How We Rank
Identity theft is a serious problem that is becoming more commonplace in the United States. We understand the importance of protecting your accounts and personal identity, which is why we’ve done the research to help you find the best identity theft protection plan for you and your family.
After reviewing the top identity theft companies, we’ve come up with a list of the most valuable services that they offer. The following factors listed below are what we use to rank identity theft protection companies, and they are the features you should look for in a good identity theft protection plan.
Identity Protection – 20%
It all starts with identity protection. It’s much easier to deal with identity theft if the problem is identified quickly. Without an identity theft company regularly searching for the use of your information, you’ll likely have to deal with a drained bank account and ruined credit scores before you even realize something is wrong.
The best identity theft protection agencies monitor the internet and various other databases, looking for your personal information. They monitor your credit accounts, keep tabs on black market sites, and offer timely fraud alerts.
Identity Recovery – 20%
Even the best identity theft protection companies can’t prevent your information from getting stolen. That’s why it’s so important that the company you choose offers outstanding identity recovery services.
Quality carriers are flexible and do what it takes to restore your identity to pre-theft levels. Points we consider in this area include:
- Are identity recovery resources available on the website?
- Are recovery services clear to customers?
- Are lost wallet protection services available?
- Are customers able to work with a fraud specialist?
- Is assistance available for medical, criminal, and tax fraud?
- Do customer service reps provide assistance and support, or will they do the work for you?
Price and Value – 15%
The price of an identity theft plan is always an important point to consider. However, it’s also important to understand how much value you’re getting for the price you’re paying.
There are many identity theft protection companies that offer services for just $9.99 a month. Although signing up for one of these basic plans is better than not signing up for a plan at all, many of these cheap plans don’t offer the comprehensive services you probably need. When reviewing identity theft companies, we weigh cost against value.
Credit Monitoring – 10%
It’s always advisable to keep an eye on your credit scores. Monitoring your credit scores is also a great way to gauge whether or not your identity has been compromised.
Not every identity theft agency monitors all three credit bureaus, but the best do. Because lenders are not required to report to all three credit bureaus, it isn’t enough to monitor just one or two.
In addition to monitoring your credit accounts with Experian, Equifax, and Transunion, the best companies will also provide you with all of your credit scores multiple times a year.
Customer Service – 10%
Effective identity protection, quality identity theft recovery services, and credit monitoring are important points to consider, but none of these features matter if the company’s customer service isn’t up to par.
We look at a variety of features when ranking a company according to the customer service they offer:
- Customer service hours
- Working with just one expert, as opposed to whoever answers the phone, if your identity is compromised
- Free trial periods
- Web security and encryption on their website
Insurance Quality and Guarantees – 10%
Every identity theft company on our list offers an insurance policy or guarantee with their plans. However, these policies and guarantees can vary widely.
None of the plans on our list offer reimbursement for stolen funds, but some companies will help you pay for attorneys, travel expenses, and lost wages while you work to reestablish your identity. Other companies may focus more on making sure your identity is restored fully, but they may not provide you with a lot of monetary support. We take a close look at these insurance policies and guarantees so you can make an informed decision.
Reviews – 5%
We understand that you have to be careful when checking reviews, but they are important to consider.
We check both consumer and professional reviews to get an accurate view of each identity theft company. The score in this area is based on reviews that can be found on the Better Business Bureau’s website and other reputable sources on the web.
Plan Options – 5%
Although it is often overlooked by others, we believe choice is important, which is why we take a close look at the plan options offered by each identity theft protection company.
Some companies only offer a single plan, which can streamline the selection process, but it may cause you to pay for services you don’t need. Quality companies offer multiple plans, or they offer other optional services with their single plan.
Extras – 5%
There are many services that are offered by all identity theft companies, even if they are offered to different degrees. However, some companies go above and beyond by offering extras that can’t be found with other plans.
When rating each company, we look for these extras. Some extras we look for include:
- Antivirus, anti-keylogging, and anti-phishing software
- Family plans that monitor other adults and children
- Recovery services offered to people who aren’t customers when their identity is stolen
- Tips for keeping your identity secure that can easily be found on the website
- Junk mail opt-out services
Identity theft protection companies are always changing, and so are we. The factors we consider, and their weightiness, may change, adapt, and be updated, depending on the ever-changing marketplace.