What is the Best Identity Theft Protection Services

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Lauren Sakiyama
Brandon King
September 26, 2023

It took six months of rigorous testing, but I found it – the best identity theft protection service is Aura. 

Aura offers: 

  • Award-winning identity theft and credit monitoring 
  • In-depth dark web monitoring with best accuracy
  • Best threat resolution team
  • 24/7 US-based customer service experts
  • Highest theft insurance coverage (especially for couples and families)

And, they do this at the most affordable price.

Plus, if you get our exclusive OFF offer today, you lock in that price for life.

However, I wanted to be fair and ensure other identity theft products received credit for what they’re best at. So, here we go!

Best ID Theft Protection Service Reviewed

Best ID Theft Protection 2023


HSH Approved

#1 Aura – Best Identity Theft Protection

For most people, Aura offers the best peace of mind. Their monitoring & alert system is the best available. This coupled with excellent customer service & the highest theft insurance on the market makes it a no-brainer. And somehow they do this at the lowest price as well.

  • Excellent Threat Monitoring & Alerts
  • Up to $5M Theft Insurance ($1M per adult)
  • Extremely Knowledgeable Threat Resolution Experts Available 24/7/365
  • Automatic removal from data broker lists
  • Antivirus, VPN, Password Manager & Parental Controls Included

Get 68% OFF on AURA Today


HSH Approved

Identity Guard

Identity Guard (Aura’s predecessor) may not be the best, but it’s still an excellent choice for identity theft protection. It has great monitoring & alerts as well as knowledgeable threat resolution agents. Go with Identity Guard if you want excellent id theft protection with no extras at the best price.

  • Same Excellent Threat Monitoring as Aura
  • $1M Theft Insurance standard
  • Responsive & Knowledgeable Resolution Experts based in the US
  • Great Identity Theft Protection without the extras


HSH Approved

ID Shield

IDShield shines in two areas: best reputation management and threat resolution. If your identity is compromised, IDShield promises a team of licensed private investigators to restore your identity in the event of a breach.

  • Good Threat Monitoring and Alerts
  • Dedicated Threat Resolution Experts
  • Prompt and Helpful US Based Customer Care

Get Price Now


HSH Approved

Identity Force

If you are looking solely for the best credit monitoring, IdentityForce is hard to beat. While they do have US based customer service available 24/7, their identity theft protection service comes in after Aura & Identity Guard.

  • Excellent Credit Monitoring Service
  • 24/7 US Based Customer Service
  • $1M Theft Insurance (total)

Get Price Now


HSH Approved

Norton LifeLock

LifeLock offers a promising suite of identity theft protection products and while their antivirus service is one of the best out there, my experience with their id protection service was lacking, to say the least.

LifeLock’s threat monitoring found the least threats and their customer service & theft insurance leaves a lot to be desired. Plus, the renewal price is much higher than the signup price, unlike our top choice Aura

  • Excellent Antivirus Protection
  • Mediocre threat monitoring and resolution
  • $1M Theft Insurance only on the highest plans, $25K–$100K otherwise
  • Renewal Price is much Higher

Get Price Now


HSH Approved

Costco Complete ID

Costco CompleteID might be worth looking into if you’re already a Costco executive member. It’s not the best as as far as identity theft protection services go, but it’s not bad. Still, the pricing doesn’t make sense if you don’t have a Costco membership.

  • Accurate monitoring
  • Fewer monitoring tools
  • Slow-loading dashboard


HSH Approved

Allstate Identity Protection

Allstate offers the best fund reimbursement policies available – they’ll even refund the cash from a stolen wallet! However, their identity theft monitoring capabilities leave a lot to be desired.

  • Best-in-class fund reimbursement policies
  • Flexible family plans
  • Inaccurate monitoring tools


HSH Approved

Experian IdentityWorks

If credit monitoring or repair is your main goal, Experian IdentityWorks might be the best tool for you. However, if you want full identity theft protection, it’s not right choice.

  • Amazing credit tools
  • Slow threat detection
  • Less comprehensive monitoring
HSH Approved

IDX Identity

If user interface matters more to you than anything else (and you’re willing to pay a premium for it), IDX is one of the best identity theft protection services. It’s sleek, modern, and provides comprehensive coverage, though its customer service is limited.

  • Best-in-class user interface
  • Limited customer service hours
  • Expensive
HSH Approved

ID Watchdog

ID Watchdog’s customer service is amongst the best, and its credit monitoring tools are fantastic. However, its identity monitoring tools don’t catch everything other identity theft protection services catch.

  • Knowledgeable customer service
  • Top-notch credit monitoring tools
  • Poor identity monitoring
HSH Approved


ReliaShield offers some of the best alerts. They give you all the information you need to take proactive steps that protect your identity. They also offer very comprehensive monitoring. But, there are no added features, like a VPN or antivirus software included.

  • Detailed alerts
  • Comprehensive monitoring
  • No included additional features

Why You Need It and How It Helps You

Nearly 50 percent of Americans are affected by identity theft every year, and research shows that Americans lost $24 billion due to identity fraud in 2021 alone – a number that’s been increasing year over year for decades (and shows no signs of slowing down.)

That means having the best identity theft protection is vital. 

You need to protect your credit score, your Social Security number, and your most valuable assets – like your home, car, and retirement savings. You also need to think about the best identity theft protection for families. Child identity theft is no joke, and protection for your spouse and college-aged kids is also crucial. 

