ID Watchdog Review

Identity theft comes in all shapes and forms. From the woman who pretended to be her daughter so she could fulfill the dream of becoming a cheerleader to nefarious crooks such as the infamous “Brooklyn Busboy” Abraham Abdallah, the threat of ID theft is ever-present, especially online. Thankfully, there are many excellent ID security services on the internet to keep you safe, and Equifax-owned ID Watchdog is currently one of the best ones on the market.

As most ID Watchdog reviews online will readily agree, the service offers many helpful ID protection tools for a very reasonable price. It also comes with robust credit monitoring services and fantastic customer support. There are a couple of downsides too, of course, but for the most part, we were very impressed with the service. Check out our review below for more details.

Key features:

  • Transaction monitoring: Yes
  • Public records monitoring: Yes
  • Address change monitoring: Yes
  • Social media account monitoring: Yes
  • Dark web monitoring: Yes
  • Fraud alerts: Email, phone
  • Identity theft insurance: Yes
  • Credit score tracking: Yes
  • Credit score reporting: Yes
  • Mobile app: Android, iOS
  • Customer support: 24/7/365

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Identity theft insurance and 401(k)/HSA stolen funds reimbursement up to $1M
  • Credit freeze and lost wallet assistance
  • Preexisting ID theft resolution
  • Fantastic alert system
  • Mobile app available
  • Round-the-clock customer service through multiple channels
  • No free trial
  • No antivirus/phishing protection
  • Financial account monitoring only available with the Premium plan

ID Watchdog Pricing

Let’s start with the essential aspect of any paid service: How much will it cost? ID Watchdog pricing is transparent, and the company clearly explains every detail about its services, which is always a good sign. There are only two plans available, called ID Watchdog Plus and ID Watchdog Platinum.

The key differences are that the more expensive package offers financial accounts and credit rating monitoring, 401(k)/HSA stolen funds reimbursement coverage, and a few other advanced ID protection services that we’ll talk about below. The company also offers monthly or yearly payment dynamics, and users can get protection for individuals or entire families.

Here is the complete ID Watchdog price list:

Subscription Fee
ID Watchdog Plus (Individual) $14.95 per month or $149.95 per year
ID Watchdog Plus (Family) $25.95 per month or $287.00 per year
ID Watchdog Platinum (Individual) $19.95 per month or $219.00 per year
ID Watchdog Platinum (Family) $34.95 per month or $383.00 per year

The cheaper ID Watchdog Plus plan comes with credit reporting from Equifax directly, while the more expensive premium option includes the other two bureaus and financial account monitoring as well. ID Watchdog Platinum also reviews preexisting identity theft cases and provides 401(k)/HSA stolen funds reimbursement for up to $1 million. With the Platinum plan, you also get daily credit reports from Equifax, annual reports from TransUnion and Experian, and a VantageScore report.

Both plans come with up to $1 million in ID theft insurance, social media, and dark web monitoring. They also feature high-risk transaction screening and monitoring of subprime loans, public records, address changes, and the registered sex offender list. Other services include National Provider ID alerts, lost wallet, credit freeze assistance, solicitation reduction, and 24/7/365 customer support.

Speaking of ID Watchdog plans, if you choose family ID protection, the services allow the primary insurance recipient to add a second adult and up to four children to the coverage without incurring any additional expenses. The additional recipients must be spouses or domestic partners, parents, siblings, children, or other dependent individuals residing in the primary recipient’s household to qualify for coverage.

Features of ID Protection Service

ID Watchdog covers pretty much all aspects of identity theft protection you could think of, apart from antivirus/anti-phishing software for your smart devices. In the following paragraphs, we’ll analyze ID Watchdog’s services in detail, explaining both the traditional and online-focused monitoring mechanisms on offer. We’ll also talk about ID Watchdog’s identity theft insurance and the various methods of helping people whose identity has already been stolen or compromised.

ID Monitoring Tools

Equifax’s ID Watchdog comes with many tools for monitoring your personal data safety, both in the real world and online. These are roughly split into offline and online identity monitoring, credit and financial monitoring tools.

id watchdog review - scan

Identity Monitoring

The service’s bread and butter and the aspect that most ID Watchdog reviews rightfully focus on, this category includes all forms of offline protection against ID theft. It consists of a detailed look at billions of public records for information about new names, addresses, or aliases related to your identity that could signal attempted ID fraud.

