8 Best Identity Theft Protection Services of 2021

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 Imagine opening up your bank account, only to find out that a huge chunk has been recently withdrawn in a country halfway around the world.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 8 Top Identity Theft Protection Companies in 2021

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 millions of pieces of information on the internet, 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

  • IBM® Watson™ artificial intelligence
  • 3-bureau credit monitoring
  • 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 millions of pieces of information on the internet, 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

5. McAfee Identity Theft Protection

With its best ID protection service, McAfee has developed one of the most powerful identity theft protection and monitoring solutions on the market. The product features even three levels of coverage and a robust cyber monitoring program that scans the dark web and black markets. Full Review

  • Personalized lost wallet support
  • Comprehensive credit and cyber monitoring
  • $10,000 reimbursement in stolen funds

With its best ID protection service, McAfee has developed one of the most powerful identity theft protection and monitoring solutions on the market. The product features even three levels of coverage and a robust cyber monitoring program that scans the dark web and black markets. Full Review

6. Experian IdentityWorks

Experian IdentityWorks is the best identity protection service that focuses on credit scores. It grants real-time alerts for attempted credit inquiries, new account openings, or considerable balance changes. Full Review

  • 30-day free trial
  • 3-bureau FICO score and credit monitoring
  • Fraud resolution specialist

Experian IdentityWorks is the best identity protection service that focuses on credit scores. It grants real-time alerts for attempted credit inquiries, new account openings, or considerable balance changes. Full Review

7. ReliaShield

ReliaShield has been providing the best protection against ID theft ever since its foundation in 1999. So far, the company has helped more than one million people protect themselves against the perils of identity fraud. Full Review

  • 100% success rate in recovering stolen IDs
  • Free coverage for underage children
  • Investment accounts coverage

ReliaShield has been providing the best protection against ID theft ever since its foundation in 1999. So far, the company has helped more than one million people protect themselves against the perils of identity fraud. Full Review

8. ID Watchdog

ID Watchdog is an Equifax-owned company that grants credit and ID monitoring services. Its aim is to prevent and resolve fraudulent activities and thus reduce long-term damage to financial health and reputation. Full Review

  • Two-factor authentication
  • Previous ID theft coverage
  • 3 bureau credit monitoring and reports

ID Watchdog is an Equifax-owned company that grants credit and ID monitoring services. Its aim is to prevent and resolve fraudulent activities and thus reduce long-term damage to financial health and reputation. Full Review

Best Identity Theft Protection Services in 2021

1. Identity Guard Best overall
2. LifeLock Best combination with antivirus
3. IdentityForce Best for social media monitoring
4. IdentityIQ Best low-end option
5. McAfee Identity Theft Protection  Best for dark web monitoring
6. Experian IdentityWorks Best for credit protection and monitoring
7. ReliaShield Best for investment accounts protection
8. ID Watchdog Best for family security

 

Detailed Reviews

Identity Guard
Identity Guard

BEST FOR

prompt alerts

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Discount
  • Founded: 1996
  • 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® Watson™, it has reached its goal. You get near real-time notifications, dark web scans, and credit monitoring, 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 monitors the internet, goes through social media, and even scans the dark web for potential misuse. The system covers millions of pages and sends out alerts directly to your phone.

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 changes detected at the bureaus. Identity Guard also comes with $1 million insurance**.

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 Identity Guard has detected. 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 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 many 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 Value plan starting at $8.99 per month. Although this is a dirt-cheap way to gain access to Identity Guard, it doesn’t include credit monitoring and applies only to one member of the household. Should you need stronger protection, you have Total and Ultra plans at your disposal, starting at $19.99 and $29.99 a month, respectively.

However, if you click on our link, you’ll get a 20% discount on all monthly subscriptions. Thus, you’ll pay:

  • Individual Value: $8.99 -20% $7.20/month
  • Individual Total: $19.99 -20% $15.99/month
  • Individual Ultra $29.99 -20% $23.99/month

In case you want to protect your whole family, Identity Guard has got you covered:

  • Family Value: $14.99 -20% $11.99/month
  • Family Total: $29.99% -20% $23.99/month
  • Family Ultra: $39.99 -20% $31.99/month

If you choose an annual instead of the monthly payment, you’ll get an even greater discount by clicking on our link — 26% on the Individual Value plan and 33% on all other plans.

