4 Best Identity Theft Protection Services of 2020

In-Depth Reviews

Imagine applying for a job, only to be rejected because of the criminal record you didn’t even know you had. Imagine being summoned to court to explain years of tax evasion even though you’ve been paying regularly all your life. Imagine opening up your bank account, only to find out that a huge chunk has been recently withdrawn in a country halfway around the world.

These are just some of the problems that the best identity theft protection might help you avoid. There’s no reason to leave it all to chance. Take a look at our selection of the top companies in the industry and get the protection you need today.

 

 

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Top 4 Top Identity Theft Protection Companies in 2020

1. Identity Guard

Identity Guard has been at the very top of most lists for years now thanks to its impeccable monitoring system. It scans through thousands of internet pages, dives deep into the mysterious dark web, and keeps an eye out on social networks. While the cheapest plan gives you only the basic scans, slightly higher-tier options unlock credit monitoring with all three bureaus. The company passes with flying colors in our best identity theft protection review, though we appreciate the fact that there is no trial mode with any of the plans. Full Review

  • Watson AI system
  • 3-bureau credit reports
  • Affordable packages

Identity Guard has been at the very top of most lists for years now thanks to its impeccable monitoring system. It scans through thousands of internet pages, dives deep into the mysterious dark web, and keeps an eye out on social networks. While the cheapest plan gives you only the basic scans, slightly higher-tier options unlock credit monitoring with all three bureaus. The company passes with flying colors in our best identity theft protection review, though we appreciate the fact that there is no trial mode with any of the plans. Full Review

2. LifeLock

LifeLock is another big name in the business that wouldn’t settle for a simple, straightforward identity and credit protection service. Instead, it offers a host of tempting features including Norton’s award-winning antivirus software and reliable VPN service. An absolute bragging point is the fact that even with the cheapest subscription, you get Equifax credit monitoring. The higher you go, the more features you unlock, along with the number of devices covered by Lifelock’s identity theft protection program. One thing you need to be wary of, though, is its pricing system. The renewal costs might catch you off-guard if you’re not careful. Full Review

  • Partnership with Norton antivirus
  • VPN service
  • Credit monitoring in all plans

LifeLock is another big name in the business that wouldn’t settle for a simple, straightforward identity and credit protection service. Instead, it offers a host of tempting features including Norton’s award-winning antivirus software and reliable VPN service. An absolute bragging point is the fact that even with the cheapest subscription, you get Equifax credit monitoring. The higher you go, the more features you unlock, along with the number of devices covered by Lifelock’s identity theft protection program. One thing you need to be wary of, though, is its pricing system. The renewal costs might catch you off-guard if you’re not careful. Full Review

3. IdentityForce

IdentityForce makes sure you’re covered on all levels. It searches both the standard and Dark web, goes through court orders, monitors social media, and ensures your name doesn’t come up on any sex offender lists out there. In case anything does happen, the company’s capable restoration team does the heavy lifting for you, facilitating necessary steps like canceling all of your credit and debit cards. The main downside of IdentityForce’s best identity theft protection services is the price. It goes way over the industry standard but presents a strong case for why it might just be worth it. Full Review

  • Partnership with EZShield
  • Great social media monitoring
  • Protection against mobile attacks

IdentityForce makes sure you’re covered on all levels. It searches both the standard and Dark web, goes through court orders, monitors social media, and ensures your name doesn’t come up on any sex offender lists out there. In case anything does happen, the company’s capable restoration team does the heavy lifting for you, facilitating necessary steps like canceling all of your credit and debit cards. The main downside of IdentityForce’s best identity theft protection services is the price. It goes way over the industry standard but presents a strong case for why it might just be worth it. Full Review

4. IdentityIQ

If you’re looking for affordable plans that adapt to your monthly budget, IdentityIQ might be the right choice. The company offers four subscription stages, starting as low as $6.99 for the basic service. What’s interesting about this provider is that even the bare-bones option gives you high-quality dark web monitoring and reports on credit changes from one bureau. There are no specific family plans available, but higher-end options include ID theft insurance for children under 24 in the household. Our review of identity theft protection services gives it a well-deserved thumbs up. Full Review

