The best identity theft protection services of 2024

Identity theft has become increasingly prevalent. Recent statistics indicate that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received close to 1.4 million reports of identity theft in the year 2021.

The considerable surge in recent times is largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, as scammers have exploited the anxieties and uncertainties of consumers. The methods employed by fraudsters to pilfer your personal information and its subsequent utilization vary significantly, extending beyond mere unauthorized charges on your credit card. By acquiring stolen Social Security numbers, identity thieves engage in activities such as submitting fraudulent unemployment claims, seeking auto loans, and filing deceitful tax returns to obtain illegitimate refunds.

Fortunately, advancements in technology are constantly being made to combat cybercrime, including identity theft. As a result, the availability of identity theft protection services has also expanded, enabling individuals to effortlessly oversee their personal and financial data online.

Bankrate’s picks for best identity theft protection services

  • Best for monitoring credit: Identity Force
  • Best for property owners: LifeLock
  • Best for device security: IdentityIQ
  • Best for scanning the web: Identity Guard
  • Best for restoring identity: IDShield


Identity Force

Lifehack’s view

IdentityForce, a division of TransUnion, offers an extensive monitoring system that detects fraudulent credit activity, changes of address, illegal trading of information on the dark web, sex offender registrations and inappropriate activity on social media. Customers get an alert when there’s evidence of any of these activities. Plus, the service notifies you when there’s a major data breach, such as if a social media platform is hacked or if a company is cyberattacked, so customers can take necessary steps to protect their information.

Should personal information be breached or used for fraudulent purposes, IdentityForce connects victims with a resolution specialist to complete paperwork, make calls and assist with other steps to restore their identities. Victims are also able to quickly cancel or replace debit, credit or ATM cards through the online service, and the company will reimburse up to $1 million in losses.

One of IdentityForce’s unique features is its credit management features, accessed with the UltraSecure+Credit plan. Not only does the service grant customers instant access to credit reports and scores from multiple bureaus, it also provides a credit score tracker and a credit score simulator. With the simulator, you’ll be able to foresee how different financial decisions, such as taking out a loan, affect your credit.

Plan features

For the basic plan — called UltraSecure — customers get a 30-day free trial. The UltraSecure+Credit plan comes with credit management tools and includes some other features, such as a VPN and mobile phone threat detection, that the basic plan does not. With both plans, customers have the option to add child identity theft protection for $2.75 a month for each child.

Monthly costs (discounted if billed annually):

$17.99 for UltraSecure
$23.99 for UltraSecure+Credit

Pros & cons


  • 30-day free trial
  • Extensive monitoring system
  • Up to $1 million in identity theft insurance


  • No credit reports or credit score available in lower-priced tier
  • Some of the credit tools are free to access elsewhere



Lifehack’s view

LifeLock offers comprehensive identity theft protection services for individuals and families, but it’s especially attractive for property owners. The features available to protect personal identity vary among its three plans and don’t come with device security, but they can be paired with Norton 360 suite at an extra cost to include device security tools such as a VPN. Its priciest plan, LifeLock Ultimate Plus, offers home title monitoring — a unique monitoring feature that’s difficult to come by. LifeLock’s home title monitoring feature notifies you if there are any changes in property ownership, a new lender is detected, a loan associated with your property was refinanced or notice of default on your property.

Plan features

The LifeLock Standard product covers up to $1 million in legal and expert fees and up to $25,000 in stolen funds. With this plan, LifeLock monitors credit, the dark web and other networks where personally identifiable information may be used illegally.

LifeLock Advantage comes with all of the same features as the Standard product, except with a total of up to $100,000 in coverage for stolen funds. LifeLock Advantage comes with some extra features and alerts, including an identity block feature to block unauthorized account openings. Some additional alerts include alerts on crimes committed in your name and on bank account activity.

The final product, LifeLock Ultimate Plus, comes with all of the same features as the Advantage product, plus up to $1 million covered for stolen funds and some more features. In addition to investment account alerts and social media monitoring, among others, it includes an extra home title monitoring feature that accounts for any properties where you have ownership.

Monthly costs for individuals (discounted if billed annually):
$9.99 for LifeLock Standard for the first year, then $11.99
$17.99 for LifeLock Advantage for the first year, then $22.99
$23.99 for LifeLock Ultimate Plus for the first year, then $34.99

Pros & cons


  • Three plan options for each product
  • Can be paired with Norton 360
  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus covers up to $1 million in stolen funds
  • Home title monitoring feature available with LifeLock Ultimate Plus


  • Lowest plan only covers $25,000 in stolen funds
  • Plans don’t include device security tools unless you pay to pair with Norton 360
  • Annual cost increases after the first year



Lifehack’s view

IdentityIQ offers services to help protect customers not only from identity theft but also from other cyberattacks. On all plan options, customers get full monitoring of their information and accounts as well as the Bitdefender Total Security package for a small extra fee. The Bitdefender software is a unique feature designed to detect malware and protect files on various personal devices, available for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. It comes with a VPN, antivirus and antispyware, a password manager and parental controls.

Like its competitors, IdentityIQ provides all of the typical services to help monitor for, spot and resolve cases of identity theft. Some of these services include credit report monitoring, dark web monitoring, expert assistance for restoring identity and up to $1 million in theft coverage. IdentityIQ also provides enhanced tools for managing credit, such as a credit score tracker and a credit score simulator, but these tools are only available on the highest priced plan.

Plan features

There are four levels of plan options available with increasing monitoring capacity. Only the Secure Max plan comes with family protection, which provides an extra $25,000 in ID theft insurance for children.

