The Best Identity Theft Protection Services
Best Credit Bureau Integration
Best Family Plan
Best For Additional Protection Tools
|IdentityForce||Experian IdentityWorks||ID Watchdog||Identity Guard||LifeLock|
How We Found the Best Identity Theft Protection Services
8 companies evaluated
10 experts consulted
5 top picks
The Best Identity Theft Protection Services
In today’s digital age, there are a whole host of security threats and cyberattacks that sneak into our lives through the dark corners of the web, risking the state of our financial portfolios.
Identity theft is a high-risk threat and happens when a predator uses personal information like your social security number for unauthorized actions. This doesn’t just mean spending your money through purchases - there are plenty of instances where identity theft includes the opening of new accounts or the outright theft of a tax refund.
As we grow increasingly dependent on the internet, it’s more important than ever to use the right precautions to protect yourself, as well as your entire family. This begins with identity theft protection and choosing the right partner to help you with credit monitoring.
There are many companies out there that offer identity theft protection, but some are better equipped than others to safeguard your identity.
These are the best identity theft protection services for 2020.
The 5 Best Identity Theft Protection Services
- IdentityForce - Best Coverage
- Experian IdentityWorks - Best Credit Bureau Integration
- ID Watchdog - Best Family Plan
- Identity Guard - Best For Additional Protection Tools
- LifeLock - Most Affordable
All our top picks provide:
- Credit reports from all three credit bureaus on their premier plans
- Monitoring use of personal information online
- Identity restoration assistance
- Identity theft insurance of up to $1,000,000
- Family Plans
- Mobile App
The Best Identity Theft Protection Services: Summed Up
IdentityForce provides decent credit monitoring, but it is designed more for the individual and less for the family. You are covered with up to $1 million in identity theft insurance, with extra benefits like lost wallet and restoration and recovery assistance. However, IdentityForce only monitors the top ten most popular banks, leaving you susceptible if there is ever any fraudulent activity that occurs with smaller banks.
Client reviews are also mixed. IdentityForce earns an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and yet the majority of customer reviews center around frustrations with poor customer service and customers plagued by technical issues, causing just some of the many available features to actually work.
ID restoration experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but regular customer service issues will have to wait. Customer service representatives are only available during standard office hours, with support available via phone or email.
Points to Consider
Sign-up is easy through the web, but that’s not all you will find online. The website offers fantastic resources, with loan calculators to help with all sorts of things like credit card and loan comparisons, a mortgage consolidation, or whether to buy or lease your new car.
Pricing for the UltraSecure Plan is currently advertised at $9.99 each month, while the Ultra Secure + Credit is listed at $17.99 per month, a discount offered as part of a Reviews.com partnership. There is a free 14-day trial so you can ensure the service is right for you before committing to a policy.
Experian IdentityWorks - Best Credit Bureau Integration
IdentityWorks is a solid program provided by Experian, with over $800 million invested annually in the company’s IT infrastructure. With Experian’s powerhouse security and software, users benefit from a wide variety of provided services, such as dark web surveillance with social security and USPS address monitoring, in addition to ramped-up identity theft security precautions. IdentityWorks also provides lost wallet assistance, and identity theft insurance is available up to $1 million depending on your policy.
IdentityWorks offers a Plus and Premium policy. While both include excellent features, the Premium policy takes things to the next level. Premium users are provided extensive financial monitoring and alerts with payday loan monitoring, sex offender registry, social network monitoring, and court record monitoring. It even includes file network sharing monitoring.
Customer service is available during limited hours, but there are domestic fraud resolution specialists to help when there is trouble.
Another bonus? Even if you cancel your policy, Experian will keep your information on file so you pick up where you left off if you ever decide to resume coverage.
Points to Consider
One of the best parts about IdentityWorks is the consideration it offers to the whole family. Plans are available for one or two adults with up to 10 children, offering expansive coverage that is not as common among other policies.
IdentityWorks Plus is currently priced at $9.99 per month, while IdentityWorks Premium is listed at $19.99 each month.
ID Watchdog - Best Family Plan
ID Watchdog Overview
ID Watchdog is similar to Experian’s IdentityWorks, with two plans that can also provide coverage for the family if needed.
The plans are straightforward and easy to understand, with tiered pricing based on the extent of your needs. All plans provide extensive coverage with dark web monitoring, high-risk transaction monitoring, subprime loan monitoring, change of address warnings, and court record notifications. ID Watchdog provides lost wallet vault and assistance, as well as fraud alerts and help with freezing your credit.
In addition, you will receive alerts for social networking monitoring and registered sex offenders. You even have the option to customize your own alerts!
Unlike other companies that offer limited hours for customer support, ID Watchdog offers 24/7 customer support, 365 days a year. Even more impressive is ID Watchdog’s customer support department that is able to provide help in over 100 different languages.
Points to Consider
There are two different plans available, with optional coverage for families.
The ID Watchdog Plus currently starts at $14.95 per month with single bureau credit monitoring, while the ID Watchdog Platinum starts at $19.95 per month. For the cost of Platinum, users get 3-bureau credit reporting and additional 401K/HSA stolen funds reimbursement of up to $500,000.
Identity Guard – Best for Additional Protection Tools
Identity Guard Overview
Identity Guard offers three different plans. Its lowest-tier plan, the Value plan, includes basic protections with credit alerts, dark web monitoring, safe browsing tools, and risk management reports. Policyholders can also use the anti-phishing mobile app, which represents Identity Guard’s commitment to the latest in software advancement.
