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10 Best Identity Theft Protection & Monitoring Services - Protect Your Identity and Prevent Credit Card Fraud

January 10, 2021 GMT

Chicago, Illinois - ( NewMediaWire ) - January 10, 2021 - Protecting one’s personal information is a fact of life. With hacking and data breaches becoming more commonplace, subscribing to an identity theft protection service is now more than ever, a necessary practice to ensure your data remains secure. But with so many options to choose from, finding a reputable service is not as straightforward as many would hope. 

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Luckily, this article will discuss everything there is to know about the best identity theft protection companies on the market. Aside from taking precautionary measures to protect your data from prying eyes, identity theft protection services offer a plethora of features that range from credit monitoring, ID monitoring, and more. Have a look at these top picks below. 

The Best Identity Theft Protection Service: At a Glance

1.  LifeLock - Best Overall Identity Theft Protection Service

2.  Identity Force - Best Identity Theft Protection Offering Impressive Credit Monitoring

3.  Identity Guard - Best Identity Theft Protection for Families

4.  Complete ID - Best Identity Theft Protection for Customers with a Costco Membership

5.  ID Watchdog - Best Identity Theft Protection for Complete Security 

6.  Identity Fraud - Best Identity Theft Protection for Affordable Protection

7.  Intelius Identity Protect - Best Identity Theft Protection for Monthly Credit Reports

8.  PrivacyGuard - Best Identity Theft Protection for Daily Credit Monitoring

9.  McAfee Protection - Best Identity Theft Protection for Tracking Suspicious Activity

10.  Equifax - Best Identity Theft Protection for Monitoring on All-Three Bureaus


How The Best Identity Theft Protection Providers Were Evaluated

Features - Agencies offering a range of features, including credit and ID monitoring, suspicious activity alerts, credit reports, and more, scored higher on this list.

Value for Money - Providers that offered their features at a price below average or bested the competition at a similar price were preferred over expensive options.  

User-friendly Platform - Agencies that provide easy access to all the necessary tools and customizable features were awarded a higher ranking. 

Customer Support - Companies that offered round the clock assistance and also continued support in the event of fraud ranked higher in comparison to agencies lacking in customer care.

1.  LifeLock - Best Overall Identity Theft Protection Service

LifeLock may have a checkered past, but it has moved forward and into the forefront of the identity protection niche. In 2017 it was acquired by Symantec, a reputable company, for $2.3 billion. 

LifeLock Positives:

60-day money-back guarantee

- Restoration services help repair damage

- 24/7 customer service

- Stolen funds reimbursement

- Scans over a trillion data points daily

LifeLock Drawbacks:

- Price increase after the first year

- Low tier plans not inclusive

- Lacking family coverage

The firm owns several protection services under different names. LifeLock Junior, for example, is about protecting kids’ identities, while LifeLock Senior caters to the elderly who do not want their social security numbers and personal credentials circulating online.

Not every one of senior age has someone managing their financial affairs. What’s more, the risk of having their personal data stolen is greater due to their adjusted lifestyle. LifeLock understands this and provides people 65 and above the ability to safeguard their finances from thieves and scammers. 

One particular use feature is the notification setting, which alerts the users to drastic changes in their finances. This can come in handy, especially when medical care, home care, and life savings are on the line.

LifeLock’s protection fees start at $9.99/month, with $29.99 being the highest. Reimbursements cover anywhere from $25,000 to $1 million in losses, depending on the assigned plan. Keep in mind that lower-priced packages only monitor credit in one bureau, while the $29.99 covers all three major bureaus. This plan also comes with a free annual credit report from Experian.

Moreover, LifeLock has a substantial wealth of related protection services, such as fraud alerts, suspicious activity alerts, credit and SSN alerts, and crimes reported in the account holder’s name. Base price ranges at $107.88 annually.

2.  Identity Force - Best Identity Theft Protection Offering Impressive Credit Monitoring

IdentityForce’s UltraSecure package is $149.90 annually, while its UltraSecure Credit plan costs $199.50 per year. The difference between the two is that the latter allows you to get your score and credit reports from all three agencies. It’s an all-in-one protection program that provides a visual on how the subscriber’s credit goes up or down over time.

Identity Force Positives:

- $1 million identity theft insurance

- Medical ID fraud alerts

- Quick cash loans monitoring

- Customizable bank account and credit card notifications

2-week free trial

Identity Force Drawbacks: 

- Family plan only available over the phone

Aside from standard identity theft protection, the company has other helpful features. It checks for and alerts the user on changes regarding arrests and court records, payday loan applications, address changes, and public information alterations, as well as underground identity-sharing websites and sex registries. 

