Here’s a look at the five best identity theft protection service deals we’ve found on the market today. Keep reading for information on plans and pricing, along with key features, deals, promos and why you should consider each option.
It seems like it’s impossible to go a week without hearing about another massive data breach exposing millions of people’s information to the world. This past March, Marriott International announced it had a data breach that exposed the personal information of over 5.2 million people. In 2020 alone, we’ve seen data breaches from Fifth Third Bank, Facebook, Microsoft, Estee Lauder, MGM Resorts, Walgreens, Carnival Cruise Lines, T-Mobile, Zoom and more.
Stories like these make it hard to ignore the need for identity theft protection. The good news is that there are plenty of companies around providing these valuable services, with prices as low as free.
1. Best Comprehensive Coverage: LifeLock
|Slick Tip: Get 25% off your first year with this promotional link.|
LifeLock is probably the identity theft company you’re most familiar with thanks to its memorable commercials featuring LifeLock’s founder. With the company’s recent purchase by Symantec, LifeLock services now feature protection for your computer through Norton 360.
Identity theft protection through LifeLock includes a $25,000 to $1 million reimbursement, depending on the plan. Only the Ultimate Plus plan offers monitoring of all three major credit bureaus — other LifeLock plans only offer monitoring of one.
All Lifelock packages feature identity and Social Security number alerts, so you get the help you need in real-time. All of the plans come with protection for personal devices except the Standard option.
LifeLock plans come with access to its mobile app, available on iOS and Android. Members get access to mobile alerts and quick response options, 24-hour member support and credit score access.
Families can also protect their children (under 18 years of age) with the addition of LifeLock Junior for an additional $5.99/month per child.
The pricing listed above is for the first year. Lifelock plan pricing increases after 12 months.
2. Best Value: Identity Guard
|Pricing ($7.50-$25/month when billed annually)
Identity Guard offers three easy-to-understand identity theft protection plans. Only the Total and Ultra plans offer three-bureau credit monitoring, monthly credit score access and tax refund alerts. There’s still plenty of value with the “Value” plan, which still includes:
- Dark Web Monitoring
- Risk Management Report
- Safe Browsing Tools
- Anti Phishing Mobile App
All of Identity Guard’s plans include up to $1 million in insurance coverage.
Identity Guard comes with 24/7 protection, with alerts available through email and mobile app notifications. Its mobile app, which was recently updated, is available on iOS and Android and features alerts, credit score access, and access to a knowledge base and the latest news on threats.
Pricing above is for customers who pay annually. Monthly billing raises plan costs to $8.99, $19.99 and $24.99. Family plans are also available for an additional cost.
Over the past 20+ years, over 47 million consumers have relied on Identity Guard for identity theft protection. It doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles offered by other companies, but for the best value, it’s hard to ignore Identity Guard.
3. Best For Free Trial: Experian IdentityWorks
As one of the three major credit bureaus, Experian knows the value of quality identity theft protection. Experian plans include features like:
- Dark web surveillance
- Lost wallet assistance
- Identity theft monitoring
- Address change verification
- Experian CreditLock services
- Credit monitoring
- Credit score access
IdentityWorks Premium includes a slew of other valuable features and quarterly credit scores from all three major credit bureaus. Experian customers also have access to its free mobile app, available on iOS and Android. The app features access to Experian Boost, along with credit monitoring and alerts.
Individual accounts come with up to $500,000 identity theft insurance, while the two-adult plan carries up to $1 million in coverage. Families looking for coverage will love the option to add up to 10 children. Those are incredible savings if you have a large family.
Individuals can access a 30-day free trial before committing to a plan through Experian. Unfortunately, this option isn’t available for plans that include children. You can also save 17% off plans by paying annually instead of monthly.
4. Best Free Option: Credit Karma Free Identity Monitoring
Not sure you are ready to pay for identity theft monitoring? Well, Credit Karma has you covered with its completely free service. However, the coverage is minimal compared to paid plans through other providers.
So what is offered with Credit Karma’s free identity monitoring service? You’ll get credit reports and scores from two of the three major credit bureaus (not Experian), credit monitoring, ID monitoring and an unclaimed property feature. Credit Karma also provides tons of resources to educate yourself on identity theft and how to protect yourself and your family better.
You must be 18 years of age or older to sign up for the free service, and there are no family plan options currently. Credit Karma protection doesn’t include any insurance coverage if your identity is stolen, making it more of an informational service than actual protection.
Why would Credit Karma give away this service for free? Like many companies, they are hoping if you like this service, you’ll explore other paid services they offer. As a leader in credit education and resources, it makes sense for them to provide identity monitoring.
Although it’s a bare-bones service, Credit Karma gives people a way to stay safe without paying every month for identity protection.
5. Best Recovery Guarantee: IdentityForce
|Slick Tip: Get a free 30-day trial and two months free on all plans.|
IdentityForce is a leader in the identity protection industry with over 40+ years of experience. They offer two main plans for consumers — UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit. Both plans include valuable monitoring features like:
- Change of address
- Dark web
- Social media identity
- Court records
- Payday loans
- Sex Offender
Both plan options come with up to $1 million in identity theft insurance. They also offer a host of alerts to keep your information protected. IdentityForce’s premium plan includes access to three-bureau credit monitoring, credit scores, credit reports and other credit-related features.
IdentityForce also offers family plans, although pricing and details of those plans aren’t available on its website. Family plans include ChildWatch, an add-on service to protect your children.
IdentityForce’s, mobile app, available on iOS and Android, ups the game with Mobile Attack Control, an included service that monitors threats like spyware, spoof networks, unsecured Wi-Fi connections and more. It also features a host of alerts, social media identity monitoring, fraud protection and access to credit scores.
One thing that sets IdentityForce apart is its commitment to offering 24/7 recovery support if your identity is stolen. They do the legwork, so you don’t have to, and they do it with a 100% identity recovery guarantee. It’s good to know you’re protected in every possible way with IdentityForce.
Bottom Line: Should You Invest In Identity Theft Protection Services?
If you’re concerned about protecting your identity in this age of constant data breaches, purchasing identity theft protection could be a wise investment. Consider it an insurance policy in case you find your identity stolen. Nobody likes paying for insurance until the day they need it.
Most of the plans mentioned above include other monitoring and informational services that make buying protection worth the cost in most cases. If you’re still not sure, why not try signing up for a free service or free trial to find out if it’s worth the extra cost?