BEST Identity Theft Protection
The Bottom Line: IdentityForce Offers the Most Comprehensive Coverage
While many companies save the bonus features like monthly credit scores, social media monitoring, and account activity monitoring for their top-tier plans, IdentityForce puts these features in its lowest-tier—but aptly named—UltraSecure Plan.
At $9.99 a month, the UltraSecure Plan costs the same as LifeLock’s most basic plan, but it includes protection services that LifeLock reserves for higher-tier plans, like instant access to credit reports, sex offender alerts, payday loan alerts, and court records monitoring.
IdentityForce’s UltraSecure Plan also includes all the essentials, like wallet recovery, address change alerts, anti-phishing protection, data leak notifications, and a million-dollar insurance plan. And of all the companies we reviewed, IdentityForce is the only one that offers its members two-factor login authentication, which is crucial if you’re giving a company your bank account numbers, Social Security number, and other personal information.
Between its excellent value, full-service coverage, and top-notch security, IdentityForce easily came in first among the best identity theft protection services.
Reviews: Best Identity Theft Protection Services
IdentityForce: Best Comprehensive Coverage
IdentityForce’s UltraSecure Plan is $17.95 a month, and its UltraSecure+Credit Plan is $23.95 a month.
UltraSecure+Credit is one of the most comprehensive plans out there, and is priced just under other top-tier plans that average about $25 a month. IdentityForce has family plans, but you have to request them. Adding a child to an existing plan costs an extra $2.75 per child, and getting a plan that covers the whole family (two adults and unlimited children) is $25 for the UltraSecure or $36 for the UltraSecure+Credit.
All plans give you instant access to credit reports, but only the UltraSecure+Credit allows you to access reports from the three major bureaus. The plans also monitor your credit score, check the dark web for your private information, watch for address changes on your accounts, monitor your social media, and keep an eye on all of your accounts for suspicious activity. If IdentityForce sees anything fishy, it sends an alert to your smartphone.
One of IdentityForce’s strongest selling points is its two-factor authentication. Your IdentityForce account will contain a lot of sensitive financial and personal information, and the last thing you want is a criminal hacking it.
Two-factor authentication requires anyone logging into your account to enter in not only a username and password but also something like a PIN number or an answer to a security question. We’re hoping that all identity theft services follow suit and add this feature to protect their customers.
30-day free trial
Court records monitoring
New account alerts
No antivirus coverage
ReliaShield: Best Affordable Protection for Individuals
Everywhere we looked for information about ReliaShield, we found glowing reviews from happy customers, and the company boasts a 100% success rate for stolen identity recovery. These factors put it near the top of our list, because working with a company you can trust is essential when it comes to protecting your identity.
ReliaShield’s coverage isn’t as complete as IdentityForce—it lacks any anti-phishing or anti-keylogging tools. But its plans start at $7.99 a month, and it checks all the boxes for basic tools like dark web monitoring, credit report monitoring, address change alerts, and Social Security number tracking.
Other services like social media monitoring, payday loans, and sex offender alerts are included only in higher-tier plans. While ReliaShield doesn’t give you regular credit reports, the top-tier plan gives you a monthly credit score. The service will also remind you to request your free credit report each year so you can check it for errors.
The pricing for family plans is straightforward: just double the cost of the individual plans. For top protection for an entire family, you can expect to pay around $48 a month.
Exceptional customer service
100% recovery rate
Credit report monitoring
No device protection
Limited features in lower tiers
Identity Guard: Best Family Coverage
If you have kids and want to make sure they’re protected from identity theft, we recommend taking a look at the family plans from Identity Guard. Individual plans start at $7.50, with family plans ranging from $12.50 to $29.17 per month.
Unlike other family plans that just extend the individual protection to kids, Identity Guard’s family plans add on monitoring for cyberbullying on social media. All of Identity Guard’s plans also come with safe browsing tools and anti-phishing guards to help everyone in the family stay safer while surfing the web.
Identity Guard lacks some important features found in our other top picks, like financial account activity monitoring or sex offender alerts, but its second-tier plans offer financial account takeover alerts and address change monitoring.
We like the unique tax refund alerts that will let you know when your taxes have been filed in case someone tries to file in your name. We don’t like Identity Guard’s limited customer support hours—they’re not 24/7 like the others on our list—but on the plus side for customer service, users say it’s easy to cancel the service if you need to.
Tax refund alerts
Affordable family plans
Safe browsing tools
No financial account monitoring
Limited customer service hours
More Identity Theft Protection Services That Are Worth a Look
Maybe you know someone who’s had a bad experience with one of the companies mentioned above, or maybe you’re looking for a specific feature that you didn’t see in one of our top three service selections. Here are two more quality options that didn’t quite make the top of our list but still offer unique identity theft protection features for you to consider.
Zander: Best Budget Pick
If IdentityForce is the fully loaded Cadillac Escalade of identity theft protection, then Zander is the Ford Focus. Zander offers only one individual plan at just $6.75 a month and one family plan at $12.90 a month, making it the cheapest service on our list.
But you get what you pay for—Zander’s bare-bones protection services include only dark web monitoring, identity theft insurance, Social Security number tracking, medical ID tracking, and criminal court records monitoring.
We found several customer complaints about long waits for customer service, but others appreciated the company’s 36-month follow-up policy for victims of identity theft. If you’re budget-conscious and you don’t mind getting your fraud alerts by email (no mobile app alerts), Zander might be a good fit for your identity protection.
LifeLock: Best Insurance Coverage
When it comes to identity theft, LifeLock is a well-known name in protection, but its shifting pricing policies and lack of family plans is dragging it down.
The company also uses Equifax for some of its monitoring, which is concerning after the 2017 data breach.1 At $29.99 a month, its top-tier plan is the most expensive on our list, and it doesn’t include monitoring for payday loans, social media, or medical ID theft.
On the upside, LifeLock has teamed up with Norton Security to include antivirus software in its offerings, including PC cloud backup storage.
LifeLock’s higher-tier plans also offer the highest reimbursement and insurance coverage levels we’ve seen, so it’s worth a look if you value your computer data and you stand to lose a lot financially if your identity gets stolen.
Things to Consider before You Buy
The most important thing to remember when it comes to identity theft protection is that it’s more like a security system than a bodyguard. If your identity is like your home, an identity theft protection service can alert you once a criminal has gotten in, and it can limit the damage, but it can’t always protect your information or your money from being stolen.
Pretty much all the identity theft services out there have insurance policies up to $1 million to help you with the financial costs of recovery, so don’t let that impressive number sway you to choose one over the other. And remember that no identity theft companies can guarantee to protect you against all types of identity theft.
The biggest question to ask yourself before you purchase an identity theft protection plan is how much work do you want to do to protect your identity?
Unless you’re a computer expert, you probably don’t know how to do your own dark web monitoring, but most other services offered by identity theft protection companies are things you can do yourself for free, like checking your credit report, scanning your financial accounts for fraudulent activity, freezing your kids’ social security numbers, and doing the legwork if your identity gets stolen.
But all of these things take time, and for most busy people, time equals money.
Decide how much protection you want and shop for identity protection companies that offer the recovery services that are most important to you. Check out Identity Theft 101 to learn more.