ID fraud should never be taken lightly. These days, it’s one of the fastest-growing concerns, and without proper identity theft protection, you can never be truly safe. In this guide, you’ll find a list of the best tools available on the market right now. Overall, we’ve collected ten ID protection and monitoring services.
Join us, and let’s take a closer look at every single solution. We’ll talk about their pros, cons, pricing plans, and more.
List of the Best Identity Theft Protection Services:
- Identity Guard
- LifeLock Identity Theft Protection
- ID Watchdog
- Privacy Guard
- Zander Insurance
What Is Identity Theft Protection?
This is a collective term that is used to describe a wide range of tools and services. Those include social security, various types of monitoring (credit, financial, and dark web), and more. Most regular users tend to think that best identity theft protection is only something that big-time corporations should be concerned about. However, that’s not true, and to protect your finances, good name, and keep hackers at bay, you’ll need ID protection.
There are numerous types of services for different needs and tasks. We have ID theft protection for businesses, families, seniors, children, spouses, and the deceased, to name a few. Identity protection tools allow the users to spot scams and often include anti-keylogger and anti-phishing modules that prevent cyber criminals from gaining access to your data.
Now, there are several decent services out there, and they may be used as a starting point. However, if you’re serious about protecting your identity/sensitive data, we recommend picking one of the tools from our list. This is important: ID theft protection only alerts of suspicious activity and doesn’t provide protection against potential attacks.
True, anti-phishing/keylogger protection does improve your chances of staying secure (for example you can find a good software from our list of the best antivirus software), but there are no 100% guarantees. Again, best identity theft protection is all about instant alerts that help you minimize the damage.
Why You Should Use?
According to statistics, back in 2016, there were 15+ million registered identity fraud cases in the United States. Overall, people lost approximately 16 billion dollars. Last year (in late 2018), the Marriott hotel chain announced that hackers successfully breached one of their reservation systems. As a result, they accessed the records of over 500 million (!) customers.
The attackers got access to their passport and credit card numbers, which is a clear case of identity theft. Professional-level services put advanced tech and qualified specialists to good use and continuously scan the web for suspicious activity. Whenever fraudulent/potentially dangerous activity is detected, the user instantly gets a warning through email/SMS/phone calls. Plus, even after the user becomes a victim, the majority of providers help to minimize the risk of further breaches of security.
1. Identity Guard – Best Coverage
Introduced by Intersections more than 20 years ago (back in 1996, to be exact), Identity Guard is one of the leading ID theft protection tools. And with the recent addition of the IBM Artificial Intelligence known as Watson, they are taking identity security to the next level. Furthermore, the OTA (Online Trust Alliance) has been recognizing this company’s efforts for the last six years, calling them one of the best data security services.
The IMB “supercomputer” isn’t the only standout feature, by the way. The list of notable extras includes US-based dedicated case managers, a risk management score, and 1 million dollars in insurance (for stolen funds). The nifty mobile app is also a nice touch: it will send alerts the second something suspicious happens.
Speaking of alerts, Identity Guard sends out warnings during high-risk transactions, three-credit bureau change notes, dark web detection, info on your kid(s) found in the dark web, and more. Last, but not least, the digital app comes with a robust anti-phishing module, and there’s a browser extension that improves security.
Customer support is also of the highest quality. During our test, we were pleased by how fast the staff works and how helpful and down-to-earth their answers were. There’s a FAQ section on the official website that will answer most of your questions. In addition, they provide a phone number and an email address that allows getting in contact with support.
Need more information about this service? Read our Identity Guard review.
To sign up, you’ll have to share your credit card and social security numbers. Next, the system will ask you a series of simple questions to prove your identity. After that, the main dashboard will come up – it looks like that of an antivirus product. The most important menus are “Privacy Settings” and “Safe Browsing”: the rest of the windows are just there to display any possible alerts.
- Offers affordable prices;
- Removes personal info from junk mailing lists;
- Checks driver’s license info for fraud;
- $1 Million Insurance Stolen Funds Refund;
- Safe Browsing, Anti-Phishing (for mobile devices);
- Offers a generous family plan;
- Three-credit bureau monitoring;
- Implements IBM’s artificial intelligence.
