Fortunly's Guide
Advertiser Disclosure

Best Identity Theft Protection Services of 2022

Written By
G. Dautovic
Updated
August 08,2022
Some or all of the products/services listed on this page are from our affiliate partners from which we receive commissions. This, however, does not influence the evaluations in our reviews. Learn more by reading our Advertiser Disclosure.

The internet is fertile ground for scammers, and one of their favorite activities is identity theft. Your personal data can be misused, sold on the black market, or used as blackmail material. The latest data on identity theft tells us that 33% of US citizens have experienced ID theft. The only way to stop this is to find an identity theft protection company to ensure your accounts and identifying information stay safe.

There are dozens of options on the web, all claiming to be the most reliable and affordable choices. We’ve gone through all of them, compared their services, and handpicked the best ones. Take a look.

Show More...

Best for: customer satisfaction

IdentityForce

IdentityForce Logo
OVERVIEW

IdentityForce.com offers top-notch identity theft protection. First of all, the company has recently joined forces with another high-profile security agency called EZShield. This partnership has resulted in an exceptional ID theft protection service with a wide range of handy prevention tools. Both subscription plans include social media monitoring which is quite rare, while the slightly more expensive one will give you all the credit monitoring you might need. Read Review

  • Partnership with EZShield
  • Track social media accounts
  • Credit score simulator
Learn More
On Official Website
Monthly cost
from $17.99
Family plans
Yes
Trial period
30 Days
Insurance Coverage
Up to $1 Million
Best for: overall quality

Identity Guard

Identity Guard Logo
OVERVIEW

Intersections Inc, the company that created Identity Guard, appeared in 1996 and essentially established the entire ID theft protection industry. Identity Guard has evolved significantly over the years, mainly thanks to its fruitful partnership with IBM’s powerful AI software Watson. However, one of the main reasons this might be the best family ID theft protection service is the price. Starting at $7.50 a month, it is among the cheapest offers on the market. As numerous Identity Guard reviews on the web show, it’s definitely worth a try. Read Review

  • Watson AI system
  • Near real-time response
  • Dark web monitoring
Learn More
On Official Website
Monthly cost
From $8.99
Family plans
Yes
Trial period
N/A
Insurance coverage
Up to $1 Million
Best for: additional features

LifeLock

LifeLock Logo
OVERVIEW

The Norton LifeLock partnership is one of the best combinations you can find for comprehensive identity theft monitoring. If you opt for the antivirus version, your protection from identity theft will also come with a free VPN, which is often charged as a separate service. The higher up the subscription plans you go, the more identity monitoring options you unlock, but be wary of the price hikes. All subscriptions are displayed with prices for the first year, while the renewals cost more. Make sure you read the fine print before making your choice. Read Review

  • Norton 360 antivirus
  • Credit monitoring in all plans
  • VPN services
Learn More
On Official Website
Monthly cost
from $9.99
Family plans
Yes
Trial period
60 days
Insurance coverage
Up to $1 Million
Best for: free plan

Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame Logo
OVERVIEW

Credit Sesame has been helping users monitor and improve their credit scores for years. The company is one of the few that offer entirely free identity theft protection services. While its free plan is generous, you should subscribe to one of the paid plans if you want the complete protection suite. Read Review

  • Generous free plan
  • Credit experts available 24/7
  • Full monthly credit profiles
Learn More
On Official Website
Monthly cost
From $9.95
Family plans
Yes
Trial period
N/A
Insurance coverage
Up to $1 Million
Best for: family members insurance

IdentityIQ

IdentityIQ Logo
OVERVIEW

IdentityIQ offers identity theft protection services at a reasonably low cost. Its pricing starts as low as $6.99 a month, so this company is an excellent choice for users who want inexpensive but reliable identity monitoring. The company’s identity restoration team will guide you through the recovery process if any data breaches occur, and the coverage includes you and your family. Read Review

  • Low price
  • Dark web searches in 25 languages
  • Criminal activity alerts
Learn More
On Official Website
Monthly cost
from $9.99
Family plans
Yes
Trial period
N/A
Insurance coverage
Up to $1 Million
Best for: credit monitoring

Experian IdentityWorks

Experian IdentityWorks Logo
OVERVIEW

Experian IdentityWorks is an identity theft protection service that focuses on credit reports. The vendor keeps an eye on your credit score by monitoring all three major credit bureaus. Members can lock and unlock their credit reports with ease. Other features include dark web surveillance and alerts, making this a solid choice for users concerned about privacy. Read Review

