Who has the best identity theft protection services?
I have written previously about my experiences with credit card fraud and provided my recommendations on how you can actively monitor your credit card transactions by lowering your transaction threshold to receive email alerts.
Although credit card fraud is one area of concern when you think about protecting your finances, the other is identify theft. With more consumers purchasing online and more banking transactions taking place over the Internet, I thought it would be appropriate to provide the FTP community with some identity theft resources.
With some help from the folks at Reviews.com, I am providing their quick summary review of the best identity theft protection services.
(You can access their full report by clicking on the link at the end of this post.)
Most Affordable Family Protection: IdentityForce
IdentityForce gathers all the right features (power of attorney, $1MM of insurance coverage, and personal information monitoring) into a clean, easy-to-use dashboard. But for families, the biggest draw is likely to be that child protection runs just $3 per month, per head. We also really liked how painless IdentityForce made it to remove personal information from the web: It required just the click of a button and was the easiest-to-use feature of its kind that we saw. Plans start at $13 a month for UltraSecure — the cheapest full-feature plan on the market — but note that you’ll need to upgrade to UltraSecure+Credit ($20 per month) if you want credit monitoring.
Cheapest Credit Monitoring & Most Customizable Alerts: LifeLock
LifeLock offers the most customizable set of alert tools out there. Plus, you have the option of speaking with a live rep who will help you understand the significance of the alerts — and how to deal with them. Plans run from $10 per month (Standard) to $30 per month (Ultimate Plus). Another feature we liked? Its $20-per-month Advantage offer black market website surveillance and identity monitoring.
Best For Identity Theft Victims: ID Watchdog
ID Watchdog’s layout and design might seem really outdated, but don’t count it out. It’s the only company that offers rehabilitation for previously existing thefts. Other services require you to discover the theft during your membership before they’ll take action — and this makes ID Watchdog a standout choice for current victims. Plans start at $15 per month and come with $1 million dollar identity theft insurance coverage (the industry standard). If you want to monitor your credit, you’ll need to opt for the $20-per-month Platinum plan, a cost on par with IdentityForce’s UltraSecure+Credit option.
Best If You Lose Your Wallet: Credit Sesame
Credit Sesame’s $20-per-month Platinum Protection was the only one of its plans that satisfied our baseline criteria (three-bureau credit monitoring, ID monitoring, and power of attorney), but it surprised us with a feature we didn’t see anywhere else: “full service white-glove identity restoration.” Instead of just providing you with handy instructions for canceling lost credit cards (like the rest of our picks), Credit Sesame handles the entire process for you. Also: Get prepared for a lot of unavoidable credit card offers.
Have you experienced identity theft? Comment below.