as is a child credit lock, which helps protect against credit card fraud in your child’s name.
|ID Watchdog Plus||ID Watchdog Platinum|
|Credit bureau monitoring||One bureau (Equifax)||Three bureaus|
|Alerts||Social Network Alerts||Social Network Alerts|
|Dark web monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|Change of address monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|Identity theft insurance||Up to $1 million||Up to $1 million|
|Family plan||Add second adult and up to four children||Add second adult and up to four children|
All information accurate as of February 3, 2020.
Credit bureau monitoring
ID Watchdog users who opt for the platinum plan enjoy three-bureau credit monitoring as part of the coverage package they receive at $20 per month. This monitoring service reviews a customer’s credit files and scrutinizes them with the help of files from three national credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. If any irregularities are observed, the user is notified immediately, as it could be indicative of fraudulent activity. Having all three agencies at a user’s disposal is critical, as each operates independently, which means that the information to which the company has access might be different. Where Equifax might pick up on suspicious activity, Experian and TransUnion may miss it entirely. ID Watchdog Plus users only have access to monitoring services from one bureau.
Should a data breach or any other brand of irregular activity occur, ranging from a change of address to the financing of one of several nontraditional banking system loans, ID Watchdog uses a bevy of alert mechanisms to keep its users in the know. These include email notifications, in-app messages, texts, or phone calls, all of which are sent to a user immediately when suspicious activity is detected. Advanced alert options include social network alerts when cyberbullying towards a user’s child is detected and registered sex offender reporting when registered sex offenders move into or out of a user’s neighborhood.
Dark web monitoring
Every ID Watchdog customer has dark web monitoring included in the package of services provided to them. This product is meant to scan chat rooms, forums, and other websites known to serve as marketplaces for stolen financial and personal information, ranging from credit card information and social security numbers to email addresses and driver’s license numbers. If a user’s information is found anywhere on the dark web, they are immediately notified using one of ID Watchdog’s many alert functions.
Change of address monitoring
Change of address monitoring is another feature that is available to all ID Watchdog customers regardless of the plan they purchase. This service scans the National Change of Address database provided by the United States Postal Service (USPS) for any addresses that may be associated with the name of an ID Watchdog user. In the event of a match, ID Watchdog checks to make sure that no mail is being re-routed to a new address without a user’s knowledge. For this service, ID Watchdog relies on its numerous alert functions to notify users of a breach.
Identity theft insurance
ID Watchdog users enjoy Identity Theft Insurance at up to $1 million regardless of their purchased plan. This product reimburses users for any out-of-pocket expenses associated with identity recovery. This often means that in cases where funds are stolen and later deemed to be unrecoverable through fraudulent electronic transfers from money market, savings, or checking accounts, they will be covered through ID Watchdog’s Identity Theft Insurance. In addition to this product, Platinum users also enjoy 401(k)/HSA Stolen Funds Reimbursement, with $500,000 reimbursement for funds removed through unauthorized electronic transfers from employer-sponsored retirement accounts that are deemed to be unrecoverable. Accounts such as IRA, Roth, 401(k), FSA, HSA, and HRA accounts are all eligible for this coverage.
ID Watchdog’s family plans allow users at both the Plus and Platinum level to add a second adult and up to four children to their plan. Additionally, they both include a unique Equifax Child Credit Lock feature, which is designed to help protect against credit fraud that occurs in a user’s child’s name by creating a credit report for the child and locking it so that would-be lenders cannot access it. This feature that ID Watchdog provides is rare among other identity protection provides.
Some ID Watchdog banking alerts are available to all customers regardless of their plans, while others are restricted to platinum users. High-risk transaction monitoring and subprime loan monitoring are products that are made available to all ID Watchdog clients and are designed to help users protect against account takeovers or fraudulent new accounts created in a user’s name. For Platinum users, the Financial Accounts Monitoring Product enables customers to set alerts for checking, savings, credit card, and investment accounts so that if there is any irregular activity, they will be made aware instantly.
The Bottom Line
Overall, ID Watchdog offers its users an impressive array of products at a respectable price point. For users for whom data security is a priority of the utmost importance, ID Watchdog’s Platinum package comes with everything you could ask for and then some. Most notably, its coverage of retirees and individuals planning for retirement through the 401(k)/HSA Stolen Funds Reimbursement is an offering not seen from many other providers. By the same token, for those unwilling to splurge, the Plus package still provides the majority of the functions that the Platinum plan gives users at a slightly more palatable monthly fee. With plans for individuals, families, and businesses, ID Watchdog is an appealing option to a diverse crowd, and certainly one worth considering for users in the market for identity theft protection.