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The Best Identity Theft Protection Services

Where Can You Get the Best Protection from Identity Theft?

You're wise to ask that question, given that an average year sees as many as 14 million consumers reporting that they've been victimized by identity thieves - with losses reaching nearly $17 billion.

Those numbers may obscure the devastation experienced by an individual when their credit history is ravaged by fraudulent transactions. Scammers can use Social Security numbers, birthdates and other personal information to open bank accounts and credit cards, access medical care, and even claim tax refunds that don't belong to them - taking what was once an excellent credit score and dragging it down. Unfortunately, the unsuspecting victim may not realize their identity has been stolen until they try to apply for a loan or start getting calls from collection agencies, and by then the damage has already been done.

Tuesday, September 28th

2021 Identity Theft Protection Service Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Identity Guard Review 5 Star Rating

Identity Guard

5 Star Rating
  • Value - $8.99/month for an individual, $14.99/month for a family
  • Total - $19.99/month for an individual, $29.99/month for a family
  • Ultra - $29.99/month for an individual, $39.99/month for a family
  • Save up to 33% when paying annually instead of monthly
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Identity Guard offers a powerful combination of experience and cutting-edge technology to protect your identity from thieves and to quickly restore it if fraud occurs. Identity Guard's parent company has protected more than 47 million identities over the last two decades, and their partnership with the artificial intelligence of IBM Watson ensures that threats are detected quickly and prevented proactively. Over 140,000 cases of identity fraud have been resolved with Identity Guard's help.

$1 Million Insurance

All plans come with $1 million in insurance if identity restoration services are required, including stolen funds reimbursement. You'll have access to an online identity dashboard and a mobile app (though we found several customers who said that the app can be glitchy). And, if you need help from a case manager, rest assured that you'll have US-based representatives handling your case.

Features:

  • In business for over 25 years
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • 3 coverage levels for both individuals and families
  • Discounts when paying annually instead of monthly

3 Levels Of Service

Beyond those features, there are three levels of service with Identity Guard, all of which are available to either individuals or families. These tiers include the following:

  • Value: The intro level protects your financial, personal and social identity. It includes Dark Web monitoring, data breach notifications, high-risk transaction monitoring, and a safe browsing tool. This service is priced at $8.99/month for an individual, $14.99/month for a family.
  • Total: This tier is known as the standard identity and credit protection package. You get all of the features of the Value plan, plus three-bureau credit monitoring, a 1-bureau monthly credit score, and bank account monitoring. This service is priced at $19.99/month for an individual, $29.99/month for a family.
  • Ultra: If you want premium identity and credit protection, this is the plan for you. It includes all of the services in the Total package, as well as White Glove Resolution Concierge assistance, social media insights reporting, plus monitoring of bank accounts, credit and debit cards, investment accounts, USPS address change requests, home titles, and criminal and sex offender records. You also get an annual credit report from all three bureaus. This service is priced at $29.99/month for an individual, $39.99/month for a family.
Best Identity Theft Protection Services

Save With An Annual Plan

For all of these plans, you can save anywhere from 26% to 33% if you pay annually instead of monthly. However, be aware that if you decide to cancel an annual plan, you won't receive a prorated refund for any unused time on the subscription.

Block Junk Mail

When we visited the Identity Guard site recently, we got a pop-up offer that included PrivacyMate at no extra cost when subscribing to a qualified annual identity protection plan. Valued at $99/year, this service blocks junk mail and robocalls.

Trustworthy Source Of Identity Protection

Identity Guard is a brand of Intersections, Inc., which provides identity theft services under a variety of names. Across the spectrum, the company enjoys an "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB, establishing itself as a trustworthy source of identity protection. On average, Identity Guard earns a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, with the highest praise given to their customer service representatives for handling issues professionally and quickly. We were pleased to see compliments from subscribers who have used Identity Guard for several years, and from people who switched from other providers in our review and got better service here - for less money.

Highest Rating

If you're concerned about becoming a victim of identity theft - and honestly, you should be - Identity Guard can give you affordable peace of mind. From preventative measures to lightning-quick response times when fraud is detected, this service has you covered, and you're not locked into more coverage than you need. Identity Guard earns our highest rating.

