The Information Age has made it easier than ever to accidentally divulge personal information or, more troublesome, to have it stolen. Identity theft protection companies help people monitor their financial accounts and personal information to ensure that their identity is secure.
Identity theft protection companies help consumers spot abnormal activity with their credit cards, bank accounts, social security information and more to repair and resolve issues regarding identity theft.
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Top 8 Best Rated Identity Theft Protection Companies
With tiered pricing and service levels that include up to $1 million in identity recovery services, LifeLock is invested in ID theft prevention. Its app offers real-time updates, keeping users informed about identity threats.
|Read 1232 Reviews|
TrustedID goes beyond identity protection by offering targeted prevention products. Using the company's services, consumers can search millions of public and private databases to determine their level of risk and vulnerability.
|Read 8 Reviews|
ProtectMyID is an identity protection company backed by Experian, an industry leader in credit monitoring. ProtectMyID works through early alerts and personalized resolution methods to protect consumers from fraudulent purchases.
|Read 15 Reviews|
Identity Guard offers credit report updates and scores from all three credit bureaus. Identity Guard alerts subscribers when their social security numbers have been used and features helpful extras like identity theft insurance.
IdentityForce has been a trusted name in identity protection for more than 35 years, offering services to individuals, businesses and government agencies. Its comprehensive policies include protection for children and parents.
Offering live support and guaranteed resolution in the event of identity theft, ID Watchdog gives clients direct insight into their data management to prevent fraud. ID Watchdog offers 24/7 expert customer assistance.
The AllClear ID Alert Network offers preventative care and insurance against identity theft. Through the company’s Customer Communication service, AllClear ID alerts customers directly at the first hint of ID fraud.
ID Shield offers complete and unlimited identity theft services to protect businesses, families and individuals for a flat monthly payment. Customers receive notifications, monthly updates and restoration services.
What features matter most in identity protection?
What monitoring services do identity protection companies offer?
A person's identity is composed of a range of factors, including credit use, financial history, medical history and more. Identity theft protection companies offer a range of monitoring services that watch over different aspects of a person's identity to ensure it hasn't been altered or stolen.
- Credit monitoring: Some identity theft protection companies monitor clients' credit reports and credit usage to ensure that their credit cards are not being used fraudulently.
- SSN monitoring: Some identity theft protection companies monitor the usage of a person's social security number and notify the clients if anybody else attempts to use their numbers.
- Comprehensive monitoring: Many identity theft protection companies offer comprehensive monitoring for many aspects of a person's identity, including their credit, SSN, finances, medical history and more.
How do identity protection companies help clients resolve problems?
When a person's identity is stolen, they often need assistance fixing the damage that has been done. Some identity theft protection programs offer aid to those who need to resolve their situations.
- Personal agents: Many identity theft protection companies offer personal assistance to help reclaim a client’s identity and repair any damage done to it.
- Service time: Fixing an identity theft problem is a tedious endeavor, and a company with a dedicated resolution service can decrease the time it takes to fix the situation.
- Preventative services: For people who have had trouble with identity theft, many identity theft companies offer preventative services. Services include alerting clients to potential fraud on credit reports, removing a client’s name from any pre-screened credit card lists or removing clients from mailing lists to minimize the chance of identity problems.
What are their insurance options?
Identity theft protection companies often insure a person's identity. This insurance compensates clients should their identity be stolen.
- Full identity theft insurance: Companies that offer full identity theft insurance will reimburse customers for the entire cost of repairing their identity.
- Lost wallet protection: Lost wallet protection cancels and replaces stolen credit or debit cards and sometimes includes reimbursement for stolen cash.
- Reimbursement limit: Consumers should make sure they are aware of any limitations on their insurance reimbursements. Some companies may only pay filing fees or insure lost wages only up to a specified amount.
What are their report options?
Identity theft protection companies can offer customers a range of reports. These reports give consumers firsthand knowledge of their financial situations and identity history.
- Individual bureau credit reports: Identity theft protection companies can offer customers credit reports from one specific credit bureau so they can see their credit score, individual credit accounts and credit usage over time.
- Comprehensive credit reports: If an identity theft protection company offers customers comprehensive credit reports, it can show them full reports from all three credit bureaus, in addition to a wide variety of financial information.
- Online scan reports: Some identity theft protection companies review a number of online resources to monitor their client’s exposure. They will then compile any notable information into reports for their clients.
What types of plans are available?
There are many types of plans offered by individual identity theft protection companies, and customers have the option of choosing the plans best for them.
- Basic plans: Basic plans involve standard monitoring practices. The identity protection company will alert the client if their identity is in danger of being compromised. These plans are usually limited in scope.
- Premium services: Some identity protection companies offer premium services that have all the amenities of standard plans with additional perks such as comprehensive reports, one on one consultations, insurance options and more.
- Custom plans: Some identity theft protection companies allow customers to choose the level of service they want and tailor a protection plan that suits their needs.
How much does identity protection cost?
Identity theft protection services are available to customers both for free and for a fee. These services will vary among providers, but as a general rule, more comprehensive services cost more money.
- Free service: Free identity theft protection companies monitor things like credit reports and financial activities at no cost. However, the protection these companies offer is limited.
