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Are you searching for the best identity theft protection service? Take a look at our in-depth review of the top choices in the market, and pick the one that suits you most.
LifeLock's system monitors for identity theft, the use of personal information, and credit score changes. They are my most trusted company when it comes to identity theft protection services.
Most people put their identities and credentials online for various purposes, such as banking, social networking, and e-commerce. Identity theft protection services ensure these details do not get into the wrong hands and scan the internet to see if any of your data is in use illegally.
There are several things to consider before subscribing to such a service. For instance, you should check whether the plan offers ID theft insurance, the type of bureau monitoring, and the type of plan (family or individual).
We consider these services essential because roughly 28% of American adults were victims of critical identity theft cases reported from July 2020 to July 2021.
If you are unsure which one to pick, we have reviewed the best identity theft protection services, so read on to find the one that suits your needs.
Our Top Picks for the Best Identity Theft Protection
7 Best Identity Theft Protection Services Reviewed
1. Identity Guard - Best Overall
Powered by IBM’s artificial intelligence, Watson, Identity Guard is an intelligent identity protection service that knows the specifics to search for on the internet.
The system combines traditional monitoring with Watson to constantly scan millions of information pieces and detect more threats.
Identity Guard offers three plans: Value, Total, and Ultra. All offer an insurance cover of up to $1 million with stolen funds reimbursement, as well as alerts on high-risk transactions, personal information detected on the dark web, and personal threats detected by the AI.
However, Ultra is the most comprehensive plan as it gives you more alerts, including credit reports from the three main credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). Combined with change monitoring in these reports, you will not miss any error that pops up.
The plan also monitors and reports USPS address changes, suspicious activity on your credit & debit card, criminal & sex offenses, and investment & 401K.
These features (Ultra) cost $31.99 monthly or $26.67 per month if billed annually for the family cover. An individual plan is slightly cheaper, costing $23.99 monthly or $20 if billed annually.
The other packages cost much less, going as low as $6.67 per month for Value when billed yearly.
2. LifeLock - Most Trusted
LifeLock is one of the best identity theft protection services due to its trustworthy design and business model. Apart from scanning the internet for potential identity theft threats and sending alerts, the platform defends your browsing activity from hackers using Norton Secure VPN.
The VPN is compatible with all iOS, Android, PC, and Mac devices, although you can only use it on unlimited devices for the highest package, Ultimate Plus. Select and Advantage plans limit it to five and ten devices, respectively.
If you are a victim of identity theft, you can trust LifeLock to help you do a thorough follow-up because they will assign a US-based agent to help you fix the problem.
On top of that, the service includes a $1 million protection package for all plans to cover expert expenses, such as lawyer fees, if needed to solve your case.
Each plan has its stolen funds reimbursement limit, which is $25000 for the Select Package, $100,000 for Advantage, and $1 million for Ultimate Plus.
Ultimate Plus is the most comprehensive package as it includes home title monitoring to safeguard your property, three-bureau credit monitoring, and alerts on 401K & investment accounts. It costs $298.88 annually for the first year and renews for $349.99.
3. IdentityForce - Best for Child Protection
Kids are an appealing target to fraudsters because they have a clean slate, and IdentityForce is well aware of this fact. They have a child identity protection plan that you can get for free if you subscribe to either one of the two adult membership family plans.
The plan features an award-winning social media identity monitoring suite that monitors any suspicious activity, impersonation, scams, and hacking on your child’s social accounts.
Additionally, it uses an SSN tracker to monitor and alert you of any alias, address, or unfamiliar name using your kid’s social security number to prevent fraud.
On adult membership, IdentityForce has two plans, UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit. Apart from cost and credit freeze control, the other difference separating the two is the credit part.
The latter gives you 3-bureau credit monitoring, reports, and scores, plus a credit score tracker and simulator.
However, UltraSecure also has tons of features. Both packages monitor and analyze data from the dark web, which is where most illegal dealings occur.
You will also get a VPN to secure your browsing, advanced fraud monitoring, sex offender monitoring, and a $1 million identity theft insurance.
UltraSecure has a 30-day trial period, and both have a two-month free offer on the annual subscriptions.
4. IdentityIQ - Best for Credit Monitoring
IdentityIQ offers the best-in-class credit monitoring because the service checks for new-account, new-cleared-user, and score change alerts in real-time.
Depending on the package, you can get 3-bureau or 1-bureau monitoring, plus monthly, bi-annual, or annual 3-bureau credit reports and scores to verify all the information.
It is vital to check these reports because they are the best way to check for suspicious changes and maintain your credit identity.
The system scans the dark web as well and does so in over 25 languages. It then notifies you in case there is any suspicious activity involving your data.
On top of that, it checks for changes and data breaches based on your personally identifiable information (PII), including an international criminal record search.
You can include bit defender total security on any of the four packages of your choice. Although this addition jacks up the price, it gives you secure VPN browsing with complete anonymity and online protection.
Bit defender also brings onboard its antivirus software to secure your personal information using a privacy firewall. Also, it provides anti-phishing protection from email scams and keeps bad actors from accessing your webcam & microphone.
5. IDShield - Best for Restoration
Monitoring and giving reports is not enough. Since it is impossible to stop identity theft 100%, if anything does happen, IDShield promises full-service restoration.
Their team comprises licensed private investigators who will do whatever it takes to restore your pre-theft identity status.
They will contact and follow up with all the relevant financial institutions, collection agencies, credit bureaus, and government agencies for as long as it takes until they resolve the issue.