  • Three-bureau credit monitoring
  • Credit file locking and unlocking
  • In-house resolution specialists
Learn More
On Official Website
Monthly cost
From $9.99
Family plans
Yes
Trial period
30 Days
Insurance coverage
Up to $1 Million
Best for: medical ID theft protection

ID Watchdog

ID Watchdog Logo
OVERVIEW

Although a security breach five years ago somewhat tarnished Equifax’s reputation, we still find its identity theft protection services worthy of our list. In addition to the usual cocktail of monitoring capabilities, ID Watchdog protects you from tax and medical fraud while shielding your loved ones from cyberbullying. Read Review

  • Tax and medical ID theft protection
  • Powerful social media monitoring capabilities
  • Operated by Equifax
Learn More
On Official Website
Monthly cost
From $14.95
Family plans
Yes
Trial period
30 days
Insurance coverage
Up to $1 Million
Best for: low prices

ReliaShield

ReliaShield Logo
OVERVIEW

ReliaShield is a well-established identity monitoring company that’s been in business since 1999. With a 100% success rate in retrieving stolen identities, the company offers a multi-tiered pricing structure that includes options for various users. Add to that free coverage for children under 18, and it becomes clear how ReliaShield found its way to the top of our list. Read Review

  • 100% success rate ID recovery
  • Free coverage for children
  • Affordable
Learn More
On Official Website
Monthly cost
From $7.99
Family plans
Yes
Trial period
30 Days
Insurance coverage
up to $1 Million
Evaluation Criteria

How We Evaluate Identity Theft Protection Companies

There are dozens of companies on the internet claiming to offer the best protection against identity theft, but do they really live up to people’s expectations? To find out, we’ve put all of them through our filter and handpicked the top ones. Here are some of the main elements we looked at:

Monitoring

First off, we check to see the quality and the range of the promised identity monitoring services. Does the company keep track of all your financial accounts? Can it dive into the dangerous waters of the dark web to find stolen information? Will it keep an eye on your social media accounts and photo leaks? Does it also offer credit card identity theft protection?

These are all important questions whose answers give you a better idea about the quality and depth of each identity theft protection service. Some companies focus solely on credit monitoring, while others only search the web for personal details gone astray. We demand an all-inclusive package.

Restoring and Blocking

Naturally, the service can’t just offer issue detection. What happens after your leaked data is discovered? Does the company only offer advice, or does it act upon it? What kind of reactions and remedies can you expect? We also understand prevention is at the very heart of identity theft protection services, and therefore look for companies that take it seriously.

Interface

Since you won’t be personally searching for your data online, you can only know as much about it as the software will tell you. This is precisely why the site’s interface plays such an important role. We look at the platform, its compatibility with your devices, and its ease of use. For example, how efficient is the alert system, and how much information does it provide?

You can tell a lot about a company simply by looking at its website design, especially in this niche. The identity theft protection companies that made it onto our list give off that professional vibe right away.

Customer Support

The thing with customer support is - you don’t care about it until you actually need it. So, it's good to know that the agents are just around the corner, waiting to respond to your emergency. We check to see how many methods you have at your disposal and assess the quality of the service.

Sometimes, companies will include plenty of information on the website through a comprehensive help center, so you can find most answers yourself in the FAQ section.

Price

Identity theft protection plans shouldn’t be too expensive: Since most have a monthly subscription, costs add up quickly. Our reviews will let you know if any hidden fees or additional costs are covertly included in each deal.

Quick Breakdown

The Best Identity Theft Protection Companies in 2022: Our Top Picks

  • IdentityForce - Award-winning app with Mobile Attack Control
  • Identity Guard - Dark web monitoring
  • LifeLock - Credit monitoring in all plans
  • Credit Sesame - Free plan option
  • IdentityIQ - Criminal activity alerts
  • Experian IdentityWorks - ID theft insurance coverage
  • ID Watchdog - For mobile users
  • ReliaShield - Free minor coverage

Reviews

IdentityForce Review

Quick Facts
4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Monthly cost:
From $17.99
Family plans:
Yes
Trial period:
30 Days
Insurance coverage:
Up to $1 Million

Although not under the same name, IdentityForce has been around for decades, and consumer reports and numerous positive reviews on the web deemed it a reliable identity theft protection tool. In 2019, the company joined forces with another high-profile developer, EZShield, to create the ultimate security system.

