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The best identity theft protection and credit monitoring services

The best identity theft and credit monitoring services offer antivirus tools, social media monitoring, alerts, and assistance if something goes wrong.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Nina Raemont
Aura | Best identity theft and credit monitoring service overall
Aura ID
Best identity theft and credit monitoring service overall
View now View at Aura
Norton Lifelock | Best identity theft and credit monitoring service for identity restoration
A laptop and a smartphone next to each other with an identity protection service on their screens
Norton Lifelock
Best identity theft and credit monitoring service for identity restoration
View now View at Lifelock
IdentityForce | Best identity theft and credit monitoring service for mobile protection
Three smartphones next to each other with an identity protection app on each of their screens
Best identity theft and credit monitoring service for mobile protection
View now View at Identityforce
Identity Guard | Best budget identity theft and credit monitoring service
A close up photo of a smartphone with an identity theft app open on its screen
Identity Guard
Best budget identity theft and credit monitoring service
View now View at Identity Guard
Experian | Best identity theft and credit monitoring service for credit scores
Best identity theft and credit monitoring service for credit scores
View now View at Experian

Every 22 seconds, a new case of identity theft occurs, which can lead to financial fraud. What's worse is that, in many cases, it is completely out of your control, as third-party security incidents and breaches cause identity theft. It's enough to make anyone feel anxious, but there are services to help. 

Also: The best travel VPNs of 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

The right credit monitoring and identity theft protection service can put in place safeguards to help protect you and your credit. You can monitor various personal information points, including your name, SSN, linked financial accounts, addresses, credit agreements, and more. Reputable services will alert you when changes occur, your credit report alters, or new activities using your identity are detected.

What is the best identity theft protection and credit monitoring service right now?

Aura is ZDNET's top pick since it offers fantastic features for the whole family. It is one of the most affordable services on our list, with some of the highest customer ratings. As a bonus, you can take advantage of Aura's VPN offering for added security. Here are the best identity theft protection and monitoring services currently available, which include free, freemium, and paid services.

The best identity theft protection and credit monitoring services of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Monitoring for all three credit bureaus
  • Antivirus tools
  • Investment tracking
  • Monthly subscriptions are higher than annual billing
More Details

Aura offers rapid fraud alerts to help you act sooner rather than later if there is a threat. Alerts are sent directly to your phone via user-friendly mobile apps, so there are no delays -- giving you the chance to react almost immediately. The app also secures your passwords, tracks spending, and offers easy access to your credit report. 

There are preemptive measures, too, like online security and a secure VPN, with extra features set to block harmful malware and phishing websites that can risk your identity and steal your information. 

If something is wrong and suspicious activity is detected, you can quickly freeze your credit and contact Aura's team, who will help you resolve and recover from fraud incidents. Up to $5 million is on offer regarding identity theft insurance. Many customers say that help is there when you need it most, although some disapprove of the firm's automatic renewal policies.

Aura offers a 60-day money-back guarantee and is currently available at up to 68% off. Subscriptions start at $9 monthly for an individual account with $1 million of identity theft insurance. If you are a couple, plans are set at $17/month with up to $2 million in identity theft insurance ($1 million per person). 

See: What is my credit score? Why it exists and why you need to build it

Charges rise to $25 for a family plan, which includes additional features such as 'Safe gaming' and online predator alerts, as well as protection for up to five adults and unlimited kids. Up to $5 million in identity theft insurance is available ($1 million/adult). 

Aura features: Android, iOS compatibility | AI functionality | Monitors online accounts, passwords, SSN, and identities online | Password manager & vault | White Glove fraud recovery team | Safe gaming | VPN | Google Play score: 4.4 | App Store score: 4.7

Pros & Cons
  • US-based identity restoration specialists
  • Multiple alert options
  • Fraud reimbursement
  • Must agree to annual plans for the best deals
More Details

Lifelock by Norton takes things one step further by offering fully-faceted services, like social media and home title monitoring, and identity restoration services from US-based specialists with up to $3 million in insurance coverage. This coverage includes legal fees, personal expenses, and stolen fund reimbursement. 

The process is simple. Once you sign up, Lifelock will begin scanning your information for threats. If one is found, several alerts will be sent, whether by phone, text, email, or a mobile app. 

The identity restoration specialists step in when there is a problem, helping to facilitate your reimbursement up to your plan's limits. Coverage is available for legal help, stolen fund reimbursement, and personal expenses.

Customers enjoy this service's instant alert facilities, but some report that the live chat function needs improvement.

Plans begin at $7.50 monthly for LifeLock Standard ($11.99/month if paid monthly). The top-tier plans, LifeLock Ultimate Plus individual and for two, are available for $19.99/month and $34.99/month if you pay upfront for a year's worth of access.

