- Best for ID Theft Notifications: Identity Guard
- Best Value ID Protection: Identity Force
- Best ID Protection for Families: IDShield
- Best for Antivirus Protection: LifeLock
- Best Budget ID Protection: IdentityIQ
- Why Should I Protect My ID?
- Frequently Asked Questions
According to a recent study from Javelin Strategy and Research, identity theft is a serious problem that cost Americans a total of $56 billion last year and victimized 49 million consumers. If someone steals your personal information online, they can:
- Open accounts in your name
- Take out credit cards and loans
- Receive and pay for costly medical treatment
Safeguarding your information online is no longer an easy, do-it-yourself project. Professional ID protection services offer an additional layer of protection, preventing you from becoming a victim or restoring your good name if someone has already stolen your identity. We rounded up the best fraud-fighting identity theft protection services available right now so you can have peace of mind.
Best for ID Theft Notifications: Identity Guard
- Fast notifications via mobile app and email.
- Dark web monitoring.
- Personal case manager to help you recover from identity theft.
Why we like it: Identity Guard promises to provide quick insights and notifications of fraudulent activity leading to identity theft. This service partners with IBM Watson, which uses artificial intelligence to mine data, predict vulnerabilities, and scan news articles about scams and hacks that could attack members’ accounts.
- Value: $7.50/month.
- Total: $16.67/month.
- Ultra: $25/month.
- Real-time notifications of fraudulent activity involving your personal information.
- Artificial intelligence warns you of scams involving your financial institution/s.
- Safe browsing tools for online shopping and banking.
- Three levels of identity protection.
- Monitors the dark web for suspicious activity.
- Case managers are available to help you recover from identity theft.
- Credit bureau monitoring (Total plan).
- Monitoring of financial and investment accounts and social media.
- Monthly credit score (Ultra plan).
- Great customer service (rating of A+ with the Better Business Bureau).
- Provides safe browsing tools.
- Reduces telemarketing calls, junk mail, and phishing emails.
- You only get credit reports once a year.
- No package offered to help with computer and device security.
- No opt-in for fraud alerts with credit bureaus.
Best Value ID Protection: Identity Force
Why we like it: Identity Force offers strong protection against identity theft resulting from data breaches and other scams. Even the most basic package offers social media monitoring, a secure internet connection with a virtual private network (VPN), advanced fraud monitoring, password manager, junk mail opt-outs, and identity theft insurance up to $1 million.
- UltraSecure: $9.99/month or $99.90/year if paid annually.
- UltraSecure+Credit: $14.90/month or $149/year.
- Fraud alerts when someone attempts to use your information to open accounts or request a copy of your credit report.
- Tracks the use of your Social Security number.
- Up to $1 million in identity theft insurance and recovery for out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages.
- Anti-phishing and anti-keylogging software.
- Monitoring of banks, credit cards, and social media identity.
- Highly rated with the Better Business Bureau.
- Offers a VPN.
- Two months free if you choose to pay annually.
- Robust features are offered in the most basic package.
- No credit monitoring for the lowest plan.
- Two tiers of plans are offered.
Best ID Protection for Families: IDShield
- In-house licensed private investigators to uncover fraud.
- Anti-bullying protection and sex offender alerts.
- Monitors Social Security number activity for you and your family.
Why we like it: IDShield sets itself apart from competitors with its full range of fraud alerts relating to the use of your Social Security number, credit card and bank account information, social media monitoring, and investment accounts.
- Individual plan:
- $13.95/month (TransUnion monitoring only).
- $17.95/month (all three credit bureaus).
- Family plan:
- $26.95/month (TransUnion monitoring).
- $32.95/month (all three bureaus).
- Choose from either one-bureau credit monitoring or across all three bureaus.
- Unlimited consultations.
- $1 million ID protection coverage.
- Surveillance of the dark web.
- Monitoring of bank accounts, payday loans, court records, and Social Security numbers.
- Identity theft restoration services.