Therefore, it’s no wonder IdentityForce has so many features to offer both in its primary and advanced packages. Let’s dissect its offer bit by bit.

It’s pretty refreshing to see a company with self-explanatory pricing plans. The main difference between the basic UltraSecure package and the advanced UltraSecure+Credit is, you’ve guessed it, credit monitoring services.

Besides that, they’re identical. If you want the best identity theft protection for your family, you will need to contact customer support and get a custom quote. It’s not ideal that IdentityForce family plan costs aren’t transparently displayed on the website, but at least the support team is helpful and quick to respond.

The UltraSecure plan’s monitoring features include checking for fraud, change of address, court records, medical misuse, criminal activities, and even social network monitoring. In addition to that, the service also analyzes data from the dark web and protects you from mobile attacks.

Although most of these features can be found elsewhere, IdentityForce has some unique options like a junk mail opt-out. This feature removes you from major emailing databases that scammers use for outreach.

Even though IdentityForce’s identity theft protection family plan doesn’t include an antivirus, it gives you some helpful PC security tools for data breach prevention. Moreover, its anti-phishing and anti-keylogging software stops you from visiting suspicious websites and blocks any script that tries to read sensitive information through your keyboard. Using this together with two-factor authentication will ensure safe browsing. 

You’ll receive all your alerts through text messages or emails, according to your preference. The dashboard looks modern and, more importantly, it’s extremely simple to navigate. If you want to check the status of your ID theft protection services on the go, you can use the well-built mobile app that offers a smooth experience on both Android and iOS devices.

Everything we’ve mentioned so far belongs to the standard UltraSecure subscription plan at $17.95 a month. 

The UltraSecure+Credit package will cost you $23.95 a month for a few more features and credit monitoring services. Namely, you will be assigned a dedicated specialist to guide you through the process of freezing your account or reporting identity fraud. That way, you have the best credit identity theft protection and identity recovery services in case you need them.

This IdentityForce pricing plan keeps an eye out on your credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies, but also adds one more interesting tool: With its credit score simulator, you can actually test potential financial decisions and see how they might affect your annual credit report.

Reasons to buy:

  • Partnership with EZShield
  • Social media tracking
  • Credit score simulator
  • Mobile attacks protection
  • Junk mail opt-out
  • Anti-phishing PC software
  • Android and iOS apps
  • Dark web analysis
+ Show more

Identity Guard Review

Quick Facts
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Monthly cost:
From $8.99
Family plans:
Yes
Trial period:
N/A
Insurance coverage:
Up to $1 Million

The main driving force behind Identity Guard’s praised service is its artificial intelligence system, Watson. It does an exceptional job of scanning the entirety of the web for your personal information, with some of the best response times in the industry. The subscription plans are quite affordable and offer good value even with the cheapest option.

You can utilize dark web monitoring, credit reporting, and even keep track of your social media and bank accounts. All of these reports are delivered to your dedicated mobile app.

As we’ve mentioned at the very start, the reason Identity Guard is among the top-rated identity theft protection companies on the internet is the use of a powerful artificial intelligence system named Watson. It is a platform developed by IBM that allows for quick scanning of millions of files across the web in search of your details.

The system is so efficient that you get near-real-time alerts about potential ID theft and suspicious activity. This exclusive partnership is definitely the company’s main selling point.

All of the information you need is presented through a modern but straightforward dashboard. It shows you the number of alerts for each section, along with a credit score and risk management report. Its most valuable identity theft protection and credit monitoring features are only unlocked with the second-tier subscription plan.

Seeing how you’re getting a monthly score based on TransUnion reports, this identity protection service is worth a few extra bucks. The platform is compatible with various devices and has a well-optimized mobile app.

The cheapest subscription plan (Value) can provide three types of alerts - high-risk bank transactions, information leaks on the dark web, and personal threats found by Watson AI. With the second plan, you get alerts for bank account takeovers and credit score changes. The most expensive plan will throw in a special ingredient - a full credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies.

While the third plan might seem expensive, it gets you the provider’s best credit monitoring and identity theft protection in one package, which is worth your money.

When you become a member of the Identity Guard community, you also get fraud insurance with a maximum of $1 million in coverage.

Naturally, Identity Guard will do everything to prevent identity theft and the loss of your funds, but it’s still nice to have this form of guarantee. Speaking of prevention, every package also includes a safe-browsing extension and anti-phishing mobile app. The top-tier plan will give you a report about potential identity thieves on social media.