The website tracks these changes or usage via the account holder’s SSN (social security number). The company has a mobile app that includes Mobile Attack Control, which checks the user’s mobile for spoof networks, unsecured WiFi locations, spyware, and similar programs. The app is a mobile extension that can give timely updates when there’s a security issue.

Although the frequency is not disclosed, the site has an interesting credit score simulator that educates the user about the impact of transfers, payments, and balances. IdentityForce has a 2-week free trial before recommending a paid plan.

3.  Identity Guard - Best Identity Theft Protection for Families

Identity Guard utilizes the world-famous “Watson” by IBM as its identity theft protection engine. The algorithm is mainly focused on identity theft, building up knowledge over time via machine learning. The company constantly monitors sources, including social networks, and more. The subscriber’s personal information, such as SSN and DOB, is monitored.

Identity Guard Positives:

- Dark web monitoring

- Monthly credit score

30-day free trial

- Social insight report

Identity Guard Drawbacks:

- Credit reports only available with higher-tier package

Subscribers will be able to see an outline of its insurance terms. The most basic coverage is only $80 per annum, but it doesn’t include credit monitoring. To get this, Identity Guard charges $159.96 per year and adds a monthly credit score and credit monitoring on all three bureaus in the process.

Identity Guard’s most expensive package is the Guard Premier, a $200 a year plan with annual credit reporting.

4.  Complete ID - Best Identity Theft Protection Ideal for Customer’s with a Costco Membership

A branch service from Experian, Complete ID, offers a special discount for Costco customers. Executive members receive a discount and pay $8.99/month plus $2.99 for their child protection service. Gold Star members also receive a discount at $13.99/month and an additional $3.99 for child protection. Customers who don’t have a membership pay $19.99 per month.

Complete ID Positives:

- Great deal for Costco members

- Useful features

- Includes $1 million in insurance

Complete ID Drawbacks:

- Limited security tools

- Alerts cannot be customized

The plan provides a free credit report once a year from all three bureaus. Subscribers have access to an online graph allowing them to monitor score improvement. Complete ID also checks for unauthorized use of the user’s SSN and other non-credit activity. 

Furthermore, users can get updates on crimes and whether there are sexual predators in their area. Complete ID has a $1 million payout in terms of identity theft insurance. The website gets props because the services are transparent, and there’s a list of benefits before inviting the individual to sign up. 

Non-Costco members pay $239.88 annually, while those with membership pay only $107.88 annually.

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5.  ID Watchdog - Best Identity Theft Protection for Complete Security 

ID Watchdog has a calling card, “True Identity Protection,” and the title is apt for a service of this quality. Unlike other identity theft protection agencies, ID Watchdog claims to help their subscribers recover after they’ve been the victim of fraud or identity theft. 

ID Watchdog Positives:

- Three-bureau credit scan

- Professional help available

- Up to $1,000,000 in ID theft insurance

- Solicitation reduction service

ID Watchdog Drawbacks:

- App is lacking

- Website is inconsistent 

On the website, the company touts 100% identity theft resolution, but the fine print reveals this is not always the case. Active customers receive the benefits on new fraud incidents only, and the plan does not provide a guarantee for lost money. 

However, ID Watchdog will assign the subscriber to a team of CITRMS, or Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists for further assistance.

One good thing about the agency is its $1M limited insurance policy against identity theft. The finer details are only revealed once the individual signs up for a plan.

The base package from ID Watchdog does not provide monthly credit scores; it’s only unlocked when the user signs up at the Premium level, which costs $219 annually. Base price begins at $164 annually or $14.95 per month.

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6.  Identity Fraud - Best Identity Theft Protection for Affordable Protection

One of Identity Fraud’s main draws is its attractive price tag. It has some of the lowest-priced packages available. Plus, the company offers a unique feature called BizLock, a cyber crime protection service for businesses.

A personal plan with Identity Fraud costs $99.95 per year and goes up to $159.95 annually when adding credit monitoring and reporting. Furthermore, the agency has a $1 million fraud insurance policy on a $0 deductible (in New York, the max limit is $25,000). 

The website and terms of agreement are clear and present a good list of benefits for those who are interested in an identity theft protection service. Identity Fraud has a credit reporting service, but it’s mostly limited to TransUnion data. 