Zander Insurance Review 4.5 Star Rating

Zander Insurance

4.5 Star Rating
  • $6.75/month or $75/year for individual plans
  • $12.90/month or $145/year for family plans

Zander Insurance has been around a long time - almost 100 years, to be exact. Endorsed by financial guru Dave Ramsey and both "A+" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau, this company is reassuringly simple and steady.

Easy To Choose Your Plan

You won't have to spend hours trying to figure out which plan to choose here. Are you trying to cover an individual or a family? That was easy! Individual coverage is $6.75 per month or $75 per year, and family plans are $12.90/month or $145/year. Those family plans include the primary policyholder plus any other adult in the household: spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, adult child, or any other person 18 and up who lives there - and up to 10 children under the age of 18. Each covered individual can track their Social Security number, driver's license, up to 6 credit/debit cards, and up to 5 medical IDs, phone numbers, emails, and bank account numbers.

Features:

  • Easy-to-understand plans: one for individuals ($6.75/month) and one for families ($12.90/month)
  • $1 million in coverage for stolen funds, lawyers and experts, and other expenses resulting from identity theft
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Company in operation for nearly a century
  • Prorated refunds available when cancelling annual memberships

4 Categories Of Coverage

Your coverage here falls into four categories: Monitoring Services, Identity Theft Restoration Benefits, Identity Theft Stolen Funds and Expense Reimbursement Benefits, and Unauthorized Electronic Fund Transfer/Cash Recover Reimbursement. Let's take a look at what each of those entails:

  • Monitoring: Zander Identity Theft Solutions will track your personal information on the Dark Web, detecting anytime your details are bought and sold online. It also keeps an eye out for Change of Address requests with the USPS, in the event that someone tries to reroute mail headed to your address. Finally, it monitors any names and addresses being associated with your Social Security number.
  • Identity Theft Restoration: if you find out that you've been the victim of identity theft, your Recovery Advocate will create a plan to restore your good name. Representatives are available 24/7/365, and their services will include lost wallet protection, notification sent to the three major credit bureaus and requests for fraud alerts, and more.
  • Identity Theft Stolen Funds/Expense Reimbursement: you have a benefit of up to $1,000,000. Eligible, reimbursable expenses would include lost wages, legal expenses (up to $125/hour), document notarization, filing fees, and so forth.
  • Unauthorized Electronic Fund Transfer/Cash Recovery Reimbursement: this also comes with up to $1,000,000 in benefits. If you've been the victim of theft, forgery, embezzlement or fraud via electronic fund transfer, you can get back up to a million dollars.
Best Identity Theft Protection Services

What's Missing

If you are even a little familiar with identity theft services, you might have noticed a few things missing from what Zander Insurance offers. But, just in case you missed it, here are some features you don't get:

  • Credit bureau monitoring: if there's a change to your credit report, you won't be notified. This includes someone applying for or opening a credit card in your name.
  • Credit reports: you'll still have to access your annual reports from each credit bureau on your own. It's free, but it's another step you'll need to remember.
  • Credit card / bank account activity monitoring: Zander's service tracks your numbers to see if they're being bought and sold, not if they're actively being used fraudulently.
  • Court and criminal record monitoring: many services keep an eye on these records, to see if anyone has used your name when arrested or sued.

Very Affordable

With so many areas that Zander Insurance's identity theft service doesn't cover, are you wondering why it's so high on our list? Here's why: if you look at this as insurance that covers you generously if you become a victim, you won't find a more affordable plan anywhere. And, since no identity theft protection plan can guarantee you'll never have your information stolen, what most consumers need is the best help after the fact if it does happen.

Already Available To You

And, if you pay attention, many of the non-included features are probably available to you already, at no charge. Take a look at your credit card dashboard or your bank account the next time you log in, and you'll likely spot a frequently-updated credit score. Guess what: those usually come directly from the credit bureaus! You can get your credit reports there at no charge once a year upon request. Plus, if you're on top of your bank accounts and credit cards, you should spot unusual activity fairly soon - all on your own. Finally, most credit card issuers are very proactive when it comes to suspected fraud; you may already have gotten a text or email within moments of a flagged transaction, where you had to let the company know if you were the one attempting the charge. In the end, you may not even miss all of those features, especially if you're already doing a solid job of tracking your finances.