ID Watchdog creates a three-decade-long backlog, analyzing previous verified and unverified records using your identity to establish a baseline for monitoring it more accurately in the future. The service also includes regular checkups with the US Postal Service. It checks the national address database at USPS for any signs that new addresses using your identity have popped up or that someone has sent mail to them without your knowledge or consent.

Online Monitoring

As an all-encompassing ID fraud protection service, Watchdog reviews online activity just as much as it does events in the offline world. Of particular note here are the powerful and highly customizable social network and dark web monitoring tools.

After connecting your Facebook or other accounts on social networks to the service, you can customize the monitoring alerts using up to 14 filtering categories. These also work for dark web searches, showing you potential identity theft breaches related to categories ranging from Alcohol and Drugs to Spam and Vulgarity.

Dark web monitoring scans everything from websites to online chatrooms and forums for stolen data such as emails, bank accounts, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, and so on. You’ll have to enter any credentials that you want to check manually, as IDWatchdog reviews only names, emails, and Social Security numbers by default.

Financial Monitoring

Financial monitoring tools are a feature available only to Platinum users; however, it’s one well worth investing in. It allows for monitoring various financial activities on your bank accounts and credit cards, such as high-risk transactions and suspicious loan activities.

You also have various tools for blocking or restricting such activities, but we’ll talk more about those in the ID and Financial Protection Tools section below.

Credit Monitoring

Basic Watchdog credit monitoring in the Plus plan comes with Equifax monthly credit reporting, while the Platinum subscription adds TransUnion and Experian reports. The more expensive ID Watchdog subscription also provides you with regular credit updates, updating your VantageScore 3.0 daily with Equifax data. You also get activity alerts from all three bureaus if suspicious activity is detected.

ID and Financial Protection Tools

In addition to having multiple monitoring tools for detecting ID theft, Watchdog protects your personal identity and the security of your sensitive data and finances in more proactive ways. There are even tools for dealing with existing identity theft scenarios. ID Watchdog features worth mentioning here mostly revolve around limiting the damage in case of a stolen identity.

For starters, you get assigned agents specialized in identity theft, who handle every case until it’s resolved, rather than merely assisting you remotely. If you choose the Platinum subscription, they will handle preexisting cases as well. You can get help with some critical issues: freezing your credit scores at the three financial bureaus, canceling and replacing government-issued documents, and locking access to credit reports.

You can also get child credit locks (Family plan only) and subprime loan lockouts to protect the accounts of any minors in your household and stop new unsecured transactions from your own accounts.

ID Theft Insurance

Our ID Watchdog review has to praise the service for its generous insurance policy in case of ID theft. You have two options here, depending on your plan. ID Watchdog Plus subscribers can get up to $1 million in identity theft insurance. It covers both the out-of-pocket costs for recovering your identity and reimbursement for unrecoverably lost funds that have been stolen through fraudulent electronic transactions.

Platinum subscribers can also count on 401(k)/HSA stolen funds reimbursement, which provides coverage for up to $1 million in unrecoverable funds stolen through employer-sponsored retirement accounts, health savings accounts, and employee stock option plans.

User Experience

Now that we’ve covered the pricing and features, let’s talk a bit about the user experience. What is Watchdog like in practice, and how intuitive is it to use?

User Interface

Watchdog software is the textbook definition of functional. While there’s nothing particularly innovative or visually impressive about it, the interface is easy to navigate, and the web-based interface runs smoothly on various devices and operating systems.

After getting through ID Watchdog’s login screen, you are presented with an overview screen. The app is split into logical sections, starting with a general ID monitoring overview window and then breaking into categories for general alerts (which can be filtered by type), credit and financial monitoring tools, cyber (online and dark web monitoring), and support (for quick access to customer support).

Mobile App

ID Watchdog has an app for both Android and iOS. While it’s not rated terribly well on either interface, we found it very straightforward to use and rather handy for receiving Watchdog alert notices on the go. Besides all of the web portal’s standard functions, few additional Watchdog verification measures are available, such as facial recognition, fingerprint unlocking, and two-factor authentication.

