The Federal Trade Commission states that the number of identity theft reports tripled from 444,344 in 2018 to 1,387,615 in 2020, leading to a loss of over $17 billion. The issue of identity theft has affected over 59 million US consumers.
While even the best identity theft protection can’t prevent all attacks at all times, thorough 24/7 monitoring will help you immediately take action. In the case of identity theft and fraud relating to credit cards or health insurance, every minute counts.
If you want to know the best options to choose from in 2021, skim through our findings and reviews. We looked through over 100 companies and narrowed it down to the top 10 companies that provide the best identity protection to help you keep your data safe and protect your family from identity theft.
The first service on our list is excellent for both individuals and families. What truly sets this product apart is that it uses IBM’s Watson technology. Earlier versions of this supercomputer combined AI and advanced analytical software to help diagnose cancer. Currently, Identity Guard uses Watson solely to detect and prevent identity theft.
The Watson-enabled Identity Guard monitors users’ credit files, date of birth, Social Security Number, and even social media profiles. It collects data and feeds it into a common database, which calculates the best steps you can take for the best ID protection. This keeps all the relevant information about you, including your family’s address, credit cards, Social Security numbers, and even criminal records, safe from unwanted intrusion.
Identity Guard’s ID theft protection software has invaluable tools to prevent identity theft. Take the unique “risk management score” feature, for example. This analyzes your overall risk of identity theft based on your past behavior. Your actions, lifestyle, and answers to a short online quiz contribute to your score* and help you take the appropriate measures for the best identity theft monitoring.
Identity Guard’s browser extension allows you to surf the web safely. The free anti-phishing mobile app makes sure you don’t fall for the oldest trick in the book by accidentally opening a suspicious attachment. All these features come at only $79.99 per year for individuals and $119.99 for families.
Their best identity theft protection plans may come at a slightly higher price, but only because you get monthly credit report updates and scores. As some of the most dangerous types of identity theft result in financial losses caused by criminals taking out loans or lines of credit using your account, this feature is particularly handy.
The same plan includes address monitoring and three-bureau credit monitoring. With the latter, Identity Guard scans the three national credit-reporting agencies for changes daily.
The features mentioned above cost $159.99 per year for individuals and $239.99 for families. Do not be discouraged by the slightly higher prices for family plans. We consider Identity Guard to be one of the best family identity theft protection providers on the market. Also, the family plan covers an unlimited number of family members within the same household.
Finally, the Identity Guard Premier plan offers all of the above and a social insight report, which analyzes your presence on Facebook and works out potential liabilities. This feature is handy for families as parents will be alerted of possible cyberbullying attacks.
Identity Guard also provides $1 million in identity theft insurance**. Overall, Identity Guard combines low prices with some of the industry’s best identity theft protection services.
* The score you receive with Identity Guard is provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. It is calculated using the information contained in your TransUnion credit file. Lenders use many different credit scoring systems, and the score you receive with Identity Guard is not the same score used by lenders to evaluate your credit.
** Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group‚ Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms‚ conditions‚ and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.
This Experian-made ID theft defense product is especially affordable and convenient for Costco members. While non-members need to pay $19 per month for Complete ID’s best identity protection services, Gold Star Costco members pay only $13.99 per month (with an optional $3.99 per month for kids). Lastly, Costco Executive members pay only $8.99 per month, with the kids’ fee costing only $2.99.
Complete ID provides the usual precautions, including monthly credit scores, annual credit reports, and monitoring potentially unauthorized uses of your Social Security number.
Credit monitoring provides reports from the three national credit bureaus every year. These credit bureaus can also check your current credit score at any time. Moreover, you get $1 million in limited identity theft insurance.
Complete ID’s best identity protection service spans thousands of sources, and any unusual activity will trigger push notifications. If your personal data is compromised in any way, Complete ID will let you know of the necessary steps you can take.
The company even tracks your stray data on the dark web to let you know if it’s being bought or sold, especially following a data breach. Suppose somebody uses your identity to commit criminal acts or get arrested. In that case, Complete ID will protect your name from getting dragged through the mud, which in itself is a pretty good reason to get the best ID protection service.