The best ID theft protection companies on the market gladly offer a trial mode for new customers, but Identity Guard is not one of them. The cheapest you can go is the Value plan, which will cost you $6.67 a month if you pay annually. The family variant of this plan bumps the price to $10 per month, but its identity theft services cover all adults and children in one household. If you have a big family, this is a bargain.

All prices are clearly presented on the site with no hidden setup fees or extra charges. What you see is what you get, and that’s commendable, to say the least.

Reasons to buy:

  • Watson AI system
  • Near-real-time response
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Optimized mobile app
  • Three-bureau credit reports
  • $1 million identity protection insurance
  • Safe-browsing extension
  • Anti-phishing mobile app
+ Show more

LifeLock Review

Quick Facts
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Monthly cost:
From $9.99
Family plans:
Yes
Trial period:
60 days
Insurance coverage:
Up to $1 Million

LifeLock offered identity theft protection for families even before its partnership with sister company Norton. Now, even with the cheapest package, you also get a reputable antivirus that has been providing solid protection for nearly three decades now. Besides this, users appreciate the fact that every plan includes the Equifax credit monitoring service. Naturally, the plans become progressively more complex the higher you go. The problem is that the prices significantly go up after the first-year promotional offer.

On the plus side, LifeLock doesn’t actually push you into getting Norton 360 together with your package. If you’re only searching for protection from identity theft and nothing else, you’re free to choose the Standard package. It includes Social Security number monitoring, bank and credit accounts, and takes note of any data breaches. However, for Norton to monitor your credit, you have to be verified with Equifax. 

Overall, it’s not a bad package for $8.33 a month. The annual plan renews at $124.99 annually, which comes to about $10.4 monthly.

Now, if you want Norton 360 with LifeLock, you can opt for the seemingly same-priced Select package. In addition to its identity theft protection service, you also get an award-winning antivirus together with a VPN for safe browsing. It’s an excellent bundle for $8.33 a month in that first year, but there’s also a “hidden” fee. Namely, since you’ll also be subscribing to antivirus protection, your plan renews at $149.99 a year. That’s about $12.5 a month. 

Seeing how this buys you identity protection and security for up to five devices, it’s the best value for money.

There are two higher-tier LifeLock plans with additional monitoring options and covering more devices. With Advantage, at $15 a month, you get the best personal identity theft protection from previous plans, along with alerts for financial changes and any crimes committed in your name. Advantage also secures up to 10 devices, which is enough for most households nowadays.

The most expensive package, Ultimate Plus, costs $21.67 a month for the first year, protects an unlimited number of devices, and includes annual credit reports from all three bureaus. This premium plan unlocks various other monitoring services, but be careful about the hidden LifeLock cost and read the fine print. The plan renews at around $29 a month after the first year, which might be a bit more than you bargained for.

Almost all of the best ID theft protection services on the market offer some form of insurance if your identity gets stolen on their watch. The standard $1 million insurance is only valid for the most expensive plan. Advantage has a limit of $100,000, while the two cheapest offer reimbursement up to $25,000.

There is also the “virus protection promise” that will give you a refund if Norton can’t remove the virus from your device. You can contact the always helpful and friendly LifeLock customer service to get all the detailed information about any of the plans.

Reasons to buy:

  • Norton 360 antivirus
  • Credit monitoring services in all plans
  • VPN services
  • Bank and credit card alerts
  • Criminal identity theft protection
  • Identity theft protection insurance
  • US-based identity restoration specialist
  • Excellent customer support
+ Show more

Credit Sesame Review

Quick Facts
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Monthly cost:
From $9.95
Family plans:
Yes
Trial period:
N/A
Insurance coverage:
Up to $1 Million

One of America’s few free credit monitoring services, Credit Sesame isn’t a run-of-the-mill identity theft protection company. While its central focus is identity fraud protection, Credit Sesame is devoted to monitoring and improving your credit score, too.

Compared to other ID theft and credit protection services, Credit Sesame doesn’t fall short except for financial account monitoring, where it lacks essential features, such as alerts for new account openings or significant changes in account balances.

Credit Sesame’s main advantage is that it offers identity theft protection free of charge. While the free plan isn’t quite on par with the best paid identity theft protection plans, it delivers an essential degree of safety. There are no hidden fees or restrictions: Just register on the Credit Sesame site, and you can start using the service immediately. You don’t even have to provide a credit card account number.

What’s included in this free ID theft protection package? First of all, you’ll be receiving monthly credit score updates. Since credit scores are such an important metric for all aspects of your financial life, staying on top of any changes - especially negative ones - is paramount. The free plan offers reports from a single bureau - TransUnion.