  • Affordable plans
  • LPOA restorations
  • Multilingual Dark Web monitoring

If you’re looking for affordable plans that adapt to your monthly budget, IdentityIQ might be the right choice. The company offers four subscription stages, starting as low as $6.99 for the basic service. What’s interesting about this provider is that even the bare-bones option gives you high-quality dark web monitoring and reports on credit changes from one bureau. There are no specific family plans available, but higher-end options include ID theft insurance for children under 24 in the household. Our review of identity theft protection services gives it a well-deserved thumbs up. Full Review

Best Identity Theft Protection in 2020

1. IdentityForce Best for social media monitoring
2. LifeLock Best combination with antivirus
3. Identity Guard Best for prompt alerts
4. IdentityIQ Best low-end option

 

Detailed Reviews

Identity Guard Review
Identity Guard Review

BEST FOR

prompt alerts

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  • Founded: 2001
  • Dark Web Scans: Yes
  • Insurance: Yes
  • Mobile App: Yes
  • Family Packages: Yes
  • Trial Mode: No

Since its inception, Identity Guard has strived towards becoming the most reliable ID protection tool, and thanks to the helping hand of IBM’s award-winning AI system, it has reached its goal. You get near real-time notifications, dark web scans, and credit reporting, but the main feature which makes this the best identity theft protection service on the market is the price. Affordable deals and in-depth scans – what’s there to think about?

Monitoring and Alerts

At the very core of Identity Guard’s monitoring system lies IBM’s famous artificial intelligence supercomputer called Watson. It is included in every package (even the cheapest one) and brings near real-time alerts. Identity Guard covers standard internet, goes through social media, and even scans the dark web for potential misuse. The system covers thousands of pages and sends out alerts directly to your phone. Another reason Watson technology is the best rated identity theft protection out there is its emphasis on accuracy. You will rarely – if ever – receive false positives and spammy alerts.

Prevention and Restoration

All of the plans include a browser extension for safe online surfing and an anti-phishing mobile app. While these features won’t exactly blow you off your feet like a full antivirus software, they will help you cover some basics if you don’t have anything in place. As a prevention measure, but only with higher-tier plans, you will get a monthly credit score along with any changes that might happen at the bureaus. As always, the identity protection insurance of $1 million applies to all of your accounts should anything happen while you’re subscribed to the service.

Ease of Use

It doesn’t matter if you opt for the best identity theft protection for family or plans created for individuals, you will also gain access to your own online identity dashboard. It gives you a detailed overview of your current status with all the alerts and potential threats you might have. The dashboard is really easy to use, but you’ll most likely rely on the handy mobile app. It’s always less complicated and safer to just keep an eye out on things on the go.

Extra Features

When you subscribe to Identity Guard with Watson, that is essentially all you’re getting for your money. You get normal and deep scans, credit fraud monitoring, and social media checkups. Besides the aforementioned browser extension and anti-phishing app, the company doesn’t provide any extra features. While some users may see this as a drawback, it’s actually reasonable considering the price. Other companies might shower you with additional tools and services, but that pushes up the cost of the plans.

Price

One might argue that the best identity theft protection plans are the cheapest ones. So, how does Identity Guard fare in this department? The lowest you can go is the Ultra plan starting at $7.50 a month, provided you decide for an annual payment. Although this is a dirt-cheap way to gain access to the almighty Watson, it doesn’t include credit monitoring and applies only to one member of the household. If you want to check out all of the plans, you can visit the site’s pricing page with detailed lists of available features.

