Top 4 Identity Theft Protection & Monitoring Services
Protecting one’s identity and personal information online and offline is crucial. That’s why today we have many identity theft protection and monitoring services to help us safeguard our identity.
In this modern world identity theft is a serious and growing issue. Big data breaches are making news headlines regularly. And individuals who don’t use protection services might easily fall victims to these breaches.
Today, more than ever, we need ID protection services. In 2019 alone, over 13 million US identity fraud cases were reported. Victims lost over $17 billion, not forgetting the untold damage to their credit reports.
Over the years we’ve seen so many data breaches, including the 2017 Equifax breach and more recently the breach of Marriott’s Starwood reservation system. If that’s not enough, last year the Marriott hack affected over 5 million customers.
In this short yet comprehensive guide, we take a look at the four best identity theft protection services to help you manage and shield your identity at various price points.
Before we dive in, understand that sometimes you don’t have to spend $10 to $30 monthly to receive the best identity theft protection services. You can just visit identitytheft.gov, a US government identity restoration service, which helps victims of identity theft to report and recover their breached data.
LifeLock provides its customers with several protection services ranging from LifeLock Senior (for monitoring your senior of age 65 and above) to LifeLock Junior (for monitoring kids). These services are unique to LifeLock, and they’re crucial.
The company’s identity protection services cost between $9.99 to $29.99 per month. You can also receive restitution of $25,00 to $1million for identity fraud, depending on your monitoring plan.
The $9.99 monthly subscription monitors credit only from a single credit bureau. But the $29.99 subscription plan monitors from all the credit bureaus.
Although you can access credit reports once a year, LifeLock will offer you a monthly credit score that’s based on Experian data.
Some benefits offered by LifeLock for members of all ages include:
- Auto-detection of accounts opened in your accounts
- Constant scan of the dark web for personal data
- SSN and Credit alerts
- Alert on suspicious activities linked with your name and credit card
- Real-time fraud alerts via text, phone, or email
LifeLock’s basic price costs $107.88 yearly and $8.99 monthly, that’s after a 25% discount.
Identity Guard takes the mantle for the best ID theft protection service in the market. It’s a Virginia-based company that utilizes IBM’s Watson that focuses on identity theft.
The company’s use of Watson involves developing a vast amount of knowledge and continuing to feed it information from various sources, such as social networks. As a result, the Watson-enabled service can help advise customers on identity management.
Identity Guard service covers all four features of identity management, including:
- Theft protection
- Monitoring of client personal information, including DOB, SSN, and credit files
- Identity recovering assistance
- Identity theft insurance up to $1 million
The company will also provide you with a detailed summary of its insurance terms. Its basic plan costs $80 yearly, but it lacks credit monitoring.
To receive monthly credit report updates, you’ll have to part with $159.96 yearly. The plan covers credit monitoring from the three credit bureaus and a monthly credit score.
Identity Guard comprehensive plan; the Identity Guard Premier Plan costs $200.04 yearly and covers annual credit reports. The company’s base price costs $80 yearly or $6.67 monthly. Current promotions include saving 65% vs. Lifelock for your family, and savings of 33% on their Identity Guard’s own default pricing when you purchase for the family.
If you’re looking for the best child protection service, consider IdentityForce.
It features two tiers of service: UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit. The latter provides you with credit reports and scores. The credit score monitoring watches all three credit bureaus and offers a visual tracker that allows you to observe your credit rating over time.
Besides credit information, the company monitors address changes, public information record changes, payday loan applications, and court and arrest records. It also checks for identity information on several illegal identity sharing sites. Hence, shielding you from identity thieves. Furthermore, it tracks SSNs for new usages or associations with names.
IdentityForce has a mobile app that’s updated with a Mobil Attack Control. The feature monitors your phone for insecure Wi-Fi locations, spyware, plus spoof networks.
The mobile app will also present alerts if there are security issues monitored by IdentityForce, which need your immediate attention.
At the moment, IdentityForce UltraSecure costs $100 yearly or $9.99 monthly, with two free months. UltraSecure+Credit on the other hand costs $287.88 yearly or $23.99 monthly.
Complete ID is an identity protection service offered by Experian, one of three big credit reporting bureaus. It got into a deal with Costco, where every Costco Executive member pays $8.99 monthly, plus an optional $2.99 monthly for child protection services.
Costco’s Gold Star members pay $13.99 a month, plus an optional $3.99 monthly for child protection. If you’re a non-Costco member you’ll pay $19.99 monthly.
The service offers an annual credit report from all three agencies, as well as monthly credit scores. Also, it will provide you with a graph over time to help you monitor how your score has improved.
Apart from Credit reports, Complete ID also offers customers monitoring for unauthorized use of Social Security number, among other non-credit related identity monitoring.
The best part is you will love its neighborhood watch, which gets updated monthly to provide you details about sexual predators and crimes in your locality.
Just like all the services we’ve mentioned, Complete ID will provide you with $1 million in limited identity theft insurance.
Its base price is $239.88 yearly for non-Costco members. For Costco members, it’s $107.88 yearly.
The cost of an identity theft and monitoring service is quite small compared to the cost of having your identity compromised online. Everyone is at risk of identity theft and it makes sense to have a cyber security solution in place to keep yourself safe. Many people are surprised at just how affordable these identity theft protection services are.