Like the other best ID theft protection companies, Credit Sesame includes fraud insurance. It’s capped at $50,000 - less than what we usually find at these types of companies, but considering that it comes for free, it’s a solid asset.

The more robust identity theft protection features are reserved for Credit Sesame’s paid plans, which offer downloadable monthly three-bureau credit reports. You could also get unlimited credit alerts, as you would with other top-of-the-line identity theft protection solutions.

The paid plans also put Credit Sesame’s credit experts at your disposal 24/7. This is invaluable, as you can contact the team to iron out credit reporting inaccuracies. You’ll also get lost wallet protection, as well as Social Security number, public records, and dark web monitoring.

There are three paid plans to choose from:

  • Advanced Credit ($9.95 per month): Three credit bureaus monitored, full credit report, and everything in the free plan.
  • Pro Credit ($15.95 per month): Everything in the Advanced plan, plus 24/7 live expert support advanced credit monitoring features.
  • Platinum Protection ($19.95 per month): Everything in the Pro plan, plus black market monitoring, Social Security number and public records monitoring, lost wallet protection, and Plus Pro Credit monitoring.

Credit Sesame has just about everything you need from the ID theft protection services. While it lacks financial account monitoring, the generous free plan offers more than enough features for most users.

Reasons to buy:

  • Free plan
  • Multi-tiered pricing
  • Monthly credit reports
  • Visually appealing interface
  • Solid mobile app
  • Secure
+ Show more

IdentityIQ Review

Quick Facts
4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Monthly cost:
From $9.99
Family plans:
Yes
Trial period:
N/A
Insurance coverage:
Up to $1 Million

Compared to some other entries on the list, IdentityIQ is not that old. The company was founded in 2010, but thanks to its high-quality service, it quickly found its place among the veterans of ID theft protection. IdentityIQ.com has four plans, with the cheapest one costing just $6.99 a month for the basic service.

That way, you can only get the essentials at a more-than-affordable price, or go further with credit monitoring, score checker, or LPOA restoration. 

As you might expect from a premium platform like this, IdentityIQ offers a wide range of monitoring services. You get SSN alerts, file sharing network searches, credit changes, criminal activity, and dark web analyses. The only thing missing from this extensive list is social media tracking.

We have to mark this down as a flaw in our identity theft protection review. This type of identity theft is quite common nowadays, so it’s essential to keep it in check.

The basic subscription named Secure Plan will cost you $6.99, which is among the lowest figures on the market. It includes all basic monitoring features except for some advanced credit options. This plan is perfect for users who don’t want to damage their budget too much but still want a decent amount of protection.

On the other end of the line is the most expensive Secure Max plan, which will cost you $29.99 monthly. With this plan, you get the best ID theft protection plus monthly reports from all three bureaus, alerts on potential criminal activity, and family identity theft insurance.

The latter covers all of your household family members and reimburses any theft damage up to $25,000. IdentityIQ saves you the trouble of getting a specific family plan for your loved ones.

So, what happens if identity thieves get you? Every client is protected with IdentityIQ $1 million insurance to reimburse any stolen funds, pay for lawyer fees, and any additional expenses that might come up. You will be assigned a dedicated US-based case manager to guide you through the recovery process.

Identity theft protection reviews on the web show that these professionals do an amazing job and, thanks to the LPOA authorization, can do all the paperwork in your stead.

Another interesting feature worth mentioning concerns deep web searches. Namely, IdentityIQ performs these inquiries in more than 25 languages. This expands the area of investigation for your personal information and gives you even better results. Unfortunately, there’s no way to try out the service before you buy it. There is no IdentityIQ free trial mode or any similar promotions. We recommend you try the cheapest option and see if it works.

Reasons to buy:

  • Low prices
  • Dark web searches in 25 languages
  • Criminal activity alerts
  • Credit monitoring
  • Family members insurance
  • US-based case managers
  • LPOA restorations
+ Show more
Read Full Review

Experian IdentityWorks Review

Quick Facts
4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Monthly cost:
From $9.99
Family plans:
Yes
Trial period:
30 Days
Insurance coverage:
Up to $1 Million

If the name Experian rings a bell, it’s because the company is one of the three US credit bureaus responsible for consumer reporting. Credit bureaus should be at the top of your list if you're looking for a credit monitoring service.

