10 Best Identity Theft Protection Services to Stay Safe Online
The sophistication of identity fraud is increasing, with con artists increasingly employing diverse strategies and tools to snatch private details. Once they succeed, these criminals can exploit your data to establish credit accounts, submit tax returns, or impersonate someone.
Top-tier services aimed at protecting against identity theft can serve you well if your information falls into the wrong hands. Such services monitor your personal data, credit records, and online activities. Any suspicious or illicit activities will trigger alerts for you.
Besides this surveillance role, these protection agencies can also reach out to credit reporting bodies, financial institutions, and lenders on your behalf, as well as aid in reclaiming your stolen identity when necessary.
Continue reading to broaden your understanding about safeguarding yourself from ID theft, and discover our selection for the leading identity theft protection providers.
10 Best Identity Theft Protection Services
- LifeLock Norton – Best ID Theft Protection Overall
- ReliaShield – Best Identity Theft Protection for Families
- IdentityIQ – Best Social Security Number Monitoring
- Aura – Best for Multiple Devices
- ID Watchdog – Best ID Theft Resolution Service
- IdentityForce – Best for Comprehensive Protection
- Identity Guard – Best for Seniors
- Experian – Best Credit Monitoring
- IDShield – Best for Restoration
- PrivacyGuard – Best Customer Service
In our quest for the best identity theft protection service, we emphasized those offering exhaustive surveillance, swift help restoring identity, and sturdy data encryption. We favor alert systems that swiftly bring potential dangers to your notice and services that offer fiscal security through insurance or compensation.
An easy-to-use interface, dependable customer support, and cost-effectiveness are crucial elements. We didn’t forget to consider extra features like VPN services and secure password management.
LifeLock Norton – Best Identity Theft Protection Service Overall
LifeLock stands as our premier choice of identity theft protection owing to its thorough suite of cybersecurity features included across various plans.
In partnership with Norton, LifeLock truly shines with Norton 360, a comprehensive cybersecurity solution that provides multi-tiered safeguards against current and emerging digital threats in one software bundle. The critical attributes of Norton 360 encompass antivirus and malware defense systems, parental guidance controls, a secure password custodian, a VPN service for five or more devices, based on your chosen plan, and cloud backup services exclusively devised for Windows computers.
While it’s true that the basic plan from LifeLock lacks some bells and whistles compared to alternative identity theft protection services, its premium-level packages offer unique surveillance features not often seen in comparable offerings such as social media supervision, payday loan tracking mechanisms and alerts notifying potential bank account intrusions.
To summarize everything succinctly, Lifelock is an appealing choice for those prioritizing uncompromised online safety. However, be mindful of the hike in service rates at the termination of your inaugural year.
- Combination with Norton device protection, cloud storage, and VPN services
- The 60-day money-back guarantee is offered with an annual membership
- Access to 24/7 live customer service support
- Offers a straightforward and user-friendly interface
- Credit monitoring services and reports generally focus on a single bureau within most plans
- Plan rates experience an increase after the initial year
Plans and Pricing
- The Standard plan: This plan comes in at $9.99 monthly for the initial year, followed by a renewal rate of $11.99 monthly. Alternatively, users can choose an annual payment of $7.50 per month for the first year, requiring an upfront payment of $89.99 and then renewing at $124.99 per year.
- The Advantage plan: This plan is initially priced at $17.99, with subsequent monthly renewals at $22.99. Users can go for the annual payment plan of $14.99 per month for the first year, involving an upfront payment of $179.88, and then renew at $239.99 annually.
- The Ultimate Plus: This plan is available at $23.99 per month for the initial year, followed by a renewal rate of $34.99 per month. Users can choose the annual payment plan at $19.99 per month for the first year, requiring an upfront payment of $239.88 and then renew at $339.99 annually.
ReliaShield – Best Identity Theft Protection Services for Families
Regarding excellent value for family packages in identity theft protection, our best choice is ReliaShield. The company’s extensive and competitively priced group offerings make it stand out.
Family plans offered by ReliaShield begin at a monthly cost of $14.99 and cater to two adults, a notable difference from the usual starting price of $25 per month for comparable services. These competitive plans encompass five monitoring mechanisms: datapoint violation updates, around-the-clock customer support and recovery assistance, and wallet safeguarding measures. These packages extend their coverage to offspring under 18 years old without additional fees, an attractive feature for families with numerous underage members.