Some additional features include a neighborhood watch, which provides monthly updates on sexual predators, crimes, and criminals in your area. If a registered criminal moves into your neighborhood, you’ll get a push notification, allowing you to respond in due time. This feature is particularly useful for people with children.
Complete ID is one of the best identity theft companies; the company also notifies you when your loan payments are due and monitors potential financial account takeovers and applications.
LifeLock is one of the best identity theft protection companies in the industry, and they offer features that none of their competitors have even thought of.
Lifelock provides Norton 360 protection for up to five devices, LifeLock Junior monitoring for kids, and LifeLock Senior monitoring for adults. These specialized features are what make LifeLock stand out. On the other hand, the usual features, such as credit bureau monitoring, dark web monitoring, a mobile app, and an insurance package of up to $1 million, are still included.
Founded 14 years ago, LifeLock offers enhanced ID theft protection for both individuals and businesses. LifeLock monitors credit reporting agencies and the dark web for potential data and identity theft. They keep track of data breaches on a daily basis.
Additionally, their 24/7 support service allows you to seamlessly and timely address any potential difficulties you may encounter. LifeLock even provides lawyers to litigate your case if breaches happen and offers reimbursement for expenses and property loss, making it one of the best identity theft protection in 2021.
LifeLock offers membership-based protection with four membership levels: Standard, Select, Advantage, and Ultimate Plus. Both the Standard and Select plans offer one-bureau credit monitoring for $9.99 per month, with Select plans also offering the best VPN service for five devices. They also provide a reimbursement of up to $25,000 for stolen funds.
On the other hand, the Advantage plan costs $17.99 per month for one-bureau credit monitoring, a VPN for 10 devices, and a reimbursement of up to $100,000 for stolen funds. Lastly, the Ultimate Plus plan provides three-bureau credit monitoring, a VPN for unlimited devices, and a reimbursement of up to $1 million for stolen funds. You get these best identity theft services and more for a price of $25.99 per month.
Some additional features include lost-wallet protection, verification from USPS when you change address, and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Then, there’s the special protection for elderly family members that sets LifeLock apart from the competition. Once old age catches up with your parents, you’ll likely become responsible for their financial affairs. Moreover, older people are at a higher risk of identity theft. Criminals regularly target them as their data is often relatively easy to steal.
That being said, you need the best identity theft protection for older family members because a single scammer can cost them their entire life savings and even prevent access to much-needed medical care.
ProtectMyID, a joint venture by AAA and Experian, is one of the top identity theft protection companies worldwide.
The company offers three levels of protection to customers and their families. The most basic is ProtectMyID Essential, which is entirely free for AAA members. This is pretty basic and only provides Experian credit monitoring. However, if your data gets compromised, you can still get identity theft insurance amounting to $10,000.
However, if you don’t already have the AAA subscription plan, you should consider upgrading to either ProtectMyID Deluxe ($10.95 per month) or ProtectMyID Platinum ($15.95 per month).
Both plans deliver three-bureau monitoring and up to $1 million in the best identity theft insurance. Given that ProtectMyID is Experian-backed, users can tap into the network of more than 16,000 identity theft support agents operating across 39 countries.
They also get notifications immediately after any type of foul play or any attempt at copying, selling, or unauthorized use of your data. ProtectMyID even notifies you if nothing happens at all; the “all clear” alerts confirm that there has been no activity for an entire month.
Other services ProtectMyID provides are all pretty commonplace. Lost wallet protection, dark web surveillance, Social Security number monitoring, and change address monitoring are expected of the top identity theft companies. Additional features, such as monitoring a dormant credit card, your children’s online identity, and your social media accounts, are going the extra mile.
To top it all off, ProtectMyID also scans criminal bookings and court records daily to make sure nobody has used your name to commit a crime. They also monitor your payday loan payments. It’s equivalent to having a real-time financial advisor. When you consider the great discounts available on all three plans, it’s no wonder why this service receives excellent identity theft ratings among AAA members.
Finally, the company’s 24/7 fraud resolution support lets you handle any potential breach as quickly as possible, saving you a considerable amount of time and money.