We don’t like:
- The company doesn’t alert credit bureaus;
- Doesn’t include 24/7 support via phone;
- The staff doesn’t check sex offender registries;
- Individual child plans aren’t available.
IdentityGuard Pricing & Plans
Here are the available Identity Guard packages:
- Value – 7.5 dollars per month ($12.5 for Family);
- Total – 16.6 dollars per month ($25 for Family);
- Premier – 20.8 dollars per month ($29 for Family).
With the entry-level plan, you get a pretty decent set of features, including the IBM AI, 1 million dollar insurance, and a mobile app. Personal threats, suspicious transactions, and personal info on the dark web will be alerted. The anti-phishing mobile app, along with the browser extension, provides even more protection.
Total, in turn, adds a monthly credit score, 3-bureau and, bank account takeover alerts. For most people, this will be the ultimate pick. Three-bureau credit reports and social insight reports are the only Premier extras. With the Family packages, you’ll get alerts whenever your kid’s info gets into the dark web, and the staff finds cases of cyberbullying on social media.
The company only accepts credit cards and PayPal payments, and there’s no free version available. The good news is – Identity Guard is available with a generous 30-day free trial.
With artificial intelligence by IBM on your side, you’ll always be protected from any outside threats. Identity Guard offers competitive prices, three-credit bureau monitoring, and several more standout features. In many ways, this is the best credit monitoring and ID protection service out there.
2. LifeLock Identity Theft Protection – Excellent All-Around Protection
As one of the leading protection companies, LifeLock is another safe bet. It’s been around since 2005 and offers an extensive set of services and features. With ~4.5 million active users, a capable restoration team, and a generous MBG, it offers quite a compelling case. Other notable features include a 1mil protection package, personal expense compensation, SSN/credit alerts, and more.
Add credit bureau monitoring, dark web monitoring, and lost wallet protection, and you’ll see precisely why we put LifeLock this high up on the list. It’s safe to say that this service covers every single monitoring type and sends out more alerts than most of the rivals. On top of that, OTA gave it the highest rating in 2016, and, over the last three years, it has improved its ratings in other leading third-party associations.
You’ll find a phone number for general topics, but to get more professional help, you’ll need to become a member. This is called “priority support” and is available with the upper tiers. It is one of LifeLock’s most significant downsides, as most rivals offer help over email, tickets, and even live chat without any additional charges.
Signing up is very easy: first, create a Norton account on the official website. Next, you’ll need to provide your credit card and SS numbers, along with other sensitive info. That’s pretty much it: the service will start working the second you’re done with registration. The mobile app, in turn, is just as user-friendly as the in-browser app and allows you to check your status quickly.
- Excellent support for restoring one’s ID;
- The staff monitors black-market websites for your info;
- Stolen funds compensation;
- Up To S1 Million Refund Package;
- 60-Day money-back guarantee;
- Includes Norton Internet Security;
- Lost wallet protection;
- Dark web monitoring.
We don’t like:
- Priority support only available with the upper tier;
- The advanced packages are a bit expensive;
- No family plan is available.
LifeLock Pricing & Plans
Here are the available LifeLock packages:
- Standard – 9.99 dollars per month;
- Advantage – 19.99 dollars per month;
- Ultimate Plus – 25.99 dollars per month;
- LifeLock Junior – 5.99 dollars per month (only available after you purchase the standard LifeLock).
The standard package is, well, pretty standard, and only includes one-bureau credit monitoring and ID/social security number alerts. Advantage, in turn, adds Norton’s Security antivirus and a decent VPN (both available for up to ten devices). Credit card and bank activity alerts are also a part of the package. Finally, Ultimate offers three-bureau credit monitoring, Security/VPN for unlimited devices, and more.
As for stolen funds reimbursement, it’s 25K with Standard, 100K with Advantage, and 1 million with Ultimate.
Just like the previous service, credit cards and PayPal are the only available payment option. The list includes Visa, Master Card, Discover, JCB, American Express, and, again, PayPal. Another similarity: there’s no free edition, but they do provide a 30-day free trial, which should be more than enough to test the product.