ReliaShield provides prompts regarding credit reports on its initial individual and family packages. However, thorough credit shielding solutions are only available on its intermediate and premium tiers. Inclusions range from single or triple-bureau credit surveillance to monthly updates on your credit score, along with alerts about new credit card applications.
With increasing online threats targeted towards children today, especially via social media platforms or neighborhood predators. This service offers essential monitoring in these areas, too, which is crucial for family safety although not included in their Essential plan offering.
- Family plans encompass all children under the age of 18
- Comprehensive monitoring of the dark web and neighborhood predators
- Round-the-clock customer service and unrestricted recovery support
- Timely alerts for data breaches
- Three-bureau credit monitoring is solely accessible through the highest-priced plan
- Credit monitoring services are absent from the basic plan
Plans & Pricing
- The Essential tier: This plan can be subscribed to at $7.99 per month or a discounted annual cost of $87.99, while the Family Essential tier is priced at $14.99 per month or $164.89 annually.
- The Prime tier: This plan carries a price tag of $14.99 per month for individuals or a yearly rate of $164.99. For families, it costs $24.99 per month or $274.89 per year.
- The Elite tier: This plan costs $21.99 monthly for individuals or a yearly charge of $241.89. Families can access this tier at $34.99 per month or $384.89 per year.
IdentityIQ – Best Social Security Number Monitoring
IdentityIQ is a company with a straightforward goal: to shield its clients from various categories of identity theft, including those related to financial and health insurance. Their attention is drawn towards fraud that involves Social Security information.
The IdentityIQ team uses thorough methods to monitor activities linked to Social Security numbers. What sets them apart is their dedication to keeping their clients updated. Unlike other services that only highlight questionable activities, IdentityIQ ensures users are alerted every time their SSN gets used, whether or not the activity seems suspicious. This method ensures they don’t miss out on any actions.
But it’s not merely about monitoring with IdentityIQ; they also offer preemptive security measures in a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Suppose a client ever becomes an identity theft victim. In that case, they provide additional safety nets like unmatched identity reclamation service, dedicated case management based in America, and insurance coverage reaching up to $1 million.
- U.S.-based customer support and identity restoration teams
- Thorough credit and identity monitoring
- Identity theft coverage of up to $1,000,000 for legal, out-of-pocket, and indirect costs
- Included coverage for children under 24 years old with the Secure Max plan
- Lack of mobile apps
- Absence of social network monitoring
- Involvement in third-party data sharing
- Restricted phone support
Plans & Pricing
- The Secure tier: This plan is offered at $6.99 per month, with an annual option at a reduced rate of $5.94 per month, totaling $71.30 for the year. The Secure Plus tier is priced at $9.99 per month, or $8.50 monthly, with an annual charge of $101.90.
- The Secure Pro tier: This plan is available at $19.99 or a discounted $16.99 per month, billed annually at $203.90.
- The Secure Max plan: This plan is attainable at $29.99 per month or a reduced rate of $25.50 monthly, with annual billing totaling $305.90. These choices empower users to select the protection level that best suits their needs, whether every month or with yearly payment.
Aura – Best Identity Theft Protection Service for Multiple Devices
Despite Aura’s relative novelty in the field, be aware of its capacities. This fresh face on the block has quickly established itself as a formidable player by providing various budget-friendly services. With every subscription to Aura, you’re provided with many features such as credit and identity monitoring, surveillance of online and financial accounts, plus protection for your devices.
The protective measures for your devices include antivirus software, a VPN service, encrypted vaults, and password-managing tools. Starting at merely $12 per month, Aura offers immense value. Every Aura subscriber is covered up to $1 million against losses from stolen or lost funds resulting from identity theft. They also provide superior quality identity restoration in case one falls victim to identity theft.
Aura is their provision for a free trial period lasting 14 days. It gives you ample opportunity to try out their services and get a feel of what it’s like having an identity protection service, especially if it’s your first time subscribing to such a service. Since very few companies offer trials without charges, this is worth considering before signing up with Aura and towards experiencing an Identity Protection Service.