However, finding a theft protection company that does all of that at a price you can reasonably afford is hard. 

Trust me, I know. 

Researching and testing the best identity protection services is difficult because they’re hard to compare. 

What one service calls “alternative loan protection” another one calls “home title monitoring,” and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Nuanced and sometimes trademarked service names make it tricky to know what each identity theft protection service is really offering. 

I did the hard part of figuring out what’s what and laid it all out below. Ultimately, Aura won, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other good theft protection services out there. If you’re wondering about certain features, or are curious about a specific brand, read on for my in-depth analysis.

And, if you want to know more about identity theft protection in general, skip to the end of this article. There, I cover how we picked the best identity theft protection service and what you should look for when comparing identity theft companies.

You can learn more about our testing process here.

Our Video Review

Top-notch Identity Fraud Prevention Deals Discounts Video

11 Best Identity Theft Protection Services of 2023 

There are a lot of identity theft protection services to choose from, but after testing all of the big names (and many of the smaller ones, too), I found Aura was the best overall pick. 

Just in case you’re not an Aura fan, though, there are ten identity theft protection services here to consider.

Identity Guard

Overall Score

Best Identity Theft Protection

Monitoring & Alerts

  • Aura found 15 unique dark web alerts, the maximum in our test

  • Identity Guard found the same number of alerts since they use the same engine

  • Found 8 unique dark web alerts

Threat Resolution

  • White Glove support standard on all plans

  • Only the most expensive Ultra plan offers White Glove support

  • Excellent customer service

Theft Insurance Per Adult

  • $5M Theft Insurance total on the Family plan with 5 adults

  • $1M per adult on all plans

  • $1M total Theft Insurance on all plans

  • $1M total Theft Insurance on all plans

Customer Support

  • Aura wins with their US-based 24/7 support

  • Great US-based customer support but needs 24/7 hours of operation

  • US-based 24/7 support

Additional Services

  • VPN

  • Antivirus

  • Parental Controls

  • Password Manager

  • VPN

  • Antivirus

  • Parental Controls

  • Password Manager

  • VPN

  • Antivirus

  • Password Manager

  • Parental Controls


  • Aura offers an incredibly low price and highest bang for your buck

  • Identity Guard is great if you want the cheapest plan, but costs more than Aura for similar protection

  • More expensive than Aura with lesser protection

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No. You lock in the price for life

  • No. You lock in the price for life

  • No

Promo Code

1. Aura – Overall Winner

Aura Logo


  • Best theft insurance coverage (up to $5 million)
  • Award-winning Identity Theft and Credit Monitoring
  • 24/7 US-based Concierge Threat Resolution team
  • Most affordable price


  • User interface could be improved
  • VPN and antivirus software are usable but not the best

Aura sets the high bar for identity theft protection. 

As the successor to an already excellent service (Identity Guard), I knew Aura would be top-notch. It uses the same technology, so I knew its monitoring capabilities would be the best available – and I was right. 

Aura found the most unique dark web alerts (15) out of all the identity theft protection services I tested (other than Identity Guard, which found the same).  Aura also offers the most comprehensive monitoring capabilities. It includes three-bureau credit monitoring, an in-portal Experian credit lock, 401(k) monitoring, and home and auto title monitoring – services that many other identity theft protection services miss.

Best of all, Aura includes these services as standard across all plans. You don’t have to pay extra to get the best in identity protection. 

PLUS, Aura includes a few stand-out services that are hard to find, like automatic data broker removal requests. They also offer safe gaming, which alerts parents to potential threats on their kid’s gaming platforms, including signs of harassment, bullying, racism, and grooming. 

I tried to find flaws with Aura’s services, I really did, but this identity theft protection service is truly the best available.

I even called their award-winning 24/7/365 customer service line on a Saturday at midnight and barraged them with questions, thinking I would catch them off guard. But I reached a U.S.-based resolution expert in under two minutes, and they answered all of my questions easily.  

When it comes to theft insurance coverage, Aura blows all the competition away (including Identity Guard). Aura’s plans come with $1 million in theft insurance for each adult. So, couple’s plans come with $2 million, and family plans come with up to $5 million in theft insurance coverage – which brings me to my next point…

Aura’s family plans are the best – there’s no competition. They allow you to include up to five adults and unlimited children. This means you can cover your adult children, your parents, your in-laws, and any other adult in your family. 

Their family plans also include fantastic features like the Circle parental app, which helps you monitor your children online with parental controls and cyberbullying notifications. The plan also includes a guided three-bureau children’s credit freeze, so you can prevent thieves from accessing your child’s credit. 

Aura’s additional services could be better, but given that they’re additional and not key to identity protection, I can’t complain much. Their VPN and antivirus software may not be the best I’ve seen, but they’re usable. Also included with Aura are a password manager, credit file notifications, and malware alerts, all of which provide additional protection online. 

If Aura charged more than most other identity theft protection services, I’d say it was justified – but that’s the best part, and why I give them best overall – Aura costs less than every other identity theft protection service on this list when you use our 68% discount off.

To sum it up, Aura gives you more comprehensive monitoring, incredible customer service, the best theft insurance coverage, flexible family plans, and a full suite of additional features for less money than our runner-up. Aura truly is the best identity theft protection service available.