- Family plan offers coverage for up to 10 people.
- Sex offender alerts.
- Anti-bullying protection for your children.
- You can decide how much you want to spend based on the number of credit bureaus you want to be monitored.
- More than ten different kinds of alerts available.
- Great customer service ratings.
- Identity theft insurance up to $5 million.
- Family plan is a good deal for large families.
- No credit reports.
- Single bureau credit score unless you pay for the higher-tier plan.
- No monitoring of 401(k) or retirement accounts.
Best for Antivirus Protection: LifeLock
- Up to $1 million reimbursement for stolen money.
- Secure VPN for multiple devices.
- Includes password manager and virus protection.
Why we like it: The key benefit of LifeLock is its partnership with Norton 360, which allows it to capitalize on the antivirus cyber and computer protection of that service. Depending on the type of plan you choose, you’ll also receive reimbursements for stolen funds up to $25,000, $100,000, or $1 million.
- Monthly: $9.99 for the first year, $14.99 for renewal.
- Annually: $99.48 for the first year, $149.99 upon renewal.
- Monthly: $19.99 for the first year, $24.99 for renewal.
- Annually: $191.88 for the first year, $249.99 upon renewal.
- Ultimate Plus:
- Monthly: $29.99 for the first year, $34.99 for renewal.
- Annually: $299.88 for the first year, $349.99 upon renewal.
- Fraud alerts for the use of personal info on service and credit applications and on the dark web.
- USPS address change alerts.
- Credit bureau monitoring from one bureau (Standard and Advantage plans) or all three (Ultimate Plus plan).
- Stolen funds reimbursement and coverage for lawyers.
- Protects against exposure of personal info.
- Annual credit report and score for Standard and Advantage plans.
- Added antivirus protection of computers and devices.
- Includes reimbursement of stolen funds.
- Real-time fraud alerts are available by phone, text, and email.
- 60-day money-back guarantee.
- Protection for stolen funds and personal expenses.
- Costs rise after the first year and are higher than other brands.
- Can be pricey to add coverage for children (an additional $5.99 each child per month).
- Must meet credit requirements to be eligible.
- Standard and Advantage plans only monitor one credit bureau.
Best Budget ID Protection: IdentityIQ
- Up to $1 million reimbursement for stolen funds.
- Monitors the internet and dark web for identity theft.
- Daily credit report monitoring.
Why we like it: IdentityIQ is an excellent choice. It offers four different plans, and even the most basic one includes daily credit monitoring from one of the three credit bureaus.
- Secure: $6.99/month.
- Secure Plus: $9.99/month.
- Secure Pro: $19.99/month.
- Secure Max: $29.99/month.
- Credit report monitoring from one bureau (Secure and Secure Plus plans) or all three bureaus (Pro and Max plans).
- Dark web and internet monitoring.
- Up to $1 million in stolen funds reimbursement.
- Coverage for lawyers and experts.
- Junk mail and spam call opt-outs.
- Lost wallet assistance.
- No fee for protection for children.
- $1 million in ID protection insurance for all plans.
- Need to opt for higher-level plans for credit monitoring from all three bureaus.
- No social media monitoring.
- No antivirus/malware protection is offered.
Why Should I Protect My ID?
Every two seconds, someone becomes a victim of identity theft, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. Even scarier, high-profile organizations can (and do) fall victim to data breaches, which puts your information further at risk of landing in the wrong people’s hands.
Unfortunately, identity theft will continue to plague individuals and organizations as long as personal information is widely shared online.
This is why identity theft protection is so important. You could choose to take on some of the fraud monitoring activities yourself, such as:
- Requesting free annual credit reports
- Regularly updating passwords
- Practicing good judgment when sharing your email and social media accounts with third parties.
However, if you want the next level of protection and security, a dedicated identity theft protection service can be a wise choice.
The most significant selling point is the services’ use of sophisticated tools and software that perform more detailed monitoring and surveillance than you can do on your own.