- Budget-friendly plans from $10 per month
- Encryption with AES-256 for data security
- Aura collects monitoring data from diverse sources like public records, the dark web, new account records, and data broker lists
- Monthly monitoring utilizes all three credit bureaus
- Affiliated with Five Eyes alliance
- Absence of live online support
- Complex navigation in the Android app
Plans & Pricing
- The Individual plan: This plan is $15 per month or an annual payment of $12, totaling $144 annually.
- Couples: This plan aiming for protection has a monthly rate of $29, with an annual payment option of $22 per month, up to $264 per year.
- The Family plan: Families can select for $50 per month or choose the yearly billing option at $37 per month, adding up to $444 annually. These choices cater to diverse needs through monthly payments or yearly commitments.
ID Watchdog – Best ID Theft Resolution Service
ID Watchdog, despite its whimsical name, packs a formidable punch! This company, hailing from Denver, is an acquisition of the credit bureau Equifax and has been vigilantly defending against identity theft since 2005. You will receive reports from all three major credit reporting agencies as a member.
ID Watchdog’s excellence shines in identity theft protection. If your details are compromised, a certified ID theft risk management specialist will handle your case until your identity is reinstated.
Membership also includes advanced measures to prevent identity theft. For example, ID Watchdog continuously scans dark web portals and other sources for potential threats, allowing them to act quickly should anything be amiss. If they detect any security breach, they alert you instantly, allowing you to modify your email password or take necessary actions promptly, thus enabling you to outsmart criminal activities.
- Exceptional identity theft restoration support
- Robust two-factor authentication for enhanced security
- Backed by Equifax, a central credit bureau
- Outstanding credit monitoring functionalities
- Equifax, the owner of ID Watchdog, has experienced previous data breaches
- Apps received subpar ratings
- Credit score tracking relies solely on one bureau
- Absence of a money-back guarantee
Plans & Pricing
- ID Watchdog Select: This plan is priced at $12.50/month with annual billing. Offers basic and advanced identity monitoring, dark web monitoring, fraud alerts, and professionally managed ID theft resolution. However, credit reports aren’t included.
- ID Watchdog Premium: This plan $18.33/month with annual billing. Includes all the above features, a monthly Vantage credit score from all three credit bureaus, and an annual report from each bureau.
IdentityForce – Best Identity Theft Protection Service for Comprehensive Protection
Based in Massachusetts, IdentityForce has distinguished itself as an exceptional identity theft protection service, specifically catering to family units with a special emphasis on securing child identities.
The digital world could use more safety measures for the younger population. IdentityForce’s family-centric packages offer a VPN, an indispensable asset in maintaining online confidentiality and defense mechanisms against phishing scams notorious for identity pilfering. These enhanced protective layers aim to shield you and your offspring from the threats of online identity theft.
Turning our attention towards IdentityForce’s remarkable features that guard one’s identity, if you fall prey to fraudsters, the company delegates trained professionals who walk you through your ordeal. This squad is reachable around the clock via phone calls to address queries, finalize paperwork, and assist members in leveraging their insurance policies covering up to $1 million worth of identity theft damage.
- Excellent family plan options
- Incorporates anti-phishing and anti-keylogging software
- Provides social media monitoring
- All plans come with recovery services
- Ultra-secure plan details are hard to locate
- Operates within the U.S., a member of Five Eyes
- Not the most budget-friendly prices available
- iOS app performance is subpar
Plans & Pricing
- The Ultra Secure plan: This plan can be subscribed to at $17.95 monthly or an annual fee of $179.50.
- The Ultra Secure + Credit plan: This plan is priced at $23.95 per month or an annual payment of $239.50 for a more comprehensive package. These options allow users to choose the plan that best matches their needs, offering the flexibility of monthly payments or the value of yearly billing.
Identity Guard – Best Identity Theft Protection Service for Seniors
Identity Guard company, hailing from Virginia, became prominent in the 90s when the internet became a household name. Their primary focus is to safeguard one’s identity in this digital era. A subscription to Identity Guard encapsulates all four of the suggested features above.
- Theft prevention
- Credit monitoring
- Identity recovery assistance
- Identity theft insurance up to $1 million
Family plans offered by Identity Guard can prove instrumental in safeguarding children on the Internet. In the unfortunate event of identity theft affecting any family member, a committed case manager will restore the victim’s reputation and compensate for related outlays of up to $1 million.
