ID Watchdog Identity Theft Protection Review – Do You Need This?

Lauren Sakiyama
Writer
Brandon King
Editor
Last Updated May 24, 2024

I put ID Watchdog through the wringer. I tested its monitoring capabilities, quizzed its customer service team, and experimented with all its extra features. In the end, I found that it didn’t quite measure up. 

Though ID Watchdog offers a lot of fantastic features, Aura is better overall.

You can lock in our OFF discount on Aura, they won’t increase your price next year.

60 Day Money Back Guarantee
You Should Get Aura If…
You Should Get ID Watchdog If…
  • You want to catch vulnerabilities as fast as possible using award-winning identity theft and credit monitoring that watches everything from your bank accounts to your home and auto title.
  • You want to protect more than two adults with your family coverage. With Aura, you can include up to five adults in your plan, including adult children, your spouse, your parents, and your in-laws.
  • You want added features that protect your kids, including parental controls, cyberbullying monitoring, and safe game services that allow parents to monitor popular gaming platforms.
  • You’re okay with poor threat detection services as long as the threat resolution coverage is good.
  • You want $1 million in fund reimbursement alongside $1 million in insurance policy coverage.
  • You want the ability to freeze and unfreeze your credit and your child’s credit with just a few clicks.

Home Security Heroes independently tests and reviews every product. We may earn a commission when you buy through our links. Read more here.

If you want to protect things like your retirement savings, your credit score, and your home title effectively – meaning you want to catch vulnerabilities before criminals attack, you need comprehensive and accurate monitoring. 

Aura is much better at that than ID Watchdog. It also has more family plan offerings and more useful added features. 

So, most people are going to want Aura as their identity protection service

If you’re still curious about ID Watchdog, read on. I’ll explain everything it has to offer.

ID Watchdog Review: Is It Worth Getting?

ID Watchdog might be worth getting for some people. 

It’s not a bad identity protection service in general, though it misses the mark when it comes to its monitoring capabilities. For some, monitoring for potential threats isn’t as important as fund reimbursement and identity theft insurance. And many will be wowed by ID Watchdog’s credit tools. 

However, I argue that monitoring is crucial. 

With accurate monitoring tools, you can see where you’re vulnerable before things get bad. If you know what information is on the dark web, you can take steps to secure your personal accounts and credit information before a thief gets into them. 

Because ID Watchdog fails to offer accurate monitoring services, I can’t recommend it. For the same reason, I recommend Aura instead.

Still, there are some areas where ID Watchdog excels. In this review, I’ll highlight the places where ID Watchdog stands out from the competition so you can make an informed decision about your identity protection.

Editor’s Ranking Table

Aura
ID Watchdog

Overall Score

Monitoring & Alerts

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

  • No Found dark web alerts

Threat Resolution

  • White Glove support standard on all plans

  • Good customer service experience

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

  • Additional $1 million in stolen fund reimbursement for Premium Plan

Customer Support

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

  • US-based 24/7 support

Additional Services

  • VPN

  • Antivirus

  • Parental Controls

  • Password Manager

  • VPN

  • Safe Browser

  • Password Manager

  • Parental Controls

Cost

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

  • Prices are reasonable, given what they offer

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No. You lock in the price for life

  • No

Promo Code


ID Watchdog Identity Theft Protection: In-Depth Feature Guides

Monitoring & Alerts: 5/10

On paper, ID Watchdog offers comprehensive monitoring services with its Premium plan, including:

  • Dark web surveillance
  • Social media monitoring
  • SSN monitoring
  • Investment account monitoring 
  • Credit monitoring
  • Integrated fraud alerts 

There’s only one issue…

ID Watchdog was terrible at detecting threats. 

I wish I could be kinder here because I liked a lot of what ID Watchdog had to offer, but it fails to catch vulnerabilities that I know exist. Monitoring and alerts aren’t everything, but they’re an important part of any protection service, so this is a major flaw. 

Dark Web Alerts

ID Watchdog didn’t catch a single dark web alert. Though the service claims to provide comprehensive dark web monitoring with all of their plans, after several days of waiting for something to show up, nothing did. 

When I’ve tested other services, at least a few dark web alerts show up, so I know some of my information is out there. That’s what makes ID Watchdog’s lack of alerts so concerning. I have to question whether the technology used is effective. If it’s not (and it seems like it’s not), then what am I paying for? 

Alerts Dashboard

It’s hard for me to evaluate a service’s alerts dashboard when it didn’t populate any alerts for me to review. That said, I found the alerts dashboard to be well organized. I also liked its personalization features. 

You can set which alerts you want to see for specific areas. As an example, for ID Watchdog’s social media monitoring, you can determine what you want it to watch for with options including weapons, violence, profanity, spam, and phishing attempts. With this level of personalization, you won’t receive alerts you don’t need, which helps you avoid becoming desensitized. 

