The so-called identity theft, a crime in which personal data are illegally used for material gain, is becoming common. That’s why it is critical to care about your privacy.
However, controlling everything is not so easy. Special online services will monitor your online activities and notify you about any leaks. ID Watchdog is one of the leading and most popular services.
In the review, we will see its pros, cons, and features, as well as when it is the best.
What is ID Watchdog?
It is a platform that provides credit and identity monitoring services. Besides monitoring, it helps to restore and recover the identity after any theft cases. ID Watchdog was created in 2005 and regularly updates its functionality and improves its efficiency. The personal data will be monitored regarding dark web leaks, data breaches, password changes, and risky transactions. The company will also check personal data in all main credit databases.
- Identity theft resolution
- Credit monitoring
- Identity theft prevention
- Assistance in identity recovery
- Credit monitoring
The List of Pros and Cons
- Extensive range of data sources to monitor potential identity theft risks
- 100% effective resolution of identity thefts
- 24/7 customer support in 100 languages
- Immediate notifications about any dangers
- Credit rating monitoring
- Powerful two-factor authentication
- Owned by Equifax, one of the biggest credit bureaus
- Credit score tracking only for platinum customers
- Reimbursement of stolen funds from employer-sponsored retirement is not included in the Plus plan
- No financial account monitoring in the Plus plan
Highlights of ID Watchdog
- Profound monitoring of billions of data sources
- Certified identity protection professionals
- Identity theft insurance of up to $1 million
- Highly customizable user dashboards and alerts
- 24/7/365 customer service available via phone and email in 100 languages
ID Watchdog Package Features
ID Watchdog offers two pricing plans for its customers: Plus and Platinum. They include all the basic set of features to protect the user’s identity and add the options both for individuals and families. They are almost identical: $1,000,000 insurance, dark web monitoring, configurable alerts, as well as identity restoration if it was stolen.
Therefore, the Platinum plan, which costs $19.95 per month provides some advanced and extended options such as credit scores and reports from all three major credit bureaus. The pricing does not include any hidden fees, and the plans are very easy to understand. There is a table on the official website which compares the features of each one in detail. Let’s look at them closer.
ID Watchdog Plus
It is a basic ID Watchdog plan which provides all the necessary features. It costs $14.95 per month or $164.00 per year for individuals and $25.95 per month or $287.00 per year for families. What will you get with it?
- Credit report monitoring from the Equifax credit bureau.
- Locking your Equifax credit reports to prevent unauthorized access from any third party. The feature is also available for your minor children.
- The certified professionals to restore your identity in case of its theft. They will work until the case is completely resolved — it will save a lot of your time and effort.
- Identity theft insurance of up to $1 million will recover your losses after unlawful electronic transfers from your accounts.
- Dark web monitoring to check whether your data was compromised. The system will check your Social Security numbers, emails, bank accounts, insurance numbers, or driver licenses.
- The monitoring of any risky transactions which are not natural for your accounts.
- The monitoring of any suspicious transactions outside the traditional banking system.
- Social networks monitoring to identify any dangerous information about you and your family members.
The system will also notify you when sex offenders are registered in your area or the neighborhood. For about $15 per month, it is a very good offer. Many competitors charge more for a similar package.
ID Watchdog Platinum
It is an advanced plan which includes all the Plus plan features as well as some extra ones. It costs $19.95 per month or $219.00 per year for individuals and $34.95 per month or $383.00 per year for families. What are its benefits?
Besides basic features available in both plans, platinum users additionally get credit reports and scores, as well as financial accounts monitoring. The reports and scores come from all three major credit bureaus. But there is one interesting thing in it: you get them only once a year. Yet, financial monitoring includes all your banking cards, investments, checking, and savings — you will be able to control any potentially fraudulent activity.
Are there more benefits worth an extra $5 per month? We are not sure. Especially keeping in mind that up to date credit scores are available online for free. Thus, we believe that the Plus plan is more attractive than Platinum.
ID Watchdog Features and Services
The list of features provided by ID Watchdog is not very impressive. It is more or less average. The company will do its best to offer you reliable protection against a wide range of possible dangers. Also, their well-trained specialists will head the investigation in case your identity is compromised. Let’s see what you can expect becoming their customer.
Identity, Privacy, and Credit Monitoring
ID Watchdog is very good in identity theft prevention. The specialists will track online resources to identify early tips about identity theft. What resources are included in their monitoring system?
- Dark web monitoring. The platform scans the chatrooms, websites, forums, and other resources, which are known for sharing stolen personal data such as Social Security Numbers, emails, credit cards, and driver’s licenses.
- High-risk transactions monitoring. The account hacking and creating the new fraudulent ones are quite popular in recent years. A lot of people suffer from these crimes. ID Watchdog monitors the financial institutions to detect any new activity with your identity. The cases include opening new accounts, changing an account owner, as well as suspicious and risky transfers and withdrawals.
- Subprime loan monitoring. The company monitors the financial databases to detect any suspicious loans and credits opened using your name.
- Public records monitoring. The system checks billions of public records and databases to detect any potential identity theft.
- United States Postal Service address change monitoring. The company monitors the postal database to see when your correspondence is rerouted to a new address. It can be the first sign of identity theft.
- Identity profile report. The system collects all the records related to your name within a period of 30 years to make an ID profile.
- Credit scores and reports. The feature is available to platinum customers and includes reports from all major credit bureaus once a year. The system also controls any changes to your credit scores.