Comprehensive ID theft protection – that’s what LifeLock is all about (check Lifelock review). A trusted name, quick responses, and the professional staff are even more reasons to consider buying it. With affordable prices and a long list of anti-fraud monitoring features, it is the choice of millions of clients across the world. Too bad the upper tiers are expensive, and there’s no quality support for entry-level users.
3. IdentityForce – Leading Customer Service
IdentityForce is internationally known as a highly rated ID theft protection provider. IdentityForce was recently acquired by EZShield. It always makes it into all kinds of top-3 lists, along with LifeLock and Identity Guard. The alliance with EZShield means you get the best of the two worlds – double the forces for fighting off cybercriminals. With a perfect reputation and rave reviews both from customers and experts, IF is worth every single penny you pay for it.
The long list of services includes court record, advanced fraud, change of address, sex offender, credit report, and dark web monitoring, to name a few. The alert services are also quite impressive. With IdentityForce, you’ll get constant ID theft, payday loan, fraud, change of address, and other types of alerts through email and SMS messages.
And then there are the highly useful privacy tools, along with extensive credit score monitoring and a 1-mil Identity theft insurance package. As far as ID monitoring and alerts go, this provider is a sure pick. On the support page of the official website, you’ll find several carefully-crafted menus. We’ve got a FAQ section and several menus with helpful guides on alerts, membership, credit monitoring, stolen ID, and more.
If you want to get in contact with the staff, there’s a phone number in the upper corner of the main screen. The company also provides a useful mobile app that comes for free for all active members. Use it to access your ID protection info from every single corner of the planet. Both iOS and Android are supported. Recently, they updated the interface, and it’s now faster and more intuitive.
- Industry-leading 24/7 Customer Support (over The Phone);
- Three-bureau reports;
- Instant alerts to credit bureaus;
- Advanced fraud monitoring (including banks, mortgage, government, and other companies);
- The company provides a 100% ID recovery guarantee;
- Offers a $1Mil Insurance Policy (isn’t a service guarantee, though);
- Real-time alerts;
- Fully managed restoration;
- Includes a useful mobile app.
We don’t like:
- You’ll have to cancel auto-subscription after the trial period manually;
- More expensive than average (but offers more useful features);
- Only capable of tracking one bureau’s score per month.
IdentityForce Pricing & Plans
Here are the available IdentityForce packages:
- Ultra Secure – 17.9 dollars per month; $179.9 for the annual plan;
- Ultra Secure + Credit – 23.9 dollars per month; $239.9 for the annual plan.
Ultra Secure is a quite feature-packed plan and is strong in Alerts, Monitoring, Recover, and Control. But, as you could’ve guessed, it doesn’t provide any credit monitoring/reports/scores. For that, you’ll have to upgrade to Ultra Secure + Credit. Child Watch ID Protection is an additional option available for both plans.
The company provides a 14-day trial, which is less than 30 days, but still generous enough. However, make sure to cancel the subscription before it’s over. Otherwise, you’ll be automatically charged. The payment options are international credit cards and PayPal.
More information about this provider and our experience you can get here: IdentityForce review.
This company has been around for more than four decades and has a stellar reputation. And while customer service is, indeed, its biggest pro, it has much more to offer to the regular users. First of all, the list of monitoring services is impressive; secondly, it automatically sends alerts to credit bureaus. The bottom line is – along with the previous two entries, this is the best provider on the market right now.
4. ID Watchdog – 100% Resolution Guarantee
By implementing advanced proprietary tech to “scroll” through billions of data points, ID Watchdog is quite successful at detecting potential threats. With more than 13 years of experience and an A+ rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau), it’s an active player in the business. The CFA (Consumer Federation of America) recently called it the most valuable ID theft protection provider.
Like the previous entries on our list, ID Watchdog comes packed with a wide range of protection and monitoring tools. ID, SSN, non-credit, change of address, public records, and high-risk transaction monitoring is just a part of what this service can do. It also “keeps an eye” on black market/hacker forums where criminals buy and share personal information.
Compared to some of the rivals, ID Watchdog has a limited set of services, but they are more than enough to keep you safe. Add a 100% resolution guarantee and a team of professionals that can help in restoring your stolen ID, and you’ll see why the CFA gave it the highest praise. Live support is provided in 100+ languages, which is a big pro.