Norton Lifelock features: Android, iOS compatible | Alerts issued via text, phone, email, and more | Identity and Social Security number alerts | Credit monitoring Online scans | Identity restoration | Google Play score: 4.6 | App Store score: 4.8

Pros & Cons
  • Full-faceted identity monitoring
  • Social media monitoring
  • Business accounts available
  • Low Google Play ratings
  • Customers report app issues
More Details

As a TransUnion brand, IdentityForce offers reliability as a trusted name in security and credit monitoring. Its services are threefold: Advanced fraud monitoring, 3-bureau credit report monitoring, and support from identity restoration experts. 

IdentityForce will monitor your identity. The company will alert you to changes in your credit report, activity related to your social security number, bank and investment account activity, payday loan applications, and more.

Also: The best VPN services (and whether it's worth trying free VPNs)

You even get protection for your mobile device with Mobile Attack Control, a feature that protects your phone from various threats and delivers alerts if compromised. You will receive real-time alerts and there are multiple security features including two-factor authentication (2FA), Touch ID, and advanced detection technology. 

If you need support at any time, 24/7 US-based support is available—and this includes handling cases of identity theft. Insurance is available up to $1 million. Customers applaud the customer support available, although the monthly cost will not suit everyone. 

Plans start at $17.95 monthly for an individual standard UltraSecure plan, available as a 30-day trial. 

If you want creditor monitoring too, you'll want to go for UltraSecure+Credit, available for $23.95/month individually. IdentityForce also provides a dedicated service, ChildWatch, to protect children against identity theft. 

IdentityForce features: Android, iOS compatibility | Identity monitoring | Business plans | Mobile alerts | Protect keystrokes, PIN numbers | court and address monitoring | 30-day trial | Google Play score: 2.5 | App Store score: 3

Pros & Cons
  • Identity theft protection services included
  • Family plans available
  • Limited credit reporting tools
  • Users report the latest Android app is problematic
More Details

Identity Guard pinpoints threats and delivers identity protection alerts to keep you informed and in control. If a new account opens in your name or is changed at some point, you will receive notifications to confirm that the change was correctly made—or challenge it if you suspect fraud. 

It also tracks your credit card numbers, bank account numbers, SSNs, and health insurance numbers to ensure all are free from fraud, mistakes, and crime. 

Credit reports are available, and the company provides customers up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.

If customers encounter issues or have concerns, 24/7 support based in the US is available. Customer feedback indicates that support staff are knowledgeable, and many consider the service good value for money.

While some users report issues with the Android app, the price point makes it an affordable solution, with plans starting at $7.50 monthly for a value subscription. Identity Guard's total plan will cost you $16.67/month, whereas the premium Ultra plan is available for $25/month. Family plans are also available.

Identity Guard features: Android, iOS compatibility | Fraud monitoring and alerts for identity, SSNs, tax, and more | Up to $1 million identity theft insurance | Individual and family plans | Google Play score: 4 | App Store score: 4.1

Pros & Cons
  • Free basic credit report
  • Credit boosts
  • A learning curve
  • Expensive
More Details

Experian's offerings for credit score management and security checks are worth considering if you want a solution that monitors your data and allows you to repair your credit score simultaneously. 

If you're willing to review your report, request changes, and accept the credit monitoring agency's recommendations, you can improve your credit score over time. Experian also provides alerts for new or suspicious activity, ranging from the use of your identity to loan and court filing alerts. 

The company provides ID theft monitoring, privacy scans, checks for adults and children, Dark Web surveillance, and identity theft insurance.

Experian's free credit freeze service is extremely useful if you believe you are a victim of identity theft or financial fraud. It can prevent any further damage until the case has been investigated. Customers find the freeze service invaluable, although they don't often say the same for the credit boost feature.

You can sign up for a basic, free account to monitor your credit and FICO score. Premium plans with advanced features start at $25 per month, and family plans are available for $35 per month.

Experian features: Credit report, security monitoring | Free credit freezes | Dark Web scans | Individual and family plans | Credit report boosts | Free accounts, trials | Google Play score: 4.7 | App Store score: 4.8

What is the best identity theft and credit monitoring service?

Aura offers fantastic features for the whole family, making it our pick for the best identity theft and credit monitoring service. It is also one of the most affordable services on our list, with some of the highest ratings, further adding peace of mind. 

To help you make your decision, here is a quick overview of the best identity theft and credit monitoring services available today.

