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The Best Identity Theft Services – Protect Your Personal Data

Scott Hirsch

Identity theft is the leading form of fraud in the US, with the Federal Trade Commission reporting more than 650,000 cases per year. The number one form of identity theft is credit card fraud, meaning consumers should be extra vigilant when shopping online. This is all the more important with more and more of our transactions moving online as we make more of our purchases from home than ever. This is a trend that is expected to continue deep into 2021. 

Luckily, ID theft protection services provide an affordable way to monitor online activity performed in your name, thereby catching ID theft before it can seriously affect you. Here’s a look at our best ID theft protection services of the year:

Full-spectrum protection
Norton antivirus users
People seeking to recover their identity
Anyone who has or wants Norton antivirus
Hands-off protection
Those looking to protect their credit
Internet banking
ID theft and PC maintenance
Whole-family protection
VPN and torrent users
$6.67per month
$9.99per month
$6.75/month
$9.99/month
$24.95/month
N/A
$17.95per month
$19.99per month
$19.95per month
$14.95per month
No
60-day money-back guarantee
No
60-day money-back guarantee
No
Yes
14 days
Free 1-time diagnostic
No
30 days
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
N/A
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
N/A
Yes
No
Yes
No
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes

In-Depth Reviews of Our Top ID Theft Protection Picks

  • 1
    Identity Guard

    Identity Guard

    exceptional
    9.9
    • Consumer Engagement
      Chosen by 12450people in the past 30 days
      9.9
    • Customer Feedback
      Great inValue for Money
      9.6
    • Brand Reputation
      Based onweb analytics
      8.4
    • Features & Benefits
      Product Review
      9.8
    Learn how we score
    • Best forFull-spectrum protection
    • Starting price$6.67per month
    • Free trialNo

    Identity Guard’s marquee feature is the IBM Watson technology. This cutting-edge AI tool constantly scans billions of data points across the internet to pinpoint unusual activity, resulting in intelligent, 24/7 protection for families and individuals.  

    Watson may be Identity Guard’s most impressive feature, but it’s far from the only one. The company offers 3 solid packages that all include Dark Web monitoring, risk management reports, and anti-phishing apps, as well as some unique tools with the more extensive plans. The advanced package, for example, includes 3-bureau credit reports and a social insight report. Family plans notably include cyberbullying alerts for social media. 

    Pros
    • Monitors credit score with all 3 credit bureaus
    • Utilizes IBM’s Watson AI tech for optimal performance
    • $2,000 emergency cash fund
    Cons
    • No 24/7 customer service
    • 3-credit reporting only with premier plans
  • 2
    LifeLock

    LifeLock

    exceptional
    9.8
    • Consumer Engagement
      Chosen by 11220people in the past 30 days
      9.9
    • Customer Feedback
      Great inValue for Money
      9.6
    • Brand Reputation
      Based onweb analytics
      8.7
    • Features & Benefits
      Product Review
      9.7
    Learn how we score
    • Best forNorton antivirus users
    • Starting price$9.99per month
    • Free trial60-day money-back guarantee

    A product of anti-virus heavyweight Norton, LifeLock boasts the tech, accessibility, and ease that you’d expect from the industry-leading company. Most impressive are the plans themselves, which not only blend online security and ID theft protection but offer more flexibility than usual. 

    Lifelock’s plans include ID and Social Security number alerts and are offered in tandem with Norton’s 360 suite. This means that combo plans net you VPN services plus solid ID theft features like stolen funds reimbursement that ranges from $25,000 to $1 million dollars, bank account and credit card activity alerts, and even 401(k) investment account alerts on the Ultimate Plus plan. 

    LifeLock also offers LifeLock Junior, an affordable add-on for children under 18 that includes 

    Dark Web monitoring and file-sharing network searches. All plans include 24/7 live member support and the aide of US-based identity restoration specialists.