Customer service is available 24/7 through phone and email. You’ll see a “Contact Us” option in the top right corner of the website. As for the user experience, the sign-up process is very straightforward. It is a bit strange that you can’t write down your date of birth but rather have to select it in the drop-down menus. Logging in and out can also lag sometimes. On top of that, the interface is very outdated and reminded us of the 2000’s rather than 2019.
- The best resolution service on the market;
- Complete id restoration;
- Standard + advanced id monitoring;
- Three-credit report monitoring;
- Constant payday database load monitoring;
- Live service/support (in 100+ languages);
- Instant email and sms alerts;
- Keeps tabs on the black market;
- NPI (national provider identifier).
We don’t like:
- A modest set of services compared to the rivals;
- Child id protection not openly available (you may request it, though);
- Charges you extra for using pre-existing features/services;
- No removal from mailing lists;
- An outdated website and user interface.
IDWatchdog Pricing & Plans
Here are the available ID Watchdog packages:
- Plus – 14.5 dollars per month; $134.9 for the annual plan;
- Platinum – 19.9 dollars per month; $219 for the annual plan.
The entry-level Plus tier comes packed with a long list of features. Those include SMS/Email alerts, Identity restoration, $1 million insurance, SSN monitoring, and more. The only difference between the Plus and the ultimate package – Platinum – is the credit monitoring system. With the more expensive plan, you’ll get 3-credit bureau monitoring-reporting (and single-credit bureau monitoring with Plus).
The company is known for continually offering discounts and price cuts. So, keep your eye on the official websites so that you don’t miss any upcoming incentives. Plus, as you can see, annual plans allow saving some money in the long run. Sadly, there is no free trial available with this service (and no free edition either).
The payment options are the same as with all the previous providers: credit cards and PayPal, nothing else.
If a 100% resolution guarantee is what you’re after, then ID Watchdog will be a good deal for you (check also our ID Watchdog review). Add industry-leading service (support is available in 100 languages) and instant alerts (email and SMS), and you’ll get a bargain. True, the list of services is limited, and for some of them, they charge extra, but this is still a decent offer.
5. ProtectMyID – Part of Experian, a Big Player in the Business
Yes, ProtectMyID is owned by Experian, a company with access to tens of billions of data sources across the globe. To clarify: Experian is one of the biggest credit-reporting agencies. With over 125 years of experience behind their back and 17K employees in 37 countries, it doesn’t get bigger than this mogul.
So, does that mean this is the best pick in terms of coverage? Not quite, but it’s still a decent choice and is known for three-bureau monitoring, instant alerts, and a user-friendly website. By combining credit monitoring and ID theft protection, the provider offers a convenient all-in-one package that will cover the needs of most potential customers.
SMS and email alerts allow you to take instant action and, potentially, prevent cybercriminals from putting their hands on your personal (and sensitive) data. The list of features/services is strong and includes dark web monitoring, SN surveillance, lost wallet assistance, and more. Sadly, Plus (the standard package) lacks some useful features, but nothing too significant.
Now, while the user interface is friendly and intuitive, the registration process leaves a lot to be desired. If you have a promo code, the website will probably redirect to a different page. There’s nothing to worry about, but it would’ve been nice to have a warning. On the bright side, 24/7 support is excellent: the US-based experts are ready to help in restoring your ID. These people have decades of experience and are qualified enough to make a difference.
- Owned by Experian, a big player in the business;
- ID Protection and credit monitoring;
- Friendly, easy-to-use website;
- Instant SMS and email alerts;
- Scans thousands of websites, including the Dark Web;
- 1Mil ID Theft Insurance;
- Three-bureau monitoring.
We don’t like:
- Entry-level package lacks several useful features/services;
- The registration process is a bit awkward.
ProtectMyID Pricing & Plans
Here are the available ProtectMyID packages:
- Plus – 9.99 dollars per month; $99.9 for the annual plan;
- Premium – 19.9 dollars per month; $199.9 for the annual plan.