- Comprehensive identity theft protection plans
- Utilizes IBM® artificial intelligence for its services
- Offers identity theft coverage of up to $1 million
- Features Facebook timeline analysis
- Mid-tier and upper-tier plans come at a high cost
- Absence of ‘limited power of attorney for recovery services
- Lacks fraud alerts with credit bureaus
- No money-back guarantee is provided
Plans & Pricing
Identity Guard provides identity theft protection with an array of packages designed to cater to the needs of individuals and families. There’s a Value package priced at $8.99 per month, with a discounted annual rate of $7.50 per month, leading to an annual expense of $90. The Total package is available for $19.99 or can be availed annually, equating to spending approximately $16.67 monthly, summing up yearly costs of around $200.04.
For those seeking more extensive protection, the Ultra package is offered at a monthly fee of $29.99, or it could be accessed annually by paying an equivalent amount of approximately 25 dollars each month, totaling up to yearly charges around the ballpark figure of 300 dollars.
The Family Plan offerings cater to families with its Value plan costing $14.99 monthly or an annual payment of $150, which translates to a lower rate of $12.50 per month. The Total family plan is marked for $29.99 each month or an equivalent monthly cost of $25 if billed yearly, amounting to $300 annually.
In addition, the Ultra family plan delivers wide-ranging protection for the price tag of just 39.99 per month or at an effective monthly rate of 33.33 if paid upfront annually, up to precisely 399.96 for a year’s subscription. These options provide flexibility and freedom for individuals and families alike, allowing them to conveniently choose plans based on their unique needs with monthly payments or savings via annual billing.
Experian – Best Identity Theft Protection Service Credit Monitoring
Experian IdentityWorks secures the title of “premier credit surveillance” amidst leading identity theft safeguard services. This organization extends Experian, an international credit reporting agency headquartered in Ireland. IdentityWorks can monitor your credit records from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, providing a daily update on your Experian score rather than just a monthly overview.
Frequent updates act as early warning signals for potential identity theft while guiding prudent credit utilization (Consider your actions!). Additional proactive steps offered by IdentityWorks encompass the following:
- Sending alerts from the sex offender registry if a criminal moves into your neighborhood
- Surveilling the dark web for signs of data breaches
- Checking payday lenders for applications in your name
- Monitoring social media for fraudulent accounts in your name
With the best prevention efforts, ID theft happens. If your identity is compromised, Experian IdentityWorks will help with fraud resolution and help secure reimbursement of up to $1 million.
- Comprehensive three-bureau credit monitoring and reporting
- Daily credit score tracking and updates
- Affordable standard protection plan
- Includes social media fraud monitoring
- The app lacks comprehensiveness
- A $500k insurance plan needs more competitiveness
- Customer service responsiveness could be improved
- Upper-tier plans come at relatively high prices
- Cancellation policy needs to be clarified
Plans & Pricing
IDShield – Best Identity Theft Protection Service for Restoration
When personal information is usurped, the financial implications can be staggering! Most firms protecting against ID theft extend insurance coverage up to $1 million. However, IDShield stands apart in this domain as it exceeds this limit. Under their Family Plan offering, clients can avail themselves of a whopping $2 million reimbursement in case of identity fraud incidents. They employ licensed private detectives who work round-the-clock on identity theft cases.
In situations where your identity has been infringed upon, IDShield makes an unwavering commitment to supporting you until all files are fully recovered, and any monetary losses have been reversed.
The main benefits of membership are:
- Identity theft insurance up to $2,000,000
- Identity recovery assistance
- Credit monitoring
- ID theft prevention
IDShield operates under the umbrella of LegalShield, a law firm situated in Oklahoma. Since its inception in 2001, it proudly holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for 2019.
- Abundant educational resources for ID theft protection
- Quarterly credit reporting from one or three bureaus
- Family plans boast remarkable $2 million coverage
- Offers a 24/7 private investigator hotline
- Some users find the setup process perplexing
- Lacks monitoring for 401(k) or retirement accounts
- The premium plan is slightly expensive
- Limited range of plan levels and choices
Plans & Pricing
- IDShield Individual: Starting at $14.95/month – This comprehensive ID protection plan monitors social media, payday lending services, and other platforms for fraudulent activity. In case of an identity breach, you’ll receive dedicated support and access to private investigators’ advice. Opt for credit report monitoring from one bureau ($14.95/month) or all three ($19.95/month). Plans offer $1 million insurance coverage.
