The Best Identity Theft Services– Protect Your Personal Data

Scott Hirsch

It is estimated that every 2 seconds someone becomes a victim of identity theft, and in 2018 alone, 16.7 million people in the US fell victim to an attack, which totaled more than $16 billion, according to a report by Javelin. The reasons are myriad, from the rise in online shopping, to ever-increasing data breaches and malware attacks. 

Whatever the reasons, the trend is a worrying one. Luckily, ID theft protection services can provide a minimal-investment opportunity to monitor online activity performed in your name, thereby catching ID theft before it can seriously affect you. Here’s a look at the 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
Those looking to protect their credit
VPN and torrent users
Internet banking
ID theft and PC maintenance
$6.67per month
$9.99per month
$6.75/month
$9.99/month
N/A
$14.95per month
$17.95per month
$19.99per month
No
60-day money-back guarantee
No
60-day money-back guarantee
Yes
30 days
14 days
Free 1-time diagnostic
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
N/A
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
N/A
No
Yes
No
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
$1 million
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No

In-Depth Reviews of Our Top ID Theft Protection Picks

  • 1

    Identity Guard

    Effortless AI-backed data protection
    Identity Guard
    • 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. 

    Identity Guard is easy to use, and thanks to the Watson technology practically autonomous. Users will find the online identity dashboard and dedicated mobile apps a breeze to use.

    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

    Full-spectrum protection from Norton
    LifeLock
    • 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

    Affordable, comprehensive recovery services
    Zander Identity Theft
    • 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
    Continuous monitoring and alerts
    Norton
    • 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

    IdentityTheft.com

    Cloud-hosted protection service
    IdentityTheft.com
    • 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
  • 6

    Panda Security

    AI-assisted protection from a pro
    Panda Security
    • 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
  • 7

    IdentityForce

    Experience-backed solutions and security
    IdentityForce
    • 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

    A proactive approach to ID theft protection
    MyCleanID
    • 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
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better LifeLock or Identity Guard?
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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?
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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?
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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

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. 

Scott Hirsch
Scott 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, and has contributed articles to non-profit and social awareness organizations. Scott was born and raised in Chicago and has a deep love for its people, culture, and architecture. His work has appeared both online and in print.