Monthly costs, with Bitdefender included (discounted if billed annually):

  • $6.99 for the Secure Plan
  • $9.99 for Secure Plus
  • $19.99 for Secure Pro
  • $29.99 for Secure Max

Pros & cons


  • With Bitdefender software, customers get enhanced device protection
  • Highest priced plan includes enhanced credit management tools
  • Family plan available


  • Bitdefender costs extra
  • Enhanced credit management tools only available on highest priced plan


Identity Guard

Lifehack’s view

Identity Guard’s service includes all of the basic features that help to protect identities — namely, web monitoring, alerts and up to $1 million in identity theft insurance. Expert help for remediating fraud is only available on the Ultra plan.

Identity Guard is designed to scan the web for personal information shared without authorization. The service is partnered with IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence, combining traditional web monitoring with AI detection to more effectively scan for threats. The Identity Guard site provides a free dark web scanner for any site visitors to check if their personal data has been compromised. Additionally, with a family plan, the service scans for your child’s information on the dark web and potential cyberbullying.

Plan features

A variety of plans cater to consumers with differing needs. Identity Guard offers three types of individual and family plans. The basic plan for each is called the Value plan and is an affordable option, but it doesn’t include bank account monitoring or credit protection. Identity Guard Total includes bank account monitoring and credit monitoring. Identity Guard Ultra includes these features plus extra monitoring, such as home title and investment accounts monitoring, as well as an annual credit report.

Monthly costs (discounted if billed annually):
$8.99 for the individual Value plan, or $14.99 for families
$19.99 for the individual Total plan, or $29.99 for families
$29.99 for the individual Ultra plan, or $39.99 for families

Accordion title 3


  • Wide variety of plans available for different consumers
  • Highest priced plans include home title and investment accounts monitoring
  • Includes enhanced web monitoring with an AI scanner


  • Fraud resolution only available on highest priced Ultra plan
  • Bank account monitoring and credit protection not available with basic plan



Lifehack’s view

IDShield comes with 24/7 monitoring of personal data, protection against malware, credit monitoring and comprehensive services for identity restoration.

The restoration services are a stand-out feature of IDShield. If the software detects identity theft, the victim is assigned a licensed private investigator, whose responsibilities include contacting appropriate institutions, helping to place a credit freeze and/or fraud alert on credit reports and restoring the victim’s identity to pre-theft status. After resolution, the private investigators keep the case open for an additional 120 days should the victim be targeted again. Additionally, investigators are available to provide consultation regarding theft trends and tips for how to be a safe online consumer.

Plan features

IDShield plans share most of the same features, including an extensive monitoring system, full-service restoration and up to $1 million in reimbursement for unrecovered costs. The only differences between the plans are how many credit bureaus are monitored (one or three) and how many users the plan covers. The family option covers a couple and unlimited dependents.

Monthly costs:
$14.95 for an individual for one credit bureau, or $19.95 for three credit bureaus
$29.95 for a family for one credit bureau, or $34.95 for three credit bureaus

Pros & cons


  • Enhanced identity theft restoration services, including licensed private investigators
  • Investigators provide consultation for avoiding identity theft
  • Extensive monitoring features offered on all plans


  • Prices are higher than some competitors
  • Basic plan only includes credit monitoring for one bureau
  • No discount on annual plans

Compare the best identity theft protection services of 2024

CompanyBest forMonthly Plans*
Identity ForceBest for monitoring credit$17.99 for UltraSecure
$23.99 for UltraSecure+Credit
LifeLockBest for property owners$9.99 for LifeLock Standard for the first year, then $11.99
$17.99 for LifeLock Advantage for the first year, then $22.99
$23.99 for LifeLock Ultimate Plus for the first year, then $34.99
IdentityIQBest for device security$6.99 for the Secure Plan
$9.99 for Secure Plus
$19.99 for Secure Pro
$29.99 for Secure Max
Identity GuardBest for scanning the web$8.99 for the individual Value plan, or $14.99 for families
$19.99 for the individual Total plan, or $29.99 for families
$29.99 for the individual Ultra plan, or $39.99 for families
IDShieldBest for restoring identity$14.95 for an individual for one credit bureau, or $19.95 for three credit bureaus
$29.95 for a family for one credit bureau, or $34.95 for three credit bureaus
*Several of the ID theft protection services offer discounts if billed annually.

Identity theft advice and resources

The bottom line

Most people today have at least some of their personal information stored online, which makes them susceptible to data breaches and other privacy threats. While identity theft services can’t prevent someone from stealing your identity, they can help you catch any suspicious activity early, minimize the fraudulent use of your identity and aid in recovery.

These various identity theft services largely offer similar features — monitoring, alerts and identity theft insurance — but they differ in how much information they monitor and what enhanced features they provide. Some services have added monitoring capabilities, while others focus more on shielding your information with antivirus software. When shopping around for identity theft protection, you’ll want to consider your situation, budget and which security features are most important to you.


lifehack analyzed and compared nearly a dozen identity theft protection services to find the best option for every type of consumer. We evaluated the monthly price of each company’s plans, considering each plan’s value relative to what it provides. We found that the price of a plan for an individual, on average, is no more than $20 per month and no more than $50 per month for a family. With that in mind, we only included identity theft protection services on our list that offered plans below those price ranges because affordability matters. We also prioritized identity theft services that offered at least two or more plans for consumers to choose from and at least one channel of customer support — whether phone, email or live chat.

We also researched the most common features these services offer and the most prevalent types of identity theft and considered advice from the FTC to determine what factors to consider in our analysis. The best identity theft protection services should include more than just the basics. We found that certain features are more critical than others, such as credit report monitoring, ID monitoring, device security tools such as a VPN, theft recovery assistance and identity theft insurance. With careful consideration, we chose eight identity-theft protection services that met both our standards for cost and provided a comprehensive variety of features across its plans.

What do you think?

Written by Lifehack

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