One Of The Best

Does Zander Insurance provide the most comprehensive identity theft protection on the market today? Definitely not. But, this company does offer extremely affordable identity theft "insurance", so to speak, that will help you recover if your identity is stolen. For more proactive consumers, and especially for those with larger households, Zander Insurance should be one of the first providers of identity theft services to consider.

ID Shield Review 4.5 Star Rating

ID Shield

4.5 Star Rating
  • $13.95/month for one person, one bureau monitored
  • $17.95/month for one person, three bureaus monitored
  • $26.95/month for family coverage, one bureau monitored
  • $32.95/month for family coverage, three bureaus monitored
  • 30-day free trial

ID Shield is operated by Legal Shield, a legal services company that has been in business for nearly five decades. They have accreditation and a perfect "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, which is good reassurance that you'll get what you pay for from this trustworthy provider of identity theft protection services.

2 Questions To Answer

To determine which ID Shield plan is right for you, there are only two questions to answer: are you protecting an individual or a family, and do you want monitoring/reporting from one credit bureau or all three? We appreciated their detailed explanation of the difference between 1-bureau and 3-bureau monitoring: all three credit reports eventually reflect changes and problems, so 1-bureau monitoring is the most economical, while 3-bureau monitoring will catch fraud more quickly.

Dark Web Surveillance

Literally everything else about ID Shield's coverage is the same between the two plans. Some of the features included are Dark Web surveillance, monitoring of bank accounts and payday loans, Social Security number tracking, unlimited identity restoration services, 12-month credit score tracking history, and 24/7 access to customer support.

Best Identity Theft Protection Services

Features:

  • Two tiers of coverage for both individuals and families
  • Affordable, straightforward pricing
  • 30-day free trial
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Parent company, Legal Shield, in business for nearly 50 years
  • $1M in coverage to repair any costs resulting from identity theft

Your Family Is Included

If you need a family plan, ID Shield doesn't skimp on your coverage like some of their rivals do. You, your spouse or domestic partner, and up to 10 dependent children are all included in your identity protection plan.

30 Day Free Trial

Individual plans are priced at $13.95 and $17.95 per month (1- vs. 3-bureau coverage), while family plans cost $26.95 and $32.95 per month. That's their everyday pricing - unlike many identity theft services that draw you in with a low introductory cost and then immediately raise your rates to their regular fees after the first month. Straightforward pricing can be hard to come by in this industry, and we're glad to see ID Shield deliver. Additionally, you can take advantage of a 30-day free trial with any ID Shield package.

Many Positive Customer Reviews

While this identity theft prevention and protection service doesn't have thousands of reviews, we were happy to see that 92% of customers gave ID Shield a perfect 5-star rating. Members describe getting alerts extremely quickly after attempted fraud was detected - and even when it was a legitimate transaction that might have been unauthorized. The company gets plenty of compliments for friendly, helpful representatives who are always on hand to answer questions, resolve alerts, and jump into action to mitigate the impact of identity thieves' activities.

Make It Simple

It shouldn't be complicated to protect yourself (and your family) from identity fraud. ID Shield makes it simple - and affordable - with thorough coverage, easy-to-understand differences between their levels of service, and reliable representatives at the ready. This is a great option for identity theft prevention and restoration.

Identity Force Review 4 Star Rating

Identity Force

4 Star Rating
  • $17.95/month for UltraSecure, comes with 14-day free trial
  • $23.95/month for UltraSecure+Credit
  • Get two months free when paying annually instead of monthly
  • Family plans available on request

Identity Force is a Sontiq brand, having been acquired by EZ Shield in 2019 and continuing a tradition of many decades in pursuit of excellence within the identity theft protection industry. The company has a 100% recovery success rate during stolen identity-related events and has earned several Stevie Awards for their products and customer service.

2 Plans To Choose From

There are two main plans to choose from here: UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit. Both plans include all of the features described above under Monitor, Alert, Control and Recover, but the higher-tier plan adds three-bureau credit monitoring, scores and reports as well as a credit score simulator. You'll pay $17.95/month for UltraSecure and $23.95/month for UltraSecure+credit; either plan gives you 2 free months when you pay annually instead of monthly. Only UltraSecure comes with a 14-day free trial.