Pros Cons
Watson AI system No trial mode
3-bureau credit reports
Affordable packages
LifeLock Review
LifeLock Review

BEST FOR

combining with antivirus

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  • Founded: 2005
  • Dark Web Scans: Yes
  • Insurance: Yes
  • Mobile App: Yes
  • Family Packages: Yes
  • Trial Mode: No

If you’re searching for the best identity theft protection in consumer reports, you’ll definitely see LifeLock’s name pop up at least a couple of times. Why is that? Well, LifeLock offers a solid monitoring system for your entire family at a decent price. However, the main selling point for most of its users is the antivirus that comes from the partnership with Norton. In addition to that, the subscription plans can also include VPN services, which definitely justifies the price. Intrigued yet? Here is a breakdown of the features.

Monitoring and Alerts

As we’ve already mentioned, LifeLock will provide you with a high-quality monitoring system that keeps an eye out for your personal information like name, address, number, and even Social Security number. It’s interesting to note that even the basic package includes credit identity theft protection with real-time monitoring from one bureau, Equifax. That is not something you’ll see a lot with the competition, and it’s praiseworthy. The alerts will accurately present you with the potential problem with a good response time.

Prevention and Restoration

If you decide to go with the Norton antivirus option within your subscription plan, you will be getting top-grade protection from various types of attacks. Combine that with a solid monitoring system and a functional VPN, and you will be good to go. Now, should anything happen while subscribed to LifeLock’s best protection against identity theft, you will be reimbursed for up to $1 million in damages. Disclaimer – this is only true with the most expensive plan, while the cheapest will only reimburse you up to $25,000, which isn’t exactly bad. You will also be getting US-based identity restoration specialists to hold your hand throughout the dreadful process.

Ease of Use

The user interface is extremely simple and intuitive. You can choose where you want to receive your alerts – be it email, text, phone call, or through notifications on your mobile app. If you can’t find your way around the app or website, you can always contact the customer support team and ask them for “directions.” As a member, even with the cheapest plan, you get free identity theft protection support 24/7. The LifeLock customer service agents are always friendly, knowledgeable, and ready to help out.

Extra Features

It would be unfair to call Norton 360 with LifeLock an extra feature, but one might argue that it really is. Be careful with the price, though. Both the cheapest standard package and the one which includes Norton antivirus cost the same, but that’s only for the first year. After renewal, the cost goes up and takes this software into account as well. Besides Norton, with higher-tier plans, you will also be getting a VPN, an ad-tracker blocker, SafeCam tool for your Windows devices, and cloud backup up to 500 GB with the most expensive subscription.

Price

As you can see from the rest of our best identity theft protection reviews, the price of LifeLock plans safely floats around the middle. It’s not too expensive, but it’s definitely not the cheapest option out there. What we don’t like, however, is the problematic transparency of the pricing system. The basic plan will cost you $8.33 a month for the first year, but after that it goes up to $124.99 every year. If you do the math, you’ll see that it’s a significant jump that one might easily overlook. In that same manner, Norton 360 is free but, after that first year, it bumps the price up. Before you decide what is the best identity theft protection for you, make sure you read the fine print.

Pros Cons
Partnership with Norton antivirus High renewal prices
VPN service
Credit monitoring in all plans
IdentityForce Review
IdentityForce Review

BEST FOR

social media monitoring

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  • Founded: 2005
  • Dark Web Scans: Yes
  • Insurance: Yes
  • Mobile App: Yes
  • Family Packages: Yes
  • Trial Mode: Yes

With IdentityForce you get not one, but two ID protection companies in a single package. The company was recently acquired by EZShield, another giant in the industry, creating a union that’s better than both parts on their own. Although the provider does a good job on all fronts, the attentive social media monitoring, deep dark web analyses and credit score simulator stand out as its most memorable features. The service is definitely on the more expensive side, and annoyingly, if you want to learn about the best family identity theft protection, you need to call them and get a custom quote.

Monitoring and Alerts

IdentityForce.com has an extensive list of monitoring tasks performed in your name, and it’s all clearly defined on the company’s website. The service keeps an eye out for your personal information on the regular internet and the dark web. However, it also checks court records, makes sure your name isn’t on a list of sex offenders, and sends you alerts about any unplanned bank account changes. Naturally, the service also includes SSN tracking and identity misuse. It is a comprehensive set of measures that leaves nothing to chance.