As you can see, ID Watchdog can track every activity related to your identity in an extensive amount of databases and resources. And the system works effectively! For less than $15 per month, you get a wonderful solution. Yet, credit scores and reports are available only for platinum customers — the way it functions is not worth additional payment.
ID Watchdog Alert Features
If the monitoring shows any potential risk of your identity theft or the crime has already been committed, ID Watchdog will notify you immediately. The alarming system is multi-channel and highly customizable. You can get notifications via email, text messages, mobile app notifications, as well as phone calls.
Besides identity theft, you will get alerts in the following situations:
- Cyberbullying and reputation damaging posts on social media. You can connect your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. The reports also include family members and children.
- Reports about registered sex offenders. Get up to 10 reports every month about the sex offenders registered in your area. They include a photo, crime details, and a local map.
- Data leaks. Receive email notifications about notable data leaks.
- National Provider ID Alerts. The feature is very useful for health care providers. The system monitors the NPI database to indicate any account changes that can look like identity theft.
- Fraud alert. Set up receiving fraud alerts from all three credit bureaus. With this feature, the lenders will take additional steps to confirm your identity before opening new credits.
Additionally, you’re able to install the mobile application for Android or iOS devices. It allows controlling all the available features and reports. Moreover, the apps support push notifications — for many users, it is a very convenient tool.
With ID Watchdog, you will get immediate notification about any committed or potential ID thefts and data breaches. However, what would you do if you become a victim?
ID Watchdog Recovery Features
If you become an identity theft victim, contact the call center immediately! The company will assign a certified and highly trained professional to assist you until the case is completely resolved, and your identity is restored. What is the main benefit for you? You do not spend your time and spoil nerves with paperwork.
What other recovery assistance will you get?
- Lost wallet. The company will assist in canceling and replacing the content of a lost or stolen wallet. The content will also be added to Dark Web Monitoring.
- Credit freeze. If your identity was compromised, the assistance team would freeze all the credit reports from every major credit bureau.
- Solicitation reduction. Add your personal information too, do not call registry — it will reduce the junk mail and marketing calls.
- Identity theft insurance of up to $1 million. The company will reimburse the losses as a result of identity theft crimes. The recovery includes any unlawful transfers from all your financial accounts.
The recovery features of ID Watchdog are not unique. Even $1,000,000 insurance is typical for most market players. However, will it work in any situation? Do not think so. Similarly to most contenders, this insurance is provided by a third-party company. And this company sets its insurance policy and list of conditions to recover losses.
Thus, there are a lot of ways not to get your expenses recovered even if they surely are the result of identity crime. Anyway, they have a great resolving team that will recover your identity and helps to avoid worse consequences.
ID Watchdog for Business
If you are a business owner, you can provide a reliable identity theft protection for your employees and their families. In this case, the workers do not have to contact the company themselves. Usually, they get a welcome letter and complete the verification process. That’s all that is needed to get an ID Watchdog protection.
Is there any difference between business and private customers? When it comes to functionality, there is no difference. You get all the monitoring, alert, and recovery features to the full extent.
Ease of Use
As we found out, ID Watchdog does not differ much from other similar services. In this case, the user experience comes in the first place. Is ID Watchdog easy to use?
Recently, the company presented the new website, which replaced the old one with an ugly, outdated interface. Now, it is much more attractive and logical. At the same time, the dashboard did not change much. We believe that it is a matter of time.
The dashboard works correctly in any browser. The window is divided into several tabs: Overview, Monitoring, Credit, Account, Advanced Tools, and Service Guide. In each of them, you will find details on respected data.
Surprisingly, mobile apps look fresh and modern. Many users will find them more logical and much more convenient to use than the web app. Unlike the desktop version, the mobile app is rather a notification hub. With them, you can control your alerts, credit score, and monitoring details.
For better protection, applications support face ID and fingerprint scanners. So, despite the outdated interface of the web version, ID watchdog is quite easy to use on any device. Also, the company provides regular updates — we expect the new dashboard soon.
ID Watchdog Support and Customer Service
ID Watchdog provides 24/7/365 support regarding any questions and issues. The support team can speak 100 languages. The support itself is available on the phone via email. Email support is good, but it is much slower than the phone one. Anyways, it’s much better than nothing — some time ago, it was available exclusively on the phone.
In general, customer service is user-friendly and effective. You can expect to solve any issue operatively — it’s very important when your identity is under threat. The phone number is toll-free — you will not be charged for the call. You will not listen to any automatic menus — you will be directly connected to the specialist.
They also encourage you to contact his support when you get a notification about potential crime with your identity. How do these alerts look like? They mostly include basic information about the case and may contain barely relevant information.
ID Watchdog will monitor your personal information for as low as $15 or $20 per month — it is a reasonable price for the provided package of features. At the same time, the Platinum plan is a bit overpriced compared to the additional option available in it. An annual credit report is not worth $5 monthly.
In general, you are reliably protected from any potential identity theft risks. The company monitors an extensive amount of resources and databases, including the dark web, and notifies you immediately after detecting any suspicious activity. Notifications are multi-channel, you can configure any convenient way of receiving them.
Technical support is available 24/7 in 100 languages, primarily on the phone. The team works effectively and is ready to help you in any situation. If you feel comfortable with provided sets of features, ID Watchdog is your choice. If you black something, choose the closest competitors.