- Standard service rates: Most companies charge about $10-$25 per month for basic services. Identity protection in this range usually includes stolen fund replacement, live support, identity restoration, credit monitoring and online monitoring.
- Comprehensive service rates: For comprehensive services, consumers can expect to pay $25-$60 per month. These services include a full suite of features such as increased fund replacement, monthly tracking reports and more.
What are different types of identity theft protection companies?
Credit monitoring companies
Credit monitoring companies simply monitor a person's credit report for irregularities. These companies alert customers if their credit is under attack from fraudulent sources.
Identity theft prevention companies
Companies that engage in identity theft prevention monitor more than just credit. These companies use proactive strategies such as reducing their customers’ public exposure and monitoring black market websites for their customers’ information.
Identity theft repair companies
Customers who need help to repair identities that have been altered or stolen turn to identity theft repair companies. These companies specialize in helping people reclaim their identities and fix problems that have been caused by the identity theft.
Full service identity theft companies
Full service identity theft companies offer monitoring, identity repair, insurance services and more to their customers.
Who needs identity theft protection?
People who have had their identity stolen
People who have previously had their identity stolen can depend on identity theft protection companies for help. Companies can help them repair the damage and take steps to prevent it from happening again.
People who have had personal items or information stolen
People who have had items containing personal information stolen, such as a wallet, but have not yet found any fraudulent activity can seek an identity theft protection company's help to safeguard their identity against possible theft.
Many parents don't realize that their children are at risk of identity theft. Identity theft protection can monitor children as well as their parents, sometimes offering special plans to cover the entire family.
People who frequently use debit and credit cards
People who frequently use debit and credit cards are at a higher risk of identity theft. Identity theft protection programs can help keep those credit and debit cards secure.
Anyone who travels frequently for vacations or business is susceptible to identity theft because they carry more identification documents. Identity protection can give clients extra assurance of their protection when they travel.
LifeLock is an identity theft protection company that is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona. Founded in 2005, the company is considered one of the leading identity theft protection companies in the world. In 2017, LifeLock was acquired by Symantec Corp., a world leader in cyber security.
- Standard Plan: LifeLock’s Standard plan includes all SSN and credit alerts. It also includes lost wallet protection, address change verification, website surveillance, LifeLock Privacy Monitor and $25,000 in stolen funds reimbursement. The Standard plan costs $9.99 per month.
- Advantage plan: The Advantage plan includes everything in the standard plan but increases reimbursement funds to $100,000. The Advantage plan also adds data breach notifications, bank and credit card activity alerts, an annual credit card report and a VantageScore credit report from one bureau. The Advantage plan costs $19.99 per month.
- Ultimate Plus plan: LifeLock’s Ultimate Plus plan includes the features of the Advantage plan but adds an annual credit report from three bureaus, monthly VantageScore tracking, 401(k) and investment alerts, credit inquiry alerts, sex offender registry alerts and priority live member support. The Ultimate Plus plan costs $29.99 per month.
- $1 Million service guarantee: LifeLock ensures that the company will spend up to $1 million to help get a customer's identity back on track after a case of theft. Check LifeLock's website for its legal policy regarding its terms, conditions and exclusions.
- App service: Users can track their identity protection service with LifeLock’s cell phone application.
- Best for people at risk of identity theft, families and people who frequently use credit cards.
With nearly 20 years of experience, Identity Guard is a trusted provider of identity theft protection service. A product of Intersections Inc., Identity Guard protects both businesses and consumers. Identity Guard has offices in California, New Mexico and Illinois. Its company headquarters is in Chantilly, Virginia.
- Best for consumers who use credit cards, consumers who use online banking software and consumers who want to monitor their credit.
Founded in 2004, TrustedID is an identity theft protection company that is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. TrustedID’s suite of products like IDEssentials uses proactive safeguards against identity theft. Equifax acquired the company in 2013.
- Best for families, AARP members and people who have had their identities stolen.
Headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, IdentityForce is a provider of identity theft protection with over 35 years of experience in helping protect people’s privacy. The company is focused on providing security solutions for individuals, families and businesses to safeguard against identity theft.
- Best for families, individuals, businesses and people with frequent medical visits.
ProtectMyID is an identity theft company with customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland. ProtectMyID offers various monitoring, protection and resolution services. It is owned by Experian Interactive.
- Best for individuals, families and people also looking for credit reports.
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, ID Watchdog is an identity theft service that was founded in 2004. The company provides specialized proactive identity theft monitoring, alert and repair services to individuals and businesses.
- Best for individuals and businesses concerned about identity theft.
Founded in 2004, AllClear ID is an identity theft protection company headquartered in Austin, TX. Originally known as Debix, the company now offers business and organization clients monitoring and resolution services for customers at risk of identity theft.
- Best for individuals, businesses that keep customers’ data and families.
IDShield is an identity theft protection company that offers data monitoring, instant identity breach notifications and identity restoration services. It is a division of LegalShield. The company employs licensed private investigators to track this data, answer customers' questions and provide advice when necessary.
- Best for individuals and families concerned about the security of their identity.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.