Aura Plans & Pricing

Promo Code

Individual Plan Cost

  • $9/month 

Aura only offers one plan but offers the same benefits as Identity Guard's Ultra plan

Couple Plan Cost

  • $17/month 

  • Covers 2 Adults

Family Plan Cost

  • $25/month 

  • Covers 5 adults & unlimited kids

Aura only offers one plan but offers the same benefits as Identity Guard's Ultra plan

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No. You lock in the price for life

Promo Code

Here are some of our other Aura comparisons:

2. Identity Guard – Best Value

Identity Guard logo


  • Same best-in-class monitoring coverage as Aura
  • Excellent U.S.-based threat resolution team


  • Limited customer service hours
  • Must purchase top-tier plan

Identity Guard comes from the same company as Aura and it’s excellent overall. Its monitoring is just as accurate as Aura’s, and it offers most of the same services, including 401(k) and home title monitoring.  Plus, the threat resolution team is excellent. If Aura didn’t exist, I’d say Identity Guard was the best theft protection service.

But you have to get the best of Identity Guard, you have to purchase their top-tier plan – which costs significantly more than Aura.   

Their base-level “Value” plan and mid-level “Total” plan don’t offer full identity theft protection. They’re missing key features like concierge identity restoration, three-bureau annual credit reports, Experian credit lock capabilities, investment account monitoring, and home title monitoring. See here for the full Identity Guard review.

Identity Guard Plans & Pricing

Identity Guard offers a simplified plan structure with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Promo Code

Individual Plan Cost

  • $5/month Value Plan

  • $11.99/month Total Plan

  • $17.99/month Ultra Plan

Couple Plan Cost

  • No Couples plan

Family Plan Cost

  • $8.99/month Value Plan

  • $17.99/month Total Plan

  • $23.99/month Ultra Plan

Covers 5 adults & unlimited kids

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No. You lock in the price for life

Promo Code

3. IDShield – Best For Reputation Management

IDShield logo


  • Identity restoration from licensed P.Is
  • Great U.S-based customer service team
  • Best reputation management


  • Pricey family plans
  • Less accurate monitoring
  • Limited customer service hours

IDShield offers a couple of unique features that make it stand out – reputation management and identity restoration from licensed private investigators. 

If you’re interested in reputation management, it essentially helps you audit your online presence. Then, it helps you optimize and build the best possible professional network on LinkedIn and other platforms. If you’re looking for a new job, trying to secure a loan, or applying for college, it’s a feature worth considering, but it doesn’t do much in terms of protecting you from identity theft. 

Using licensed private investigators to help you restore your identity should you fall victim to identity theft is also pretty cool. With IDShield, a licensed P.I. will work with you to restore your identity to pre-theft status, and they may help you figure out how the theft happened. Catching the bad guy isn’t always feasible with identity theft, but it’s sure satisfying

Unfortunately, IDShield has some problems too. It’s not as accurate as Aura. For me, it only pulled eight unique dark web alerts (Aura found 15). 

It’s also pricey. 

IDShield’s plans are more expensive than a lot of other identity theft protection services. And given what they include (or don’t include), I don’t think it’s justified. They’re missing some of the best theft protection features like data broker removal, parental controls, 24/7 customer service, and deeper-level monitoring for investment accounts or your home and auto title. See our full IDShield review.

IDShield Plans & Pricing

IDShield offers two main service plans, as well as family plans, based on one credit bureau or three credit bureau monitoring.

Promo Code

Individual Plan Cost

  • $14.95/month  1 Credit Bureau Monitoring

  • $19.95/month 3 Credit Bureau Monitoring

Couple Plan Cost

  • No Couples plan

Family Plan Cost

  • $29.95/month 1 Credit Bureau Monitoring

  • $34.95/month 3 Credit Bureau Monitoring

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No

Promo Code

4. IdentityForce – Most Popular For Fastest Alerts

Identity Force logo


  • Lightning-fast threat detection
  • Great credit monitoring tools
  • Unique features for families


  • Family plans are difficult to sign-up for
  • Dated user interface

IdentityForce impressed me in several ways. 

First, its initial scan was fast. Within a few minutes of signing, my phone was lighting up with alert notifications. Unfortunately, IdentityForce wasn’t the best accuracy (it found seven unique dark web alerts – Aura found 15). Still, its speed was extraordinary. 

Second, IdentityForce has one of the best suites of credit monitoring tools, including three-bureau credit monitoring, credit freeze assistance, one-click credit freezes with TransUnion, a credit simulator, and a credit score tracker. 

Sadly, they only make these credit features available with their top-tier protection plan, making them a little pricey (especially when you consider how many free credit monitoring services, like CreditKarma or CreditWorks, are available). 

And, unfortunately, the tool I was most excited about, the credit simulator, didn’t seem to be accurate. Messing with the inputs, even putting in a delinquent loan, didn’t affect the credit score it gave. 

Finally, IdentityForce offers some unique features for families, like white glove family restoration and their ChildWatch suite. 

With white glove family restoration, IdentityForce promises to restore your immediate family member’s identities even if you don’t have a family plan. Without a family plan, your family won’t have access to monitoring tools or other features, of course, but they will be able to restore their identities if they’re victims of identity theft. 

Identity Force also offers a comprehensive Internet and online child monitoring tool called ChildWatch.  It includes some of the best social media monitoring for kids, though its missing other key protection features (like safe-gaming and parental controls). You can add the ChildWatch protection feature onto any plan for $2.95 per month, so you don’t need a full-blown family plan if you don’t want one.

