You should think of finding the best identity theft protection as a form of insurance – the time to get it is before you need it.
Since virtually all information is available somewhere on the web, identity theft affects millions of people each year and is one of the fastest-growing of all crimes.
That’s why it’s become so important to get some type of identity theft protection.
To help you in that effort, we’ve identified 10 of the best identity theft protection companies on the market.
Scan through the list, choose the company that will best meet your identity protection needs, and sign up.
Top 10 Best Identity Theft Protection Services
Here are the 10 best ID theft protection services you could start using today:
1. Identity Guard
One of the best-known competitors in the industry, Identity Guard was launched in 1996, and has provided protection for more than 47 million consumers.
What makes Identity Guard unique is its partnership with IBM Watson. Watson is artificial intelligence applied to identity theft protection.
Artificial intelligence is so sophisticated that it’s comparable to the human brain. It acts as an early warning system that continuously scours billions of data points to discover vulnerabilities.
You’ll be alerted when any risk presents itself. It may be the single greatest advance in identity theft protection to date.
Identity Guard Plan Types:
Identity Guard offers three different plans, ranging from $8.99 per month to $29.99 per month, depending on the protection level and payment option you desire. Each plan incorporates IBM Watson AI.
- The Value Plan: at $8.99 per month, includes a risk management report, dark web monitoring, safe browsing tools, and an anti-phishing mobile app.
- The Total Plan: at $19.99 per month, includes all the same services, but also provides your monthly credit score, address monitoring, and tax refund alerts.
- The Premier Plan: at $29.99 per month, provides all the services of the Total plan, but adds your credit score and credit report, as well as your social insight report. (The social insight report analyzes your Facebook timeline, and provides an assessment of your online image as well as recommended actions to improve it through Watson.)
Identity Guard is clearly on the cutting edge of identity theft protection technology.
Founded in 2005, and serving more than 5 million customers, LifeLock may be the best known of all identity theft protection services, if only because of its frequent TV ads.
The service works in conjunction with Norton, which enables it to monitor your credit as well as protect your devices from cyber attacks.
Using Norton 360, you’ll be protected from ransomware, viruses, phishing, spyware, and online scams.
Meanwhile, LifeLock monitors your credit, including credit file activity, online loans, unauthorized US post office address changes, online payday loans, and provides monitoring of your information on the Dark Web. (Dark Web monitoring is particularly important since that’s the corner of the Internet where personal information is bought and sold.)
If you do become a victim of identity theft, LifeLock will work with you to resolve the problems. They’ll even reimburse stolen funds up to the limit offered by your particular plan.
LifeLock offers three different plans, ranging from $9.99 per month to $29.99 per month. Each plan comes with Norton 360.
LifeLock Plan Types:
- Select: $9.99 per month, comes with Social Security number and credit alerts, security for up to five devices, VPN for up to five devices, and up to $25,000 in reimbursement for stolen funds.
- Advantage: $19.99 per month, provides security and VPN for up to 10 devices, bank and credit card activity alerts, alerts on crimes in your name, and up to $100,000 in reimbursement for stolen funds.
- Ultimate Plus: $29.99 per month, provides security and VPN for unlimited devices, Social Security number, and credit alerts, bank, and credit card activity alerts, alerts on crimes in your name, annual three-bureau credit reports and credit scores, 401(k) and investment activity alerts, and up to $1 million reimbursements for stolen funds.
One of the three major credit bureaus, Experian offers one of the most comprehensive identity theft protection packages in the industry.
For $19.99 per month, you get identity theft monitoring, alerts and dark web surveillance, three-bureau FICO scores and credit monitoring, fraud resolution, and up to $1 million in ID theft insurance.
You can also easily lock and unlock your credit file with Experian CreditLock.
And since Experian is a credit bureau, your credit report will be updated every 30 days. They also give you the ability to dispute inaccuracies on your credit report directly through the platform.
If you’re interested in improving your credit and your credit score, Experian is certainly the service you want to sign up for.
IdentityForce has been involved in identity theft protection for more than 40 years and claims a 100% recovery success rate in stolen identity-related events.
They have millions of customers, including large global corporations as well as the US government.
The service is available for both personal and business identity theft protection.
IdentityForce Plan Types:
- UltraSecure: $17.99 per month or $179.90 per year, and comes with monitoring of fraud, change of address, court records, dark web, payday loans, sex offender, and social media monitoring. It also offers bank and credit card activity alerts, a social security number tracker, medical ID fraud protection, identity theft insurance of up to $1 million, and other protections.
- UltraSecure+Credit: $23.99 per month, or $239.90 per year, and comes with all the benefits of UltraSecure, plus three-bureau credit reports and credit monitoring, as well as three-bureau credit scores.
Like Experian, IdentityForce provides a high level of credit reporting and monitoring.
And each plan also offers ChildWatch to add identity theft protection to your children, and at no additional cost.
ReliaShield isn’t one of the larger identity theft protection services, offering coverage to just over 1 million members. But it has the advantage of offering a lower pricing structure than its competitors.
The service provides protection against various types of identity theft, including financial, medical, Social Security and employment fraud; medical ID theft, criminal ID theft, and child ID theft. They also monitor your personal financial information and provide alerts when changes occur. And as a ReliaShield customer, you have up to $1 million in coverage for stolen funds and personal expense reimbursement.
ReliaShield Plan Types:
- Essential: at $7.99 per month, or $87.99 per year, providing all the services described above.
- Prime: at $14.99 per month, or $164.99 per year, providing all the services of the Essential plan, but adding non-credit loan monitoring, neighborhood predator monitoring, social media monitoring, and single bureau credit monitoring (through Experian).