Along for the single-device plans, you can also go with the One Adult + Ten Children ($15 Plus/$25 Premium) or Two Adults Ten Children ($19 Plus/$29 Premium) packages. Yes, these are the family plans. To test out the product on your device and see whether it’s a good fit or not, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the free trial. It lasts for 30 full days and only requires registering on the website.
If you’re wondering what’s the difference between Plus and Premium, it’s not really that apparent. Mainly, users will get three credit bureau reports. SM monitoring and bank account takeover alerts are also a part of the picture. Other than that, these two are almost identical.
Backed by Experian, ProtectMyID is a safe bet for people looking for an all-around robust ID protection tool. Users will get credit info directly from one of the sources. With an extensive range of ID protection/credit monitoring services, ProtectMyID will make sure you are well-protected. Registration could be easier, though, that’s for sure.
6. IDShield – The Most Attractive Family Plan
IDShield has access to LegalShield databases, similar to ProtectMyID and Experian. IDShield was founded in 2003, has been on the market for 15+ years, and boasts one million active users. IDShield is a division of LegalShield (established in 1969). With coverage in 50 states + Canada, IDShield is a “trendy” service and was featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, The Hill, and more.
Industry-leading protection, along with instant alerts and careful monitoring, turn it into one of the most influential players on the field. In fact, the list of available features is quite impressive, and they all work to your advantage. As for the alerts, in our opinion, the hard credit inquiry alert is this provider’s biggest pro. Whenever a criminal tries to create an account in your name, IDShield will send a warning.
High-risk application and transaction monitoring is another standout feature. With its help, the staff can detect fraudulent behavior up to three months earlier than with standard credit monitoring. Last, but not least, telecom monitoring will make sure your phone is never redirected.
Strangely enough, three-credit bureau monitoring isn’t available. The good news is – as you’ll learn in the Pricing and Plans section, with this company you’ll get pretty much the most attractive deal for a family. Support also deserves our praise: users have 24/7 access to the emergency staff that will help deal with ID theft quickly and effectively.
- Social media/credit/SM monitoring;
- Public record monitoring (78 billion records in total);
- Telecom (phone-record database) Monitoring;
- Instant alerts over SMS and email;
- Hard credit inquiry alerts;
- High-risk application and transaction monitoring;
- Advanced Dark Web monitoring;
- Payday loan monitoring;
- Address change and court records monitoring;
- Family plan offers child monitoring.
We don’t like:
- No three-bureau monitoring;
- Computer security isn’t a part of the deal;
- Retirement account monitoring is not available.
If you need more information you can read our full IDShield review.
IDShield Pricing & Plans
Here are the available IDShield packages:
- Individual (1-Bureau Package) – 12.9 dollars per month;
- Individual (3-Bureau Package) – 17.9 dollars per month;
- Family (1-Bureau Package) – 25.9 dollars per month;
- Family (3-Bureau Package) – 32.9 dollars per month.
As the names suggest, users can pick between single-user and family plans. And, there’s also the option of going with 1-bureau or 3-bureau packages. With the Family, the company provides protection not only for you but also for the spouse and the kids (up to ten users). There’s also a 30-day free trial, but auto-subscription has to be canceled manually. Or else, on the 31st day, your credit card will be automatically charged.
That’s it for the IDShield pricing and plans. The prices are competitive, and there’s enough flexibility with the packages. Plus, it is very easy to see what you’ll get with each one of the tiers.
Just like the title suggests, IDShield’s strongest side is the comprehensive family plan. It easily covers the parents and up to ten children, which isn’t available with most rivaling products. On top of that, it is packed with an inspiring list of monitoring and alert services/features. The lack of 3-bureau monitoring is the most significant con.
7. Privacy Guard – Decent Insurance, Excellent Credit Protection
Let’s start by saying that Privacy Guard is the ID theft protector of choice for over 100 million (!) people around the globe. Ease-of-use, accessibility, and leading credit protection are the main reasons for this incredible popularity. Flexibility is another thing: you can pay for credit monitoring, identity theft protection, or both, depending on your current needs.
However, social monitoring isn’t available yet; furthermore, there are no family plans. Monitoring coverage, in turn, is somewhat limited (it’s not horrible, but still not on par with the leaders). With that said, the strong sides easily outweigh the weak sides, and Privacy Guard is, indeed, a bang for the buck.
