Best ID Theft Protection

By Ivana Vojinovic January 27, 2021

Technological advancements are giving rise to more sophisticated forms of identity theft.     

Millions of Americans fall victim to identity theft each year, and today’s fraudsters are harder to catch. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in ID theft protection. These services prevent fraud by monitoring your accounts for any suspicious activity, working to detect the use of your personal details on the dark web, and even recovering your identity. To help you find quality and affordable services, we scoured the market for top identity theft protection companies.

Best ID Theft Protection in 2021

  • Simple pricing model
  • Comprehensive package
  • Family coverage
  • Not ideal for individual protection
Best price $9.95/mo
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  • Extensive coverage with all plans
  • Affordable
  • Great customer support
  • No family plans or bank account monitoring
Best price $9.99/mo
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  • Very affordable plans
  • Recovery specialists available 24/7
  • Protects against employment fraud
  • No trial and mobile app
Best price $6.75/mo
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  • Best security and theft prevention
  • Fair money-back guarantee
  • Instant account locking
  • Family plans as add-ons only
Best price $9.99/mo
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  • Great credit monitoring tools
  • Highly secure
  • 401(k) reimbursement
  • No social media monitoring
  • Meager basic plan
Best price $14.95/mo
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Why do I need an ID theft protection service?

A lot of people try to handle the immediate aftermath of identity theft by themselves. They call their bank to cancel their credit cards and contact the credit bureaus. But resolving issues related to identity theft can be both time-consuming and expensive. This is where the professionals step in. Here are some of the services you can expect from identity theft protection companies.

Monitoring

Identity fraud doesn’t happen immediately after a bad actor gets a hold of your information. Instead, they’ll wait a few months, maybe even a whole year before attempting to use your personal details for their benefit. Services that offer identity theft prevention will alert you the moment that happens. They monitor your accounts for any unusual activity and notify you if something looks out of the ordinary.

Reporting Tools

Once you sign up for one of these services, you can expect monthly reports on the status of your different accounts. Good protection services don’t hide anything from you, so you’ll know exactly what’s going on with your accounts every month.

Dark Web Scanning

One of the more common ID theft protection tips is to keep an eye on the dark web for any signs of your personal information. Identity thieves are harder to track on the dark web due to the nature of this part of the internet, making this sort of illegal activity even more appealing for them. If you’re not sure how to access the dark web, you can employ identity protection services to do it for you.

1. Equifax

" Best for families "

  • Coverage
    Up to $1 million
  • Family plan
    Yes
  • Mobile app
    Yes
  • Trial
    Seven Days

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Simple pricing model
  • Comprehensive package
  • Family coverage
  • Not ideal for individual protection

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Simple pricing model
  • Comprehensive package
  • Family coverage
  • Not ideal for individual protection
  • Coverage
    Up to $1 million
  • Family plan
    Yes
  • Mobile app
    Yes
  • Trial
    Seven Days

Equifax is perhaps best known as a consumer credit reporting agency. But the company also provides advanced ID theft protection services, including versatile family plans. The agency offers instant credit checking via its mobile app while providing three-bureau reporting on an annual basis. Its own reporting is automated with daily updates.

When it comes to fraud prevention, Equifax has a lot in common with LifeLock. That means dark web scanning, automated alerts, and lost wallet assistance. Your plan comes with a dedicated team of ID restoration specialists that will help you get things back in order if you become a victim of identity theft. This includes up to $1 million in theft insurance.

Thanks to its simple pricing policy, Equifax is the best ID theft protection for families. Instead of calculating different rates or paying add-ons, you simply get the Equifax Complete Family plan that covers your spouse and up to four kids. These offers make up for the fact that the starting price is slightly higher than with some of the competing services.

Final thoughts

With its competitive pricing plan, daily reporting, and quick lockdown tools, Equifax is another comprehensive solution for anyone that cares about keeping their ID safe. If you’re looking for the best ID theft protection for your family, look no further than Equifax.

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2. Privacy Guard

" Best for beginners "

  • Coverage
    Up to $1 million
  • Family plan
    No
  • Mobile app
    Yes
  • Trial
    14 Days for $1

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Extensive coverage with all plans
  • Affordable
  • Great customer support
  • No family plans or bank account monitoring

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Extensive coverage with all plans
  • Affordable
  • Great customer support
  • No family plans or bank account monitoring
  • Coverage
    Up to $1 million
  • Family plan
    No
  • Mobile app
    Yes
  • Trial
    14 Days for $1

If you’re looking to protect your identity but wish to avoid those complicated and expensive plans, PrivacyGuard is an ideal option. The company tailors to individuals who are new to these types of services or those asking the question: what is identity theft? PrivacyGuard’s friendly support staff is ready to answer all of your questions and guide you through some of the more challenging processes.