Features:

  • Two plans for individuals: UltraSecure for $17.95/month and UltraSecure+Credit for $23.95/month
  • Get two months of coverage for free if you pay annually
  • Family plans available, must call Identity Force for details and pricing
  • $1M in identity theft insurance, including stolen funds replacement
Best Identity Theft Protection Services

4 Pronged Approach

Identity Force uses a four-pronged approach to identity theft protection services: Monitor, Alert, Control and Recover. Take a look at what each category entails:

  • Monitor: Advanced Fraud Monitoring gives you real-time alerts when lenders request a copy of your credit report (e.g banks, mortgage companies, auto dealers and government agencies). Identity Force also tracks any change of address requests filed with USPS, court records, credit reports, the Dark Web, payday loans, sex offender registries, and your social media identity.
  • Alert: you get smart notifications if transactions on your bank or credit card accounts exceed the dollar amount you specify. You'll also be notified of potential fraud regarding your investment accounts, using your Social Security number, or in court records.
  • Control: you get instant online access to your credit score and report(s), lost wallet assistance, junk mail opt-out, medical ID fraud protection, and online PC protection tools that include anti-phishing and anti-keylogging software.
  • Recover: you've got access to US-based protection experts 24/7, stolen funds replacement up to $1 million, and up to $1 million in insurance to help you get back lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses related to identity fraud repair.

Lack Of Family Plan Information

Identity Force doesn't make it easy to get information about their family plans. Most of their competitors include those details on their main pages, but this company requires you to call in for a quote. We'd definitely like to see that included on their site, to be as transparent (and as welcoming to prospective family plan subscribers) as their rivals.

Great Reputation

This company has a great reputation with the Better Business Bureau, where they have an "A+" rating and accreditation. There were only two complaints filed with the BBB in the three years leading up to this review, which is another strong indicator of a healthy identity theft protection service - especially for a company that has been in business for over 40 years.

Mostly Positive Reviews

We were confused by Identity Force's customer feedback elsewhere, however. Despite having an average rating of 4.3 stars out of over 700 reviews, they seemed to only have 52% of subscribers giving them a 4- or 5-star rating. Given that we found very few complaints and mostly compliments in reviews from the last year - about the affordability of the plans, responsiveness of customer representatives, and thorough coverage - we concluded that the negative ratings may have been from several years prior to our evaluation.

Solid Choice

We give Identity Force high marks for having plans that are easy to understand, including one with a 2-week free trial, and for a solid track record of attentive customer service. We'd like to see their site include upfront information for families seeking identity theft protection, rather than making them jump through the extra hoop of making a phone call. In all other aspects, however, Identity Force earns a good rating for providing identity theft prevention and protection you can trust.

IDSeal Review 3.5 Star Rating

IDSeal

3.5 Star Rating
  • $28.99/month for one adult
  • $34.99/month for one adult + up to 10 kids
  • Discounts available when paying quarterly or annually
  • Impressive features to protect your devices and identity

IDSeal is new to the identity theft protection industry, having gotten its start in 2018. At the time of this review, the company had still managed to earn an "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau, which is a good sign that they deliver on what they promise (at least so far).

One Of The Most Expensive

IDSeal is one of the most expensive services in our review. Most providers have several tiers of coverage to choose from, but this company only gives you options between an individual plan or one that includes up to 10 children, and among paying monthly, quarterly or annually. Plus, that "family" plan only covers one adult; if you want to include both parents, you'll have to tack on another individual plan that will bring the total monthly cost over $60.

Features:

  • Platinum plan: $28.99/month or $79.99/quarter for one adult
  • Platinum Plus plan: $34.99/month, $95.99/quarter, or $349.90/year for one adult and up to 10 kids

Comprehensive Identity Theft Protection Plans

On a more positive note, the identity theft protection and restoration features included in IDSeal's plans are comprehensive:

  • Monitoring: Dark Web, change of address, social media, non-credit loans, sex offender databases, financial account takeover, credit card application/opening, smart SSN tracker, court/criminal record, three credit bureau, monthly VantageScore, bi-annual three-bureau VantageScore and credit report, real-time credit use and authorization
  • Child protection: SSN tracker, Dark Web monitoring, child social media monitoring, restoration services, identity theft insurance up to $1 million
  • Identity threat alerts
  • Restoration: fully managed identity restoration, lost wallet protection, $1 million in identity theft insurance, 24/7 US-based customer service
  • Privacy: Do Not Call registry, credit freeze, three-bureau fraud alert, opt-out credit card offers
Best Identity Theft Protection Services