The $1 million ID theft insurance, public record tracking, dark web tracking, and lost wallet assistant are some of the standout features. Plus, PG sends out alerts not only through text and email but also through the phone. The digital app is a nice tough: it features a secure browser for your phone and a secure keyboard.
To get in contact with the staff, use the membership phone or email. The support agents are very quick to respond and are usually quite helpful. There’s also an FAQ section for those that want to solve problems on their own and a Feedback menu.
Also you can read our Privacy Guard review.
- Lots of credit protection services;
- Excellent (and highly active) support;
- Comprehensive insurance cover;
- Credit bureau alerts;
- Highly affordable;
- Offers a trial period;
- Straightforward plans;
- Up to $1 million recovery guarantee (no service guarantee, though);
- Text, email, phone alerts;
- Digital protection app.
We don’t like:
- No mail list removal;
- Family coverage is not currently available;
- No social media monitoring;
- Overall, monitoring coverage leaves a lot to be desired.
Privacy Guard Pricing & Plans
Here are the available Privacy Guard packages:
- ID Protection – 9.9 dollars per month;
- Credit Protection – 19.9 dollars per month;
- Total Protection – 24.9 dollars per month.
The company also offers a free trial, but it only lasts for 14 days. On top of that, you’ll be charged exactly one US dollar, which, technically, prevents it from being called a “free” trial. Still, it’s a good deal, and you won’t be automatically billed for a plan once the test period is over.
As for the plans, their names are pretty self-explanatory. For basic records scan, go with the entry-level tier. For thorough credit scans, upgrade to Credit Protection. And finally, the ultimate package offers the best of both worlds. Mobile Secure Keyboard and Mobile/PC Secure Browsing are the only features available with every single plan.
Privacy Guard is one of those brick-strong services that you can’t go wrong with. Above-average credit protection, plus a handy mobile app, turn it into a product worth every single penny. The trial period and the plain-and-simple packages (plans) are more of the benefits available with PG. No family coverage, though.
8. Zander Insurance – The Most Affordable Tool
User-friendliness, coverage, and alerts are, of course, very important. But Zander Insurance’s most attractive side is the affordable price-tags (bot for the Individual and the Family plans). This company has been a big part of the industry for over 91 years and also has an A+ rating from BBB. Recommended by Forbes, Dave Ramsey, and about 96% of its customers, it’s a must-have for the fans of non-expensive services.
Free coverage for your children, a spectacular 100% recovery success rate, and constant data breach updates are even more reasons to consider it. We were surprised to learn that there’s no dedicated mobile app, and the staff only sends out alerts through email (no text or phone). Another downside is the fact that there’s no free edition or trial to test the product.
The lack of credit report monitoring is yet another con. Regardless, Zander Insurance is a very powerful and highly effective tool against ID theft. With SSN, dark web, social security fraud, tax fraud, financial, and criminal monitoring, it continually keeps tabs on any suspicious activity. Customer service is worth your attention as well: the company provides support/recovery service 365 days a year.
Finally, unlimited recovery, stolen funds reimbursement (up to 1 million dollars), and a friendly website are more reasons to consider buying it. Lastly, Child Identity Theft services are a standout service. They apply to an unlimited number of children (dependents) and cover up to the age of 25.
- Covers every single type of id theft;
- Impressive (100%) recovery success rate;
- $1 million stolen funds/expense refund;
- Leading support and recovery service (365 days a year);
- SSN and dark web monitoring;
- Financial and criminal monitoring;
- Constant data breach updates;
- Unlimited recovery services;
- Dependent identity theft monitoring.
We don’t like:
- No credit report monitoring;
- Text or phone alerts are absent (only email);
- No free edition/trial.
Zander Insurance Pricing & Plans
Here are the available Zander Insurance packages:
- Individual Plan – 6.7 dollars per month; $75 for the annual plan;
- Family Plan – 12.9 dollars per month; $145 for the annual plan.