Pros Cons
IMB® Waston™ artificial intelligence No trial mode
3-bureau credit reports
Affordable packages

* The score you receive with Identity Guard is provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. It is calculated using the information contained in your TransUnion or Experian credit file. Lenders use many different credit scoring systems, and the score you receive with Identity Guard is not the same score used by lenders to evaluate your credit.​

** Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group‚ Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms‚ conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms‚ conditions‚ and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.
1ath Power Consulting, February 2018

LifeLock
LifeLock

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
IdentityForce

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
IdentityIQ

BEST FOR

low-end option

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  • 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
  • Founded: 1987
  • Insurance: Yes
  • Family Packages: Included in total protection
  • Dark Web Scans: Yes
  • Mobile App: Yes
  • Trial Mode: Included in total protection

Overview

McAfee has been a leader in cybersecurity ever since 1987. The company is better-known worldwide for its antivirus software. However, with its extraordinary product, McAfee has become able to compete with top-notch identity theft companies in the field of ID fraud protection. McAfee Identity Theft Protection encompasses its cyber and credit monitoring, as well as SSN trace features to protect your identity and sensitive credentials.

Monitoring and Alert

McAfee Identity Theft Protection scans more than 680,000 black marketplaces on both dark and visible web for the signs that your identity has been stolen. Likewise, it scans the Experian credit bureau for potential hard credit inquiries. If malicious activity is detected, this best identity theft monitoring program will immediately alert you to the attempted fraud.

The Social Security Number trace feature alerts you if any aliases might have been linked with your SSN. Non-stop SSN tracing means that you may be sure that even the tiniest hint of ID theft will be immediately detected.

Prevention and Restoration

Since it started out as an anti-virus company, McAfee has the experience, advanced technology, and monitoring strategies to grant the top-rated ID fraud protection. If you lose your wallet, the company will assign you a dedicated agent who will help you with canceling all your credit cards on time. If you happen to be a victim of identity theft, McAfee will offer you up to $1 million in reimbursement to cover the costs of recovering your ID. What’s more, you’ll be eligible for $10,000 that is supposed to compensate for the lost funds.

Ease of Use

In addition to offering the best protection for identity theft, McAfee is very easy to use. It functions on any mobile or desktop client whose specifications meet the program’s requirements. McAfee is also available as an add-on that can be installed on all popular web browsers.

Extra Features

It’s only cyber and credit monitoring features that are available with McAfee Identity Theft Protection. You’ll always have free 24/7 support for any issue you might stumble upon. Besides, the software will notify you if anyone attempts to change your address in the USPS register. Further, it will watch for the misuse of your social media profiles and immediately alerts you in such an event.

It doesn’t end there. Higher tier plans will be on the lookout for payday loans taken in your name and court and criminal records about crimes committed using your identity. It will also notify you about any change in your bank account details and authorizations.

Pricing

Our comparison of identity theft protection services has shown McAfee Identity Theft Protection is among the cheapest solutions for your security and identity protection. Namely, you can sign up for the Standard plan for only $0.99. You’ll pay this price for the first month of your subscription, then continue to pay $7.99/mo. The Plus plan starts at $4.99 for the first month and then costs $15.99/mo for a slightly expanded set of features. Finally, the Premium plan starts at $9.99 for the first month and then continues at $23.99/mo. Each plan has a discount if billed annually.

Pros Cons
SSN tracking SSN required for some tools
Monitors over 600,000 dark websites No medical identity fraud protection
24/7 agent availability
Leader in cybersecurity
Experian IdentityWorks
Experian IdentityWorks

BEST FOR

credit protection

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  • Founded: 2017
  • Insurance: Yes
  • Family Packages: Yes
  • Dark Web Scans: Yes
  • Mobile App: Yes
  • Trial Mode: Yes

Overview

Experian is better-known as a credit report provider among financial professionals.