And, that’s good because Identity Force makes it ridiculously hard to sign up for a family plan. You have to call and talk to a sales rep which is very frustrating. None of the other best services force you to do this.

Identity Force also has a clunky user interface. It’s not terrible, but given Identity Force’s price, I expect a more streamlined user experience. See our full Identity Force review here.

Identity Force Pricing Plans

IIdentityForce has two tiers of personal plans, one with credit monitoring and one without,  plus a family plan. Each plan comes with a 2-week trial period to help you decide if it’s the right fit.

Promo Code

Individual Plan Cost

  • $14.99/month UltraSecure

  • $19.9/month UltraSecure+Credit

Couple Plan Cost

  • No Couples plan

Family Plan Cost

  • $24.99/month UltraSecure

  • $35.9/month UltraSecure+Credit

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No

Promo Code

5. LifeLock – Best Choice For Antivirus Software

Norton LifeLock logo


  • Excellent antivirus software included


  • Price increases upon plan renewal
  • Difficult to reach customer service
  • Mediocre threat monitoring

LifeLock isn’t the best choice for identity protection. In fact, it’s one of my least favorite theft protection services. But it’s a big-name brand with a huge marketing budget, so a lot of people consider it the best choice. So, let’s discuss it. 

First, the monitoring is mediocre at best. When I tested it, this supposed theft protection service only found one dark web alert. It also had issues figuring out who I was. It got me confused with every other person with my name. Had it also factored in my birthday, that wouldn’t have happened. 

LifeLock’s customer service is also extremely far from the best available. It takes navigating through multiple “Contact Us” links just to find a phone number. Once you call, I can almost guarantee you’ll be on hold for at least ten minutes, only to reach a rep that’s not in the U.S. 

LifeLock’s insurance coverage is also sub-par on anything but their top plan. At the top tier, this identity theft protection service’s insurance looks incredible if you opt for a mid or low-tier option, you’ll get insurance coverage that’s far lower than normal – as little as $25k for expenses and stolen fund reimbursement.

If all of that wasn’t enough to turn you off of LifeLock, their substantial price increase at the end of your first year’s subscription will be. See our full LifeLock review.

Where LifeLock stands out as the best is with its additional protection inclusions. LifeLock offers antivirus protection and a VPN for unlimited devices when you opt for its top-tier plan (lower plans have device limits).  Norton 360 antivirus is the best of the best, but you could also just purchase Norton by itself. So that’s what I recommend – purchase Norton 360 antivirus software alongside a different identity protection service.

LifeLock Pricing & Plans

LifeLock offers a pretty straight forward plan menu with 3 variations of the Individual Plan and Family Plans. 

Promo Code

Individual Plan Cost

  • $7.5/month Standard Plan

  • $15/month Advantage Plan

  • $20/month Ultimate Plus Plan

Couple Plan Cost

  • $12.5/month Standard Plan

  • $24/month Advantage Plan

  • $33/month Ultimate Plus Plan

Family Plan Cost

  • $18.5/month Standard Plan

  • $30/month Advantage Plan

  • $39/month Ultimate Plus Plan

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • Price increases after first year

Promo Code

6. Complete ID – Best For Executive Costco Members

complete id logo


  • Accurate monitoring
  • Best deal if you’re an Executive Costco Member


  • Less comprehensive services
  • Slow-loading dashboard

Costco CompleteID isn’t a Costco product. It’s backed by Experian, who partnered with Costco to offer identity theft protection services to Costco members. I’m normally not a fan of Experian identity theft protection products, but this one isn’t so bad

If you’re already a Costco Executive member, it might be worth checking this theft protection service out. Executive members get the best rate for this service, but if you’re a regular Costco member (or don’t have a membership with Costco at all), the pricing stops making sense

That said, even with an executive membership, there are some things to consider before you opt for Costco Complete ID’s identity protection service. 

You should know that while its monitoring is accurate (it found a whooping 27 alerts!), it’s slow and repetitive. It took Costco CompleteID two days to uncover what Aura found in a matter of minutes and many of the alerts were duplicates, making their monitoring protection far from the best. 

This theft protection service is also less comprehensive than other options. While it offers the basic protection like SSN monitoring, credit monitoring with an Experian credit lock feature, and dark web monitoring, it’s missing other key features. 

For example, it doesn’t offer any sort of social media or criminal record monitoring. And, it misses the deeper-level theft protection services like home and auto title monitoring.

Costco CompleteID is also slow to load, making it a little frustrating to use. In my experience, if an identity theft protection service is difficult to use in any way, you’re less likely to actually use it. We have here the full Complete ID Reviews.

Complete ID Plans and Pricing

Most identity theft protection services structure their plan offers according to the number of protection features you choose. Complete ID, however, has taken a different approach. You will be able to choose a protection plan according to the Costco membership you have.

Individual Plan Cost

  • $8.99/m for Executive Members

  • $13.99/m for Business + Gold Star Members

Couple Plan Cost

  • $15.99/m for Executive Members

  • $25.99/m for Business + Gold Star Members

Family Plan Cost

  • $11.98/m | One Adult + Children (up to 5 children) for Executive Members

  • $17.98/m | One Adult + Children (up to 5 children) for Business + Gold Star Members


  • $18.99/m | Two Adults + Children (up to 5 children) for Executive Members

  • $29.99/m | Two Adults + Children (up to 5 children) for Business + Gold Star Members

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No

7. Allstate – Best For Fund Reimbursement Policy

allstate logo


  • Best stolen/lost funds reimbursement
  • Good family protection tools
  • Flexible family plans


  • Poor monitoring capabilities
  • Slow loading servers

Allstate is part of our best identity theft protection service list for several reasons. It offers very comprehensive protection features, including investment account monitoring, which many companies miss. And, though it doesn’t offer home title monitoring, it does provide home title fraud reimbursement (up to $2 million).