Free device and identity protection

In addition to identity theft, IDSeal provides an impressive number of features to protect your devices and digital privacy. These include:

  • VPN
  • Antivirus
  • Dark web scanner
  • Login encryption & password vault
  • Personal profile protection
  • Ad blocker
  • Safe browsing/Real time protection and alerts
  • Tracking blocker
  • Digital fingerprint scrambler
  • Browsing tracks scanner and cleaner
  • Sensitive document detection
  • Encrypted documents vault
  • Webcam and microphone blocker
  • Privacy advisor
  • Encrypted documents vault

Sparse Customer Feedback

Because this service is so new, it's difficult to say what customers think. There are a handful of testimonials on the IDSeal site, but we couldn't find much beyond that. How well does the company do when people have a serious information breach or massive losses due to identity theft? It's too early to tell.

Time Will Tell

If this protection plan were much less expensive, it might be worth taking a chance and purchasing a subscription. We're encouraged by IDSeal's positive rating and accreditation from the BBB, and we expect to see continued good feedback about their services in the future. For now, though, we feel more confident in the established identity theft plans offered by our higher-ranked providers.

LifeLock Review 2 Star Rating

LifeLock

2 Star Rating
  • Standard - $9.99/month for the first year, $11.99/month in subsequent years
  • Select - $9.99/month for the first year, $14.99/month in subsequent years
  • Advantage - $17.99/month for the first year, $24.99/month in subsequent years
  • Ultimate Plus - $25.99/month for the first year, $34.99/month in subsequent years
  • LifeLock Junior - $5.99/month for children under 18 (parent membership also required)

LifeLock is one of the most well-known identity theft protection services on the market, and their relatively recent partnership with Norton has expanded their coverage to include more dimensions of your life online, as well as the basics like financial account monitoring and restoring your identity if theft occurs.

Confusing Plans And Pricing

LifeLock can feel somewhat overwhelming when trying to sift through their plans and pricing. For example, on the main Plans tab, it shows Standard, Advantage and Plus - while the pricing page showed Select, Advantage and Plus. We quickly felt bogged down trying to determine which package offered the coverage we needed.

Features:

  • Numerous identity protection coverage levels to choose from
  • One of the original services to offer identity theft coverage
  • LifeLock Junior and Senior available for minors and elderly customers

Essential Basic Coverages

All plans include some of the same essential coverage, such as US-based identity restoration specialists, round-the-clock member support, lost wallet protection, reduction of pre-approved credit card offers, and LifeLock's identity alert system (including notifications when your personal info is detected on service/credit applications, on the Dark Web, on USPS address change notifications, and so forth).

Best Identity Theft Protection Services

4 Protection Plans

Beyond those basic services, here's what you can expect among their tiers of coverage:

  • Standard (intro price of $9.99/month, regularly priced at $11.99/month): Up to $25,000 in stolen funds reimbursement and personal expense compensation, up to $1 million for lawyers and experts to restore your identity. One credit bureau is monitored.
  • Select (intro price of $9.99/month, regularly priced at $14.99/month): although we could only find information about this plan on one somewhat hidden part of the LifeLock site, this plan seems to take the Standard plan up a notch by offering security on up to five separate devices, including use of a VPN.
  • Advantage (intro price of $19.99/month, regularly priced at $22.99/month): up to $100,000 in stolen funds reimbursement and personal expense compensation, and up to $1 million for identity theft restoration lawyers and experts. This plan adds on alerts when your information is found on criminal arrest and court booking records, large-scale data breaches, and cash withdrawals/transfers/large purchases from your credit, checking and savings accounts. One credit bureau is monitored.
  • Ultimate Plus (intro price of $29.99/month, regularly priced at $34.99/month): this top tier of service includes all of the features in the Advantage plan, but all categories are covered up to $1 million. You also get notifications when bank account applications or file-sharing networks contain your personal info, when there's activity in your investment accounts, or your name is discovered on a sex offender registry. All three credit bureaus are monitored.