Once finalized, the investigators keep the case open for 120 days to ensure you are not a victim once more.
Additionally, the service offers 24/7 emergency assistance if there is an identity theft case, ensuring you get live support in your time of need.
To prevent such issues from happening again, IDShield investigators and ID theft specialists will discuss the latest trends on identity theft and best practices to protect your personal information.
As for the system, it includes a VPN to encrypt your internet traffic. It also monitors the dark web, social media, telecom, minor child ID theft, etc. You will have the ability to place credit freezes and fraud alerts on your credit reports if you spot any suspicious entries.
6. ID Watchdog - Best for ID Theft
Founded in 2005, ID Watchdog joined the Equifax family of companies in 2017 but still maintains its vision of being a leader in identity theft protection services.
The service monitors signs of ID theft across billions of data points online, including checking the dark web, credit reports, subprime loans, high-risk transactions, public records, and USPS change of address.
ID Watchdog Premium, the most comprehensive package, adds on social accounts, financial accounts, and 3-bureau credit report monitoring. The Select package only offers single bureau monitoring (Equifax), so the former is more thorough at scanning for ID theft.
In the event of identity theft, you will get an in-house specialist for fully managed identity resolution. Once the case concludes, ID Watchdog reimburses certain out-of-pocket costs related to the recovery process to the tune of up to $1 million.
7. ReliaShield - Best for Family Plans
ReliaShield provides the best family coverage for its three protection plans: Essential, Prime, and Elite. Subscribing to either of these for two adults will include free identity theft protection for all kids in your household who are under 18 years old.
The plans cover all types of ID theft and monitor several data points, such as court records, the dark web, personal information, social security number, and change of address, to enhance the chances of detecting fraudsters.
Prime and Elite are more comprehensive, with the former adding neighborhood predator, non-credit loans, social media, and single bureau monitoring. With Elite, the service monitors all three bureaus.
All plans include complete restoration services in the case of ID theft, plus a $1 million expense and stolen funds reimbursement.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is the illegal use of personally identifiable information (PII) by a fraudster to commit crimes, buy items, get employment, or participate in any gainful activity without the thief revealing his (or her) real identity.
Types of Identity Theft
Thieves can steal your PII for many reasons, leading to these types of identity theft.
With identity cloning, someone assumes your daily life mostly for immigration purposes, to get good credit or clean criminal and eviction records. The person might also create a fake social media account and use your images to pretend to be you.
Child Identity Theft
Child identity theft is more common than you would imagine. About 39% of notified data breach victims are kids, while only 19% are adults. Most criminals use a child’s social security number to commit various criminal activities, which can go undetected for a long time.
Senior Identity Theft
Like children, seniors are vulnerable to identity theft because they are less likely to monitor and follow up on their various accounts. Most fraudsters employ the phishing technique to get medical and financial ID details from seniors.
Tax Identity Theft
Tax ID theft means someone uses your name and social security number to get your tax refund.
Financial Identity Theft
With financial ID theft, thieves use your credit and debit account to buy goods or services without your approval. They can get this information through phishing or on the dark web after breaching your devices.
Medical Identity Theft
Some hackers can use your personal information to pay for medical treatments, especially if they are expensive. It could end up creating discrepancies in your medical care or raise your health insurance rates.
Synthetic Identity Theft
Synthetic identity theft involves the use of fake and genuine data, mainly for credit purposes. The hacker might use a false name and combine it with his (or her) social security number to apply for credit.
It will be difficult to detect in credit reports but could end up damaging your rating.
- Criminal Identity Theft
- Employment Identity Theft
- Automobile Lending Fraud
- Home Title Theft
Why Do You Need Identity Theft Protection?
With so many bad actors on the internet, the possibility of accessing your data through data breaches, phishing, form jacking, etc., for malicious uses is very high.
Savvy thieves have access to advanced tools and techniques that make it easy to steal your identity, and these are becoming more sophisticated by the day.
Your best bet against such acts is to use an identity protection service. They use intelligent software to safeguard your internet use and scan the web to identify wherever your details are in use.
Since the internet has become a basic need in our current world, it is vital to safeguard all your online transactions to keep personal information away from the wrong hands.
Identity protection services will help you do that, and in the event of ID theft, they will notify you, provide compensation, and possibly follow up to resolve the issue.
So, check out the seven best identity theft protection services above to find the perfect solution for you and your family.
ID Theft Protection FAQ
Identity theft protection involves monitoring several data points across the internet to check for signs of use of your PII. Such personal information includes social security numbers, bank account numbers, medical ID, and driver’s license numbers.
There are several ways to keep your information from getting into the wrong hands. Use antivirus software, freeze your credit, review credit reports regularly, and check your bank & credit card statements frequently.
Also, collect mail daily, use different passwords for your accounts, and, if possible, enable two-factor authentication on your devices.
It depends on the service provider. Most individual packages cost roughly $100 – $200, while family packages range from about $200 – $300 annually.
Notify your protection service provider. Some do all the follow-up by contacting and reporting to the relevant financial institutions, collection agencies, credit bureaus, and government agencies.
If not, you have to notify all these agencies yourself and follow up until you resolve the issue.
Review your credit reports and bank account statements, check your bills, and track your bills. ID protection services are better at doing this because they scan the internet to see if your details are in use anywhere in the world.
Identity Guard offers personalized identity theft protection, secure credit monitoring, and credit protection.