Online identity theft has been a growing worry, especially in light of the frequent news reports of data breaches in which businesses have been breached and thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of customers’ personal information have not only been seized but also made available for sale. Once sold, this information can be used by con artists to steal identities and commit fraud. However, the best identity theft protection services will be able to notify you as soon as this occurs with regard to your data.
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The finest identity theft protection service overall is Aura, which not only has one of the best user interfaces but also offers you the most crucial and popular features to secure your identity online at a fair price.
Aura can monitor both investment and bank accounts for ominous activity in addition to data breach, title change, and sex offender alerts. By allowing you to establish a transaction limit for monitoring, the service also makes it simple to prevent getting inundated with warnings. Even basic monitoring can be set up with the family plan to make sure that your children’s Social Security numbers aren’t being used fraudulently online.
For the past two years, IdentityForce has topped our list of the best identity theft protection services, but this year, Aura and Bitdefender Ultimate Security, which utilizes its analysis, defenses, and insurance, have put up a strong challenge. It’s still a terrific option, though, if you’re more interested in superb identity theft protection than additional security.
You must upgrade to IdentityForce’s UltraSecure+Credit package, which gives you access to your VantageScore 3.0 composite score and instant scores, if you wish to monitor your credit.
Additionally, you receive quarterly reports from each bureau. IdentityForce can monitor for mentions of your name and Social Security number by searching court documents and dark web forums.
LifeLock offers a variety of plans and subscriptions, making it the ideal option for consumers seeking the most thorough identity theft protection. All of them do not, however, offer credit simulators, and extras like malware protection and VPN access can be pricey.
However, LifeLock is the ideal option if you want to secure your complete digital life with a single subscription. If you choose LifeLock’s top-tier Ultimate Plus package, it outperforms the competition when it comes to credit scores, providing daily ratings from Equifax and monthly ones from TransUnion and Experian.
Additionally, it monitors your bank, investment, and credit card accounts for any unusual activity, and it may even look into payday lending providers.
While Identity Force’s identity theft services were added to Bitdefender’s new Bitdefender Ultimate Security offering last year, the antivirus software company, best known for its antivirus software, raised the bar for online security.
With monthly reports from all three main bureaus, Bitdefender Ultimate Security has you covered when it comes to monitoring your credit. Although Bitdefender is aiming to include payday loan and title change alerts, the program can also monitor up to 10 banking and investment accounts.
Further, there is also an option to immediately freeze your TransUnion credit, and there is an Action Plan for each event with suggestions ranging from buying a spam blocker to changing your passwords.
One of the most affordable methods to keep an eye on your credit and safeguard your identity online is with IDShield. Both of the service’s two plans provide significant savings, but you are also missing out on some crucial services, such as two-factor authentication, as well as some helpful add-ons, such as full credit reports and credit simulators to help you gradually repair your credit.
IDShield tracks activity at all three major credit agencies and provides monthly VantageScore 3 data from TransUnion. Although TransUnion is given priority by the organization, in the event of identity theft, the company collaborates with all three bureaus to produce a unified report that will help identify the issue and provide solutions.
6. Identity Guard
Identity Guard offers reliable identity theft protection at a competitive price with a great selection of options. Along with access to a password manager, these subscriptions do not offer malware protection or a VPN. Nevertheless, Identity Guard is a fantastic choice for individuals on a limited budget because to its comprehensive social media monitoring and identity insurance.
When it comes to credit monitoring, Identity Guard’s most affordable Value plan doesn’t display any of your credit scores, while its mid-range The total plan includes monitoring at all three credit agencies and single bureau credit scores updated monthly from Equifax. While credit reports only arrive once a year, the Ultra plan includes credit reports and displays scores for all three bureaus.
IdentityIQ’s goal is clear: to defend customers against a variety of identity fraud types, such as financial theft and health insurance fraud. Particularly, it focuses on fraud involving Social Security numbers.
The IdentityIQ team takes numerous precautions to keep an eye on activities involving Social Security numbers. They stand out for their dedication to keeping customers informed. IdentityIQ ensures that users receive warnings each time their SSN is used, regardless of whether the activity appears suspicious or not, in contrast to other systems that indicate questionable conduct. This strategy ensures that no behavior eludes detection.
8. Experian IdentityWorks
One of the three main credit bureaus in the US is Experian, and they provide IdentityWorks, a top-notch service for preventing identity theft.
As a credit bureau, they are well-positioned to provide a round-the-clock credit monitoring service that enables you to spot credit theft earlier. Their identity theft monitoring tool has dark web monitoring built-in, which monitors more than 600,000 websites every day to see if any of your information has been taken.
If their system detects any suspicious behavior involving your social security number, financial accounts, payday loans, bogus identity validations, social network monitoring, and other information, you will receive near real-time identity theft notifications.
9. ID Watchdog
A well-known identity theft prevention and resolution service for both individuals and company owners is ID Watchdog. One of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, purchased ID Watchdog in 2017 and is now a member of the Equifax family.
They offer full managed identity resolution, dark web monitoring, high-risk transaction monitoring, data breach alerts, public record monitoring, and identity theft insurance up to $1 million.
You must purchase the premium plan in order to receive a full identity theft protection service because lower-tier plans do not offer features like credit report locking, financial account monitoring, social media account monitoring, 3-bureau credit report monitoring, daily credit score tracking, private VPN, or password manager apps.
If you want to safeguard your identity but prioritize closely monitoring your credit, MyFICO is a great option. This identity theft protection service gives you access to your actual FICO ratings, which are what loan officers use to assess your creditworthiness, unlike other identity theft protection services that utilize the VantageScore 3.0. This is ideal for those trying to obtain a new loan or mortgage.
Depending on the plan you select, MyFICO also offers you access to your credit scores from all three bureaus in addition to your FICO scores. The Advanced plan adds scores and reports from all three bureaus while the Basic plan only included your primary FICO score and Experian credit scores and reports.
Consider the sort of monitoring you need, such as credit reports, social media, criminal and court records, or bank account monitoring, before choosing an identity theft protection service. Then, you should look into the company’s accessibility, level of customer service, usability, and setup simplicity. I would advise you to utilize Identity Guard and Aura, based on my personal study.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does identity theft protection work?
Identity theft protection services work by monitoring various data sources, such as credit reports, financial accounts, and public records, for signs of fraudulent activity. When suspicious activity is detected, the service alerts the individual to take action.
What types of activities do identity theft protection services monitor for?
Identity theft protection services typically monitor for activities such as unauthorized credit inquiries, changes in your credit score, new accounts opened in your name, and potentially fraudulent use of your personal information.
How can I choose the right identity theft protection service for me?
To choose the right service, consider your specific needs, budget, and the level of protection you desire. Research different providers, read reviews, and compare features before making a decision.
Is identity theft protection necessary if I already have credit monitoring?
While credit monitoring is a component of identity theft protection, the latter offers a broader range of services, including assistance in case of identity theft and access to experts who can guide you through the recovery process.