- Elite: at $21.99 per month, or $241.89 per year, providing all the services of the Prime plan, plus a monthly credit score tracker, bank account takeover notification, new bank account, and credit card application notifications, as well as three-bureau credit monitoring.
6. Credit Sesame
The essential word/concept with Credit Sesame is free, as in free service. How free are we talking?
You don’t even need to put a credit card on file to join the service. Credit Sesame isn’t as comprehensive with identity theft protection as the other services on this list, but it’s one of the top competitors in the area of credit monitoring.
Credit Sesame enables you to access your free credit score, complete with credit profile information. This is not the same as a formal credit report, but it will provide you all the necessary information that goes into making up your credit score.
The credit score comes from TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus.
As a credit centered service, it will also help you to better understand your credit, as well as the factors that determine your credit score. They even present various credit offers to help you better manage your existing credit.
Credit Sesame Identity Theft Protection works by enabling you to stay on top of developments with your credit on an ongoing basis.
Since they provide credit monitoring alerts on a daily basis, you’ll know exactly what’s happening with your credit, giving you the ability to act quickly. The service also comes with $50,000 in identity theft insurance, as well as live access to identity restoration specialists.
That will give you the benefit of both direct assistance as well as financial coverage in the event your identity is compromised.
Update: As of October 15, 2020, MyIDCare is now known as IDX Identity. Read More.
Unlike Credit Sesame, MyIDCare isn’t a free service, but they do give you a full 60 days to try out the service before committing. The service specializes in credit monitoring, including alerts of credit inquiries or address changes, scanning the dark web, and providing both recovery assistance and a guarantee.
Like other services on this list, MyIDCare also provides monitoring of both the Internet and the dark web, Social Security fraud, court records, change of address, and payday loans. Trained experts provide unlimited advice to help you resolve any identity theft issue.
The service also comes with up to $1 million in insurance to reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses related to recovery.
MyIDCare also adds a “100% Recovery Guarantee or Your Money Back” policy.
MyIDCare Plan Types:
- The Essentials Plan: available at $8.46 per month, and provides all the benefits above, plus single bureau credit monitoring.
- The Premier Plan: available at $16.96 per month, and comes with all the benefits of the Essentials Plan, but also adds your VantageScore 3.0 credit score (from TransUnion), Credit Lock by TransUnion and instant inquiry alerts that let you know when a lender is verifying your credit information. The Premier Plan also offers the SocialSentry Social Media Privacy and Fraud Protection feature, to help protect you from social media frauds and scams, account takeovers, impersonations, and inappropriate content.
IdentityIQ offers their best plan – the Secure Max plan – at $29.99 per month. And while it’s on the high end of the fee plans among the providers on this list, the coverage is incredibly comprehensive.
IdentityIQ starts with credit reporting and score alerts. You’ll get monthly reports and credit scores from all three major credit bureaus.
You’ll also get alerts of new accounts, new cleared users, and credit score changes. IdentityIQ monitors the dark web and changes in data related to your personally identifiable information.
They then provide a dedicated case manager for assistance with identity restoration, as well as up to $1 million in identity theft insurance. They even provide full identity theft restoration and up to $25,000 in theft insurance on your children at no additional cost.
If you want a lower cost plan, Secure Pro comes with all the same identity theft protection services, but issues only a bi-annual three-bureau credit report and credit scores, and does not include either fraud restoration or family protection. The Secure Pro plan costs $19.99 per month.
An even more basic plan – Secure Plus – is available at just $9.99 per month, with fewer services, and only an annual three-bureau credit report and score.
9. Lex On Track
What makes Lex On Track unique is that it’s an identity theft protection service provided by a law firm – Lexington Law to be precise. That’s significant because Lexington Law is well known as a credit-related law firm.
That link is particularly important if you have credit problems. Lexington Law offers an opportunity to repair your credit. And there’s no better service to provide credit repair than a law firm.
They know consumer protection laws, and are experienced in dealing with creditors. They can help you with problems related to medical expenses, student loans, military service, divorce, and identity theft.
In fact, the firm reports it has helped more than 1 million people repair their credit.
Lex on Track Plan Types:
They offer a single plan, at $24.95 per month. That gives you your monthly FICO Score, as well as score analysis, personal financial tools, and up to $1 million in identity insurance.
Credit repair packages, if necessary, are available at monthly fees ranging from $89.85 per month to $129.95 per month. Each can help you repair your credit at whatever level you’re at.
10. Identity Protect
Identity Protect uses what they refer to as “3-in-1” identity theft protection.
That’s a combination of military-grade password encryption, patrolling the dark web, and loss prevention backed by up to $1 million in insurance.
The insurance will reimburse expenses incurred in the recovery of your identity, including lost wages, legal fees and other costs.
Identity Protection Plan Types:
- Basic: at $12.95 per month, includes one-bureau credit monitoring, credit fraud consultation, change of address and dark web monitoring, identity theft recovery specialists, Social Security trace reports, and insurance of up to $100,000.
- Ultimate: at $19.95 per month, provides all features of the Basic plan, but includes your credit score and report from all three credit bureaus, social media monitoring, checking and investment account opening warning, court and criminal report monitoring, up to $1 million in insurance, and the ability to add your spouse and children and no additional cost.
Which Is The Best Identity Theft Protection For You?
Now that you’ve had an opportunity to check out 10 of the best identity theft protection services available, you need to choose one and sign up.
Like almost everyone else, you probably transact most business online. That, and the database compromises that are happening with increasing frequency, expose your information to potential theft on an ongoing basis.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Identity theft protection is that ounce of prevention, that you’ll be able to have in place if your identity is stolen.
(product prices are current as of 3/25/21)