There are plenty of free things that you can – and should – do to protect your identity. These include always checking your financial statements, accessing free credit reports, and making sure you issue a fraud alert if need be. However, as much as being vigilant is important, it takes a lot of time and it may still not catch everything. This is why a lot of people often try to find an identity theft protection service instead. While this will cost a monthly fee, it does mean that all your personal information is monitored and that you will be alerted as soon as something suspicious happens on your accounts.
A Note of Caution
If you were to look at online reviews of the best identity theft protection services, you will almost always see LifeLock come out on top. It is a hugely popular option that many people have signed up for. It scans your credit files daily, monitors the black market to see if your identity is being bought or sold and provides you with instant alerts. Additionally, it stops you from receiving pre-approved credit card offers, which are a huge target for thieves. Finally, it includes LifeLock Jr., which monitors the financial information of your children, since children are increasingly becoming frequent targets of identity thieves. Finally, it offers lost wallet protection and insurance of up to $1,000,000.
According to TomsGuide.com, the Federal Trade Commission filed a legal complaint against LifeLock on July 21, 2015.
The complaint states that the company has not met the obligations that had been set out in an agreement made in 2010. Unfortunately, the specifics behind this complaint have been sealed by federal court. As such, it may not be a good idea to choose LifeLock, despite its highly positive reviews, at this time.
The big question is whether identity theft protection services are worth the price they cost. Most financial experts agree that they certainly are worth it, and particularly for people who know they are at heightened risk due to leaks or data breaches. We live in a world where monitoring your personal information is always necessary and doing so through a trusted, professional service is a great idea. Let’s take a look, therefore, at some of the best tools for identity theft protection out there.
IdentityForce protects your identity in three steps: Monitor, Alert and Control. The full spectrum monitoring technology used by the service reviews all of your accounts every day. This means they take a very proactive approach in terms of seeing whether your personal, credit and financial information is sold. If they spot a particular risk, their early warning system will send you an immediate alert. You can receive these alerts on your tablet, computer or smartphone. Because the alert times are so quick, you can respond to a threat long before it actually becomes a problem. For IdentityForce, the goal is to take control of your information. You must be aware of when and where your information is used, because this allows you to use technology to protect it. They even offer keystroke encryption protection software, which means your credit card numbers, PIN numbers, passwords, and bank information is hidden. Furthermore, it comes with a $1,000,0000 theft insurance as well as a 24/7 credit restoration service. This means that if your identity is stolen, you will have all the help you need to fix this problem.
- Proactive alerts to threats and ID risk
- Daily full spectrum monitoring technology of your accounts
- 24/7 credit restoration services
- Keystroke computer encryption software included
- $1,000,000 insurance from identity theft
IdentityForce offers a number of different plans. The cheapest is $14.95 per month. The most expensive one, the UltraSecure Plan, is $19.95 and comes with a number of extra benefits. You can have a 14 day free trial on the standard plan.
#2. Identity Guard
Idenity Guard offers a number of different plans. The Platinum Plan is one of the best ones they offer. They will check your credit report across the three bureaus on a quarterly basis. Additionally, they offer utilities like anti-keylogging software, a credit score analyzer and an antimalware suite. It also offers $1,000,000 insurance if something does go wrong.
- Checks your credit report across the three bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax
- Offers identity protection alerts through both SMS and email
- Comes with $1,000,000 insurance
As stated, Identity Guard comes with a number of different plans. Essentials is the cheapest plan at $9.99 per month, followed by Total Protection at $19.99 per month. The most expensive is Platinum at $24.99 per month. All plans come with a 30 day free trial.
Like most identity protection services, IDShield offers a number of different plans. Their plans include unlimited Kroll consultation if your identity is stolen. Kroll is a firm that performs corporate investigations. Unfortunately, IDShield does not offer financial reimbursement if money is stolen. All your personal information is monitored through the service and they offer this for the entire family.
- Sends identity protection alerts via email
- Includes the services of a Kroll investigator
- Protects the entire family
IDShield offers a number of different plans. Individual is a plan that protects a single person for $9.99 per month. The Family plan costs $19.95 per month and will also protect the main account holder’s spouse or partner and up to eight minors.
Finally, there is IdentityLookout. They offer a high quality ID monitoring and protection service and they are known for their affordability. You will receive a copy of your Experian credit report when you sign up. The service monitors your credit every day across all three credit bureaus, as well as offering ATM, debit and credit card protection. This service monitors 50 different indicators that point to identity theft. In so doing, they can send you very quick alerts so that you can mitigate the damage. Furthermore, theft resolution agents are employed by Identity Lookout, who are there to help you with any issue related to identity theft. If you feel your identity is compromised, for instance, they will have all your cards cancelled and replaced. They also offer this service if your wallet is stolen. The plans come with $1,000,000 insurance and you can also ask for your children’s identity to be protected. The company has existed for more than seven years and have always been very trustworthy.
- Monitoring across the three credit bureaus, with email alerts if there are changes
- Monitoring and protection of ATM, debit and credit cards
- Assistance of an identity theft resolution agent
- Optional child identity monitoring service
- $1,000,0000 insurance
- Backed by Experian
The ID protection plan offered by IdentityLookout costs $19.95 per month. It also comes with a seven day free trial.