In addition to credit monitoring services, Experian offers premier identity protection services. This includes dark web scans, monitoring all three credit bureaus, scanning court records, sex offender alerts, and loan fraud alerts.

One of the main advantages of signing up for Experian IdentityWorks is credit monitoring. Since this is a credit bureau, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best credit protection services. Depending on the plan you choose, Experian can keep an eye on its own database for credit changes or scan all three credit bureaus.

The credit monitoring service sends you alerts about any significant changes, including new credit inquiries, new accounts, significant account balance changes, credit utilization, positive activity, and dormant accounts. Any substantial changes to your FICO score are immediately reported.

One of the perks of subscribing to Experian is that daily FICO reports are included. Without the company’s services, you’re limited to only one free credit report per year, as required by the FCRA.

Another feature that makes IdentityWorks a top-rated identity theft protection service is dark net surveillance. Most leaked or stolen personal information ends up on the dark web, where it’s sold or distributed. The dark web is an unregulated part of the internet and the first place one should look when their private information is stolen. IdentityWorks does precisely that, notifying you if your details turn up on the dark web.

Experian also notifies you if anyone tries to pick up a paycheck, get a loan, or open any kind of financial account in your name. The company even scans court records to determine whether any crimes have been reported in your name.

This identity theft protection service also provides Social Security number monitoring to see if your SSN is paired with new addresses or aliases. It scans social media for leaks and notifies you if a registered sex offender moves into your neighborhood.

There are two pricing plans: IdentityWorks and IdentityWorks Premium. The main difference is that the regular plan only includes credit, SSN, and address-change monitoring, and scans only Experian’s credit database.

For the best identity theft protection, you should go with the Premium plan, which gives you access to all possible features, gets your FICO scores from all three bureaus, and increases the value of your identity theft insurance plan from $500,000 to $1 million.

Pricing scales up and down depending on the number of users:

  • One adult: IdentityWorks ($9.99 per month), IdentityWorks Premium ($19.99 per month)
  • One adult and up to 10 children: IdentityWorks ($14.99 per month), IdentityWorks Premium ($24.99 per month)
  • Two adults and up to 10 children: IdentityWorks ($19.99 per month), IdentityWorks Premium ($29.99 per month)

There is a free 30-day trial, but you have to provide a credit card to sign up.

Overall, Experian IdentityWorks is an extremely powerful service that deserves a spot on our best identity protection provider list. While it may lack some advanced features, it has everything you’ll need to protect your data.

Reasons to buy:

  • Free 30-day trial
  • $1 million ID theft insurance
  • Superb credit monitoring
  • Paid plans cover up to 10 children
  • Dark web scans
  • Great mobile app
+ Show more

ID Watchdog Review

Quick Facts
4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Monthly cost:
From $14.95
Family plans:
Yes
Trial period:
30 Days
Insurance coverage:
Up to $1 Million

This identity theft insurance and protection service also acts as a US credit bureau. ID Watchdog started operating in 2005 before being acquired by Equifax in 2017. The acquisition improved ID Watchdog’s credit monitoring capabilities because a major credit bureau was now in charge of credit score tracking for its users.

In addition to credit monitoring, ID Watchdog’s identity theft protection encompasses a wide range of services like tax and medical ID theft protection, child ID theft prevention, and criminal and loan fraud alerts. These are some of the features that secured ID Watchdog a spot on our list of the best identity theft monitoring services.

On the downside, the fact that Equifax experienced a massive data breach in 2017 when 145.5 million customer records were compromised doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. This is the last thing you want to see at a company you’ve entrusted with safeguarding your sensitive data.

However, breaches can occur even at companies with the strongest security measures. Our identity protection review finds that ID Watchdog has managed to recover from this crime with a renewed dedication to security and full-fledged identity theft protection for its users.

Like Experian, Equifax keeps a watchful eye on your credit score and warns you if any suspicious changes occur. ID Watchdog can monitor all three credit bureaus, depending on the pricing plan. In addition, the service covers financial account monitoring, so you can set up custom alerts for dubious transactions or account openings.

Like any candidate for best identity protection service, ID Watchdog blocks all unsecured subprime loans, allows you to lock credit reports to prevent fraud, and notifies you if a registered sex offender moves into your neighborhood.

ID Watchdog includes several other very useful tools. For example, the company alerts physicians to any changes associated with their NPI number. Additionally, it scans social media for any cyberbullying directed at you and your loved ones, and monitors the dark web for your personal information.