Identity Theft For Children

Although you won't see them featured on LifeLock's main pricing page, identity theft packages for children are also available. A Junior membership costs $5.99/month or $65.99 annually, and it can only be used in conjunction with an adult membership. It includes the standard Identity Alert System, Dark Web Monitoring, Lost Wallet Protection, Credit File Detection, and Identity Restoration Support you get with most LifeLock coverage.

Hundreds Of Customer Complaints

Unfortunately, LifeLock has dropped precipitously in our rankings. One big reason for this is the fact that the Better Business Bureau now gives them an "F" rating. In an industry as sensitive as identity protection, that's just not acceptable. There were hundreds of complaints filed by customers who said that LifeLock made it nearly impossible to cancel subscriptions, that they were charged for services they never wanted, and that even when refunds were authorized it was like pulling teeth to actually get the money back. When your identity theft protection service makes you feel like you've been scammed, it's not a good experience.

Better Choices Elsewhere

While there are thousands of positive customer reviews on the LifeLock site, we're far too discouraged by their negative reputation with so many subscribers. This company is no longer the only name in the industry, and we strongly recommend you choose an identity theft protection program that offers world-class customer service in addition to their coverage. You'll find plenty to consider among the higher-ranked identity theft prevention specialists in our review.

Identity Defense Review 1.5 Star Rating

Identity Defense

1.5 Star Rating
  • Essential - $6.99/month for individuals, $9.99/month for families
  • Plus - $9.99/month for individuals, $12.99/month for families
  • Complete - $14.99 /month for individuals, $17.99/month for families
  • Advertised rates are for the initial term only
  • Discounts when paying annually instead of monthly

To be a trustworthy identity theft protection service, a company should make it amply clear who they are, how to contact them, and how they operate. Identity Defense does almost none of that.

First Impressions Are Important

Starting with some odd typos and grammatical quirks (like spelling "herein" incorrectly at the bottom of the page, or spaces missing between key words in a header), this service gets off on the wrong foot. We couldn't find anywhere on the site that would allow us to reach out and ask questions - so we had to laugh when it said at the bottom that memberships can be canceled at any time by contacting them. Keep that in mind when deciding between a monthly or an annual plan, especially considering that their refund policy says that you are not entitled to any kind of credit or refund if you cancel early.

Features:

  • Plans available for individuals and families
  • Introductory rates from $6.99 to $14.99 per month for individuals and $9.99 to $17.99 per month for families
  • All plans include $1 million in identity theft insurance
  • Essential plan: includes risk management reporting and dark web monitoring
  • Plus plan: all the features of Essential; adds monthly retrieval of your credit score, address monitoring, 3-bureau credit monitoring
  • Complete plan: all the features of Plus; adds bank account takeovers and social insight report
Best Identity Theft Protection Services

Another Red Flag

Additinoally, there is absolutely no information about Identity Defense as a company on their website: no "About Us", no history, zero. It shouldn't take digging around in a site's Terms of Use to discover that it is owned by Intersections - which happens to be a reputable name in the identity theft protection industry, with an "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB. Why wouldn't they want to make that front-page information?

Questions Abound

We can only assume that Identity Defense is not Intersection's main priority. There's a lot of wording on the site about using this service as part of an employer plan, which means that perhaps the majority of their users aren't using the site to subscribe. Intersections also owns one of the highest-rated identity theft prevention services in our evaluation, and it could be that they're not really maintaining this site.

Earns A Low Rating

For all of these reasons, Identity Defense is our lowest-ranked provider of identity protection. Their site doesn't pay much attention to detail, and that leaves us wondering how well they actually provide the services they want you to pay for. Go with an identity theft prevention company that takes the time to earn your business; you'll be more satisfied with the process of signing up and the coverage they offer.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Even children can be prime targets for identity thieves. Because most people don't open credit cards or borrow money until adulthood, their information can be used for many years: imagine starting out as an 18-year-old with a horrible credit history that you did nothing to deserve! By that time, criminals may have already taken lavish vacations, gotten expensive cosmetic surgery, or bought luxury furniture - all using the identity of a child.