But as incidences of identity theft have increased over the years, the bureau decided to come up with a comprehensive identity protection service — IdentityWorks. The service allows you to actively participate in defending yourself against this type of fraud. As such, it is a leading solution for identity theft protection due to its extensive web searches that help discover data breaches.

Monitoring and Alerts

IdentityWorks checks whether any new accounts have been opened. It also searches for disparities or inconsistencies in account balances, changes in FICO score, and irregular credit use. On top of that, you’ll receive your credit score on a quarterly basis as part of credit protection services provided by IdentityWorks.

The CreditLock feature checks if anyone has attempted to access your credit score illegally. If an institution has requested your credit score for false loan requests, CreditLock will spot it. Once the fraud is detected, you will be notified by email or text alert. Likewise, you will receive a weekly fraud report with all details discovered during the previous week.

Prevention and Restoration

Dark Web Surveillance checks the dark web and searches for proof of identity breaches that might have exposed your personal information. This feature enables IdentityWorks to see if your SSN, ID documents, and bank account and credit card details are available on the dark web. Like all other best identity protection companies, Experian offers up to $500,000 or $1,000,000 (depending on the package) reimbursement in case any fraudulent activity happens. If your identity has been stolen, a fraud specialist will help you with restoration.

Ease of Use

IdentityWorks has an intuitive interface that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. It makes all your financial information accessible to you. Upon signing up, the dashboard will pop up, and you can access all the features from there.

Experian IdentityWorks supports both Android and iOS, so you can monitor your credit score and credit reports through the app. Additionally, you will receive notifications about fraud attempts. However, detailed ID fraud protection reports are available only through the web-based dashboard.

Extra Features

In addition to the primary credit monitoring and dark web surveillance, IdentityWorks has an array of additional services. Hence, if you ever happen to lose your wallet, IdentityWorks specialists will assist you with canceling and replacing your credit/debit cards. Other features include, but are not limited to:

  • Social network monitoring
  • Sex offender registry
  • Court records
  • File-sharing network monitoring

Pricing

Identity theft protection costs at IdentityWorks depend on the purchased package. The company offers two pricing plans — Plus and Premium.

Identity Works bills its packages monthly or annually. The plan can be bought for one adult, one adult with up to 10 children, and two adults with up to 10 children. The Plus plan starts at $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year, while the Premium plan starts at $19.99 per month or  $199.99 per year.

Pros Cons
Family and children-specific plan available Customer support is difficult to reach
Great mobile app No 24/7 support
Fraud specialist assistance
Credit monitoring
ReliaShield
ReliaShield

BEST FOR

investment accounts protection

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  • Founded: 1999
  • Insurance: Yes
  • Family Packages: Yes
  • Dark Web Scans: Yes
  • Mobile App: Yes
  • Trial Mode: No

Overview

ReliaShield is a Tennessee-based company that offers in-depth identity theft monitoring services. Its goal is to enable you to enjoy the digital world without worrying about your security. ReliaShield focuses on denying hackers’ access to your sensitive information and accounts. The advanced technology that the company uses allows it to monitor your accounts non-stop and detect a breach instantly. The sooner you find out about the fraudulent activity, the sooner you can stop it.

Monitoring and Alerts

ReliaShield provides an array of identity protection services and threat alerts. The company grants full ID theft protection against financial and social security fraud, medical theft, child ID theft, and tax or employee benefit fraud, as well as other similar crimes.

Additionally, the company scans the web for unauthorized attempts to use your personal info. This involves monitoring websites, blogs, social media, and the dark web. Once ReliaShield discovers that your name, SSN, or any other personal info has been used, it will alert you immediately.

Prevention and Restoration

As part of its ID monitoring service, ReliaShield will not only notify you about the breach; it will also instruct you on how to keep your identity safe. Besides, it will remind you to check your free credit report and make sure that all data is accurate. What’s more, it will alert you if it detects security breaches in the credit bureaus.

In the event of fraud or stolen identity, ReliaShield’s team of recovery professionals will guide you through the recovery process. The company boasts of a 100% recovery success rate, so we could easily list it among the best identity theft protection companies in 2020.  The company will also reimburse up to $1 million for expenses and stolen funds.