- IDShield Family: From $29.95/month – Extending the safeguards of IDShield Individual to a spouse/domestic partner and up to eight children. Plans provide $2 million ID theft insurance. Credit report monitoring from one bureau is $29.95/month while monitoring all three bureaus costs $34.95/month.
PrivacyGuard – Best Identity Theft Protection Service Customer Service
PrivacyGuard is a company that offers identity theft protection. It stands out for its straightforward pricing model, affordable monthly fees, and extensive coverage in fraud resolution. Customer feedback indicates that the firm has one of the industry’s most commendable customer service teams. This organization, headquartered in Connecticut, caters to all US territories except Iowa, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Your investment with PrivacyGuard starts at a minimal $9.99/month for ID safeguarding services, including an impressive $1 million coverage for resolving fraudulent activities. However, this deal necessitates an automatic renewal of your subscription each month.
Delivered with pleasant customer service, the main benefits with this company are:
- Identity recovery assistance
- Credit monitoring
- ID theft prevention
- Identity theft insurance up to $1,000,000
- Outstanding customer service
- Offers a basic, cost-effective identity theft protection plan
- The premium plan includes credit monitoring and fraud restoration
- Provides up to $1 million in identity theft insurance coverage
- Lacks a dedicated family plan
- Absence of social media monitoring
- There’s no available free trial
- The premium plan comes with a slightly higher price tag
Plans & Pricing
- ID Protection: $9.99/month – This plan excludes credit reports. Key preventive aspects include dark web surveillance, SSN tracking, and ID verification monitoring. It offers fraud resolution help and up to $1,000,000 coverage for identity theft.
- Credit Protection: $19.99/month – This plan doesn’t include certain features like dark web monitoring found in ID protection. It offers daily monitoring of credit reports from all three bureaus. In the event of ID theft, PrivacyGuard assists with fraud resolution and secures up to $1,000,000 against theft/damages.
- Total Protection: $24.99/month – A blend of the previous two plans, Total Protection combines identity theft protection, credit report monitoring, and fraud resolution. It provides a $1,000,000 insurance plan.
Our Methodology: How We Picked the Best Identity Theft Protection of 2023
When we test out and research different identity theft protection services, we look for key factors. While we’re trying it out, here’s what we look for:
- Credit agencies monitored: We prioritize credit monitoring from all three major Bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Regular updates to credit scores and reports are essential.
- Financial Areas Monitored: Our subscriptions encompass credit cards, investments, bank accounts, and payday loans. We aim to track financial activities and safeguard payment information.
- Criminal Areas Monitored: We seek comprehensive monitoring across court records, local sex offender registries, and the dark web. Thorough vigilance is crucial.
- Identity Theft Insurance: Services must include theft insurance with a cap of $1 million, as commonly seen in policies.
- Privacy Jurisdiction: Though we acknowledge most services are U.S. based and part of the Five Eyes alliance, we still evaluate the company’s privacy jurisdiction for those deeply concerned about privacy.
- Encryption Method: Our Personal Identifiable Information (PII) should be encrypted with top-tier methods, like AES-256.
- App: We value user-friendly apps, thoroughly testing them on iOS and Android devices to ensure ease of use and minimal glitches.
- Pricing: Staying within a $30 monthly budget is our goal. We appreciate companies offering discounts for annual subscriptions.
- Customer support: Swift assistance is imperative. We expect accessible live chat, phone, and email support for prompt solutions to technical issues.
Best Identity Theft Protection Services – Buyer’s Guide
What Is Identity Theft? Everything You Need to Know
Identity fraud refers to the illegal act of utilizing another individual’s personal data for activities such as procuring goods, establishing accounts, securing loans, and more. The repercussions of your identity being pilfered can range from financial loss to potential legal complications if your credentials are used unlawfully. Swiftly addressing identity theft cases is imperative, but an even superior strategy would avert such incidents altogether.
What Is Identity Theft Protection?