    Pros
    • Reimbursement up to $1 million
    • Antivirus and protection from cyber threats
    • 60-day money-back guarantee
    Cons
    • Only worth it if you want Norton 360
    • Pricing can be confusing
  • 3
    Zander Identity Theft

    Zander Identity Theft

    excellent
    9.0
    • Consumer Engagement
      Chosen by 997people in the past 30 days
      8.3
    • Customer Feedback
      Great inService Quality
      9.6
    • Brand Reputation
      Based onweb analytics
      8.1
    • Features & Benefits
      Product Review
      9.1
    Learn how we score
    • Best forPeople seeking to recover their identity
    • Starting price$6.75/month
    • Free trialNo

    The only identity theft protection service recommended by money-management expert Dave Ramsey, Zander Insurance, is a solid, affordable identity theft protection and restoration software option for those looking to stay secure on a budget. While the platform doesn't include credit monitoring, it does monitor personal information, such as Social Security, and offers among the most comprehensive array of identity recovery services on the market. Zander offers reimbursement of lost wages, financial losses, and expenses up to $1 million.

    Where Zander stands out is in the unfortunate event that your identity is stolen. You will be assigned a Recovery Advocate to guide you through the process of recovering your credit and identity. This representative will be available for up to three years to ensure that your identity is fully restored. Zander will notify all three major credit bureaus, medical institutions, creditors, and the IRS of the theft, and will monitor accounts for possible fraud so that you can get back to yourself quickly.

    Pros
    • Unlimited family plan
    • One of the most affordable options
    • Comprehensive recovery services, including lost wage coverage
    Cons
    • No credit monitoring
    • No free trial period
  • 4
    Norton
    excellent
    9.4
    • Consumer Engagement
      Chosen by 2653people in the past 30 days
      8.8
    • Customer Feedback
      Great inEase of Use
      9.6
    • Brand Reputation
      Based onweb analytics
      9.8
    • Features & Benefits
      Product Review
      9.8
    Learn how we score
    • Best forAnyone who has or wants Norton antivirus
    • Starting price$9.99/month
    • Free trial60-day money-back guarantee

    Identity protection and restoration software, with continuous monitoring and alerts, 24/7 customer support, and online security. LifeLock is an identity theft protection product that delivers comprehensive identity monitoring, including credit, investment, and bank accounts, mobile and social media, public records, and more, depending on the plan you choose. The software can be installed on as many as five devices so that you will receive full protection across all of your systems. LifeLock also lets you add individual family members for an added monthly cost.

    If LifeLock finds anything suspicious during a scan, you’ll be notified immediately. In addition to real-time protection and up-to-date alerts, LifeLock’s real benefit is its coverage in case of identity theft. With up to $1 million in insurance, LifeLock offers a range of services to help recover your identity and undo any damage. Plus, with the software’s included Norton’s 360 suite, you’ll also be protected from cyberthreats.

    Pros
    • Includes Norton antivirus software
    • Offers 3-bureau credit monitoring
    • User-friendly mobile app
    Cons
    • No family plan available
    • Expensive compared to other services
  • 5
    TransUnion

    TransUnion

    excellent
    9.2
    • Consumer Engagement
      Chosen by 2130people in the past 30 days
      8.6
    • Customer Feedback
      Great inBrand Satisfaction
      9.6
    • Brand Reputation
      Based onweb analytics
      9.1
    • Features & Benefits
      Product Review
      9.1
    Learn how we score
    • Best forHands-off protection
    • Starting price$24.95/month
    • Free trialNo

    One of the 3 major credit report bureaus that supply credit reporting and ID theft services, TransUnion is well-placed to offer its own ID theft services. There’s plenty to like about TransUnion’s ID theft services, as well as a few drawbacks, though if you’re concerned primarily with trustworthiness and reliability, TransUnion makes a solid case for itself. 

    For one thing, TransUnion’s ID theft service works automatically with no downloads or actions from you. Upon signing up you’ll receive your TransUnion credit report, and from there the service will notify you the second any suspicious activity is found. If you’re a more hands-on user, you can lock your report anytime and view your report daily on the mobile app. On the downside, TransUnion is more bare-bones than other services and doesn’t include as rich of a toolbox, and it charges extra for reports from the other 2 major credit bureaus. 