Ease of Use

ReliaShield website and mobile apps are smooth and easy to use. As soon as you sign up, you’ll be directed to the dashboard. It is compatible with all web browsers, so you won’t have any hiccups or problems navigating through it. From there, you’ll be able to monitor your financial health and be updated on everything that is happening with your personal info.

You can customize the dashboard according to your preferences. If you have any questions or stumble upon any issues regarding your account, 24/7 customer support is at your disposal.

Extra Features

In addition to identity monitoring and protection services, ReliaShield offers an array of extra features. Thus, the company protects your investment account (IRA or 401K) against ID theft. Moreover, in the case of fraud, you may rest assured that your retirement money will be included in the $1 million ID theft insurance. Plus, if you lose your wallet, the company will immediately terminate and re-order its content for you.

Pricing

If you’re seeking cheap identity theft protection, look no further. Starting at $7.99/mo, you may sign up for the ReliaShield Essential plan and obtain the basic protection services. If you need more, you may subscribe to Prime or Elite plans and pay $14.99 and $21.99 per month, respectively.

What makes ReliaShield stand out from its competition is its pricing plan for families. Namely, if you purchase fraud protection services for the whole family, you’ll pay only for yourself and your partner. Children under 18 have free coverage. You may choose between Essential ($14.99/mo), Prime ($24.99/mo), and Elite ($34.99/mo) plans.

Pros Cons
Competitive prices No free trial
A+ BBB rated and accredited Previous theft cases aren’t covered
ID protection experts
Investment accounts coverage
ID Watchdog
ID Watchdog

BEST FOR

family security

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

Overview

ID Watchdog focuses on preventing ID fraud proactively and assisting clients with resolving possible threats before they grow into crises. As opposed to its competitive identity and credit protection companies, ID Watchdog covers fraudulent activities that happened prior to signing up for its services. The company was founded in 2005 and was acquired by Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus.

Monitoring and Alerts

ID Watchdog scans your activity on the internet, particularly on the websites notorious for trafficking stolen financial and personal data in order to look for compromised credentials. As one of the credit security companies, ID Watchdog monitors your credit reports. It checks whether any new accounts have been opened in your name. It also scans myriads of public records and databases to check for any signs of identity theft, i.e., whether there are any new names or addresses linked with your ID.

If any fraudulent activity has been detected, ID Watchdog will immediately alert you by sending you an email or a text message. Besides, users may actively monitor their activity via the dashboard on the company’s website.

Prevention and Restoration

What makes ID Watchdog one of the best identity theft monitoring companies is its fraud resolution. The company grants extensive restoration services that pledge users will have their IDs completely recovered when the process is completed. If you’ve been a victim of fraud, you’ll be assigned a team of experts who will work with you on your ID restoration. Further, ID Watchdog provides up to $1 million in insurance to cover the costs and financial impact of ID theft.

Ease of Use

Upon signing up for ID Watchdog’s top identity protection services, you’ll be directed to your personalized dashboard. Although the numerous functions might seem overwhelming at first sight, they aren’t difficult to navigate through. You will be guided through the account setup process. ID Watchdog will provide you with detailed explanations of its services, what they do, and how you can benefit from them.

Extra Features

Depending on the plan you purchase, you will be granted numerous additional services. Thus, ID Watchdog will enable you to track your VantageScore® 3.0 credit score according to Equifax data on a daily or monthly basis. Plus, the company’s best credit protection services include a daily or monthly 1-bureau credit report and credit tracker, plus a yearly report from all the three credit bureaus. Last but not least, you’ll be able to update your VantageScore® 3.0 credit score and track its changes.

Pricing

ID Watchdog offers two pricing plans for its customers — Plus and Platinum. The former costs $14.95/mo, while the latter is $19.95/mo. Considering the small difference in prices, prospective users might consider buying the Premium plan, mainly because of the extra features included.

ID Watchdog is among the fraud protection companies that think about family security. The Plus plan for a family costs $25.95/mo, whereas Platinum costs $34.95/mo. Both plans cover two adults and up to four children.

Pros Cons
24/7 customer support No money-back guarantee
Three-bureau credit report Equifax was a victim of a data breach
Switch credit reports on or off
Credit Lock

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.