Also, the agency will send in a monthly report detailing how the subscriber’s identity is safe and sound from data breaches, hacks, and more via email. A quick look at the website reveals prevention assistance, identity resolution, and lost wallet services as its complementary solutions. Base price starts at $99.95 annually or $9.95 per month.

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7.  Intelius Identity Protect - Best Identity Theft Protection for Monthly Credit Reports

Intelius has something others don’t - a new credit report every 31 days. Most of the time, identity protection agencies offer a free report once a year, which gives Intelius a considerable edge over the competition. It’s particularly beneficial for anyone closely monitoring their credit score. Additionally, only one report is issued, but users can request all three at an added cost.

Intelius has its own Identity Protect score, but it shouldn’t be confused with FICO. However, it’s similar in gauging one’s credit score and how it would be affected by financial transactions, loans, and others. Record monitoring services are also included in most of its plans.

Intelius allows for up to 2 bank accounts, three credit/debit cards, two phone numbers, and two addresses at a time. A PDF form of its identity theft insurance coverage of $1 million can be downloaded straight from the agency’s website.

Lastly, the company has a feature called “Junk Mail Reduction,” an opt-out service for postal mail. As per the title, the subscriber should get less spam mail and credit card offers, potentially bringing down credit dings over time. There’s also a seven-day free trial available for new members.

8 .  PrivacyGuard - Best Identity Theft Protection for Daily Credit Monitoring

Interested parties can sign up for the $1.00 2-week trial to test out PrivacyGuard’s features and service. The company has the usual plethora of identity protection and credit services, including daily credit monitoring, which most identity theft agencies do not offer.

A $9.99 monthly plan gives the subscriber a scan of their daily record, while the $19.99 subscription provides a daily credit scan instead. Ultimately, subscribers can choose the $24.99 plan to get both daily credit and record scans. 

It’s worthy to note that PrivacyGuard has a $1 million insurance policy and has limited details on how it works and the mechanics behind it before the user agrees to sign up. The rest of the fine print can be viewed after opting in.

The agency monitors the user’s social security number, public records, and monthly credit and provides a free annual public records report in one easy-to-read document.

9.  McAfee Protection - Best Identity Theft Protection for Tracking Suspicious Activity

The identity theft protection McAfee offers is cost-effective. What’s more, the company has a 99c trial for a month and a yearly subscription fee of $69.99. A cyber monitoring service regularly checks for credit activity and alerts the subscriber to suspicious activity and transactions. 

McAfee also monitors the Experian credit side of things but does not cover Equifax or TransUnion. A reimbursement max of $1 million is on the table for identity recovery (and $25,000 maximum in New York), as well as $10K max in stolen funds. 

Additionally, users who lose their wallets can report to the company, and they will take care of requesting reissues of credit cards, IDs, and the like. The focus is clearly on antivirus and automation when it comes to identity theft protection. 

There are three tiered services: Standard for $69.99 annually, Plus for $139.99 annually, and Premium, which covers both Plus and Standard. The Plus is for customers who want non-credit loan monitoring, criminal and court monitoring, single bureau credit score, and annual credit report. Alternatively, the Premium subscription includes sex offender monitoring, credit card application monitoring, bank account takeover monitoring, and more.

10.  Equifax - Best Identity Theft Protection for Monitoring on All-Three Bureaus

Believe it or not, Equifax has an ID monitoring program with a seven-day free trial, but their reputation isn’t great. In 2017 alone, the agency suffered from major data breaches and compromised millions of Americans’ credit histories.

Despite this, Equifax subscribers can get a free one year worth of Trusted ID, its commercial service, which offers credit monitoring on three bureaus, SSN monitoring, and suspicious website checking, and a $1 million insurance policy versus identity theft.

The Bottom Line

ID monitoring and identity theft services may sound like the best solution, but there are a few things to keep in mind. The key to preventing identity theft is to check early and often. In this case, companies that offer early detection are worth it even if they cost a few dollars more.

Furthermore, different companies can do different things, and it’s up to the user to know what they do. Personal information monitoring, credit report monitoring, and credit card monitoring are some of the most common services offered.To save time and money, you can look up the best identity theft protection agency and sign up for peace of mind. It’s worthy to note that the fine print should be thoroughly read and examined. Also, it makes sense to create a shortlist of a number of choices you prefer and make an inquiry before settling on one.

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