Experts recommend that consumers be constantly vigilant to protect their personal information. Basic steps like shredding documents with sensitive data and not disclosing too many details on social media can help prevent identity theft. However, scammers abound and are determined to find ways to access what they need. That's why identity theft protection services are a smart idea: while no service can offer a 100% guarantee that you'll never be a victim, their plans can often nip unauthorized access in the bud before things get out of hand. And, most of them not only help you clear your name and restore your credit history if identity theft occurs, but they also insure any financial losses up to a million dollars or more.

With many identity theft protection services to choose from, how can you tell which one is right for you? Here are several criteria to keep in mind:

  • Scope of Protection. How many credit bureaus does the provider monitor? Some only cover one of the three main reporting agencies, while others include all of them. Will all of your financial accounts be monitored? What about online presence, social media accounts, email addresses, and so forth?
  • Plan Options. Can you choose among multiple plans, or does the service only offer a few? Can you get a plan that meets your needs (e.g. a family plan for your dependent children, coverage for yourself and a partner)?
  • Cost. How much will you pay, monthly or annually? Will those costs increase after an introductory period? How do the fees compare with rival identity theft protection plans?
  • Reputation. What do other customers have to say about their experience with the company? Did they have any issues that weren't adequately resolved by the service's support team? Has the service been rated by the BBB?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best providers of identity theft protection available today. We hope this information helps you choose the service that offers the most peace of mind at the best price.

The Best Identity Theft Protection Services Compare Identity Theft Protection Services Compare Identity Theft Protection Service Reviews What are the best Identity Theft Protection Services Best Identity Theft Protection Service Reviews

Identity Theft Protection Service FAQ

When someone takes advantage of your personal information - Social Security number, birthdate, name, etc. - to make purchases, open new accounts, or get a tax refund, it's defined as identity theft. More than three million cases of identity theft are reported on average each year - and that's just in the United States!
Keep an eye on the various accounts you have: banks, credit cards, insurance, and so forth. Identity theft can show up as unexplained withdrawals, missing bills or other mail, phone calls from debt collectors about accounts you never opened, or even conditions in your medical records that you've never had. All of these are red flags that someone is fraudulently using your identity.
If someone uses your personal information to get a new credit card, receive a tax refund, or take out a loan, you should report it to the Federal Trade Commission through their Identity Theft website. You should also contact the three main credit bureaus - TransUnion, Experian and Equifax - and have them place a fraud alert on your credit reports. Notify each company where you discover that fraud has occurred as well. Finally, contact your local police department to file a report. Fortunately, if you are a subscriber to an identity theft protection service, such fraud will likely be caught very early on and make it less likely that any long-term damage was done to your credit history.
Keeping your personal information secure is one of the best ways of stopping identity thieves. This includes shredding documents that have your personal and/or financial information before recycling them or putting them in the trash. Stay aware of the ways scammers are currently trying to get people to give up their information, such as phishing schemes or robocalls.[2] If you're not confident that you can stay on top of monitoring your identity, it is well worth it to subscribe to an identity theft protection plan.
Most services take a two-pronged approach to identity protection: prevention and repair. Once you become a subscriber, these systems monitor your information to detect security breaches and any attempts to use your identity. You're notified when any suspicious activity occurs, and if you have any funds stolen the service will typically help you recover the money.
Definitely not - and keep in mind that any money you spend will be far less than the cost of repairing your credit if your identity is stolen! You can get basic identity theft coverage for less than $7/month. There are also couple/family plans available that can protect everyone in your household.
Yes, most credit card companies actively track your spending habits and freeze your account if they suspect that a charge is fraudulent. That's a great resource that doesn't cost you a penny. However, your credit card companies aren't also tracking your bank accounts, health insurance and medical records, online profile or status with the IRS. And, your credit card issuer isn't going to help you repair your credit history if your identity is stolen. Using an identity theft protection plan is the most robust way to keep an eye on all of the places your personal information could be used illegally - and to fix things if a breach occurs.
Absolutely. In fact, identity thieves place a high premium on stolen Social Security numbers of minors, because it can often be a very long time before the theft is discovered: imagine going to apply for a credit card for the first time, only to find out that someone else had been using your identity for years! If you're considering an identity theft protection plan, be sure to find out what options are available for the children in your family: their coverage is usually deeply discounted when compared with the costs for adults.

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