Credit and Financial Monitoring

ID Watchdog is owned by Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies. So it’s not surprising that you get a full suite of credit monitoring tools with every ID Watchdog plan. These include the ability to freeze and unfreeze your credit with just a few clicks. 

However, be aware that you only get three-bureau monitoring with ID Watchdog’s Premium plan. With the lower-level, Select plan, the service only monitors your Equifax report. 

The Premium plan also comes with a full range of financial health tools, including 401(k) and investment account monitoring. It also includes stolen funds reimbursement for investment accounts up to $1 million. And, it offers a subprime loan block to help stop thieves from taking out loans in your name. 

ID Watchdog Financial Monitoring

Given my testing experience, I don’t fully trust ID Watchdog to catch threats before there’s damage to my accounts. So, stolen funds reimbursement and the subprime loan block are major benefits. If I can’t fix vulnerabilities before a thief gets them, at least ID Watchdog will help block attempts and recover my assets. 

Public Records Monitoring

ID Watchdog offers all of the public record monitoring I expect from a high-end identity protection service, including: 

  • Criminal records
  • Sex offender registries
  • USPS address changes
  • Home title 

Again, if I trusted ID Watchdog’s monitoring capabilities more, this would be an impressive list. Many identity protection companies FAIL to include home title monitoring, and I’m always happy when I see it, but I can’t trust a service that doesn’t turn up any alerts.

Threat Resolution: 8/10

Aura
ID Watchdog

Expertise

  • Aura's knowdlegeable support experts answered my call within 1-2 minutes

  • Good customer service experience

US Based Support?

  • Yes

  • Yes

Customer Hours

  • 24/7/365 Support

  • 24/7/365 Support

Concierge Resolution

  • Available on ALL plans

  • Available

Lost Wallet Protection

  • Available

  • Available

ID Watchdog may not catch vulnerabilities before a criminal can exploit them. But, at least, they seem to excel at fixing things after the fact. 

I had a great experience with ID Watchdog’s customer service team, which was a little surprising. 

In the past, when I’ve had to speak with Equifax’s support team, I was left disappointed. I worried that ID Watchdog would have the same level of customer support. Thank goodness they don’t. 

Customer Service

It took exactly forty-five seconds for me to reach a customer service representative with ID Watchdog. She was U.S.-based and was able to answer all my questions. I can’t ask for much more than that. 

Their customer service team is available 24/7/365, and they also allow for email inquiries. You can call or email with one click using the Watchdog ID mobile app. 

When I asked how long it takes them to respond by email, their representative explained their goal is to respond within 24 hours. 

However, a thorough and accurate answer is more important to them than a quick response. So, in certain cases, it might take a little more time to get an email back. I would rather have a full answer than an automated but fast response, so I see this policy as a good thing. 

Concierge Resolution

ID Watchdog offers threat resolution services for all plan holders. If you find signs of fraudulent activity or if your identity is stolen, the service includes a certified resolution specialist to help you resolve the issue. 

One stand-out feature here is ID Watchdog’s resolution tracker. It allows you to view a record of all your communications with your certified resolution specialist from your dashboard. Always knowing where you are in the identity restoration process can relieve a lot of stress, so this is a big benefit. 

Lost Wallet Protection

Most identity protection services offer some form of lost wallet protection. Usually, this means their resolution team will help you cancel and replace your wallet’s contents if it’s lost or stolen. 

ID Watchdog goes a step beyond the standard by offering a wallet vault. 

You can store your financial and personal information in the vault for easy access if your wallet is lost. This means if someone steals your wallet, you can log in to your vault to view your bank card information, medical insurance numbers, and identification information. 

Theft Insurance: 8/10

Aura
ID Watchdog

Theft Insurance Score

Theft Insurance 

  • Up to $5M Theft Insurance on the family plan  ($1M per adult)

  • $1M Theft Insurance per Adult on Individual & Couple plans

  • $1M Theft Insurance total on all plans

  • Additional $1 million in stolen fund reimbursement for Premium Plan

I can’t complain about ID Watchdog’s identity theft insurance coverage, especially with their Premium plan. 

While all of ID Watchdog’s plans come with a standard $1 million in identity theft coverage, their Premium plan includes an additional $1 million in stolen fund reimbursement. So, you have $1 million to cover expenses and up to $1 million in reimbursement should a thief get into your bank or investment accounts – that’s $2 million total, which is impressive. 

ID Watchdog theft insurance

Still, if you’re trying to cover a family with more than two adults, you’ll want to look at other options. 