The basic plan includes dark web surveillance, Social Security and ID verification monitoring, and up to $1 million in theft insurance. If you wish to protect your credit score, choose the PrivacyGuard Credit Protection plan, which includes daily credit monitoring with all three credit bureaus, fraud resolution support, and the aforementioned $1 million insurance for stolen funds

If you want to enjoy all these benefits in one place, sign up for the Total Protection plan, which offers complete identity theft insurance.

You can try out PrivacyGuard for 14 days by paying just $1. From there, plans range between $9.99/month and $24.99/month. Keep in mind these are all plans for individuals, and there is no family plan available.

Final thoughts

Privacy Guard is a great choice if you’re on a budget or don’t need all the advanced features. Even without family plans and certain security components, this is still one of the best ID theft protection companies in the US.

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3. Zander Insurance

" Best for people on a budget "

  • Coverage
    up to $1 million
  • Family plan
    Yes
  • Mobile app
    No
  • Trial
    N/A

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Very affordable plans
  • Recovery specialists available 24/7
  • Protects against employment fraud
  • No trial and mobile app

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Very affordable plans
  • Recovery specialists available 24/7
  • Protects against employment fraud
  • No trial and mobile app
  • Coverage
    up to $1 million
  • Family plan
    Yes
  • Mobile app
    No
  • Trial
    N/A

Zander Insurance is one of the oldest companies in the business. Founded in 1925, it’s not only one of the most experienced insurers, but one of the most affordable ones. Its ID theft protection services have been available for the past 10 years, and Zander’s agents are made available to you for up to three years if you become a victim of identity theft.

Zander Insurance also protects against medical and employment fraud and will cover your lost salaries for up to $7,500 per month. When compared to the industry average, this amount is roughly 50% higher.

Like all previously mentioned services, the reimbursement limit is $1 million, but there’s no option for social media monitoring and credit reporting. That’s the main reason we didn’t crown Zander as the top-rated identity theft protection service.

On the plus side, the price of this service is unbeatable. If you choose to pay for a monthly plan, it’ll cost you just $6.75. The annual plan is an even better deal and costs $75, giving you an entire month of service for free. The family plan is just slightly more expensive – $12.9/month or $145 annually, which is still more affordable than the competition.

Final thoughts

Zander Insurance may not offer all the bells and whistles, but it’s undoubtedly the most affordable ID theft protection you’ll come across. Many decades of experience and a professional team ensure that your identity is kept safe.

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4. LifeLock

" Best all-rounder "

  • Coverage
    Up to $1 million
  • Family plan
    Yes
  • Mobile app
    Yes
  • Trial
    60-day money-back guarantee

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Best security and theft prevention
  • Fair money-back guarantee
  • Instant account locking
  • Family plans as add-ons only

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Best security and theft prevention
  • Fair money-back guarantee
  • Instant account locking
  • Family plans as add-ons only
  • Coverage
    Up to $1 million
  • Family plan
    Yes
  • Mobile app
    Yes
  • Trial
    60-day money-back guarantee

Universally praised as the best identity theft protection service, LifeLock packages are too good to pass up. Founded in 2005, the company is now owned by Norton, and most plans come with a subscription to Norton 360 among many other great features. The service enables you to lock your credit in case of any fraudulent activities, and you can also instantly freeze your bank account and block inquiries by credit bureaus.

LifeLock employs several real-time algorithms designed to sniff out a stolen identity. These include dark web scanning, tracking the use of your Social Security number, and looking for any accounts open in your name. Aside from protection against ID theft, LifeLock also sends immediate alerts via phone, email, or text, so you’ll immediately know if someone is trying to use your personal details.

There are four plans to choose from. Each one offers reimbursements for stolen funds. The theft insurance ranges from $25,000 with the Standard plan to $1 million with the Ultimate Plus offer. The latter is also the only plan that offers monitoring services of all three credit bureaus. Unfortunately, you can’t include your children in any of these plans without an additional payment of $5.99/month for each child, so it’s not the most affordable option if you’re looking for a family plan.

