Best Identity Theft Protection Services of 2022

When it comes to identity theft, you don’t want to skimp on protection

Best Coverage
Identity Force
Price:
$17.99–$23.99/mo.
  • pro
    14-day free trial
  • pro
    Medical ID fraud protection
  • con
    Many alerts about sex offenders
Most Flexible
IDShield logo
Price:
$14.99–$19.95/mo.
  • pro
    Choice of 1 or 3 credit bureaus
  • pro
    All features available with all plans
  • con
    No bank account monitoring
Best for Social Media
Identity Guard
Price
$8.99–$29.99/mo.
  • pro
    Social insight report
  • pro
    Monthly credit reports
  • con
    No credit monitoring with lowest tier
Best Price
Zander
Price:
$6.75–$9.99/mo.
  • pro
    Medical ID fraud protection
  • pro
    Extremely affordable
  • con
    No credit monitoring service
Best Antivirus
McAfee
Price:
$49.99–$89.99/yr.*
  • pro
    Antivirus
  • pro
    Secure VPN
  • con
    Minimal features
Brianne Sandorf
Staff Writer, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
January 17, 2022
10 min read

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our disclosure policies to learn more.

Identity theft “protection” is a bit of a misnomer. There’s not much you can do to completely lock down your identity; criminals will always find a way.

But you can monitor your identity through an identity theft protection service to know if something untoward happens. And once it does, you can take steps to restore your identity—with the help of your chosen service.

Home security and identity theft?
Bullhorn

Some home security services now offer identity theft protection! Check out Frontpoint in the US or TELUS in Canada.



Best identity theft protection services
Provider
Price
Identity theft insurance maximum
Additional services
Details
IdentityForce$17.99–$23.99/mo.$1 millionLost wallet assistance Credit reports SSN monitoring Bank account monitoring Medical ID protection
IDShield$14.95–$19.95/mo.$1 millionLost wallet assistance Credit reports SSN monitoring Medical ID protection
Identity Guard$8.99–$29.99/mo.$1 millionCredit reports Bank account monitoring
Zander$6.75–$9.99/mo.$1 millionLost wallet assistance SSN monitoring Medical ID protection Credit reports Bank account monitoring
McAfee Identity Theft Protection$49.99–$89.99/mo.$1 millionLost wallet assistance

Data effective 9/07/2022. Offers subject to change.
*First year price

Experian IdentityWorks exclusion
Heads Up

We wanted to recommend IdentityWorks as a sixth service, but the company’s had a class-action lawsuit against it. For us, major lawsuits are a ding to a brand’s credibility.

What to look for in an identity theft protection service

We’ve already sorted the best identity theft protection services for you, but if you want to know how we picked ‘em, read on.

Identity protection and restoration features that work best for most users

  • Lost wallet assistance
  • Credit reports
  • SSN monitoring
  • Bank account monitoring
  • Medical ID protection
  • Financial assistance of at least $1 million

All features that help you monitor your identity are good, but we generally look for these to start. Pick a service that tracks your most sensitive information. If your identity has been stolen, the sooner you know about and can stop it, the better. 

And what about identity restoration? Our chosen services guarantee up to $1 million to help you clear your name and credit. This is vital because an identity monitoring service is nearly useless without it.

Want to read more?

IdentityForce: Best comprehensive coverage

identity force logo
pro 14-day free trial
pro Medical ID fraud protection
pro Junk mail control
con Many alerts about sex offenders
Price:
$17.99–$23.99/mo.

IdentityForce offers a little bit of everything, making it one of the most comprehensive identity theft protection services.

Why we chose IdentityForce

We’d recommend IdentityForce to almost anyone because of its massive range of services. Here's a more complete list of the extra features IdentityForce offers:

  • Advanced fraud monitoring 
  • Change of address monitoring 
  • Court records monitoring 
  • Dark web monitoring 
  • Dark web data analysis 
  • Payday loan monitoring 
  • Sex offender monitoring 
  • Social media identity monitoring 
  • Mobile phone threat detection
  • Secure VPN
  • Stolen funds replacement

With IdentityForce, you’re alerted anytime someone (like an auto dealer or a mortgage company) requests a copy of your credit report. IdentityForce also monitors online marketplaces for the trading or selling of your personal information. For instance, if someone steals your credit card information in a retail-store hack, IdentityForce will look for its appearance online.

IdentityForce also offers a ChildWatch service that monitors your children’s names online. ChildWatch is the same service IdentityForce provides adults, just with an emphasis on children.

And should your (or your child’s) identity be stolen, IdentityForce offers up to $1 million in identity theft protection insurance.

IdentityForce monitors online marketplaces for your personal information.

IdentityForce also monitors a wide range of potential threats beyond credit reports. These threats could include sex offender registries, payday loans, court records, and more. (But note that some users think IdentityForce’s alerts, including those about sex offenders, are excessive.)