Unfortunately, its monitoring capabilities aren’t the best. When I tested it, it pulled up zero alerts.

You might think a lack of accuracy would knock this identity theft protection service off our best of list, but Allstate stands out in other areas.

For example, it goes above and beyond to fix identity theft damages. As part of their theft insurance coverage, they provide up to $1 million in insurance reimbursement should a thief steal from your retirement account and up to $2 million in insurance reimbursement if you’re a victim of a ransomware attack. Allstate even provides up to $500 in cash reimbursement should you lose your wallet as part of its lost wallet insurance coverage.

Allstate’s identity theft protection service also includes a comprehensive set of family protection tools that includes detailed parental controls, featuring screen time limits and device location alerts. Their definition of family is also inclusive, allowing for college-aged kids and seniors on their family plans. 

My only other gripe with Allstate is its load time. It’s not very fast, which can be frustrating.

Allstate Plans and Pricing

If you’re looking for some of the best insurance coverage and best family protection tools, you’ll want Allstate’s premier plan. The essentials option doesn’t include nearly as much.


Individual Plan Cost

  • $9.99/month Essentials Plan

  • $17.99/month Premier Plan

Couple Plan Cost

  • No Couples plan

Family Plan Cost

  • $18.99/month Essentials Plan

  • $34.99/month Premier Plan

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No

8. Experian IdentityWorks – Best For Credit Management Tools

Experian IdentityWorks


  • Great credit monitoring suite
  • Free plan available


  • Not identity protection focused
  • Slow threat detection 
  • Less comprehensive monitoring

There are certain people who might like Experian IdentityWorks service. If you’re trying to repair your credit or can only afford a very basic free plan, IdentityWorks might be your best option. For most people, though, it doesn’t provide enough protection, even when you pay for the top-tier protection plan.  

Given that this is an Experian product, it makes sense that its credit tools are amongst the best. They offer 3-bureau credit reports and FICO® Scores each quarter, daily Experian FICO® Scores, a credit score tracker, an in-portal Experian credit lock, and credit score monitoring.

However, in other identity theft monitoring areas, IdentityWorks misses the mark. This theft protection service doesn’t offer financial transaction monitoring, investment account monitoring, or home and auto title monitoring.

And while the service is capable of detecting theft threats, it’s extremely slow. It took over a month of testing before it found the dark web threats I knew it should. It’s hard to fix vulnerabilities effectively when it takes that long to find them.

Experian IdentityWorks Plans and Pricing

Experian IdentityWorks offers a free theft protection plan which includes a single dark web scan and ongoing credit protection services. For real identity theft protection, though, the paid premium or plus plans are the best choice.


Individual Plan Cost

  • $9.99/month Plus

  • $19.99/month Premium

Couple Plan Cost

  • No Couples plan

Family Plan Cost

1 Adult and Up to 10 Children

  • $14.99/month Plus

  • $19.99/month Premium

2 Adult and Up to 10 Children

  • $19.99/month Plus

  • $29.99/month Premium

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No

9. IDX (formerly MyIDCare) – Best For The User Interface

IDX Logo


  • Best design
  • Accurate monitoring


  • Limited customer service hours
  • Overactive social media monitoring
  • Expensive

In terms of ease of use, IDX is the best I’ve tested. Many identity theft protection services have great capabilities but aren’t very user-friendly. In fact, that’s my one complaint about Aura – it’s user interface isn’t the best. But, here, IDX excels. 

The sleek and modern design also comes with accurate monitoring. I was impressed with the number of dark web alerts it found on me. 

Not everything about IDX is so fantastic, though. 

While it offers fairly comprehensive identity theft protection and monitoring services (it misses investment account monitoring but little else), its social media monitoring is downright annoying. It flags everything. Have a friend named Dick? It’s going to flag his account as “sexually explicit.” Someone in your feed describes a “killer burger recipe“? It’ll flag it for violence

IDX is also very expensive. If you want to cover your family with its top tier plan, you’re looking at over $60 per month – that’s outrageous!

IDX Plans and Pricing

IDX theft protection plans are available in three tiers. The complete option is best if you want to feel safe from identity theft.


Individual Plan Cost

  • $9.95/month IDX Identity

  • $12.95/month IDX Privacy

  • $32.90/month IDX Complete

Couple Plan Cost

  • No Couples plan

Family Plan Cost

  • $19.95/month IDX Identity

  • $25.95/month IDX Privacy

  • $64.99/month IDX Complete

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No

10. ID Watchdog – For Credit Freeze Tools

ID Watchdog


  • Great credit tools
  • Excellent customer service


  • Poor monitoring capabilities

ID Watchdog is Equifax’s identity protection service. As such, it comes with some of the best credit tools, including the ability to lock your and your child’s credit through your dashboard. It also offers some of the best customer service. It’s U.S.- based and available 24/7/365. 

