Best Identity Theft Protection in 2021

After research and tallying, we found IdentityForce to be the clear winner in the identity theft protection game.
Best overall
Identity Force
IdentityForce
Starting from
$9.99
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Two-factor authentication
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Affordable plans
Best individual coverage
ReliaShield
ReliaShield
Starting from
$7.99
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Light
    100% recovery success rate
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Excellent customer service
Best family coverage
Identity Guard
Identity Guard
Starting from
$8.99
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Cyberbullying monitoring
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Social insight report
Best budget coverage
Zander
Zander
Starting from
$6.75
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No-frills coverage
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Affordable plans
Best insurance coverage
LifeLock
LifeLock
Starting from
$8.99
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Credit monitoring
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Includes antivirus software

Info current as of 09/23/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

While many identity theft protection 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 about $10 a month, the UltraSecure Plan includes protection services that other brands reserve for higher-tier plans, like instant access to credit reports, sex offender alerts, payday loan alerts, and court records monitoring.



Compare the best identity theft protection services

Service
Price
Recovery insurance
Family plan available
Credit monitoring
Learn more
Best overall coverage
Identity ForceIdentityForce
$1 million
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightPaid upgrade
Best individual coverage
ReliaShieldReliaShield
$1 million
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightPaid upgrade
Best family coverage
Identity GuardIdentity Guard
$1 million
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightPaid upgrade
Best budget coverage
ZanderZander
$1 million,
lost wages up to $30k
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Best insurance coverage
LifeLockLifeLock
$1 million,
reimbursement up to $1 million
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightIncluded

Info current as of 09/23/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Best identity theft protection service reviews

1. IdentityForce: Best overall coverage

Best overall coverage
Identity Force
IdentityForce
Starting from
$9.99
/mo

Info current as of 09/23/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

IdentityForce's UltraSecure Plan is $9.99 a month ($24.90 for family) and its UltraSecure+Credit Plan is $17.99 a month ($35.90 for family). UltraSecure+Credit is one of the most comprehensive plans out there, and is priced under other top-tier plans that average about $25 a month.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Affordable plans
Pro Bullet 30-day free trial
Pro Bullet Court records monitoring
Pro Bullet New account alerts
Pro Bullet Two-factors authentication
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No antivirus coverage

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.

2. ReliaShield: Best individual coverage

Best individual coverage
ReliaShield
ReliaShield
Starting from
$7.99
/mo

Info current as of 09/23/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Affordable fees
Pro Bullet Exceptional customer service
Pro Bullet 100% recovery rate
Pro Bullet SSN tracking
Pro Bullet Credit report monitoring
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No device protection
Con Bullet Limited features in lower tiers

ReliaShield's coverage isn't as complete as IdentityForce—it lacks any anti-phishing or anti-keylogging tools. But its plans start at $7.19 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 $32 a month.

3. Identity Guard: Best family coverage

Best family coverage
Identity Guard
Identity Guard
Starting from
$8.99
/mo

Info current as of 09/23/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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 around $7, with family plans ranging from around $10 to $27 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.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Tax refund alerts
Pro Bullet Affordable family plans
Pro Bullet Cyberbullying monitoring
Pro Bullet Easy cancellation
Pro Bullet Safe browsing tools
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No financial account monitoring
Con Bullet Limited customer service hours

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.

More ID theft protection services worth considering

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.

4. Zander: Best budget coverage

Best budget coverage
Zander
Zander
Starting from
$6.75
/mo

Info current as of 09/23/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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 around $7 a month and one family plan at $13 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.

5. LifeLock: Best insurance coverage

Best insurance coverage
LifeLock
LifeLock
Starting from
$8.99
/mo

Info current as of 09/23/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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 $26.99 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.

Final word

Between its excellent value, full-service coverage, and top-notch security, IdentityForce easily came in first among the best identity theft protection services.

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.

Check out our tips and FAQ below to learn more about identity theft. Or head over to our antivirus software review for another way to protect yourself online.

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 FAQ

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bell
Take extra precautions

With so many more "everyday" things happening online, identity theft protection is more important than ever. Here are some extra things you can do to ramp up your online protection right now.

  • Check the privacy settings on every app, device, platform, and software package that anyone in your household is using.
  • Lock down private info. Don't share any personal information like your phone number, birthday, or Social Security number. Make sure that none of that info is listed in online profiles.
  • Install updates. Software and firmware updates can be a pain, but they're your first line of defense. Updates include security patches to any new threats that are discovered. Make sure you install the latest updates on all of your devices.

Find more safety tips in our guide to keeping your computer safe while working from home.

How we reviewed

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.

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.

Kasey Tross
Written by
Kasey Tross
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers.

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