    Pros
    • Real-time monitoring and alerts
    • Easy-to-use mobile app
    • Online score simulator
    Cons
    • Extra cost for all 3 credit bureaus
    • No live chat available
  • 6
    IdentityTheft.com

    IdentityTheft.com

    very good
    8.8
    • Consumer Engagement
      Chosen by 764people in the past 30 days
      8.2
    • Customer Feedback
      Great inValue for Money
      9.6
    • Brand Reputation
      Based onweb analytics
      7.8
    • Features & Benefits
      Product Review
      9.5
    Learn how we score
    • Best forThose looking to protect their credit
    • Starting priceN/A
    • Free trialYes

    IdentityTheft.com is a cloud-hosted identity theft protection service that offers around the clock credit monitoring. Although no pricing information is available on their website, IdentityTheft.com promises easy, low-cost credit monitoring to protect yourself against identity theft. Once you have finished signing up for the service, you can add any account that you want to be monitored, including social security, driver's license, credit, or medical. In the event that the service flags unusual activity on your account, you will receive an instant notification requesting your confirmation that this isn't theft.

    If your identity is stolen, IdentityTheft.com offers $1 million identity theft insurance for any damages and will send out fraud alerts until you can secure your accounts. Although IdentityTheft.com doesn't offer the same comprehensive guidance and identity restoration services as other providers, this is a good basic credit monitoring option that can save you time and ensure that you never miss an attempted breach on your accounts.

    Pros
    • Ability to add numerous accounts to be monitored
    • Continuous monitoring
    • Instant alerts of suspicious activity
    Cons
    • No pricing information available
    • No 24/7 customer support
  • 7
    IdentityForce

    IdentityForce

    very good
    8.8
    • Consumer Engagement
      Chosen by 378people in the past 30 days
      8.1
    • Customer Feedback
      Great inValue for Money
      8.4
    • Brand Reputation
      Based onweb analytics
      8.3
    • Features & Benefits
      Product Review
      9.8
    Learn how we score
    • Best forInternet banking
    • Starting price$17.95per month
    • Free trial14 days

    IdentityForce has 40 years of experience in ID theft and is celebrated for the scope and breadth of its services. This well-respected company was one of the first to offer ID theft for children and has likewise been innovative in more recent services such as social media identity monitoring and mobile implementation. 

    IdentityForce monitors court records, Dark Web activity, and sex offender monitoring and offers smart alerts in more than 5 major areas. The service notably includes medical ID fraud protection and online tools for personal computers. Add to that insurance of up to $1 million, dedicated mobile apps, and a 50-point promise to customers, and it’s clear why IdentityForce has endured for more than 4 decades and has become a destination for discerning individuals concerned about protecting their identity.

    Pros
    • More than 40 years of experience
    • Medical ID fraud protection
    • 50-point member manifesto for customers
    Cons
    • Need to contact CS for family plan info
    • Pricier than other services
  • 8
    MyCleanID

    MyCleanID

    very good
    8.6
    • Consumer Engagement
      Chosen by 236people in the past 30 days
      8.0
    • Customer Feedback
      Great inService Quality
      8.4
    • Brand Reputation
      Based onweb analytics
      8.0
    • Features & Benefits
      Product Review
      9.3
    Learn how we score
    • Best forID theft and PC maintenance
    • Starting price$19.99per month
    • Free trialFree 1-time diagnostic

    MyCleanID provides real-time protection with 3-bureau credit monitoring with up to a $1 million guarantee. The process is easy and within minutes of signing up you’ll receive access to your credit and FICO scores through a smart, clean dashboard that allows you to keep tabs on private info and alerts. 

    MyCleanID’s monitoring services offer comprehensive protection that extends beyond standard features to include telephone and driver’s license protection as well as PC protection via the service’s privacy management software. The last is a unique feature that performs a deep scan on your computer and allows you to erase usernames and passwords, and schedule regular cleanings. This combination of PC care and ID theft offers users the benefit of proaction and control that can prevent breaches and help each user sharpen their personal online habits.   

    MyCleanID only offers one plan, but it’s relatively extensive and includes 24/7 live support.