Prevention and Restoration

As a part of the company’s best identity theft protection efforts, the service includes a number of preventive steps. First off, it helps you set up two-factor authentication for your accounts. There is an anti-phishing software within every package, as well as a tool that prevents keylogging frauds. If you lose your wallet or someone gets a hold of your bank account details, IdentityForce gives you a quick and easy way to cancel and replace all of your cards with a couple of clicks. The company’s US-based restoration specialists handle all of the exhausting paperwork in case of identity theft, and they promise the standard $1 million insurance reimbursement.

Ease of Use

As we’ve already mentioned, the company’s system in charge of identity protection reviews all your data and handles any potential threats. It requires minimum effort on your part, which might justify the price. The dashboard looks great with all the data presented in a clear and straightforward way. There is no learning curve – the system is completely intuitive in nature. The company will provide you with a well-optimized mobile app that works with both Android and iOS systems. That way you can check your status and receive updates on the go.

Extra Features

It may seem like a minor tool that’s included in the main identity monitoring service, but actually it’s genuinely quite useful. The simple junk-mail opt out option removes your name from most frequently used marketing databases on the web, so you won’t get pestered by unwanted promotions. This is often a way in for scammers as well, so this helps you block their access too. The more expensive package also includes a handy credit score simulator that gives you an idea of how each financial decision might affect your score.

Price

There are two subscription IdentityForce pricing plans available, and the main difference between them is whether you want credit monitoring from all three bureaus or not. While there is no doubt that both plans offer the best protection for identity theft available on the market, it’s fair to say that they’re rather expensive. The basic option without credit monitoring costs $17.95 a month (amusingly discounted from $17.99), while the full plan requires $23.95 every month. Frustratingly, if you want to find out what the IdentityForce family plan cost is, you’ll need to contact the support team for a custom quote.

Pros Cons
Partnership with EZShield Expensive plans
Great social media monitoring
Protection against mobile attacks
IdentityIQ Review
IdentityIQ Review

BEST FOR

low-end option

Visit Website
  • Founded: 2009
  • Dark Web Scans: Yes
  • Insurance: Yes
  • Mobile App: No
  • Family Packages: No
  • Trial Mode: No

IdentityIQ seems to understand that what most users want is the freedom to choose. If you want simple, straightforward identity theft protection services without any glamor or fancy features, you can get it at an extremely affordable price. Move up the scale a little bit and get a slight cost increase along with the number of features. Lather, rinse, and repeat. Thanks to this approach, users can basically customize their experience and easily find their perfect level of service. Let’s see how it all works.

Monitoring and Alerts

It’s rather commendable that even the cheapest, bare-bones option includes daily credit monitoring from one of the three official reporting agencies. IdentityIQ.com will monitor the standard and dark web for your name, report on your checking account, and send alerts about your SSN. While the basic plan might be the best value identity theft protection option, it doesn’t keep an eye out for address changes or crimes committed in your name. These services are unlocked at higher tiers, along with comprehensive credit reporting and more advanced alert systems.

Prevention and Restoration

Even at the lowest subscription level, you get US-based restoration specialists to help you deal with the paperwork, along with IdentityIQ $1 million theft insurance. Of course, if anything happens while under its wing, the company will take care of legal and personal expenses. IdentityIQ’s best personal identity theft protection plans that require a slightly higher monthly budget will also provide your family members (children under 24 years of age) with $25,000 ID theft insurance. While it doesn’t make up for the lack of family plans altogether, it’s still a worthy feature.

Ease of Use

This is the point where the company stumbles. The dashboard isn’t exactly user-friendly as various IdentityIQ reviews often point out. There is a learning curve, and in order to make use of all the options, you might need to have some technical knowledge. This is not ideal, especially considering the fact that there’s also no mobile app for on-the-go status checkups. The redeeming point is that the service includes the best free identity theft protection customer support that can help you out if you get stuck somewhere.

