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.
Starting Price Recovery Insurance Family Plan Dark Web Monitoring Credit Report Monitoring Price Best Comprehensive Best Individual Coverage Best Family Coverage Best Budget Pick Best Insurance Coverage IdentityForce ReliaShield Identity Guard Zander LifeLock $9.99/mo. $7.99/mo. $7.50/mo. $6.75/mo. $9.99/mo. $1 million $1 million $1 million $1 million, lost wages up to $30k $1 million, reimbursement up to $1 million Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Up to 3 credit bureaus Up to 3 credit bureaus Up to 3 credit bureaus No Up to 3 credit bureaus View Plans View Plans View Plans View Plans View Plans
Data effective 8/22/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
Top 5 Identity Theft Protection Services IdentityForce: Best Comprehensive Coverage | Read Review ReliaShield: Best Affordable Protection for Individuals | Read Review Identity Guard: Best Family Protection | Read Review Zander | Read Review LifeLock | Read Review Reviews: Best Identity Theft Protection Services Best Comprehensive Coverage IdentityForce View Plans IdentityForce: Best Comprehensive Coverage
IdentityForce’s UltraSecure Plan is $9.99 a month, and its UltraSecure+Credit Plan is $18.99 a month.
UltraSecure+Credit is one of the most comprehensive plans out there, and it comes in well below most 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.
Pros Affordable plans 30-day free trial Court records monitoring New account alerts Two-factors authentication Cons No antivirus coverage Best Affordable Protection for Individuals ReliaShield View Plans ReliaShield: Best Affordable Protection for Individuals
Our “award” for ReliaShield was a toss-up between Best Affordable Protection for Individuals and Best Customer Service.
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.
Pros Affordable fees Exceptional customer service 100% recovery rate SSN tracking Credit report monitoring Cons No device protection Limited features in lower tiers Best Family Coverage Identity Guard View Plans 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.
Pros Tax refund alerts Affordable family plans Cyberbullying monitoring Easy cancellation Safe browsing tools Cons 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. Read our full LifeLock review.
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.
Identity Theft Protection FAQs
What happened with the Equifax data breach? Should I be worried about data leaks?
In September of 2017, an Equifax data breach leaked the personal information of 147 million people, including their Social Security numbers and addresses.
Since Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting bureaus, this was a highly concerning event, and one you should take seriously. Because of the scale of the breach, how poorly it was handled, and how difficult it is to get reimbursement, it’s hard to recommend companies that still use Equifax for monitoring.
Are there any laws in place to protect me if a data breach occurs?
Yes. In fact, it was the Equifax breach that led to some positive changes in data breach law.
In September of 2018, federal law removed all fees from credit freezes, and state governments are expanding privacy laws and requiring that credit card companies provide identity theft prevention and recovery assistance for customers in the event of a breach.
The new law also sets stricter legal deadlines for companies and bureaus to notify customers about data breaches.
How does a credit freeze work?
A credit freeze is like putting a padlock and an alarm on your credit report. If companies or individuals try to run a credit check on your report, you’ll be notified, and you have to give your express permission before anyone can see your report.
It’s free to freeze your credit, but you have to request a freeze from each of the three credit reporting agencies separately. Keep in mind that it takes longer to unlock your credit than it does to freeze your credit, so it might prove to be a hassle if you need to apply for a loan or open a new account.
Still, it’s a free (and more secure) alternative to credit monitoring, and it’s a good choice for older adults and kids who don’t frequently need credit checks.
How do I protect my account passwords?
Change your passwords frequently, and try to create longer, more complex passwords that will be more resistant to hacking. Don’t keep your passwords all in one place, and consider using a password manager to protect your accounts.
What does identity theft insurance cover?
Most identity theft insurance is to help you with financial costs associated with recovering from identity theft: private detectives, lawyers, experts, etc. Some identity theft insurance also covers additional financial considerations, like reimbursement for lost wages or funds.
No matter which identity fraud insurance product you choose, be sure to look over the insurance policy carefully before purchasing. You don’t want to be faced with any unpleasant surprises if your identity is stolen.
How We Picked the Best Identity Theft Protection Services
To find the top identity theft protection services, we researched each company to dig into pricing, services, and insurance offered. We put all the information we found into a huge comparison table so we could clearly see which company offered the best services for the most competitive prices, and we also checked out other review sites to see what customers were saying about their experiences with each company. If you want to know more about how we rank and review services like these, check out our full methodology.
Related Pages on SafeWise What to Do If Your Identity Is Stolen 6 Tips to Safeguard Your Credit and Stop Identity Theft Ensuring Financial and Identity Security for Seniors My House Was Broken Into. Has My Identity Been Stolen? The Best Password Manager for All Your Devices Sources: Los Angeles Times, “LifeLock Offers to Protect You from the Equifax Breach — by Selling You Services Provided by Equifax”
The post Best Identity Theft Protection in 2019 appeared first on SafeWise.