What do sex offenders have to do with identity theft?
Info Box

Not everyone who’s arrested gives their real name to police. To keep their own record clean, some predators supply another person’s name and information upon arrest. Sex offender alerts can help you learn if a criminal’s using your identity to obscure their own.

IdentityForce offers two protection options, either on a month-to-month plan or a year-long contract.

IdentityForce monitoring plan prices and details
Plan
Price
Credit bureaus checked
Other basic features
Details
UltraSecure$17.99/mo. or $179.90/yr.NALost wallet assistance SSN monitoring Bank account monitoring Medical ID protection
UltraSecure+Credit$23.99/mo. or $239.90/yr.3Lost wallet assistance Credit reports SSN monitoring Bank account monitoring Medical ID protection

Data effective 9/07/2022. Offers subject to change.

Both IdentityForce plans include medical ID fraud protection, a service we wish more identity theft protection programs would offer. Medical identity theft may not take a dime from your pocket, but it can cause your medical records to become muddied with someone else’s health history.

You also get options to opt out of junk mail and spam through the program. And get this: if you wanna just try IdentityForce out, you get 14 days free. (Just make sure you cancel once your trial’s up.)

Starting at $17.99 per month, UltraSecure is IdentityForce’s basic package. If you sign up for a year, you’ll get two months for free for a total expense of $179.90.

UltraSecure+Credit starts at $23.99 per month, and like UltraSecure, you can pay $239.90 for a year and get two months free. UltraSecure+Credit includes all of the services that UltraSecure offers, with some additions, such as the following:

  • Tri-bureau credit reports
  • Tri-bureau credit scores
  • Monthly score tracker
  • Credit score simulator

View Plans

IDShield: Most flexible

IDShield
pro Choice of 1 or 3 credit bureaus
pro All features available with all plans
con No bank account monitoring
Price:
$14.95–$19.95/mo.

IDShield is comparable to IdentityForce. The costs are a little lower, but the service doesn’t have all the essential features—it’s missing bank account monitoring and alerts. But IDShield has excellent flexibility: you can choose to spend less and get credit reports from only one bureau if you feel that’s sufficient.

Besides the number of credit reports, each IDShield plan has the same features regardless of price. So you won’t find yourself ponying up more cash for, say, medical ID fraud protection. It’s all included. Sweet.

IDShield monitoring plan prices and details
Plan
Price
Credit bureaus checked
Other features
Details
1 credit bureau$14.95/mo. or $179.40/yr.1Lost wallet assistance Credit reports SSN monitoring Medical ID protection
3 credit bureaus$19.95/mo. or $239.40/yr.3Lost wallet assistance Credit reports SSN monitoring Medical ID protection

Data effective 09/07/2022. Offers subject to change.

These plans cover one individual. If you’d rather have a family plan, you’ll pay $29.95  a month ($359.40 a year) for monitoring from one credit bureau or $34.95 a month ($419.40 a year) for monitoring from all three. That’ll cover you, your spouse or domestic partner, and all your little dependents.

You might wonder what you’re getting apart from the basics. Some of the extra features IDShield offers includes:

  • Dark web monitoring
  • Social media monitoring
  • Public records monitoring
  • Court records monitoring
  • Address change monitoring
  • Sex offender search and monitoring
  • 24/7 emergency assistance
  • VPN protection
  • Password monitoring

That’s a pretty good list that will cover a wide range of identity theft issues—although like with IdentityForce, the numerous alerts may be too many for some people.

View Plans

Identity Guard: Best for social media enthusiasts

Identity Guard
pro Social insight report
pro Monthly credit reports
pro Anti-phishing mobile app
con No medical ID fraud protection
con No credit monitoring with lowest tier
Price:
$8.99–$29.99/mo.

Identity Guard is the perfect service for protecting your identity online.

Identity Guard is especially geared toward folks who love the interwebs. It provides a suite of cyber-related services that work alongside its monitoring plan to help protect your identity online. These services include an anti-phishing app, a safe browsing extension, and social media reports.

In other words, if you’re constantly visiting Snapchat or buying collectibles online, Identity Guard protection is a perfect match to help secure your identity.

While Identity Guard doesn’t cover all the must-haves, it earns its high-ranking place on the list partly because it uses IBM’s Watson (a super-intelligent AI). The intelligent nature of this protection makes Identity Guard a force to be reckoned with.

Identity Guard monitoring plan prices and details
Plan
Price
Credit bureaus checked
Other basic features
Details
Value $8.99/mo. or $90.00/yr.NANone
Total$19.99/mo. or $200.00/yr.3Credit reports Bank account monitoring
Ultra$29.99/mo.or $300.00/yr.3Credit reports Bank account monitoring

Data effective 09/07/2022. Offers subject to change.

