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Need identity theft protection and credit monitoring? Try these top-rated services

To protect your identity and credit, you should consider an identity theft protection and credit monitoring service. They're a preventative tool and an invaluable safeguard. ZDNET researched the top ones and compared their features to help you choose which to try.
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Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer on

Every 14 seconds, there is a case of identity theft. It is a staggering statistic, enough to stoke fear in one's heart, but there are services to help. The right credit monitoring and identity theft protection service can put in place safeguards to help protect you and your credit. However, which identity theft protection and credit monitoring service is best?  

There is always the myFICO app, but there are other apps that can offer excellent features at a reasonable price. Here are some of the best identity theft protection and monitoring services we recommend.

Specs:

  • Compatibility: Android, iOS
  • Cost: $9.99 per month
  • App Store rating: 4.5
  • Google Play rating: 4.3

Aura shares that it has up to 4x faster fraud alerts than other services helping you act sooner rather than later if there is a threat. Alerts are sent directly to your phone, 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 measures to block harmful malware and phishing websites that can harm your identity and steal your information. If something is wrong, it is simple to lock your Experian credit file to block any new credit cards or loans using your identity. To get started, try the 14-day free trial for a test drive. 

Pros:

  • Triple bureau monitoring
  • Investment tracking
  • Antivirus tools

Cons:

  • Requires monthly subscription

Specs:

  • Compatibility: Android, iOS
  • Cost: $17.99 - $23.99 per month 
  • App Store rating: 3.1
  • Google Play Rating: 2.4

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. The service uses its signature Sontiq Intelligent Identity Security (IIS) platform, which provides mobile threat management and makes available a secure VPN for browsing. 

You even get protection for your mobile device with Mobile Attack Control, a feature that protects your phone from a variety of threats and will deliver alerts if compromised. This ad-free mobile app is easy to navigate, thanks to a recently updated interface. You will receive alerts delivered in real-time, plus enjoy multiple security features, including Two Factor Authentication (2FA), Touch ID, and advanced detection technology. If you need support at any time, 24/7 U.S.-based support is available to help.

Pros:

  • Full-faceted identity theft protection
  • Social media monitoring
  • Business accounts available 

Cons:

  • Low Google Play ratings
  • Limited app details on Google Play and App Store

Specs:

  • Compatibility: Android, iOS
  • Cost: $19.99 - $39.99
  • App Store: 2.3
  • Google Play: 2.1

Identity Guard uses artificial intelligence to pinpoint threats and deliver alerts to keep you informed and in control at all times. If a new account opens in your name or is changed at some point, you will receive notifications so you can confirm that they were correctly made. It also tracks your credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and even your health insurance number to ensure all are free from fraud. 

To help you grow even stronger, Identity Guard lets you access your monthly Vantage 3.0 credit report for free. You also receive annual credit reports that include information from Equifax, Experian, and Transunion for a more well-rounded portrait of your credit.

Pros:

  • Identity theft insurance included
  • Exclusive AI technology
  • Family plans available

Cons:

  • Higher-priced family plans
  • Limited credit reporting

Specs:

  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac
  • Cost: $9.99 - $29.99 per month

IdentityIQ shines with its identity theft insurance, offering up to $1 million in identity theft insurance for each primary member. You can expect to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket costs up to $1 million, helping to ensure that your finances do not fall victim, too. These costs can include lost wages, legal experts, and reimbursement for stolen funds. 

There is also help with identity restoration if you do become a victim of identity theft. For your everyday needs, you can connect up to 10 devices to the Bitdefender Premium VPN, secure your identity while you work and browse, and monitor the dark web. 

You also receive access to Anti-Virus with Bitdefender Total Security, real-time credit reporting, and enhanced credit monitoring. You can even enroll your children under the age of 24.

Pros: 

  • Three-bureau reporting
  • Multi-faceted tools
  • Regularly updated resources

Cons: 

  • No app
  • Can get pricey

Specs:

  • Compatibility: Android, iOS
  • Cost: $11.99 - $34.99 per month
  • App Store rating: 4.6
  • Google Play Rating: 4.7

Lifelock takes things one step further by offering fully-faceted services, like social media monitoring and home title monitoring, in addition to identity restoration services from U.S.-based specialists with $1 million in protection. The process is simple. Once you sign up, Lifelock will begin scanning your information for threats. If one is found, there are several different forms of alerts, whether it is by phone, text, email, or even the mobile app. U.S.-based Identity Restoration Specialists step in when there is a problem, helping to facilitate your reimbursement, up to your plan's limits. Plus, when you sign up for an annual plan, you get a 60-day money-back guarantee while you try out the service.

Pros: 

  • U.S.-based Identity Restoration Specialists
  • Multiple alert options
  • Fraud reimbursement

Cons:

  • Must purchase membership
  • Must upgrade to an annual plan for best deal

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 the most affordable of all the services on our list with some of the highest ratings, further adding peace of mind when choosing Aura. 

To help with 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

Cost (monthly)

App Store rating

Google Play rating

Aura

$9.99

4.5

4.3

IdentityForce

$17.99 - $23.99 

3.1

2.4

Identity Guard

$19.99 - $39.99

2.3

2.1

IdentityIQ

$9.99 - $29.99

N/A

N/A

LifeLock

$11.99 - $34.99 

4.6

4.7

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

After a while, all services can begin to blend together 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 best identity theft and monitoring service...

If you want...

Aura

Features for the whole family

IdentityForce

Comprehensive protection

Identity Guard

Coverage that works for multiple devices

IdentityIQ

Extra help monitoring your identity

LifeLock

To protect your credit and your phone

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

When choosing the best credit monitoring and identity theft services, there are a number of factors we consider in our study, including these:

  • Insurance: Identity theft insurance is an invaluable asset if you become a victim of identity theft. Most plans offer $1 million in coverage, but that number can vary from company to company. That is why it is important to review your plan in advance so you can be sure you have the right amount of protection. 
  • Credit bureaus: Most identity theft and credit monitoring services will offer credit monitoring via three bureaus, further helping to ensure that you do not miss anything that may arise. It may require an upgrade in plan, but it is well worth it if you find yourself dealing with identity fraud. 
  • Plans: With most services, you can choose between multiple plans. These come at different price points, but the selection helps to ensure that you can find the right plan with the coverage you need.
  • Price: Accordingly, 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 is an identity theft protection and credit monitoring service necessary?

In addition to tracking your credit, an identity theft service helps to protect your identity and finances by regularly tracking both. 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. 

How do I protect my identity online?

There are several ways you can protect your identity online. Be sure to regularly review both your bank and credit card accounts to ensure there is no fraudulent activity. Experts also recommend that you secure personal information, use antivirus software, regularly update programs and software, and change your passwords frequently. 

Are there alternatives worth considering?

Our picks are not the only identity theft and credit monitoring services available. These are some of the other services we also considered:

For more resources, check out our guides to help you protect your credit card and freeze your credit. It may make a big difference one day!

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