One thing that was a hit and miss in previous versions of the app was the credit score reports. Sometimes, they worked; at other times, they came up with nothing at all. We ran into no such issues with the latest version of the app, so our experience was positive across the board.

Customer Support

ID Watchdog’s live support is one of the best ones in the business. The company provides 24/7/365 support through email and phone and a very detailed online help center. In our experience, customer service representatives quickly responded to queries and were very helpful and patient in answering our questions about the service.

How Does ID Watchdog Compare to Other ID Theft Protection Apps?

id watchdog logo
  • Transaction monitoring: Yes
  • Public records monitoring: Yes
  • Address change monitoring: Yes
  • Social media account monitoring: Yes
  • Dark web monitoring: Yes
  • Fraud alerts: Email, phone
  • Identity theft insurance: Yes
  • Credit score tracking: Yes
  • Credit score reporting: Yes
  • Mobile app: Android, iOS
  • Customer support: 24/7/365
Price $$14.95/mo
lifelock logo
  • Fraud alerts: Yes
  • Identity theft insurance: Yes
  • Credit score tracking: Yes
  • Transaction monitoring: Yes
  • Public records monitoring: Yes
  • Address change monitoring: Yes
  • Dark web monitoring: Yes
  • Social media account monitoring: Yes
  • Credit score reporting: Yes
Price $9.99/mo

ID Watchdog Review – Bottom Line

Overall, ID Watchdog is an excellent identity protection service. The mix of powerful monitoring tools, the ability to get professional help with resolving existing ID theft scenarios, an intuitive interface, and plenty of tools for limiting the financial damage of identity theft incidents comprise a very well-rounded package overall.

As most ID Watchdog reviews would tell you, the financial insurance packages of up to $1 million only sweeten the deal, as do the handy mobile apps and the friendly customer support team that’s available 24/7/365.

We do wish there was a free trial or full-refund option available and that financial monitoring wasn’t gated behind the Platinum subscription plan. Still, no service is perfect, and we can’t fault ID Watchdog here, as the basic package is already very feature-rich.

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Identity theft insurance and 401(k)/HSA stolen funds reimbursement up to $1M
  • Credit freeze and lost wallet assistance
  • Preexisting ID theft resolution
  • Fantastic alert system
  • Mobile app available
  • Round-the-clock customer service through multiple channels
  • No free trial
  • No antivirus/phishing protection
  • Financial account monitoring only available with the Premium plan

FAQ

Is ID Watchdog legitimate?

Yes. The company has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2005 and maintains a stellar A+ rating. Although the reviews of ID Watchdog on BBB are not as stellar as its rating (2.33/5 at the moment), keep in mind that BBB reviewers are almost exclusively people disgruntled with a company’s service. Perhaps a better indicator is that the company only had two complaints in the past three years.

Who has the best identity theft protection?

This is a subjective question, but ID Watchdog certainly makes our list of the best ID protection companies, along with Identity Guard, Lifelock, IdentityForce, and Experian’s identity protection service, IdentityWorks. Check out our ID theft protection comparison to see how the various ID protection plans stack up against each other.

Are identity protection plans worth it?

Yes, if you are worried at all about ID theft (which you probably should be). The cost of ID Watchdog and similar software comes down to skipping out on a beer or two per month, and in return, you get peace of mind. That being said, identity protection services are primarily aimed at people who are either at risk or have already been victimized by identity theft.

Do banks cover identity theft?

For the most part, yes. Banks typically have multiple safeguards and customer protection plans in place. These are aimed at ID fraud prevention or recovery of funds lost due to ID theft.

What can you do to prevent identity theft?

Get the best ID protection you can, and be careful with giving out your personal details online. Read some ID Watchdog reviews online (including ours, of course!) to find out more about ID theft protection, what such services do, and why you may need them. In our opinion, identity theft insurance may not be a mandatory investment for everyone, but it certainly doesn’t hurt having it. That said, nothing beats prevention. Learn to be protective of your sensitive personal data, and be mindful of who you share it with online.

id watchdog logo
Price $$14.95/mo
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