    Pros
    • Up to $2,000 lost wallet protection
    • Unique PC protection software fosters proactive online safety
    • 24/7 US-based support
    Cons
    • Need to pay 1-time activation fee
    • Only 1 plan available
  • 9
    MyFICO
    excellent
    9.1
    • Consumer Engagement
      Chosen by 663people in the past 30 days
      8.2
    • Customer Feedback
      Great inValue for Money
      9.6
    • Brand Reputation
      Based onweb analytics
      9.0
    • Features & Benefits
      Product Review
      9.5
    Learn how we score
    • Best forWhole-family protection
    • Starting price$19.95per month
    • Free trialNo

    MyFico offers a comprehensive view of your credit standing as well as a slew of alerts, tools, and services that will keep you one step ahead of bad actors. As the standard-bearer of credit scores used by the 3 major credit bureaus, it offers its own consumer-facing ID theft service with solid ID theft protection that combines frequent reporting and far-reaching monitoring. 

    MyFICO offers 3 packages with monthly or tri-monthly updates. All of them are backed by $1 million theft insurance and include 24/7 ID restoration, lost wallet protection, and 24/7 customer support. While the basic plan only offers reports from Experian, the 2 top-tier plans include coverage from all 3 bureaus as well as identity monitoring.

    Pros
    • Monthly and tri-monthly reports
    • Receive alerts through SMS, email, or mobile app
    • 24/7 customer support
    Cons
    • Basic plan only includes 1-bureau coverage
    • Minor limitations on some credit report data
  • 10
    Panda Security

    Panda Security

    very good
    8.9
    • Consumer Engagement
      Chosen by 88people in the past 30 days
      8.0
    • Customer Feedback
      Great inBrand Satisfaction
      9.6
    • Brand Reputation
      Based onweb analytics
      8.8
    • Features & Benefits
      Product Review
      9.5
    Learn how we score
    • Best forVPN and torrent users
    • Starting price$14.95per month
    • Free trial30 days

    A well-known company amongst internet security enthusiasts, Panda offers an ID theft service that fits right into its suite of VPNs and antivirus software. 

    Panda has its sign-up process down to a science, and unlike others in the field, its ID theft monitoring begins the instant you’re signed up. You’ll receive fraud monitoring with rapid smart alerts if your financial info or credit card details are are sold online. Panda also offers SSN tracking as well as bank and credit card activity checks on withdrawals or transfers that exceed amounts you can set yourself. 

    Panda offers an admirable customer service policy with multiple avenues of communication. Customers have access to a 24/7 premium support line as well as chat and email. There’s also online contact forms and active resources on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

    Pros
    • Monitoring begins immediately after signing up
    • Customized alerts and notifications
    • Strong customer support teams
    Cons
    • Only 1 plan available
    • May conflict with security software from other providers
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better LifeLock or Identity Guard?
-
+
LifeLock and Identity Guard are both leading providers of ID theft services and may appeal to different people with different needs. Identity Guard currently has the better deal and compares favorably with the more expensive LifeLock, with 3-bureau credit monitoring and an AI-backed network.
Are identity theft protection services worth it?
-
+
Identity theft is a growing problem in the US and ID theft protection can be one of the best safeguards against it. Those who have been victims already are especially at risk, and those who do lots of banking or conduct other sensitive transactions online may benefit from added protection.
How many times has LifeLock been hacked?
-
+
LifeLock's CEO has allegedly been hacked more than a dozen times, including after a publicity stunt in which he publicly shared his social security number as a testament to the strength of his company's security prowess.

Is an ID Theft Protection Tool Worth the Investment?

If you’re looking for a firm layer of security to make you feel safer while online shopping, paying your bills online, sharing personal information on social media, and more, then yes—an ID protection service is definitely worth the investment. While some people may see these solutions as “nice-to-have” rather than “must-have,” they might be interested in learning that many of them offer free trial periods of up to 30 days, or discounts on your first annual subscription. 

How Do These Tools Work? 

The best ID theft protection services on the market utilize unique data and advanced technologies to monitor credit card transactions, the Dark Web, social media, and more. Their goal is to immediately detect when your information is stolen, offered for sale, or used fraudulently, in order to mitigate the damage of ID attacks as much as possible. Once you are alerted about an attack, these services will help restore your identity, reimburse you for stolen funds, and offer expert support around the clock. 