Like other providers on our list, ID Watchdog has multiple pricing plans divided into two categories, with varying monthly fees depending on the number of users. The two plans are ID Watchdog Plus and Premium.

To get the best identity theft monitoring, you should subscribe to Premium, which gives you access to all monitoring tools, enables three-bureau credit check scans, and offers up to $500,000 in reimbursement for 401k/Health Savings Account stolen funds. Identity theft insurance goes up to $1 million with both plans, and you’ll have the support of identity theft resolution specialists no matter which plan you choose.

Notable disadvantages of the Plus plan include the absence of subprime loan fraud protection, the lack of financial account monitoring, and reduced access to credit reports. 

The prices work like this:

  • ID Watchdog Plus: $14.95 per month for individuals, $25.95 per month for families
  • ID Watchdog Premium: $19.95 per month for individuals, $34.95 per month for families

If you decide to prepay for a year’s service, you’ll save $30 to $40, depending on the plan.

ID Watchdog is a solid choice when it comes to identity theft protection. While it lacks unique features that would separate it from the competition, it is a good, reliable alternative to pricier options.

Reasons to buy:

  • Affordable
  • Child ID protection
  • Tax and medical theft alerts
  • $500,00 in 401k/HSA stolen funds reimbursement
  • Unsecured subprime loan prevention
  • Sex offender alerts
+ Show more

ReliaShield Review

Quick Facts
4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Monthly cost:
From $7.99
Family plans:
Yes
Trial period:
30 Days
Insurance coverage:
Up to $1 Million

ReliaShield is a veteran of the identity theft protection industry, which boasts a 100% success rate in recovering stolen identities. It started operating in 1999 and has earned the trust of more than a million users.

While it’s difficult for a vendor to stand out from the competition in such a crowded market, our identity protection reviews show that ReliaShield’s affordable pricing, comprehensive protection, and free coverage for children make it a great choice.

Like many fraud protection services, ReliaShield points out disturbing identity theft statistics to potential customers. When looking at the raw numbers, the idea of purchasing identity theft protection services becomes more urgent.

ReliaShield operates by continually scanning the internet and various databases for suspicious or fraudulent activity related to you. Nowadays, stolen personal information is widely sold or disseminated by hackers, so the first layer of protection involves scanning the internet and the dark web for traces of your sensitive data.

Like most online identity theft protection companies, ReliaShield can’t prevent identity theft, but it can notify you as soon as it occurs, giving you time to minimize the damage. In the case of ID theft, ReliaShield will help you recover or change any stolen data.

In addition to personal info leaks, ReliaShield scans for new activity related to your Social Security number, including new aliases and addresses. The company will notify you if any of your mail has been redirected through the US Postal Service, and it keeps an eye on court records in case a criminal act is committed in your name. Credit monitoring is included in ReliaShield’s pricier plans.

ReliaShield also offers lost wallet protection. If your wallet goes missing, ReliaShield’s team will work quickly to terminate bank cards and other sensitive documents that were lost, automatically ordering you new ones.

If identity theft leads to you losing money from any accounts ReliaShield monitors, the company offers up to $1 million in stolen funds reimbursement.

There are three pricing plans to choose from: Essential, Prime, and Elite. If you’re looking for the best family plan for identity theft protection and credit monitoring isn’t a big concern, the cheapest plan is more than adequate. Finally, ReliaShield’s family identity theft protection plan offers free coverage for minors. 

  • The Essential plan ($7.99 per month) includes all the features discussed here except for credit monitoring.
  • The Prime plan ($14.99 per month) adds single-bureau credit monitoring, social media monitoring, and neighborhood predator monitoring.
  • The Elite package ($21.99 per month) adds three-bureau credit monitoring, a monthly credit score tracker, bank account takeover notifications, and credit card application warnings.

All in all, ReliaShield has proven itself effective in identity theft protection, offering much more with its affordable plans than pricier competitors.

Reasons to buy:

  • Reputable and trusted company
  • Free coverage for minors
  • Great resolution experts
  • Very affordable
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Lost Wallet protection
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Fortunly’s Guide to Identity Theft

Before choosing among the best identity theft protection services, you need to get acquainted with the concept itself. As the saying goes -  know your enemy. We live in a world where you just can’t afford to be in the dark regarding online safety.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is broadly defined as the deliberate use of someone else’s identity, usually for financial purposes. While this type of crime is older than the internet, it really took off in the online era. Nowadays, we all share too much personal information with the world, making us easy targets for scammers and criminals. It makes sense that the best protection starts with ourselves - once you’re aware of a problem, you’re already on the road to solving it.