Best identity theft protection and credit monitoring services


App Store rating

Google Play rating


Start at $9/month



Norton LifeLock

Start at $7.50/month




Start at $17.95/month



Identity Guard

Start at $7.50/month




Free with premium plans starting at $25/month



Which is the right identity theft and monitoring service for you?

The best identity theft protection and credit monitoring service depends on your circumstances. Still, it is now critical, considering how often data breaches occur and how much of your information circulates online.

After a while, all services can blend and feel the same. To help you decide, these are our expert recommendations for the best identity theft and credit monitoring service for your family.  

Choose this identity theft and monitoring service...

If you want...


Features for the whole family. Aura is a one-stop shop for identity theft protection and monitoring and should be your top choice if you need protection for yourself and others online.

Norton LifeLock

Guided restoration service and hands-off protection. LifeLock's active monitoring will suit someone who wants to remain protected but may also prefer a phone call or text rather than mobile app alerts. 


Comprehensive protection from a trusted brand. While the IdentityForce app needs improvement, the array of security and monitoring features is still appealing. 

Identity Guard

Coverage that works for multiple devices at an affordable price point. Identity Guard supports millions of customers and does so at an affordable rate if you are potentially willing to compromise on app quality.


Security and credit score repairs. Experian is best suited to those who want identity theft monitoring but also want to start improving or repairing their credit score. 

Factors to consider when choosing an identity theft protection and credit monitoring service

There are plenty of solutions on the market. When choosing the best credit monitoring and identity theft service for you, consider the following:

  • Insurance: Identity theft insurance is an invaluable asset if you become a victim of identity theft. Most plans offer up to $1 million in coverage, which can vary from company to company. That is why it is essential to review your plan in advance to ensure you have the right amount of protection. 
  • Credit bureaus: Most identity theft and credit monitoring services offer credit monitoring via three or more bureaus, further helping to ensure that you do not miss anything that may arise. The plan may require an upgrade, but it is well worth it if you deal with identity fraud. 
  • Plans: With most services, you can choose between multiple plans. These come at different price points, but the selection helps ensure you find the right plan with the coverage you need.
  • Free options: Considering the prevalence of data breaches, many credit agencies offer free options to help you monitor your credit records and credit score, which may flag suspicious activity. But they won't be the best option if you also want to work on your credit score or you want comprehensive reports.
  • Mobile apps: When you receive an email stating your score has changed, checking your report through your mobile is helpful. Many providers now offer this service. 

How did we choose these identity theft and credit monitoring services?

When choosing the best credit monitoring and identity theft services, there are several factors we considered, including:

  • Features: ZDNET has explored and researched the most valuable features for today's credit monitoring and identity theft services, and we included solutions with advanced features.
  • Insurance: It was important to factor in whether or not identity theft and monitoring solutions offered insurance for customers. It's one thing to know you have become the victim of identity theft and another to have the means to repair the damage. 
  • Customer reviews: We considered how customers have found each solution and whether or not feedback is generally favorable.
  • Price: The cost of each plan is a consideration, as many people are on a budget and seeking an affordable solution to their identity theft and credit monitoring needs. 

Why are identity theft protection and credit monitoring services necessary?

In addition to tracking your credit, an identity theft service helps to protect your identity and finances by regularly tracking both. This is especially important at a time when data breaches are so frequent.

It can also provide insurance so you can be compensated, according to your plan's coverage level (usually up to $1 million), if you are a victim of identity theft. 

Do credit scores matter?

Yes and no. In many ways, agency scores are arbitrary figures assigned to you to determine credit 'worthiness' and whether you would be considered a financial risk for loans, such as mortgages or vehicle financing. Agency scores tend to differ, but unless you reach a 'Good' range, you might find it challenging to secure credit in the future. Also, the better the score, the more likely you will guarantee the best interest rates and terms. 

For a comprehensive guide on what credit scores mean, check out our guide below. 

See: What is my credit score? Why it exists and why you need to build it

What is a FICO score?

A FICO score is a three-digit number generated by analyzing the information in your credit report. Lenders use FICO scores to determine creditworthiness and may factor into deciding whether or not applications for loans are approved, including for mortgages or vehicles. 

How do I protect my identity online?

There are several ways to protect your identity online. Be sure to review your bank and credit card accounts regularly to ensure there is no fraudulent activity. Experts also recommend securing personal information, using antivirus software, periodically updating programs and software, and frequently changing passwords. 

Also: How to delete yourself from internet search results and hide your identity online

Are there any alternatives worth considering?

Our top recommendations are not the only identity theft and credit monitoring services available. Far from it -- there is a wealth of services out there that can help you protect your identity and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud. Here are some of the other services you could also consider:

View at ID WatchdogView at MyficoView at IDShield
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