Extra Features

All of the plans include a junk mail opt-out feature, which removes your name and address from widely used marketing databases online. Besides that, more expensive packages include the exceptional credit score simulator that lets you see how some of your financial actions might affect your score without damaging it. As a part of the company’s automated restoration process, IdentityIQ also offers the Lost Wallet Assistance feature that helps you painlessly cancel all of your cards and order new ones.

Price

If you were to compare identity theft protection services on the internet, you’d see that not many companies can compete with IdentityIQ’s cheapest subscription plan. For $6.99 a month, you get solid monitoring options including credit changes from one bureau. On the other end of the scale, the most expensive plan will cost you $29.99 a month and unlock dozens of exceptional features. What matters the most is that you get to decide based on your needs and capabilities.

Pros Cons
Affordable plans Complicated interface
LPOA restorations
Multilingual Dark Web monitoring

Types of Identity Theft

The first and arguably most important step towards online safety is being aware of potential dangers. Once you understand what type of problems you can expect, you’ll be able to do something about it and get the necessary identity fraud protection.

So, what exactly is ID theft and how does it work? Simplified, identity theft is any form of criminal activity where a person uses another person’s private details to impersonate them, gain access to money accounts, or cause damage. Seeing how we daily divulge dozens of personal details on the internet, it’s clear why this is such fertile ground for scammers. All it takes is a couple of bad decisions, visits to suspicious websites, or lack of firewall to endanger a user or their family.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common ID theft situations:

Financial identity theft

Usually, the main reason you would want identity theft monitoring in the first place is to protect your finances. You’ve probably come across email scammers at some point, pretending to be PayPal or your own bank representative. It’s all in an effort to get access to your accounts and rob you dry. Of course, they can also be a lot subtler and play the long game, while casually relieving you of your funds, bit by bit. As far as you know, they might be waiting for the perfect moment right now.

Credit identity theft

A slightly more complex problem that might cause irreparable damage concerns credit identity theft. Scammers who get a hold of your personal details might use them to get a loan or completely ruin your credit score. The best identity theft protection service will do regular credit checkups to make sure there’s nothing funny going on. A system that can respond promptly to threats is your first line of defense.

Employment, Healthcare, & Taxes

Identity theft can dive even deeper into your life, causing problems for your current and future employment. A scammer impersonating you can get a job with your social security number and leave it up to you to pay all the income taxes that might accumulate. They might take your tax refunds or use healthcare in your name without you ever knowing. The identity theft protection services might reveal that your job applications haven’t been doing so well because you have a problematic work history you are not aware of.

Criminal Identity Theft

Adding the word criminal to the identity theft phrase may seem redundant, but it refers to a specific problem. Everything we’ve mentioned so far can be considered lightweight compared to it. A scammer may sell your personal data on the dark web to criminals who will use it as a front for illegal activities. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself in trouble with the law despite the fact that you never did anything wrong. Proving it all can be quite a hassle, especially without the help of top identity theft protection companies.

Child Identity Theft

It might surprise you to learn that even your child can be a target of these scammers. Children don’t pay enough attention to online security, and their personal details are constantly exposed. It doesn’t matter that they’re underage, scammers can still use their data to try to get a loan or perform various other frauds. That is why it’s important to find ID protection that includes your entire family in the package.

Our Methodology

There are dozens of great services out there, so how can we be sure that we’re offering you only the best identity protection available today? Well, we closely analyze each candidate according to our set of predetermined elements. We look at how they monitor the web, how they handle potential threats, and what unique features they have to offer. Here is a breakdown of all the important factors we take into consideration.

Monitoring and Alerts

What is identity theft protection without a powerful monitoring system that can spot potential threats and send you alerts as soon as possible? We check to see how deep and frequent scans are and what they specifically include. The best identity theft protection companies will search through both the standard and dark web and send out notifications via mail or, even better, text message. We expect the company to also offer the best credit monitoring service, in partnership with one or all three reporting agencies.