Intelius Identity Protect will help keep your data safe by closely monitoring public records and the web. If Intelius detects any sign of suspicious or criminal behavior, you’ll get an email notification. The Intelius Identity Protect Score monitors your public, private, and credit records.
Intelius also monitors your credit bureaus every month and sends you a report every 31 days. While the basic package only monitors one credit bureau, you can pay a little extra for enhanced identity theft protection that covers the other two major bureaus as well.
If you fall victim to identity theft, Intelius provides up to $1 million of insurance coverage. You’ll also get an identity recovery kit and a team of experts who are available around the clock.
Intelius examines 20 billion records every year, including commercial publications, marriages, birth, deaths, financial data, and more. If anything looks even remotely suspicious, it notifies its thousands of customers. This top identity theft protection service lets you monitor two addresses, bank account numbers, phone numbers, and up to three credit or debit cards.
Furthermore, the junk mail reduction feature minimizes the number of spam emails you get, thus increasing your overall data security. In this regard, you can also use the best email encryption software for total protection.
Specific to the USA market requirements, Intelius can also monitor your medical insurance data. If you use this best identity theft service, the company will check your medical insurance card and number for fraud. With healthcare fraud becoming increasingly common, this feature proves particularly useful for some users. However, not many other companies offer it.
While Intelius offers many advantages, there’s one major downside: this company can’t freeze your credit in case of identity fraud. Instead, the company notifies you immediately and lets you choose whether you want to freeze it yourself.
McAfee is one of the most powerful computer security software companies globally, so it comes as no surprise that their identity theft protection solution does not disappoint. They conduct 24/7 monitoring of fraudulent activity on the internet and the dark web.
McAfee Identity Theft Protection looks into more than 600,000 online black markets. If your data is compromised, copied, or sold, McAfee will send you an email notification.
Depending on your budget and the level of security you need, you can choose from three main protection programs: Standard, Plus, and Premium. All three plans include the basic and best ID protection services: credit and Social Security number monitoring, 24/7 agent support, cyber monitoring, and lost wallet protection.
Moreover, if your data gets stolen or compromised, McAfee offers up to $1 million in fraud reimbursements and up to $10,000 in stolen fund coverage.
The Plus and Premium programs offer some additional features. The Plus program includes one-bureau credit monitoring and IF protection tools, which prevent criminals from accessing your identity and financial data.
On the other hand, the Premium plan includes three-bureau credit and sex offender monitoring. The latter feature sends you a notification whenever a sex offender is about to move into your neighborhood. Moreover, the Premium plan lets you monitor court records and non-credit loans.
Being one of the best identity theft protection options, McAfee Identity Theft Protection monitors your personal and financial data 24/7. The moment everything goes wrong, you’ll receive a notification, increasing your chances of timely addressing the issue.
A mobile app for both Google Android and Apple iOS is also included. Lastly, McAfee Identity Theft Protection supports all major laptop and desktop brands (including macOS) and all major smartphone and tablet brands.
Being one of the best identity protection companies on the market, Identity Force has kept people’s data safe for over 40 years with its wide range of monitoring and alert services. EZShield acquired it in 2019, another identity theft protection service.
IdentityForce has two identity theft protection plans: the cheaper plan costs $17.99 per month or $179.99 per year, while the pricier one costs $23.99 per month or $239.90 per year. For people who only want IdentityForce to monitor their financial accounts, public records, and digital black markets, the cheaper option is preferable. This plan also protects Windows laptops and desktops from phishing attacks and malware that compromise your data.
IdentityForce’s top rated identity theft protection among users — the UltraSecure+Credit plan — offers additional features, including three-bureau credit monitoring, quarterly credit reports, and quarterly credit score reports. The pricier option also features a credit simulator, which shows you an approximate credit score that might be useful for taking out loans and planning your finances.
Moreover, both plans include the standard identity theft insurance coverage of up to $1 million. This has managed identity restoration services and replaces your stolen funds quickly and efficiently. IdentityForce also monitors your address changes, court records, the dark web, nearby sex offenders, and even your social media profiles.