Final thoughts

LifeLock provides top identity theft protection with the fastest response times for both alerts and countermeasures. While it can get pricey, the service is worth the money, and the company gets our seal of approval. Thanks to one of the best money-back guarantees in the business, you can check out what LifeLock has to offer for 60 days risk-free.

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5. ID Watchdog

" Best for identity restoration "

  • Coverage
    Up to $1 million
  • Family plan
    No
  • Mobile app
    Yes
  • Trial
    N/A

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Great credit monitoring tools
  • Highly secure
  • 401(k) reimbursement
  • No social media monitoring
  • Meager basic plan

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Great credit monitoring tools
  • Highly secure
  • 401(k) reimbursement
  • No social media monitoring
  • Meager basic plan
  • Coverage
    Up to $1 million
  • Family plan
    No
  • Mobile app
    Yes
  • Trial
    N/A

ID Watchdog has been providing identity theft protection services since 2005. A subsidiary of Equifax, this Denver-based service also checks in with all three major credit bureaus and specializes in helping people recover from doxxing and identity theft.

ID Watchdog provides robust credit monitoring tools. Available through its website and mobile app, it allows you to read daily Equifax reports and track your credit score. It also offers monthly reports and VantageScore checkups, with an instant lock in case of any fraudulent activity.

Other monitoring tools include dark web scanning, subprime loans, public records, notifications about unusual transactions, change of address, sex offender list, and more. It’s quite a comprehensive identity theft protection plan.

There are only two plans on offer. ID Watchdog Plus will cost you $14.95/month, while Platinum costs $19.95. For a few extra bucks, the Platinum plan monitors all three credit bureaus, provides credit reports, and offers $500,000 in insurance for money stolen from a 401(k) plan.

Final thoughts

ID Watchdog provides top-notch security for its customers, even though it’s more about prevention than about recovering your stolen identity. If that’s what you’re after, this is the ID theft protection company for you.

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Methodology

After getting a broad overview of how ID theft protection works, it’s time to identify the top companies that provide this service. We’ve explored many different options on the market, and our evaluation method helped us pinpoint the best ones. Here’s how we picked and rated the companies that will keep your identity safe.

Layered Protection

First things first. What can the company do for you? We analyze different methods of protection that not only cover credit cards but everything from your Social Security login to your social media accounts.

The best ID theft protection companies should at the very least offer three-bureau reporting, identity monitoring, as well as bank monitoring. In other words, your identity should be protected with several layers of security. A good service will try to prevent any misuse via its monitoring tools, report any findings, and alert you immediately if there is any activity. Dark web surveillance should also be included in the package. Of course, if there are any additional services provided free of charge, that’s only a plus.

Reimbursements and Other Coverage

The truth is that identity theft protection and prevention isn’t always possible, especially if your ID was already compromised. For example, someone might have doxxed you on a public forum or you were carded while shopping. Whatever the case, if there are any financial costs, you’ll want to get reimbursed. Since this is insurance for your identity, each service provides some level of reimbursement, oftentimes with specific limits depending on the chosen plan.

In addition to services that guarantee material compensation, we highly value companies that provide lawyers and other legal help to customers. Some of the best identity theft protection services include this sort of assistance with all their plans.

Pricing

It goes without saying that the service must be affordable because potential customers are always on the hunt for a better deal. Therefore, we analyze the different plans, the prices, and what’s included in the offer. If it’s good value for money, the service gets a recommendation from us. Those with family discounts get extra marks.

FAQ

How can you protect yourself from ID theft?

There are several steps you can take to make it harder for someone to steal your identity. First, don’t give out your personal information, including login details to various accounts. If you receive any physical documents that might compromise your ID, either destroy them or keep them in a safe place. Always take your receipts, especially from ATMs and whenever you use your credit cards. Experts also suggest minimizing the number of cards you carry with you. Finally, you can sign up with one of the ID theft protection companies that monitor your accounts and notify you if any suspicious activity occurs.

Which is better LifeLock or Identity Guard?

LifeLock is widely considered one of the best services of its kind. It’s affordable, offers extensive coverage, and even has a 60-day money-back guarantee. So, you can basically try it out for free. 

How can I find out if someone is using my identity?

Some signs of a stolen identity include inexplicable withdrawals from your bank, not getting your bills in the mail, and your tax returns getting rejected.

Should I get ID theft protection?

The answer to this question depends on your needs and habits. If you believe your identity might be compromised, if you can’t actively monitor your credit and bank accounts, or if you simply want to be ready to freeze your credit reports, you should hire an identity theft protection company.