Here are additional Identity Guard features you’ll see scattered across the plans:

  • Dark web scan
  • Safe browsing extension
  • Social insight report
  • 401k and investment monitoring
  • Watson Artificial Intelligence threat detection
  • Criminal and sex offense monitoring
  • USPS address change monitoring
  • Home title monitoring

As you can see, the Value plan is $8.99 per month. Unlike the other two tiers, this plan doesn’t provide credit monitoring, and it's not the best value compared to other brands’ similarly priced plans. It provides some unique features, like monitoring the dark web for your personal information, but it doesn't offer the basic features we look for in ID theft protection.

Total Protection is $19.99 a month. In addition to monitoring the basic channels, the Total Protection plan also monitors public records for mentions of your information and provides antivirus software and an anti-phishing app. The Total Protection plan also gives you access to credit monitoring from all three agencies.

If you get an Ultra plan for $10.00 more monthly, you’ll also regularly get a credit score, credit report, and social insight report. (The social insight report pulls from your social media.)

All of Identity Guard’s plans are also available in a more expensive family option.

Zander: Best price

Zander Insurance logo
pro Medical ID fraud protection
pro Extremely affordable
con No credit monitoring
Price:
$6.75–$9.99/mo.

Zander doesn’t have credit monitoring, but it does have super-low prices.

As we said, identity theft “protection” is really more of a restoration. But Zander takes this attitude one step further by not including credit monitoring at all. In Zander’s eyes, credit monitoring isn’t worth the hassle.

We’re not 100% convinced; as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But we are convinced of Zander’s awesome prices.

For $6.75 to $9.99 a month, you get tons of basic identity theft services plus a little extra. And just like the other companies we recommend, Zander provides up to $1 million towards expenses to help you restore your identity. With that in mind, we recommend Zander for the budget-conscious user.

Zander monitoring plan prices and details
Plan
Price
Credit bureaus checked
Other basic features
Details
Essential Plan $6.75/yr. or $75.00/mo. NALost wallet assistance SSN monitoring Medical ID protection
Elite Cyber Bundle $9.99/yr. or $110.00/mo.NALost wallet assistance SSN monitoring Bank account monitoring Medical ID protection

Data effective 09/07/2022. Offers subject to change.

Zander (which is primarily an insurance company) only dabbles in identity theft protection. You can get the basic plan for an individual at $6.75 or for a family with minors at $12.90. (The family plan covers two adults and their minor children, offers adult dependent benefits, and bumps up reimbursement to $2 million.)

Why a family plan?
Light Bulb

Identity thieves want to steal a person’s identity for personal gain. They don’t care if that person is a child. In fact, thieves have been known to target a child’s social security number because they know the activity’s likely to go unnoticed for years.

Because of this, we recommend getting monitoring services to protect your child’s identity. We especially recommend this if you have a deceased child because, unfortunately, they’re even more likely to become a victim of identity theft.

Zander also has an Elite Cyber Plan that throws in a VPN, antivirus, Experian CreditLock, and some bank account monitoring. These features cost just a few more dollars a month for both the individual and family plans.

Whichever plan you choose, you'll get alerts and services to guard against the following forms of ID theft:

  • Financial fraud
  • Medical ID theft
  • Tax fraud
  • Criminal ID theft
  • Social security fraud
  • Child ID theft
  • Benefits and employment fraud
  • Title fraud

View Plans

McAfee Identity Theft Protection: Best antivirus

McAfee
pro Antivirus
pro Secure VPN
pro Hefty first-year discount
con Minimal features
Price:
$49.99–$89.99/yr. for first year

Similarly to Identity Guard, McAfee offers extra online protection in addition to restoration services. Unlike Identity Guard, McAfee is a miss for many basic ID protection features.

While Identity Guard is an identity theft protection service that includes antivirus software, McAfee is antivirus software that includes identity theft protection. Antivirus software is one of the few ways you actually can protect parts of your identity, so McAfee’s tech-first approach makes sense.

So if you’re looking for antivirus and want some identity theft protection thrown in, look no further. McAfee’s here for you.

With McAfee, you get all the basics plus cyber and social media monitoring.

McAfee’s plans are priced similarly to IdentityForce’s, although they’re nowhere near as comprehensive. They don’t have credit reports, SSN monitoring, bank account monitoring, medical ID fraud protection, junk mail control, or a credit score simulator. Basically, all your money and McAfee's efforts go towards preemptive protection features.

Useful? Yes. But not as useful when you can’t track whether those features protect your credit score or Social Security number.