Here are some features and capabilities offered by the best ID protection services on the market today:

Monitor & Detect
Alert
Restore
Credit card transactions
Detect changes in your credit score
Identity restoration specialists
Dark Web
Be alerted when your information is stolen or offered for sale
Up to $1M reimbursement of stolen funds
Social media
Learn of social media activity using your name or photos
Coverage for lawyers and experts
Court recordings & bookings
Learn of crimes reported in your name
Lost wallet protection
The US Postal Service
Know if your mail has been redirected
24/7 member support
SSN
Find out about addresses associated with your Social Security number

Banks
Detect attempts to take over your account or loans taken in your name

Sex offenders
Learn if an offender moves into your neighborhood

Driver’s license
Learn if someone uses your driver’s license fraudulently

How Can Thieves Steal Your Identity?

The following are examples of some of the ways in which thieves can steal your personal information. Some of these methods are digital, others involve old-fashioned physical theft. All forms of theft put you at risk.

  • Hacking: This is a broad term that refers to any unauthorized login to a computer or network. It can include large data breaches, like the one discovered by Marriott in 2018 that compromised 500 million customers. It can also include direct hacking of your computer by someone with either physical or remote access to it. 
  • Phishing: This is a common ploy where scammers send an unsolicited email offering you something that requires you to supply personal info and login credentials. The scammers then use your information to break into your accounts and steal your identity, credit cards, or money.
  • Malware: Like phishing, this involves unsolicited messages with dubious links or attachments. If you click the link or open the attachment, malicious software gets installed on your computer and extracts your personal information.
  • Phone scams: One of the older tricks in the book, it involves scammers pretending to represent a financial or a government institution like the IRS or a bank in order to convince a person to give over their personal information.
  • Dumpster Diving: Criminals don’t always do things remotely; sometimes they might steal things from right under your nose. This ploy involves going through your trash for sensitive documents like bank statements.

What is Tax-Related ID Theft?

People who illegally obtain personal information such as a Social Security number can file fraudulent tax returns to the IRS. According to an IRS page dedicated to tax fraud, actions such as these can go undetected until an E-file attempt is made and rejected because of a previous (fraudulent) filing. The IRS may reach out if they’ve identified a suspicious return, though it’s best to stay on top of the problem. 

As a result of increasing tax-related ID theft, the IRS partnered with representatives from tax firms, payroll processors, and state tax administrators to address the problem. Efforts include awareness campaigns to keep civilians informed and up-to-date with best practices. Americans are advised to keep their Social Security cards in safe locations, use security software and strong passwords when submitting sensitive personal information online, and always securing their tax records.  

What is Medical ID Theft?

A less-common but no-less severe form of ID theft, medical ID theft occurs when your personal information is used to procure medical services or medication. Though information can be sold and acquired on the Dark Web to be used by complete strangers, other instances of medical theft have occurred with medical providers submitting excessive or even fabricated claims to insurance providers. For that reason, the standard practices of guarding your information and protecting your information online may not be enough, and experts also recommend checking your health insurance records once a year for possible discrepancies. 

How to Choose the Right Identity Theft Protection Service

Identity theft protection is a bit like car insurance: everyone could do with a basic form of coverage, but beyond that our needs vary. If you use online banking, store sensitive information on your computer or mobile, or have children that use the internet—all these things put you at elevated risk of identity theft. If you do everything offline, you may be at lower risk, although in this day and age nobody is ever truly at zero risk.

Before deciding who to go to for identity theft protection, first think about your needs. Then compare the different service providers for things like price, features, and level of customer service. While customer service is important in all industries, it’s particularly important in this one because you may one day need dedicated assistance to help protect or restore your information.

Finally, be cautious about giving out your personal information. Don’t click on suspicious links, don’t leave your bank statements in the trash, and educate your children about the risks of identity theft. By taking the right personal steps, you decrease the risks of having your information stolen. Antivirus and monitoring services should only be there to fill in the gaps.

Scott Hirsch
Scott currently writes full-time for top10.com and has worked as a writer, editor, and researcher for top tech companies, including Groupon. Over the last decade he has covered stories in emerging tech, consumer trends, medical and wellness technology, media, science, and culture.