And ID Watchdog offers a few of the best threat resolution features, including a resolution tracker that records all of your interactions with their identity theft resolution specialists. That way, if you fall victim to identity theft, you can keep track of exactly where you are in the theft restoration process.

My issue with ID Watchdog is that it didn’t come up with any dark web alerts on my information. That makes me think its monitoring capabilities aren’t the best. So, it’s not my first pick for a theft protection service.

ID Watchdog Plans and Pricing

ID Watchdog

Individual Plan Cost

  • $14.95/mo Select

  • $21.95/mo Premium

Couple Plan Cost

  • No Couples plan

Family Plan Cost

  • $23.95/mo Select

  • $34.95/mo Premium

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No

11. ReliaShield – Most Detailed Alerts

ReliaShield logo


  • Detailed alerts with SSN trace map
  • Includes home and auto title monitoring


  • No additional services included
  • Rigid family plans

ReliaShield offers comprehensive identity theft protection that’s decently accurate. It’s not as good as Aura when it comes to combing the dark web with identity theft treats, but it’s not bad, either. It found seven dark web alerts on me. 

And, I like the way ReliaShield presents its theft alerts. I’d go as far as to say they’re amongst the best alerts I’ve seen. They’re detailed with easy-to-follow next steps. 

I especially like this Social Security number tracing map. It gives a visual representation of where your SSN was located. This allows you to spot an identity theft attempt quickly. If your Social Security number is showing up someplace you’ve never lived, you know it’s probably fraudulent. 

ReliaShield doesn’t offer much for family identity theft protection, though. Their family plans are far from the best, only allowing you to include up to two adults.

They also don’t have any added features. There’s no VPN, antivirus software, or parental controls. With ReliaShield, it’s straightforward theft protection, nothing more.

Unfortunately, you could get a lot more for the same amount of money with a different theft protection service, including better insurance coverage and more protection features. So, while ReliaShield offers decent service, it’s not my favorite.

ReliaShield has three theft protection pricing tiers to choose from. The best option is the Elite plan which covers all three credit bureaus and provides the best comprehensive features.

ReliaShield Plans and Pricing


Individual Plan Cost




Couple Plan Cost

  • No Couples plan

Family Plan Cost




Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No

Other Companies To Consider

How We Chose Identity Protection (And What You Should Look For)

When it comes to the best identity theft protection, I focus on:

  • Dark web monitoring and alerts
  • Credit and financial monitoring
  • Public records monitoring
  • Threat resolution and customer service 
  • Identity Theft insurance
  • Family plan
  • Cost

These are the core services. Other features, like VPNs, parental controls, and antivirus software, are very nice to have, but they aren’t key to the best identity theft protection. 

Check out what the best theft protection services do and what you should look for when comparing them.

Dark Web Monitoring and Alerts

The dark web sounds like a scary place – and it is. This is where criminals gain your personal information, allowing them to steal your assets, take out debt in your name, and worse. 

Unfortunately, most of us have some of our information on the dark web, whether we know it or not, making us vulnerable to identity theft. Data breaches, visiting insecure websites, and using public WiFi can all leak personal data, making theft events very possible. 

While you can’t always stop your information from showing up on the dark web, you can take action to keep your name, credit score, and other assets safe from theft. 

The best protection services against identity theft also offer the best dark web monitoring. That means they’ll use a robust framework to provide comprehensive theft protection features which continuously scan the dark web for your information. If they find anything that makes you vulnerable to identity theft, you’ll receive an alert allowing you to take proactive steps.

Credit and Financial Monitoring

Identity theft can wreak havoc on your credit score, ruining your ability to take out a loan, refinance your house, or finance a car. Worse still, if the wrong information gets out, identity theft could obliterate your financial accounts.

To protect your financial standing, the best identity protection services provide a suite of credit monitoring tools.

The best protection from identity theft includes regular comprehensive three-bureau credit reports, allowing you to watch for strange activity. It should also include the ability to lock your credit score. The best services allow you to do this directly through your account dashboard. Second best services force you to call customer service for assistance in this area.

And, the best of the best services will also provide financial monitoring, meaning they’ll watch your online banking and investment accounts (including your 401(k)) for any signs of theft.

Many protection providers will only provide comprehensive credit and financial monitoring with their top-tier plans. Typically, though, shelling out the extra cash is worth it. This is one area where you don’t want to settle for second best. 

Public Records Monitoring

More of your information is publicly available than you may realize. Your address, birth date, and even home title records are all technically public information. Parts of criminal and court proceedings are public records too. 

The best identity protection services monitor these for signs of alterations. A change to your home or auto title, for example, could be a sign of title theft.

They also watch for new records. You would hate for a criminal to assume your name in court or criminal records. 

Finally, many services offer sex offender monitoring. This alerts you when a sex offender moves into the neighborhood. It will also tell you if a sex offender registers under your name. 

While most services offer some amount of public records monitoring, only the very best offer everything I’ve mentioned. Even when a protection service says they offer public records monitoring, more often than not, they’re missing home or auto title services, leaving you vulnerable to title theft. So, this is another area where you don’t want to settle for second best. Paying a bit more for comprehensive public records monitoring is a good choice.

Threat Resolution and Customer Service

The best monitoring available can’t stop identity theft – it can only alert you to signs of fraudulent activity.

That means the best identity protection company comes with threat resolution services. 

In my experience, a service’s customer helpline is a good indicator of how responsive their threat resolution team is to sign of thefts. After all, you typically have to call the helpline if you notice signs of identity theft, then they can connect you to a resolution specialist. So, I put a lot of weight on customer service to judge this area. 