McAfee Identity Theft Protection monitoring plan prices and details
Plan
Price
Credit bureaus checked
Other basic features
Details
Premium$49.99/yr.* NANone
UltraSecure+Credit$89.99/yr.*NALost wallet assistance

Data effective 09/07/2022. Offers subject to change.
*First year price

Some of McAfee’s standout features include the following:

  • Antivirus
  • Protection score (grades how protected you are online)
  • Identity monitoring
  • Secure VPN
  • Personal data cleanup (helps you find and remove personal data online)

Plans start at $49.99 a year, which works out to ~$4.17 a month (although you’ll have to pay in a single lump sum). But that’s just for the first year. After that, plans start at $129.99 a year/$10.83 a month. That’s not outrageous, but it’s definitely higher than the starting costs for other services that offer more.

View Plans

Recap: Best protection services against identity theft

It never hurts to have identity theft protection. Take a look at the companies on this list and the services they offer and decide which one is right for you.

  • IdentityForce has the most comprehensive recovery services.
  • IDShield's flexible approach lets you pay less for fewer credit reports.
  • If you spend a lot of time online, try Identity Guard.
  • Zander Insurance has the most budget-friendly identity theft protection service.
  • When protecting sensitive electronic info from hacking is your number-one priority, McAfee Identity Theft Protection's here to help.

Methodology

When choosing the top identity theft services, we looked at the following:

  • Price
  • Reimbursement
  • Basic features
  • Extra features
  • Service credibility
  • Discounts and perks

We aren’t able to test every identity theft protection service, but we pay attention to other people’s experiences with them and factor that into our reviews.

Identity theft FAQ

How does identity theft happen?

Identity thieves strike in a variety of ways. They might steal your wallet to hijack your credit card and driver’s license. They might buy your login info online after your details are retrieved in a data breach. They might even be a close family member using your name and social security details to buy land or conduct sketchy business.

identity theft affidavit
Protect your identity online
Pin

To protect yourself from online thieves, create unique passwords and change them frequently. Also, use two-factor authentication for all your accounts to make access more difficult.

A 2014 report from CNN Money states that identity fraud hits a new victim every two seconds.1 That’s 43,200 victims per day. Alarming, no? While we couldn’t find an updated version of those stats for a more recent year, MarketWatch suggests those numbers are increasing. In 2017, 1 in 15 folks were subject to identity theft versus 1 in 20 in 2016.2

What are the signs of identity theft?

Are you getting packages that you didn’t buy? A pre-approved credit card that you didn’t apply for? Did you get an email stating that someone tried to change your driver’s license mailing address? Or did your credit report recently take a hit? These can all be signs that someone is pretending to be you.

Getting law enforcement involved
Heads Up

If you’re a victim of identity theft, you want to reach out to the police ASAP. Depending on how drastically the thieves affect your credit, you might need to show your police report to the major credit bureaus. Even if things don’t get that bad, it’s essential to have documentation.

If someone is using your identity, you want to get notified immediately. You can take independent actions, like getting a credit freeze or setting a fraud alert on your credit report. But for more comprehensive monitoring, it’s easier to work with an identity protection service.

What are the benefits of identity protection services?

Again, we’d like to emphasize that most identity theft protection companies cannot stop someone from stealing your identity. Instead, they look for suspicious activity to determine that theft has occurred, then alert you before too much damage occurs. They also help you restore your name and credit after the fact.

Most identity theft protection companies can’t stop someone from stealing your identity.

How do I choose an identity theft protection service?

When choosing the best identity theft protection, make sure the company monitors the use of your personal information, including your name, Social Security number, address, and credit inquiries. Some companies will run your credit without your knowledge or permission, and an identity theft protection company can help catch that.

An identity theft protection company might offer other services, such as the following:

  • Notifications when money is withdrawn from your bank account
  • Notifications when your Social Security number is used to file a tax return
  • Notifications when your name is used to create a social media account

Combining these services ensures that no one else can use your identity without you knowing.

What about LifeLock?

LifeLock used to be our #1 recommendation. But we have to be honest, we don’t feel comfortable recommending LifeLock these days since it uses Equifax. (Remember Equifax? It was the victim of at least five separate breaches in 2017.) We think our readers should stay far, far away from Equifax for the foreseeable future. Once bitten, twice shy. Five times bitten, get the heck out of Dodge.

What’s lost wallet assistance?

If you lose your purse or your wallet, some identity theft protection services will help you take actions such as the following:

  • Canceling your debit and credit cards
  • Replacing your driver’s license
  • Freezing your credit

This’ll prevent anyone from taking advantage of the contents of your wallet. While a good Samaritan may find your lost items and return them, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

How do I freeze my credit?
Pin

To get a credit freeze, you need to contact each major credit bureau individually. If your identity theft protection service offers credit freezing, they may not be able to freeze your credit for you, but they’ll assist you in getting it done.

Related articles

Sources

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining Reviews.org, she wrote safety and security content for ASecureLife.com. Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on MSN.com, Social Catfish, and Parents.com. Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at brianne@reviews.org.

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