Identity Guard’s affordability adds to its value, with thoughtful coverage designed across three different plans. The Total plan adds 3-bureau credit report monitoring, address monitoring, and tax refund alerts. The Premier plan is Identity Guard’s best plan, offering extras such as regular credit score reporting and additional social insight reports.
Identity Guard’s customers are assured up to $1 million in identity theft insurance and stolen funds reimbursement, with a U.S.-based case manager ensuring reliable and dependable support when you need it most.
Points to Consider
One of the best aspects of Identity Guard is the flexibility it offers customers. There are three different plans with excellent pricing, so you can pick the right coverage that works best for your budget.
The Value plan is Identity Guard’s budget policy listed at under $9 per month, or $14.99 for families. Their mid-tier option is the Total plan at $19.99 each month, or $29.99 for families. For the most coverage, the Premier plan is advertised at $24.99 per month, or $34.99 for families. For extra savings, paying annually earns customers an additional discount.
LifeLock – Most Affordable
Operated by Symantec, Lifelock offers three separate plans: Standard, Advantage, and Ultimate Plus. The Ultimate Plus offers the most features, with additional dark web monitoring, bank account monitoring, and personal data monitoring. Policyholders also benefit from recovery assistance and 24-hour support.
Overall fairly affordable overall, LifeLock’s coverage is minimal. Up to $1 million is available in coverage but only if you purchase the top-tier plan. The cheaper plans have only limited features when compared to competitors. Coverage for the family can quickly become a major expense, as well. Reputation also stands out as a consideration.
In 2015, LifeLock was fined $100 million by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for “deceptive advertising practices” and failing to “establish and maintain a comprehensive information security program to protect users’ sensitive personal information” in 2010. $68 million was paid to customers in redress fees.
While such a lawsuit has not occurred since 2015, it’s worth considering the reputation of a cybersecurity company when such important data is on the line.
Points to Consider
Plans are certainly affordable, with the Standard plan at just $9.99 per month, the Advantage at $19.99 per month, and the Ultimate Plus topping off at $29.99 per month. To avoid buyer’s remorse, there is a 60-day money-back guarantee in case this plan is not the best fit for you.
How To Choose the Best Identity Theft Protection Service for You
3-Bureau credit reporting
Having access to your credit report keeps you informed of your financial standing. Your credit report includes things like how much debt you have and whether you make timely payments. These are all important things when a lender or employer is determining your responsibility as an individual.
There are three primary bureaus that receive and report different information at varied times. Reports that show where you stand with each bureau ensures you can monitor any changes that are out of the ordinary. Additionally, credit reports are necessary for everyday actions, like buying a new house, financing a car, or even applying for a new job
Services that monitor how your personal info is being used online
A credit monitoring service can be invaluable, serving as your eyes and ears in even the darkest corners of the vast internet. A credit monitoring service provides early detection, notifying you the minute suspicious activity is found so you can act quickly. Most monitoring services will also provide support, like reimbursement for fraudulent transactions and things like lost wages.
Credit monitoring is an enormous part of keeping your personal information personal.
Alerts via text, email, phone call
You would think that alerts would come standard with a credit monitoring service, but not all plans are equal in this capacity. Make sure the company you use will send you notifications in a format that works best for you.
Some companies will only send alerts by email, while others opt for phone calls. Some providers may send automatic text alerts or ping you through a mobile app. Few companies offer all of the above. It’s imperative that your credit monitoring service can reach you immediately at the first sign of trouble so ensuring they can reach you with your preferred contact method is critical.
Legal support toward reclaiming your identity
Legal support can be a huge help in resolving and recovering from identity theft. Check with your credit monitoring service to see what legal coverage your plan affords you.
In addition to financial reimbursements for legal support, some companies will offer a dedicated case manager who can help you navigate the rocky road toward regaining your identity. The case manager can assist with freezing your credit report and writing letters of explanation to creditors.
While you are awaiting professional help, there are many things you can do yourself, like opening a fraud alert, obtaining copies of your credit report, and filing a report with your local police. You can always contact the FTC for immediate help, either online or by phone at 1-877-438-4338.
“The true cost of identity theft isn’t in paying back what’s been stolen, but in clearing your name.”
How to Prevent Identity Theft
The 2017 Equifax cyber breach shows no one is immune to identity theft and fraud, no matter how careful you are. Still, there are things you can do to reduce the chances of fraud so you can help protect information. Safeguarding your information should be the first step.
Protect your personal data and passwords; do not leave them in vulnerable places where they can be found or used. Keep important documents locked up in a secure location and use extra precaution when disposing of sensitive records and data.
Your electronic devices can leave you susceptible, exposed to possible viruses and malware. The FTC recommends that you install anti-virus software on all of your devices, in addition to a firewall and anti-spyware software. Take the time to install regular updates and ensure that these programs are running properly so you always have the latest and best technology working for you around the clock. As a general best-practice, enabling two-factor authentication on your devices for all logins with sensitive data is an effective and simple way to prevent data breaching.
You can also check with your financial institutions as they may offer additional support. Many companies offer proprietary software and advanced AI technology to provide greater support against hackers and online predators.
Identity Theft Protection Services FAQ
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