|Our rank||#1. IdentityForce||#2. Zander||#3. Experian|
|Identity theft protection companies|
|Best for||Best overall coverage and value||Best budget-friendly protection||Our runner-up|
|View plans||View Plans||View Plans||View Plans|
Frighteningly frequent data breaches have left almost all of us at risk for identity theft, but thorough identity monitoring can help you catch issues before they escalate. We’re here to help you find the best identity theft protection service, whether you want in-depth monitoring coverage or basic insurance.
Here are the best identity theft protection services
- IdentityForce – Best overall coverage and value
- Zander Insurance – Best budget-friendly protection
- Experian IdentityWorks – Our runner-up
Compare identity theft protection brands
|Identity theft protection brand||Identity Force||Zander Insurance||Experian|
|Plan price range (individual coverage)||$12.95 to $19.95/mo.||$6.75/mo.||$9.99 to $19.99/mo.|
|ID theft insurance||$1 million||$1 million||$1 million|
|Change of address verification|
|View plans||View Plans||View Plans||View Plans|
*Data effective as of 2/6/2019. Pricing and data subject to change.
1. IdentityForce | Best overall coverage and value
Identify Force pros and cons
- Customizable banking alerts
- Medical ID fraud protection
- Anti-phishing and anti-keylogging software
- Easy mobile access with app
- Three-bureau credit monitoring (higher-tier package)
- Family plan details available only over phone
What we like about IdentityForce
IdentityForce is our top recommendation because it offers the best protection for the cost. It’s not the cheapest option out there, but it’s also not the priciest. And for that midrange price, you get more coverage than you would from anywhere else.
IdentityForce offers some of the most complete monitoring and protection we’ve seen.
Here are a few highlights:
- Social Security number tracking
- Lost wallet assistance
- Court record monitoring
- Dark web monitoring to make sure your info isn’t being illegally sold
- Removal from mailing lists to limit spam
- Social media account monitoring for suspicious or inappropriate content
- Change-of-address monitoring
- Medical identity theft protection
Financial alerts and credit monitoring
Identity theft can hit your finances hard, so we like IdentityForce’s financial support tools. The base plan includes customizable banking and credit card alerts. That means you’ll get a notification if a transaction, withdrawal, or balance transfer exceeds whatever amount you set.
These alerts may not prevent identity theft, but they help you catch suspicious activity early.
If you spring for the UltraSecure+Credit package (and we suggest you do), you’ll also get full-blown credit monitoring from all three credit bureaus. This gives you regular access to your credit reports and scores (you can get annual reports for free, but IdentityForce lets you check your report all year long, making it easier to monitor your finances. Plus, the package includes a credit score simulator, which lets you see how certain scenarios could impact your score. Super helpful if you want to test out ideas for improving your credit before getting a car loan or mortgage.
ASL’s Recommended Plan | UltraSecure+Credit
Zander pros and cons
- Affordable individual and family plans
- Great reputation/customer sentiment
- 3 years of follow-up service
- Recovery expense reimbursement (including lost wages)
- Dave Ramsey endorsement
- No credit monitoring
- No mobile app
- Less ID monitoring than other services
What we like about Zander
Zander offers dramatically less coverage than most identity protection companies. But it also charges dramatically less while offering security and protection if your identity is ever stolen.
Zander focuses more on insurance than monitoring.
Zander focuses more on insurance than monitoring. But affordable insurance is a wise option if you can’t afford traditional identity theft protection. Plus, you still get basic identity monitoring for your Social Security number, driver’s license number, banking accounts, and medical insurance numbers.
The main downside is that you can’t get credit monitoring. But at such a low price, we think that’s fair.
Plus, the insurance coverage is solid and Zander’s recovery services are excellent. In fact, Zander representatives will work with you to for up to three years after your case has been closed to keep your identity protected.
If your budget doesn’t have room for a service that offers both insurance and rigorous monitoring, consider Zander—its plans are ridiculously affordable, and since ID theft is a serious possibility, insurance is a smart investment.
- Individual plan: $6.75/mo.
- Family plan: $12.90/mo. (Plan includes you, your spouse, and dependents up to age 25.)
Despite the bargain pricing, Zander’s plans come with $1 million in insurance coverage—the same amount you’d get with a more expensive service.
ASL’s Recommended Plan | Family plan
What we like about Experian IdentityWorks
Experian IdentityWorks is a bit too pricey to make it to the top of our list, but it offers detailed monitoring at a fair price. It’s particularly appealing if you’re looking for identity protection and serious credit monitoring in one plan.
Experian notifies you of credit inquiries, big changes in account balances, and new accounts opened.
