The 5 Best Identity Theft Protection Services of 2019

Identity theft numbers were the highest they’ve ever been in 2017, with 16.7 million people affected. We’ve found the top five identity theft protection services, so you can avoid any hassles and keep your identity secure.
Written by | Updated April 3, 2019
Most User-Friendly

IdentityGuard

Best for Families

LifeLock

Compare the Top Identity Protection Services

 IdentityForceIdentity GuardLifeLockPrivacyGuardIDShield
Starting Cost$12.95/mo.$22.95/mo.$8.99/mo.$9.99/mo.$9.95/mo.
24/7 MonitoringYYYYY
Smartphone AlertsYYYYY
Family PlanYYYNY
Recovery ReimbursementYYYNN
Credit MonitoringNYYYY
Dark Web MonitoringYYYNN
Computer ProtectionYYNNN
Learn MoreView PlansView PlansView PlansView PlansView Plans

The Best Identity Theft Protection: Reviews

IdentityForce

Best overall

IdentityForce is our favorite for comprehensive monitoring services because it offers two tiers of monitoring plans complete with insurance, alerts, and child-specific identity monitoring. Credit monitoring is limited to its upper-tier plan. Along with monitoring services, you’ll get real-time notifications through the IdentityForce mobile app. The company also offers Social Security number tracking, as well as lost wallet assistance, which allows you to easily cancel and replace your credit or debit cards. You can add kids to your plan, but unfortunately, it’ll cost you around $30 per head. Other drawbacks are that cancellation for the 14-day free trial has to be done manually and insurance is offered only with certain plans.

Pros

  • 24/7 comprehensive monitoring and protection
  • Mobile app
  • Lost wallet assistance
  • Social security number tracking

Cons

  • Manual cancellation
  • Extra cost for child coverage
  • No two-way audio
  • Insurance offered only on certain plans

Identity Guard on LaptopIdentity Guard

Most user-friendly

Identity Guard’s use of artificial intelligence sets it apart from the pack. It monitors traditional identity theft concerns (credit and debit cards, Social Security numbers, etc.) as well as social media. The company provides multi-tier plans that you can easily access through a user-friendly mobile app. And Identity Guard will even send you information about additional protection resources. The biggest drawbacks? Customer service is only available Monday–Friday and that wonderful AI comes with a fairly expensive price tag. Like IdentityForce, the advertised insurance comes only with certain plans, and reimbursement is limited depending on the plan you choose.

Pros

  • IBM Watson AI
  • Mobile app
  • User-friendly dashboard and interface

Cons

  • Limited customer service availability
  • Expensive price tag
  • Insurance offered only on certain plans

LifeLock

Best for families

LifeLock offers the widest variety of identity and credit monitoring services out of all the companies we researched. It provides traditional response plans with 24/7 customer service and a mobile app for real-time monitoring. It also offers specific plans for children and older adults who may be particularly vulnerable to identity theft. LifeLock has lost wallet assistance, which easily cancels or replaces the contents of your wallet, and it offers dark web surveillance. So why isn’t LifeLock our number one pick? No daily credit monitoring is offered—it’s only checked periodically. Medical identity protection also isn’t included, and insurance is only available with specific plans.

Pros

  • 24/7 customer service
  • Plans for children and aging adults
  • Lost wallet assistance
  • Dark web surveillance

Cons

  • No daily credit monitoring
  • No medical identity protection
  • Expensive price tag
  • Insurance offered only on certain plans

Honorable Mentions

Privacy Guard

PrivacyGuard offers services that monitor your credit and identity through all three major credit bureaus, public records, and black markets. Credit card protection is also offered, as is a computer software safeguard option. Unfortunately, Privacy Guard doesn’t offer any protection for children specifically. If you have kids, you’ll have to get each of them their own account. It also has poorly rated customer service, and many customers complain of unexpectedly high bills. One improvement they’ve made recently, though, is that they now offer a mobile app, so you can have up-to-date monitoring.

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IDShield

IDShield has one offering no other company on our list does: licensed private investigators. If your identity has been stolen, you know the problems don’t stop when you freeze your credit. That’s where a private investigator can help. If your identity is stolen, the company will work with an investigator to track down as much information as possible. It also offers a mobile app and very reasonably priced plans. IDShield will cover up to two adults and eight kids. But it doesn’t offer any reimbursement, and it only monitors your credit score quarterly, which is a long time in the security world.

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Identity Theft Protection FAQs

I’ve already had my identity stolen. Will identity theft protection still work for me?

Yes. If you’ve been a victim of identity theft, it’s extremely important to take every step you can to ensure that your information doesn’t get spread to anyone else. Identity theft protection services can help alert you to all the different ways your information might be used and how often criminals are trying to steal it.

Do I have to give an identity protection company power of attorney?

No, you don’t. In fact, some companies don’t even offer that as an option. If your identity is compromised, you may need to appoint an advocate (your accountant, a lawyer, or someone from an identity theft protection service) to deal with the fallout, but you also might not need to. Having an identity theft protection plan will not replace the possible need for additional advocates either. Really, in the event of identity theft, it’s up to you.

What if my identity is stolen and I don’t have a protection plan?

You’ll have a lot of legwork to do to lock down your credit and bank accounts. After that, you’ll want to be sure to go to the government’s website for reporting: identitytheft.gov. It can help you put together a recovery plan.

Why do my children need identity theft protection?

One of the easiest ways for criminals to get money is to assume a child’s identity by stealing their Social Security number and then opening credit lines, applying for government benefits, or applying for rentals. Children are often targeted because their Social Security numbers aren’t usually in use and most people don’t think to check them. Over a million children were victimized in 2017, with many of the perpetrators being someone who personally knew the child.2 Including your children in your identity theft protection plan can save you a lot of heartache.

I got a letter saying my identity was compromised in a breach. Does that mean I’m a victim of identity theft?

No, not necessarily, but it does mean you’re at a much higher risk of becoming a victim. Over the last few years, massive data breaches have been reported from huge companies like Target, Wells Fargo, and even the credit reporting agency Equifax. Sadly, the odds are that your information is somewhere on the dark web—especially if you were notified that your information was part of a breach. Identity theft protection could prove very valuable to you.

How We Evaluated the Best Identity Theft Protection 

We evaluated these companies by thoroughly comparing their plans and reading user reviews. We also spoke with online security experts and looked through government recommendations for identity theft. For more information, see our methodology.

Written by Laura E. Hilton

Laura is a writer, teacher, and mother based out of Utah. She is passionate about making and maintaining strong, safe, healthy communities. To learn more, visit her website at lauraehilton.com. Learn more

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