IdentityForce’s best identity theft protection family plan simply lets you add coverage for your children. This is guaranteed to keep them safe from online bullying and dangerous criminals who might be lurking in the area.
IdentityForce sends bank and credit card activity alerts within seconds of the actual activity. It also tracks your Social Security number and helps you manage your finances with payday loan alerts.
Although it can be a bit pricey for some users, IdentityForce offers a wide variety of useful features and a well-designed interface. Suppose your personal information has been leaked in a data breach, or you’ve fallen victim to identity theft. In that case, IdentityForce is one of the best ID protection companies that can shield you from the negative consequences.
If you’re looking for a cheap identity theft protection service, Zander Insurance is our best bet. They have been in business for 91 years and have a remarkable 96% customer satisfaction rating. The tremendous success of Zander Insurance has earned it a recommendation from Forbes and endorsements by Rachel Cruze and Dave Ramsey.
Zander Identity Theft Solutions offers free coverage for children in their family plan, which is rarely provided by other companies, making it the best ID theft protection for families. Their ID theft protection plans range from $6.75 per month ($75 per year) to $12.90 per month ($145 per year). Moreover, they are famous in the industry for their 100% recovery success rate.
Zander’s Identity Theft Solutions will keep an eye out for various financial and personal data theft, including criminal ID theft, medical ID theft, tax fraud, financial fraud, Social Security fraud, benefits and employment fraud, and title fraud.
In this identity protection review, it’s also worth noting that it will protect you and your family against any unauthorized criminal copying or trading of your personal information.
The only downside to this service is the lack of credit monitoring. Still, bear in mind that you can get a free yearly credit report via the Federal Trade Commission. If credit tracking is not your priority, Zander Identity Theft Solutions could still be the best identity monitoring service for you.
If any kind of data theft occurs, Zander Insurance will immediately email you. This instant notification allows you to address the issue right away. This service has nearly identical features with other identity theft protection companies, except for credit monitoring.
As is standard in the industry, the company monitors court records and changes in address and provides regular data breach updates and lost wallet recovery. Additionally, a Zander ID Theft Solutions account buys you unlimited recovery options and $1 million stolen funds reimbursement — all for a minimal cost of $6.75 per month. It’s no wonder why they come out on top in every identity theft protection comparison.
Another company that delivers some of the best identity theft protection for families is IDShield. The company monitors and protects every detail of your online persona and offers various tools to prevent criminal behavior effectively. What makes IDShield an ideal solution for families is the plans that cover you, your spouse, and up to 10 children.
The two plans IDShield offers range from $12.95 for individuals to $27.95 per month for families.
With over a million subscribers to date, IDShield offers its services in all 50 US states and Canada.
To help you stay one step ahead of the malicious forces who want to steal your personal data and hard-earned money, IDShield’s best identity protection provides close monitoring of your court records, potential address changes, and payday loan payments to help you stay on top of your financial obligations. They do this by scanning the internet and the dark web 24/7.
Additionally, these features are invaluable for most users: hard credit inquiry alerts, high-risk application and transaction monitoring, and telecom monitoring.
The credit inquiry alerts ensure you get real-time notifications if anyone tries to open an account in your name. With this kind of evidence from the best identity monitoring, it’s easier to review the alert with the authorities and take action when needed.
The transaction monitoring feature sends you notifications if an unauthorized individual applies for a suspicious new account in your name. It also enables fraud detection up to 90 days sooner than traditional protection measures individuals might implement by themselves.
Telecom monitoring is a feature that monitors databases for phone records to ensure your phone is not being redirected and possibly used for criminal activity. The records of new landlines, as well as wireless and VOIP telecom accounts, offer additional assistance in keeping your identity and integrity safe. This feature is what sets IDShield apart when making an ID theft protection comparison.
If anything goes wrong and you need any kind of ID protection-related advice, a 24/7 team provides emergency ID theft support.
Having high identity theft protection ratings, more than a billion businesses and individuals worldwide trust Experian IdentityWorks with their personal and financial data. IdentityWorks’ policy relies on reliability, timeliness, and transparency. While most other companies only let you in on your credit reports once you pay for their services, they offer a free sample report. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re signing up for.