IdentityWorks also tells you how your credit is being used and offers a FICO score simulator. Tools like these can help prevent or catch ID theft and help you manage your finances and meet goals even if your identity is never stolen.
ASL’s Recommended Plan | IdentityWorks Premium
Companies we ruled out
We researched quite a few services before settling on our recommendations. Wondering what didn’t make the cut?
What to look for in an identity protection service
- Social Security number monitoring: Any good identity theft protection company should monitor your SSN because it’s associated with government records, bank accounts, medical information, and more.
- Insurance and recovery assistance: Although identity theft protection can be preventive, it’s also there to help you catch ID theft early and recover quickly. Choose a company that offers both insurance and recovery assistance so that you have help dealing with ID theft—not just preventing it.
- Database and website monitoring: It would be nearly impossible to go through online databases and watch suspicious websites on your own, which is why the identity protection company you choose should offer this service.
- Lost/stolen wallet assistance: Protection from everyday risks is just as important as protection from big data breaches—even if you’re never targeted for identity theft, it’s easy to misplace your wallet or purse with your credit cards, driver’s license, and debit card. We recommend choosing a company that will help you replace or cancel cards if your wallet is lost or stolen.
- Mobile alerts: If your personal security has been jeopardized, you should know about it as quickly as possible. If your ID theft protection service offers mobile alerts, you can immediately start taking steps to secure your accounts.
- Basic credit monitoring: Look for a service that includes at least some level of credit monitoring since identity theft can have a serious impact on your credit and finances.
We recommend IdentityForce’s UltraSecure+Credit plan for most people because it offers serious protection and detailed monitoring at a fair price.
Need a lower-cost option? At less than $7 a month, Zander Insurance could be just what you need.
The Worst States for Identity Theft
Identity theft is a big problem. How big? According to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research, consumers lost $16.8 billion to identity fraud in 2017. The ID theft business is positively booming, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
But what about you? How worried should you personally feel about identity theft? We wanted to find out, so we analyzed data on identity theft in each state to determine risk levels for consumers in each state. Keep reading to see the most dangerous states for identity theft victims and the states where victims stand to lose the most money to identity theft.
Top 10 riskiest states for ID theft
|Rank||State||Dollars lost per victim||Dollars lost per capita||Victims per 100,000||Population|
|7 (Tie)||New Jersey||$7,907.81||$0.32||4.00||9,005,644|
|10 (Tie)||West Virginia||$10,719.08||$0.35||3.30||1,815,857|
|State||Dollars lost per victim||Dollars lost per capita||Victims per 100,000||Population|
What we found
Our study helped us determine the worst states for identity theft, but it also provided some insight into ID fraud trends. Here are some of the highlights from our data analysis:
- Even if you’re unlikely to become a victim of identity theft, you could lose a lot if you do. Ohio didn’t make our list of the top 10 worst states—it ranked 45th in terms of victims per 100,000 people—but it had the highest loss per victim ($13,862.60) and the second-highest loss per capita ($0.43).
- On the other hand, Washington, DC, appeared in the top list for 10 victims per 100,000 people, but losses were not as severe. DC fell near the bottom of the list for both losses per victim and losses per capita.
- You have the greatest chance of becoming a victim if you live in Hawaii, which topped our rankings of victims per 100,000 people. You have the lowest chance if you live in South Dakota, which also ranked at the bottom for loss per victim and loss per capita.
- Many of the highest-population states reported the highest overall dollars lost. Nevada is an exception, with the highest losses per capita by a large margin.
Check out the full list below to get the details on your state’s identity theft risks.
State-by-state risk for identity theft
|State name||Total losses ($)||# of ID theft victims||Overall rank|
|District of Columbia||$34,217.00||54||38|
|Total losses ($)||# of ID theft victims||Overall rank|
ASecureLife.com analyzed the losses from identity theft as reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigations Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2017. We looked at the average loss per victim, the average loss per capita using population data from the US Census Bureau, and the number of victims per 100,000 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. From there, we assigned a rank 1–51 for each factor—1 being the “worst” outcome and 51 the “best” outcome—and averaged those ranks to determine the best and worst states for ID theft victims.
For this study, we used IC3’s definition of identity theft: “Identity theft involves a perpetrator stealing another person’s personal identifying information, such as name or Social Security number, without permission to commit fraud.”
Take action today
Whatever your state’s rank, you should guard yourself against identity theft. Check your credit report regularly and store or destroy personal documents appropriately. Consider an identity theft protection service to help you monitor your identity. Check out our other articles for more ways to prevent identity theft—and stay safe out there!