There are plenty of reasons scammers might want to steal your identity. First, it gives them direct access to your bank accounts and funds. Secondly, it gives them the means to apply for a loan or receive various other benefits in your name. Worst-case scenario, they can sell your personal information on the dark web to various criminals who might blackmail you or commit serious crimes using your credentials. Unfortunately, the possibilities are endless.

Types of identity theft

There are dozens of different identity theft types, both online and offline. We’ll give you a short breakdown of the most important ones so you can answer the question, “What is the best identity theft protection?'' according to your own parameters.

  • Financial Identity Theft - This is the most common way for a scammer to use your identity to access your existing funds or create a new bank account. Besides stealing your hard-earned cash, they can also apply for loans and leave you in serious debt if you don’t spot credit history issues right away.
  • Criminal Identity Theft - If they get hold of your personal information, criminals can use it as a cover for numerous illegal activities both online and in real life. They could leave you with a permanent criminal record without you even realizing it. Imagine your next job application being rejected because of the criminal background you never knew you had.
  • Employment and Tax Identity Theft - When it comes to employment identity theft protection, the best course of action is to monitor all tax records in your name. Someone might use your identity to apply for a job, leaving you to pay the taxes. Similarly, the scammer can also collect your tax refunds at any point.
  • Child Identity Theft - Online fraudsters don’t go by any moral code, which is why you might also face the problem of child identity theft. Because children are even more careless with their personal information, their details can be easily abused. Therefore, the best family identity theft protection will have identity fraud alerts for your entire household.
  • Medical Identity Theft - At first glance, someone using your identity to get medical care doesn’t sound too bad, but it’s actually a pretty big deal. You might be held responsible for system misuse, get unexpected medical bills, or, worst of all, you could be treated based on someone else’s medical history. This is a potentially life-threatening problem that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

FAQ

Who has the best identity theft protection?

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Identity Guard is often named the best value identity theft protection for several reasons. Even its cheapest subscription plan relies on IBM’s Watson AI technology that can go through heaps of online data and successfully locate potential threats. You get real-time alerts through a well-optimized app and a dedicated case manager.

If you compare Identity Guard vs. LifeLock, you might also opt for the latter, simply because it includes credit monitoring from one bureau with its cheapest plan. At slightly higher prices, LifeLock also offers VPN services and secures your devices from future threats.

Are identity theft protection services worth it?

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Identity theft can be a severe problem that affects your life in multiple ways. Investing a small portion of your monthly budget in the best ID theft protection service might save you heaps of money in the long run. The thing is, this type of threat will only get more complex and sophisticated as time goes by.

Scammers keep finding new ways to abuse your personal information, so you need a reliable partner to keep an eye out at all times. Some services will only help you find the leaked info; others will help you patch the holes, while the best ones usually offer the complete package.

Who does Dave Ramsey recommend for identity theft protection?

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According to financial expert Dave Ramsey, Zander Insurance Group offers the best identity theft protection on the market. The company has fairly affordable subscription plans with free service for children included in the family package. It covers all types of identity theft protection and does the recovery work for you.

However, despite its proactive approach, Zander doesn’t provide any security tools within its package. In addition, you don’t get automatic credit monitoring; you have to check things yourself. Zander is a good low-end choice but falls short of being the best ID theft protection out there.

Which is better, LifeLock or Identity Guard?

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If you make a LifeLock versus Identity Guard comparison, you will see both services have advantages and flaws. We lean towards Identity Guard simply because it uses IBM’s Watson system to search for your personal information, and it’s available even with the cheapest subscription plan.

LifeLock, on the other hand, includes credit monitoring from one bureau within its cheapest package, which might make it worth your while. When it comes to prevention, Identity Guard gives you a safe browser extension and an anti-phishing mobile app. LifeLock, on the other hand, includes a VPN as part of its costlier identity theft protection family plan.

How do I protect my bank account from identity theft?

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Make sure you password-protect all your applications, especially financial ones. If possible, use different passwords for all of them to minimize the damage if someone manages to come in. A password manager might help you out with this task. Don’t visit suspicious websites or click on phishing links. In most cases, your antivirus or browser will inform you when something is unsafe.

Don’t disclose your personal information to people or companies you don’t know. Besides all these steps, you will also need the services of the best identity theft protection company the internet has to offer. Fortunately, plenty of affordable options on the web will provide you with all the security you might need.