Prevention and Restoration

What happens when the software finds the threat? Is there a recovery process and how effective is it? What are the steps the company can take to make sure you stay protected in the future? Do the packages include identity theft protection insurance and what are the conditions? This is all crucial information that will tell you exactly what to expect from the highest rated identity theft protection services.

Ease of Use

The interface plays a huge role in deciding which agencies are the best. You need to have an easy overview of your settings and access the data anytime you want. Our reviews comment on the website’s strong and weak points, device compatibility, learning curve, and overall functionality of the software. We are looking for a simple and straightforward system that is user-friendly and reliable.

Extra Features

All of the elements we’ve mentioned so far are expected from basic ID protection services, but we won’t settle for anything less than extraordinary. That is why we also look for something unique, interesting, and praise-worthy that will set these companies apart from the rest. This is included in our extra features section where you will find additional services like virus protection, virtual private networks, or anti-phishing systems. Whatever it is, we’ll be sure to mention it.

Price

At the end of our review, we focus on the price. Now, just because this is the last item on our list, it doesn’t mean that it’s the least important one. Some identity theft protection services don’t have that many flashy features to show off, but the low cost can easily propel them to the top. At the same time, you might find that the provided service doesn’t match the steep price of the subscription and decide for a different option. However you choose, we’ll be there ready to present you with some worthy alternatives.

FAQ

Who has the best identity theft protection?

Identity Guard definitely gives you the best value for your money. Every pricing package relies on IBM’s reputable AI technology called Watson that can give you near real-time alerts about potential threats. There is also LifeLock, whose partnership with Norton resulted in a solid online security bundle at an affordable price. You get the best ID theft protection in combination with a trustworthy antivirus for the fraction of its real cost. A third option from our top three selection is IdentityForce. The company has recently enhanced its service by joining forces with EZShield to provide you with the ultimate ID protection.

Are identity theft protection services worth it?

Yes, they are much more important than people believe. Identity theft is a serious problem that can affect your life in a number of ways. At the very basic level, someone might use your personal information to impersonate you online and perform suspicious activities. Without identity theft protection, the best you can hope for is that it ends there. However, the situation can be a lot more dangerous. Perpetrators can use your personal details to perform criminal activities, take out loans in your name, damage your credit score, besmudge your records, or even endanger your friends and family. ID theft protection can alert you of these attempts and stop them before they cause any damage.

Who does Dave Ramsey recommend for identity theft protection?

The number one choice for Dave Ramsey, a well-known financial expert with years of experience, is Zander Insurance Group. While we personally don’t consider it the best identity theft protection, Dave Ramsey points out some of its greatest features. The service can help you out with all types of identity theft, offer recovery options, and include free protection for children within the family package. However, the software lacks some basic options. For example, there is no free trial to give you a taste of its functionality before you buy it. You don’t get any computer security tools with the subscription, and credit monitoring services don’t work automatically. You need to check your credit manually, which defeats the purpose.

Which is better, LifeLock or Identity Guard?

In our identity theft protection reviews, we give a slight advantage to Identity Guard simply because of its exceptional Watson AI system. In this industry, it’s all about the scanning speed and fast response time, and no one does it better than a supercomputer. On the other hand, LifeLock follows in a very close second place with its real-time antivirus protection offered by the tried and trusted Norton. Your choice can also depend on your specific needs and capabilities. For instance, Identity Guard gives you top quality for a comparably lower price than the industry standard. LifeLock, however, can offer you VPN along with the antivirus in the package.

How do I protect my identity for free?

Besides using the best identity theft protection the internet has to offer, you can also take a couple more steps to make sure you’re completely protected. First off, you need to invest in good antivirus and antimalware programs to stay safe online. Next, you need to be aware of the potential dangers and check your passwords, accounts, and credit score on a regular basis. Only leave your personal information with the websites you trust. Avoid suspicious servers and use a VPN whenever possible.