Monitoring for children – that’s the only advantage of the Family plan over Individual. There are no free editions or free trials with Zander Insurance, which is a big con. The payment options include Debit-Credit cards along with electronic checks. This service is affordable even when you go with the ultimate package, and the list of features is quite impressive.
Plus, customers that decide to commit for one full year will get decent discounts (up to 25%).
While Zander Insurance might not be the most reliable ID theft protection tool, it sure does have a very attractive price. True, you won’t get credit monitoring with it, but the list of available services is still quite impressive. Plus, this is a company with a stellar reputation, which, of course, is also a big pro. The lack of text, phone, or mobile app alerts is this service’s biggest downside.
9. Equifax – A Leading Credit Reporting Agency
In the recent past, Equifax, one of the biggest primary credit reporting companies, had a massive data breach. That generated a wide range of negative reviews, and the provider is still finding ways to get over that. Furthermore, while it is, indeed, a leader in terms of presence on the market, Equifax’s customer support is well below average.
First of all, the website is continuously unavailable both in the States and in many European countries. Secondly, support takes forever to answer customer questions, and their responses lack professionalism. Compared to other entries on this list, Equifax is by far the worst pick in terms of customer support.
Limited dark web scanning and ID restoration are even more downsides. On the bright side, credit reporting is impressive, and when it comes to determining FICO scores, this service is one of the best in the field. Plus, they offer up to 1 million US dollars in restoration insurance, an attractive family plan, and work with large withdrawals better than most.
The bottom line is – as a credit reporting bureau, Equifax is a sure pick. It’s also a decent pick for ID theft protection. Sadly, the poor customer service and recent breach in security have turned it into something of a notorious “big-bad” corporation. Furthermore, it does little to help its clients in restoring their identities.
- This is a big-time credit reporting agency;
- Excellent credit reporting (impressive at determining fico scores);
- Easily identifies large withdrawals;
- 1mil in restoration insurance;
- Comprehensive web monitoring;
- Offers a generous family plan.
We don’t like:
- Limited identity restoration services;
- Limited dark web scanning;
- Arrest, criminal, or court records aren’t being monitored;
- Horrible customer support.
Pricing & Plans
Here are the available Equifax packages:
- ID Patrol – 16.9 dollars per month;
- Premier – 19.9 dollars per month;
- Family – 29.9 dollars per month.
The entry-level ID Patrol package doesn’t provide credit score monitoring, and there are no financial alerts. Those features are available with Premier and higher. At the same time, the standard plan includes 3-bureau credit monitoring, internet scanning, automatic fraud alerts, up to $1 million ID theft insurance, and more.
The Family plan offers the same plus an identical set of services for another adult and up to four children. The company doesn’t have a free edition or a free trial, and it only accepts credit card payments.
Most people don’t want to forget about this company’s bad reputation. Plus, we have to admit that customer support is worse than with any rivaling company on the list. On the other hand, ID theft/credit monitoring with this service is decent. And, they offer it at a competitive price, especially if you go with the family plan.
10. IDNotify – The Most Attractive 1st-Year Plan
IDNotify is another reliable service under Experian. Based in Austin (Texas), this provider advertises itself as a team of experienced professionals. They watch over a wide range of factors to predict any possible identity theft attempts.
Once suspicious behavior is detected, the user immediately gets notified, and the staff takes action to stop the criminals. The experts are available 24/7 through phone and email. There’s also a comprehensive FAQ section, but we highly recommend letting the pros handle ID theft. Basic and affordable – those are the best words to describe IDNotify.
While it can’t compete with the leaders in features/services (and most extras are only available with upper tiers), it’s a very friendly and effective tool. Backed by Experian, it also has access to an extensive database, which, in some cases, can be more important than the list of features. One million dollars in insurance, pricing flexibility, and a good name are more of this service’s virtues.
Public records, sex offender, and social number monitoring are a part of the deal as well. The user interface is straightforward and friendly: all the essential information is always available on the main screen. The bad news is – child monitoring is expensive and needs to be bought separately from the main packages.
- Three-bureau credit monitoring (depends on the tier, of course);
- Vantage score updates on a monthly basis;
- 24/7 internet surveillance;
- ID theft insurance/restoration;
- SSN (social security number) trace;
- Provides court records monitoring;
- Non-credit loan monitoring.