Guarding against identity theft encompasses services that vigilantly observe one’s data across web platforms, credit endeavors, legal documents, and other digital realms. This security measure typically incorporates coverage through an identity theft protection service, mitigating financial harm while keeping a keen eye on credit.
- Credit Monitoring: Credit scores and reports are excellent indicators of identity theft, especially if you see actions you don’t recall. For the most protection, some services include credit scores and reports from all three major credit bureaus in the U.S., namely Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
- Identity Monitoring: Identity monitoring occurs in some areas, scanning them for your credentials. Most identity theft protection services use artificial intelligence to scan for your information, from financial areas like your bank account to criminal areas like court records.
How Does Identity Theft Protection Work?
The process of identity theft protection is relatively uncomplicated. Once you have registered and made payment for a particular service, the identity was confirmed through a series of straightforward multiple-choice inquiries. Subsequently, the identity theft protection service key in all the details. The more data you provided, the broader the scope of surveillance they could offer.
Having input everything from names, email addresses, residential addresses, and telephone numbers to Social Security details, driver’s license numbers, and banking data they customized alerts that notify you whenever discrepancies related to the information were detected by their system.
It would investigate precisely what transpired via an app interface or engage with an expert specialized in restoring identities when necessary. In scenarios where identity theft occurred while under subscription coverage on most services offered, reimbursement for incurred damages could reach up to $1 million! And voilà, you now understand how identity theft protection works against Identity theft.
Is Identity Theft Protection Worth the Money?
The cost of protection against identity theft is generally justified. Not all services are created equal. Before committing to any service, we advise perusing our detailed reviews on various identity theft protection offerings. We’ve personally evaluated each option so you can save your valuable resources like time and money.
How Does Identity Theft Happen?
There are many methods for identity theft, and it’s not always the scenario where a sinister hacker lurks behind your screen, eagerly awaiting your password entry.
Individuals intent on stealing your identity can fool you into revealing confidential data. They typically employ tactics such as sending emails or SMS messages that appear to originate from credible entities like banks, e-commerce platforms, social networking sites, or streaming services.
These deceptive communications, often called phishing messages, generally prompt you to follow a specific link and act rapidly concerning an issue like a frozen account or obsolete payment details. They might also request that you download files, which may compromise the security of your device.
Formjacking is a technique employed by cybercriminals where they infiltrate authentic website forms by embedding harmful software. Their objective is to stealthily clone your payment details or login information without raising alarms.
It’s essential to ensure the security of the sites you frequent. A quick tip: Check if their URL starts with “https” and displays a tiny padlock symbol. However, despite their deceptive intentions, tech-savvy criminals can sometimes incorporate these security indicators into formjacked websites.
Physical Document Theft
Avoid keeping your Social Security card, passport, and other vital documents in your wallet or vehicle unless required. Before discarding them, be vigilant about shredding papers with personal data, like bank records and utility invoices.
Synthetic Identity Theft
Cybercriminals create new identities by combining real personal information with fake data. For example, they may use an actual Social Security number and a false name to apply for a loan.
Child Identity Theft
Fraudsters can illicitly acquire a minor’s private data, using this information to set up banking accounts, secure credit cards, or even solicit loans. The theft of a child’s identity frequently remains undetected until far into the future when the impacted person attempts to secure employment, automotive insurance, or apply for a fresh line of credit.
The Technology Behind Identity Monitoring
Encryption and artificial intelligence form the backbone of most services monitoring identity. As we entrust a considerable amount of personal details to these platforms, ranging from our Social Security digits to our residential locations, it’s paramount that they safeguard our information with utmost care.
This necessitates encryption, which turns our data into unreadable gibberish accessible only through one’s account. This step ensures that an identity protection service accomplishes its intended purpose instead of exacerbating the risk factor for identity theft.
Enterprises such as Identity Guard harness the power of artificial intelligence to scan worldwide webs and domains for user credentials vigilantly. Specifically mentioning Identity Guard, they employ IBM Watson® Artificial Intelligence, which ceaselessly probes criminal and financial sectors round-the-clock in search of users’ Personal Identifying Information (PII).
Given how pricey and strenuous constant monitoring would be for companies, leveraging AI-powered automatons proves to be a more efficient means to keep identities under surveillance.