Experian IdentityWorks provides two plans: Experian IdentityWorks Plus ($9.99/ month) and Experian IdentityWorks Premium ($19.99/month). Experian IdentityWorks Plus does not offer three-bureau credit reports. When you compare the identity theft protection features provided by these two plans, the Plus plan is somewhat lacking. Then again, you might not need those features, so always consider your needs before choosing a plan.
IdentityWorks lets Americans access their credit reports and credit score and sends notifications in case of any significant changes. The company also scans over half a million sites on the internet and the dark web 24/7, looking for any sign of your personal data.
Experian’s best ID theft protection also monitors the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) to keep tabs on your credit history and send you instant notifications if significant irregularities or changes occur.
The user-friendly design allows you to check your credit and financial data status 24/7. Moreover, they monitor and help you keep track of your credit report. If you prefer, you can also get regular updates of your FICO score, which the Fair Isaac Corporation compiled to keep track of your credit. This best identity theft protection monitors all activities associated with your name, address, and Social Security number.
It’s not just adults who fall victim to fraud and identity theft; children and teens are vulnerable as well. In 2017, child data endangerment cost $2.6 billion, and this threat is rising every year.
An Experian IdentityWorks family membership includes online data monitoring of two adults and up to 10 children. This best rated identity theft protection service also sends you push notifications when sex offenders and other potentially dangerous individuals move into your neighborhood. Additionally, Experian monitors court records in case any crime has been wrongfully reported in your name.
If your personal data gets compromised despite these safety measures, IdentityWorks sticks by you. To help you recover and reestablish your identity, IdentityWorks provides up to $1 million in theft insurance coverage. All these features contribute to Experian IdentityWorks making it to our list of top 10 identity theft protection brands.
Identity fraud is a growing concern, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. That is why it’s only right to be concerned to check out a comparison of identity theft protection services available on the market to find out which is best.
Every year, millions of people are affected by ID theft. In 2017 alone, the number of victims in the US was estimated at more than 16 million people. Although the methods of identity thieves vary, it pretty much involves stealing and assuming someone else’s identity to withdraw money, take out loans, apply for a credit card, or make payments.
Cybercriminals often use malware to take over your financial and social media accounts, so in addition to having the best identity theft monitoring service, installing the best antivirus software is a good step towards protecting your identity.
There are many ways to help protect yourself and spot potential scams before they cause any serious damage. When looking for an identity theft protection and monitoring service that suits your needs, consider the services we have listed here.
There is a reason why Identity Guard is at the top of our list. Aside from being one of the most dependable identity theft protection services available, it provides all the features one would expect from a high-quality identity protection service at a reasonable price.
Since their family plan can protect an unlimited number of family members within the same household, they’ve also proven to be great for families.
However, the bottom line is that we can’t say for sure which service is the best since it would all boil down to your specific needs and what your budget looks like.
With identity theft being one of the top American consumer complaints, it might be worth it to invest in a service that will help you stay on top of your financial and personal data.
Although there are ways you can monitor your data on your own, such as regularly checking your credit report and score, subscribing to one of the best credit monitoring and identity protection services can help you save time and ensure nothing falls between the cracks.
It also helps you take action as quickly as possible when data breaches do happen. In something as critical as identity theft, your response time can mean a world of difference in reducing the risk of financial loss. So, at the end of the day, identity theft protection can be a worthy investment if you can afford it.
Identity Guard and LifeLock are both top companies in the identity theft protection industry. Identity Guard provides a reliable but less expensive service. LifeLock will cost you more, but you get Norton internet security for up to five or unlimited devices, depending on the plan you choose.
If getting internet security is not your top priority, Identity Guard may be the better option since you can get three-bureau credit monitoring with even the basic plan, which you can only get when you purchase the top-tier plan with LifeLock.
To protect yourself from identity theft effectively, you need to take it seriously without letting the horror stories scare you. You can take the following actions:
However, if you’re not a do-it-yourself kind of person, you can have the best identity theft protection to save time and make sure you stay on top of your financial data. Coupled with practicing caution, you can really create a safety barrier that malicious forces will have a lot of trouble breaking into.