The services I rank among the best of the best almost always offer 24/7/365 customer service.

They also offer the best concierge resolution services. If you become a victim of identity theft, these services will walk you through the restoration process. They’ll help you file paperwork, help you issue credit disputes, assist you with filing appropriate insurance claims and sometimes even help you file a police report. 

Finally, the best services also offer lost wallet protection. In the event you lose your wallet (or find its been stolen), you can call their identity theft care team. They’ll proceed to help you cancel and replace your ID, bank cards, and insurance cards. In some cases, they’ll even wire you emergency funds. And, with some of the best plans, they’ll help you file an insurance claim to replace stolen funds or property.. 

Theft Insurance

Because no identity protection company can prevent identity fraud, id theft insurance is crucial.

Restoring your identity can be a pricey endeavor. You might need to travel, find childcare, and hire an attorney. Then, there are the fees for filing paperwork. Not to mention reimbursement for any stolen funds! 

Most identity protection services offer id theft insurance of some sort. The industry standard is $1 million in aggregate insurance coverage, usually with some limits on lost wages, legal fees, and childcare. 

However, the best pick for identity protection services goes above and beyond when it comes to insurance coverage: Aura offers $1 million in id theft insurance per adult, and you can include up to five adults on one identity theft protection plan. That means you get up to $5 million in insurance coverage.

Unfortunately, most other services offer $1 million in id theft insurance regardless of the number of adults on your plan. So, should you and your spouse, your adult child, or your parents become victims within the same 12-month period, you maybe

Unfortunately, most other services offer $1 million in id theft insurance regardless of the number of adults on your plan. So, should you and your spouse, your adult child, or your parents become victims within the same 12-month period, you may be out of luck. Your insurance plan might not have enough funds available to fix theft damages. And, given the growing amount of identity fraud, multiple identity theft events in one year isn’t unthinkable.

Your insurance plan might not have enough funds available to fix theft damages. And, given the growing amount of identity fraud, that’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Family Plan

If you have a spouse, children, or other family you’re responsible for, finding the best family identity theft protection is important. 

Many identity protection services offer some form of family plan. Usually, this includes monitoring and insurance coverage for at least two adults and basic identity theft prevention tools for a few minor children. 

If your family doesn’t fit the typical mold, though – meaning you have college-aged kids, are a single parent, or have in-laws or grandparents you want to protect from identity theft, your options are more limited. Only the very best identity protection services offer enough family plan flexibility to let you cover multiple adults or one adult with multiple children. 

I highlight the identity theft services that do this because I think it’s important to provide as much flexibility for families as possible. 


When I talk about costs, let me be clear. I don’t necessarily advocate purchasing the cheapest identity protection service. This isn’t something you want to cut corners on. And cheaper services often fail to compare to the best identity theft protection options out there. That said, no one wants to pay more money for a big brand name or theft prevention features that aren’t really useful.

When looking for the best identity protection services, I look at overall value. If it offers useful theft prevention features that work the way they should and remains affordable,  I’ve found one of the best. In my experience, the best value in identity protection goes to my best overall pick – Aura. 

Aura offers the most comprehensive coverage at the best rate (especially when you use our discount code). Plus, they include a 60 day money-back guarantee. So, if it doesn’t work for you, you get all your money refunded and you can try a different service — whatever one you think is best. 

Depending on your budget, the identity theft prevention features you need, and the insurance coverage you require, you might find a different company offers the best value for you (though I sort of doubt it).

How Identity Theft Happens 

It isn’t very difficult for thieves to steal your identity, especially if you don’t take basic steps to protect yourself. 

Identity theft happens when thieves steal your information from a variety of places. They could get it on the dark web after your doctor’s office or insurance company experiences a data breach. Or, they could get it by stealing your mail or digging through your trash. They can also use phishing attempts to try and trick you into sharing personal information. 

Types of ID Fraud You Might Encounter

There are also several types of identity theft. Let’s look at a few of them. Understanding what thieves look for will help you implement best practices to avoid them.

Credit and Financial 

If they can, thieves will use your personal information to get the best prize – your bank account and credit cards. They may wipe out the money in your savings, take out loans in your name, or apply for additional credit cards, ruining your credit score.

They can even use your child’s credit fraudulently, wrecking their credit score before they even turn eighteen – as if entering adulthood isn’t already hard enough.

The best thieves can also use your personal information to file a tax return and claim a fraudulent refund in your name. You won’t know the theft occurred until you try to file your legitimate return. And you can imagine how much of a hassle it is to fix this with the IRS. Best case, it takes less than a year to sort through – worst case is far longer!


Criminals can also use your identity to commit crimes. Suddenly criminal and court records can start appearing in your name, and you may not know about it until it’s too late – like when a new employer runs a background check. 


In cases of medical identity theft, identity thieves use your personal identifiable information (PII) to have medical procedures in your name, meaning you get the bill. Unfortunately, medical bills can take a long time to fix, so if this happens, at best, it severely impacts your credit. It can also cause an alteration to your electronic health record (EHR), which could cause you problems in the future.

Best Practices For ID Theft Prevention

There are many best practices you can implement to help prevent identity theft, including:

  • Keeping a close watch on your bank and monitor your credit score closely at all three credit bureaus
  • Setting strong passwords that don’t include personal information. 
  • Using the best antivirus software to block malware and viruses
  • Using a lockable mailbox and shredding any documents with personal information before you discard them

Do You Really Need An Identity Fraud Insurance and Service? 