Can I Monitor My Own Identity? Identity Theft Protection Alternatives
Of course, identity theft protection services aren’t the only way to prevent identity theft. Here are some alternatives straight from the Federal Trade Commission:
- Safeguard vital documents like credit cards, Social Security certificates, birth certificates, passports, and Medicare cards in a secure spot. Employ a reliable home security system for added protection.
- Retrieve your mail promptly to prevent credential theft from your mailbox.
- Dispose of documents containing personal data by shredding them immediately after use.
- Use complex, distinctive passwords for each account.
- Employ anti-phishing software to prevent unauthorized account access.
- When on public Wi-Fi networks, use a VPN for enhanced security.
- Only disclose your Social Security number when strictly necessary, assessing on a case-by-case basis.
- Regularly inspect credit score reports from TransUnion, Equifax, Experian, and bank and other financial/medical accounts.
Although there’s no surefire method to ensure your identity remains unscathed, following these guidelines reduces the likelihood of theft.
Identity Theft Insurance
As mentioned, most companies give identity theft protection and typically include insurance coverage in their subscription packages. Usually, this allows clients to be reimbursed up to $1 million if they fall prey to identity theft.
The harsh reality is that no entity or individual can fully safeguard against this crime. Even professionals like us specializing in digital security aren’t immune. Our credentials could be breached, and our identities pilfered. This inherent risk underlines the very reason for the existence of such insurance provisions. It’s heartening to note that these are often integrated into most plans to protect one’s identity!
Identity Restoration and Recovery
Undeniably, experiencing identity theft can be incredibly distressing, resulting in monetary and psychological damage. Luckily, most organizations provide aid for restoring your identity alongside insurance benefits. We were fortunate to give you identity theft protection during our examination phase, a relief! However, it was comforting to know that round-the-clock support would be available if such an event did occur.
How to Report Identity Theft?
Identity theft protection involves filing an official report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via IdentityTheft.gov or directly dialing 1-877-438-4338. Once you’ve completed your FTC statement, you should also make a police report, particularly if you have any hunches about who might be responsible for the infraction. The paperwork required for this process includes:
- A duplicate of your FTC Identity Theft Report facilitates the recovery of your identity and offers proof to businesses that someone has illicitly assumed your persona.
- An ID card with a government-issued photograph, like your driver’s license or passport.
- Your residential address and supporting evidence, such as a mortgage invoice or utility bill.
- Evidence confirming an identity theft instance (unfamiliar invoices, repeated credit inquiries, notifications from the IRS, and so on.)
Best Identity Theft Protection Services – FAQs
How Do You Check to See if Someone Stole Your Identity?
According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are signs that your identity has been stolen, such as:
- Unexplained bank account withdrawals
- Calls regarding unfamiliar debts or bills
- Mail that goes missing
- Incorrect data in your medical records
- Notification from the IRS about a filed tax return under your name
- Unfamiliar alterations in your credit score or report
How Can I Monitor My Credit for Identity Theft?
You can use several strategies to safeguard your credit from identity theft. One involves enrolling in a credit or identity theft protection monitoring service such as LifeLock or Experian.
However, one can also obtain their free-of-charge credit reports at annualcreditreport.com. It’s vital to thoroughly examine the credit reports provided by Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Look for unrecognizable accounts or unusual entries like bankruptcies and judgments.
Should You Get Identity Theft Protection?
Our belief firmly rests in the importance of identity theft protection for all, irrespective of age, financial standing, credit history, or other criteria. We possess sensitive personal data that can be effortlessly pilfered via a misplaced purse or an internet fraud scheme.
Though identity theft security doesn’t offer an absolute guard against such violations, it does alert you at the first hint of something suspicious. It provides safeguards by way of insurance if your persona is illicitly used.
Final Thoughts on Identity Theft Protection Services
An ideal service for identity theft protection ought to present a broad array of credit and identity supervising solutions across their offerings, supplemented with a substantial package for restoring compromised identities and enhanced by added cybersecurity functions.
Our assessment of each company’s monitoring capabilities, alert systems, refund strategies, customer help programs, and cybersecurity applications enabled us to determine the industry leaders in providing superior identity theft safeguard measures, such as LifeLock, ReliaShield, and Aura.