If you have a family, chances are your top priority is keeping them safe. Many people invest in home protection tools, from elaborate security systems down to something simple like especially sturdy locks, and do their best to educate themselves on the dangers of the outside world and pass that knowledge down to their kids, so they don’t put themselves in compromising positions.
But something a lot of people overlook when protecting their family is identity theft protection.
Many might think that an individual plan would cover everything, or may not even see the need for identity theft at all. Ultimately though, your family’s identities are never going to be secure unless everyone has their own protection.
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Is Family Coverage Really That important?
To answer a question with a question: do you think identity theft protection is important?
If so, you should value family coverage the exact same way you would individual coverage.
When it comes to identity theft protection, family members are a “weakness”. What this means is that your family acts as a crack in the armor for your own accounts. So among all the other reasons you might want family coverage, leaving your family members unprotected is the same thing conceptually as investing in a ton of security tools and then leaving your door unlocked when you leave home.
Of course, your own safety isn’t the only reason to protect your family. You’ll want them to be safe as well, and it certainly wouldn’t do to give yourself an ironclad defense against identity theft and then leave your family unprotected. Your spouse’s assets are just as important as yours, and should be protected as fervently.
But What About Kids?
You might wonder whether children even need identity theft protection. After all, they don’t even really have identities to steal.
This is, in essence, quite true. For that reason, Identity theft protection is a lot more limited when it comes to kids, because it’s expected that a child should have zero credit history or open accounts.
However, that doesn’t mean they can’t have accounts opened in their name. This makes children a big blind spot for many parents…and that blind spot can be exploited by a ton of the more unscrupulous and opportunistic identity fraudsters out there to devastating effect.
Your child could have their credit ruined before they even turn 18, and it can be a devastating burden to drop on a new adult when they go to apply for their first car loan, student loans, or even try to rent their first apartment if things get bad enough.
Child credit monitoring is therefore focused on one main important thing: informing you if anything shows up on your child’s credit report at all, so you can take action if needed.
Identity Force Basic Overview
A quick refresher on what Identity Force offers as a service.
Their identity theft protection is divided into two tiers: UltraSecure, and UltraSecure + Credit.
These offer the same primary benefits in terms of monitoring:
- Fraud monitoring
- Data breach and dark web monitoring
- Change of address monitoring
- Bank and credit card monitoring
- Payday loan monitoring
- Investment account alerts
- And more!
In addition to those benefits, they offer a solid $1 million insurance plan, and access to their remediation services which can resolve your issues if you or your family is ever the victim of identity theft. Notably, this also includes help if a deceased family member, who used to hold an account with Identity Force, is a victim of identity theft after death.
Many identity thieves can use someone’s identity to open new accounts long after they’re dead, and cause problems for their family with bill collection calls hounding them at all hours, and similar distressing factors. This is known as “ghosting” and it’s distressingly common, so it’s great that Identity Force offers this option.
In addition to this, the UltraSecure + Credit plan offers three bureau credit monitoring for an increase in price; no other benefits are available.
Note that the above prices are not including the two-month free trial Identity Force is currently offering, and brings back intermittently, or any discount they might currently be offering (as of writing this article they’re offering roughly $4 to $5 per month off their plans).
And the Family Plans?
The family plans offer the same benefits, and use the same pricing structure. The main difference is in how many people they cover.
Both variants of Identity Force’s family plans offer coverage for two adults, and unlimited children. As an added benefit, Identity Force is quite explicit about what constitutes a “child”, as opposed to other identity theft protection services.
Similar to health and auto insurance, you can continue to cover one of your children until the age of 25, at which point they would need to upgrade to an individual account. This is something they’d likely want to do by this point (or before it) anyway given how limited child identity theft monitoring is, but it’s nice to have basic protection while you’re still getting on your feet in early adulthood.
The prices are going to run you a bit extra overall:
As you can see, Identity Force really doesn’t try to run up the bill on its family plans as compared to its individual plans, even when you take into account that these ARE the prices including their current discount and two-month free trial deal; Identity Force wouldn’t tell me what the normal price for their family plans is.
If I had to take a stab at it, these prices would also be about 25% more than the prices currently listed once this deal runs out, which is still more than reasonable for what you’re getting: coverage for a whole new adult account and an unlimited number of children.
Not bad for a whole lot less than the price of two normal adult accounts.
There is one other option Identity Force offers as well:
Unlike most other identity theft protection services (with the only exception I know of being LifeLock, with LifeLock Junior) Identity Force offers protection for just children, with no need to purchase a family plan just to get child protection.
Childwatch covers only a single child, and is going to run you a total of $27.50 per year, per child. Pretty cheap all things considered if you only cover a single child, of course. That’s somewhere in the order of either $2.29 per month or $2.75 per month, depending on whether you get a two-month free trial. Identity Force was surprisingly cagey with the details about Childwatch.
In either case, Childwatch is pretty cost-effective up to two children, at which point it costs about as much as upgrading from an individual to a family plan. If you’re a single parent it’s a very good deal to cover a single child, and okay for a second child.
With three or more children, you’re better off getting the family plan. Identity Force says as much if you ask them about it as well, so at least they’re honest about its limited range of applications.
But in terms of quality of monitoring, it’s the same as the child coverage you get with the family plan, so you don’t need to worry about a loss of functionality.
I’d say so. Identity Force’s family plans are some of the most cost-effective I’ve seen, and offer a family plan deal for roughly a 1/3 cost increase over their individual plans. This is roughly on par with identity Guard, which is the measuring stick I’d typically use to compare family plan value; many others fall well below this threshold (some even costing about twice as much as the individual plan).
Not only is the value good, the service is simply excellent as well. Identity Force is one of the best identity theft protection services on the market, bar none.
It has powerful, fast and accurate monitoring along with a very solid monitoring breadth. While it doesn’t stand up to some of the best on the market in terms of breadth, it makes up for it in cost. Identity Force is quite cheap for what it offers, and that’s whether you include the discounts it sometimes offers or not.
The only really iffy thing is Childwatch. It can be cost effective if you only need to cover one, maybe two children but ironically the family plan value is so good that it’s very difficult to justify taking it as a standalone option in most cases.
That’s very much a nitpick though. If the biggest problem I can find with a service’s family plans is that they’re so good they overshadow one of the other options they offer, there’s no reason not to give them a try.
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- IdentityForce Review – A Closer Look
- Reasons Why IdentityForce Is Not a Scam
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