Yes, you need identity theft insurance and an identity theft protection service. And if you’re serious about protecting yourself and your family, you need the best available

The best identity theft protection services make monitoring your accounts and your credit score at the different credit bureaus that much easier. They offer the best tools to watch for compromised emails, passwords, and leaked personal information. And they offer the best alert systems, informing you of theft threats in near real-time and telling you what you should do about them.

It’s important to understand, too, that even with the best identity health hygiene, you can fall victim to a identity theft.

However, if you have the best ID protection service, you’ll have help fixing damages. Many services come with id theft insurance and concierge restoration services, making identity restoration a much smoother (and less expensive) process. The best among these identity theft protection plans offer insurance that increases with each family member you add. And their theft resolution teams are staffed by experts that are easy to reach, any time, day or night.

Final Thoughts

Aura is the best option for identity protection for the vast majority of people. 

It offers:

  • Best comprehensive and accurate monitoring
  • Flexible family plans, allowing for up to five adults and unlimited children 
  • Best insurance coverage that increases by $1 million with each adult 
  • Best additional features, including a VPN, antivirus software, password manager, data broker removal services, and parental controls
  • Award-winning 24/7/365 customer service
  • Best threat resolution team with an average of seven years of industry experience

If you told me Aura charged more than any other company on this list, I’d think it was justified. I’m willing to pay more for the best. With Aura, I know my family is best protected, and given Aura’s inclusions like increasing insurance coverage, flexible family plans, and its full suite of additional theft prevention and digital privacy features, I’d have no problem paying a premium, but notice this list doesn’t include a “best budget” pick. 

And, that’s my favorite part about Aura’s services – it also comes at the best price.

Using our discount code, you can lock in an affordable rate for life, ensuring your assets, your spouse’s assets, and your children’s identities are being protected by the best identity theft protection for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The most common signs of identity theft are: 

  • Charges on your credit card or bank statements for items or services you didn’t purchase
  • Bills for services you didn’t request
  • New accounts on your credit report that you don’t recognize
  • Debt collection calls for loans or services that you didn’t take out 
  • Mail or delivery you expect never arrives 
  • Denials of loans or financing when your credit history is good

While these signs commonly point to a case of identity theft, losing your identity isn’t always so obvious. In some cases, you won’t know that you or your child’s identity has been stolen for weeks, months, or even years. That’s why it’s best to take a proactive approach by using an ID protection service and practicing good online habits.

Warning signs of identity theft include: 

  • Being the victim of a data breach 
  • Having your wallet or purse stolen 
  • Having your mail or trash stolen
  • Responding to a “phishing” email or text message
  • Having your social media accounts hacked 

Any of these instances can (and often do) lead to identity theft. If any of them happen to you, you should take steps to protect yourself quickly. Depending on the incident, you may want to freeze your credit, invest in a protection service, or even file a police report.

Recovering from identity theft isn’t a straightforward process. Each case is different and it all depends on what information the thief has. If they’ve stolen your credit card number, recovering might be as simple as reporting the fraudulent activity and changing your account information. 

However, if the theft includes information like your SSN or investment account details, recovering will be more difficult. Any (or sometimes all) of the following steps could be necessary: 

  • Filing credit disputes with the major credit bureaus 
  • Informing creditors and financial institutions of the theft
  • Filing a police report 
  • Initiating a credit fraud alert 
  • Hiring legal help to fight fraudulent use of your name 
  • Contacting government offices and entities to report the fraud, such as the IRS 

Recovering from identity theft can be tricky and time consuming, which is why the best identity protection services offer concierge threat resolution services. Their expert teams will tailor a recovery plan to your specific needs and help you navigate the process.

You can monitor your credit score with the three major credit bureaus annually by going to AnnualCreditReport.com and downloading your free reports. You can then review the reports for any activity that wasn’t you. 

Alternatively, you can opt for a credit monitoring service. The best identity protection services include three-bureau credit monitoring, which means they’ll let you know when there’s new activity on your credit report. 

Basic steps you can take to protect your identity online include:

  • Using strong passwords that include symbols, letters, and numbers. Using a password manager can help with this.
  • Don’t use public WiFi if you can avoid it and monitor your home network carefully. If you do use public WiFi, don’t reveal any personal information while online.
  • Use a VPN to further protect your information.
  • Only allow necessary cookies to help protect your privacy.
  • Don’t open unknown emails, attachments, or links in text messages.
  • Navigate directly to websites rather than using sponsored links on search engines. 

While none of these steps can guarantee you won’t become an identity theft victim, taken together they can greatly mitigate the risk.

Identity theft insurance provides financial coverage for theft victims. While exact inclusions vary, identity theft insurance typically covers:

  • stolen fund reimbursement
  • legal fees related to the restoration process
  • lost wages
  • child care, spousal care, and elderly care
  • travel expenses related to the restoration process

What Does Reddit Think?

Reddit may not be the best source of advice for everything, but when it comes to identity theft protection, the general consensus isn’t terrible.

According to users there, the first thing you should do is freeze your credit. Then, if you want further protection, Aura, Identity Guard and Identity Force seem to be the top picks. Almost every user on the best identity theft protection Reddit thread also seems to agree that LifeLock is the most overhyped service you can purchase.

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