We don’t like:
- Doesn’t provide a mobile app;
- Child monitoring is unreasonably expensive;
- Most plans only offer one-bureau monitoring;
- Some vital features only available with the expensive higher tier products.
IDNotify Pricing & Plans
Here are the available IDNotify packages:
- Essential Plan – 9.9 dollars per month;
- Select Plan – 17.9 dollars per month;
- Premier Plan – 25.9 dollars per month;
- Child Monitoring – 5.9 dollars per month.
With Essential, users get a standard package, which includes social media, internet, and, of course, credit monitoring. And, it includes ID theft restoration and lost wallet services. For more coverage, we recommend moving up to Select (it only provides monitoring of one single bureau, though).
Premier, the most expensive plan, comes packed with all the top-tier features like three-credit bureau monitoring. Child Monitoring is pretty self-explanatory. Free trials aren’t available with any of the tiers. As for the payment options, the company only accepts credit cards (Visa, American Express, Master Card, and Discover).
If you’re looking for quality identity theft protection and credit monitoring with an affordable first-year plan, this might be a good pick for you. With it, you’ll also get industry-leading credit monitoring and a staff of professionals keeping tabs on your credit. The second the criminals try to harm it/steal it, they’ll take care of everything in the blink of an eye. Too bad Child monitoring is expensive, and some essential features aren’t available with basic plans.
How Does Best Identity Theft Protection Work?
First of all, the customer needs to pay a monthly fee (as we’ve already learned, it’s not very high). Then, the ID theft protection company starts to monitor his/her identity, credit, finance, and more. What they do is actually scan tens of millions (if not billions) of online/offline data sources. Whenever the specialists find some suspicious activity against you, they send out an instant alert and work on fixing the situation.
Yes, in most cases, restoration is a part of the deal. The leaders in this field do whatever it takes to bring everything back to normal and return your credit/identity. Some of them even provide a 100% refund, full restoration guarantees, and up to 1 million US dollars of insurance. Furthermore, the majority of services offers the help of a real-world investigator who will answer your questions and explain how they are going to help you.
Features of Services
Before committing to a particular identity theft service, make sure it’s the right fit for you. The fact is – many users trust the first company they like only to find out later that it doesn’t cover their specific scenarios. Single men/women don’t need ID theft protection for kids, families, or spouses. Another thing: even if you don’t seek advanced protection, we still encourage you to think about it.
Average coverage is always better than a complete lack of it. And now that we’ve familiarize ourselves with the basics, let’s take a look at the most common features/protection types in the industry. They may vary depending on the service you’re working with, of course:
- Stolen Funds Replacement;
- Identity Theft Monitoring (Standard/Advanced);
- Credit Report Monitoring;
- Credit Report/Scores;
- Recovery Insurance (Up To $1 Million US Dollars);
- SSN (Social Security Number) Monitoring;
- Change Of Address Monitoring;
- Dark Web Monitoring;
- Child Identity Theft Protection.
How We Tested
To find the best identity theft protection service, we spent a whole week scrolling through the list of available companies. Then, we narrowed it down to the ten most efficient and reasonably-priced services. And the first things that we looked at were the notifying techniques and how fast the staff works. Calling, texting, and sending email is the standard package. Special mobile apps are an even better solution.
Once you’re notified of suspicious activity, the specialists start the process of rectification. In most cases, they also take it upon themselves to tell credit bureaus about your situation. Apart from carefully examining every single service, we also included lists of pros and cons to help you better understand what they are all about.
This is it for our review of the ten best ID theft protection services. We hope this list will help you pick the one provider that will be a good fit for your current situation and needs. As mentioned in the beginning, the threat of identity theft has only gotten bigger over the years. And, without proper protection, you’re running the risk of cybercriminals getting their hands on your sensitive data.
If you’re looking for reliable all-around protection without any weak sides, LifeLock’s offer might be a wise choice. For excellent customer service, check out IdentityForce. Privacy Guard is a very attractive deal for the fans of insurance. For users on a tight budget, in turn, Zander Insurance will probably be a worthy investment. Go over the list once again if you’re not 100% sure which provider you like the most.