For example, Aura offers $1 million in theft protection per adult, and you can have up to five adults on your family plan. That’s up to $5 million in total coverage – even more impressive than ID Watchdog’s offerings. 

Family Plans: 8/10 

ID Watchdog offers good family plan options. They aren’t the best I’ve seen, but they’re better than average. 

If you opt for family coverage, you can add up to one additional adult and four kids. Everyone on the plan must live at your residence, with one notable exception. College-aged children (18-26) can be on your plan even if they don’t live at home. 

Few services think to allow college-aged kids on their protection plans, so this is a nice feature, but the two adults per plan rule still stands. So if you add a college-aged child, you can’t add your spouse. 

That’s why Aura is still my favorite pick for families. 

With Aura, you can add up to five adults and unlimited children. So, you can cover your spouse and your adult kids and your parents or in-laws. 

Ease of Use: 7/10

Given that ID Watchdog is backed by Equifax, I expected it to be a little flashier than it is. In truth, its interface feels dated and a little clunky. The set-up process isn’t super smooth – it takes about 15 minutes, and the questions feel tedious. 

ID Watchdog dashboard

There’s also a glitch with their social media monitoring setup. I started to add a social media account, then realized I’d made a mistake. When I tried to back out of the process, it wouldn’t let me. Even after I logged out and logged back in, it tried to put me right back to where I was. I had to restart my browser to get back to the main dashboard. 

All of that said, ID Watchdog offers simple navigational tabs that are easy enough to navigate, and its servers load quickly. So, overall it’s not bad – I just expected better from a service with big-name backing. 

Additional Services: 8/10

Aura
ID Watchdog

Additional Services

  • VPN

  • Safe Browser

  • Password Manager

  • Parental Controls

  • VPN

  • Safe Browser

  • Password Manager

  • Parental Controls

ID Watchdog offers several additional services with their plans, including a VPN, a safe browser, and a password manager. 

Its social media monitoring comes with helpful controls for kids, but it doesn’t offer full parental control services. Nor does it include cyberbullying protection. 

The only service I’ve seen that includes all of that (plus antivirus software) is Aura – yet another reason why Aura remains my top choice, but ID Watchdog’s offerings are still better than most of the services I’ve reviewed. 

ID Watchdog Cost: 7/10 

Aura
ID Watchdog

Promo Code

Individual Plan Cost

  • $9/month 

  • $14.95/mo Select

  • $21.95/mo Premium

Couple Plan Cost

  • $17/month 

Covers 2 Adults

  • No Couples plan

Family Plan Cost

  • $25/month 

Covers 5 adults & unlimited kids

  • $23.95/mo Select

  • $34.95/mo Premium

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No. You lock in the price for life

  • No

Promo Code


As far as prices go, ID Watchdogs are reasonable, given what they offer. 

Plans start at $14.95 for individuals and $23.95 for families per month. You can save a little bit if you pay for a year at once. 

ID Watchdog brings a lot of value with their added services, $1 million in funds reimbursement plus $1 million in insurance coverage, and their high-end threat resolution tools. However, I don’t think they provide the best value. 

Plus, they’re a little tricky when it comes to cancellations. They stop coverage the second you cancel, but they charge you for the remainder of the month anyway. That’s a crummy policy that borders on criminal – ID Watchdog charges you for services they don’t render in many scenarios. 

Aura offers better monitoring, more family plan flexibility, and more additional services at a better price when you use our discount code. So, if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, Aura is a better option. And Aura doesn’t come with iffy cancellation practices – not that you’ll want to cancel their plans anyway. 

FAQs

Is ID Watchdog Legit? 

Yes, ID Watchdog is a legitimate identity protection service owned by Equifax, one of the major three credit reporting bureaus in the U.S.

Does ID Watchdog offer a free trial? 

No, ID Watchdog does not offer a free trial. 

Does ID Watchdog have a coupon or promo code? 

No, ID Watchdog does not have a coupon or promo code available.

Final Verdict: 7/10

ID Watchdog

ID Watchdog has a lot going for it. 

Offering $1 million in stolen fund reimbursement along with a $1 million theft insurance policy is way above average. Its customer service team was top-notch, and I like some of its extras, like its lost wallet vault service and its online resolution tracker. 

However, ID Watchdog drops the ball when it comes to monitoring, and that’s not acceptable. It also has limited family plan offerings. Two adults aren’t enough for many families who want to protect their parents, in-laws, or adult children on one plan. 

That’s why I recommend Aura for most people. 

Aura catches more threats with its monitoring and surveillance. It also has better family plans, with great insurance coverage ($1 million per adult for up to five adults!). And Aura costs less (especially when you use our discount code.) 

So if you’re considering ID Watchdog for your identity protection service, take a look at Aura first. You’ll be glad you did.

Citations: