Best identity theft protection of 2024

A security symbol floating over a laptop keyboard.
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Ar_TH)

The best identity theft protection is very important, especially as it's no secret that we all spread our personal information across the websites and apps we use every day, and if a data breach hits even just one of these, your identity and credentials could be put at risk.

Aura Identity Theft Protection still ranks in our number one spot thanks to its built in antivirus, password manager and VPN that come as standard, alongside its 60-day money back guarantee and AI call blocking.

We have tested a wide range of services to narrow down this guide to the best identity theft protection solutions to match your needs. In our reviews, we personally looked at their monitoring options, features, user experience, reputation and - most importantly - value for money.

If you’re looking for a plan to cover your household, it might be worth checking out the best identity theft protection for families, or if you’re just looking to protect your credentials it might be worth considering the best password managers. Here are our recommendations:


Reader Offer: Save up to 70% on Aura identity theft protection

Reader Offer: Save up to 70% on Aura identity theft protection
TechRadar editors praise Aura's upfront pricing and simplicity. Aura also includes a password manager, VPN, and antivirus to make its security solution an even more compelling deal.

 Preferred partner (What does this mean?) 


The best identity theft protection of 2024 in full:

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Best identity theft protection overall

(Image credit: Aura)
Best overall identity theft protection provider

Specifications

ID Theft Insurance: $1 million per adult
Family Plan Offered: Yes
Credit monitoring: Yes
Dark web monitoring: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Antivirus, password manager and VPN services come as standard 
+
60-day money-back guarantee
+
AI to block unwanted calls
+
Gathers data from public court records to identify potential frauds

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey
-
Limited basic options
Subscribe if:

You want all the bells and whistles: Aura has many features to protect your identity, and it also comes with a VPN, antivirus, and a password manager to boot.

You want to block unwanted calls: Its relatively new Call Assistant is included in all family plans, using AI to filter spam and scam calls for you.

Don't subscribe if:

You're on a budget: Aura can be quite expensive, so cheaper alternatives such as ADT Identity Protection may be a better option if you're on a budget.

The bottom line

🔒 Aura is a very comprehensive package that offers everything you'd need and more to protect you and your family's identity online. The more premium plans can be quite expensive, though. ★★★★½

Aura may not be the cheapest option out there, but the level of features and protection available make it one of the most attractive propositions in our view. Regardless of which plan you go for, Aura throws in a password manager, antivirus protection, and a VPN, which we think is quite generous.

It also has some cutting-edge features, such as AI-powered call blocking, and there’s even a 60-day money back guarantee for peace of mind. This is especially handy, given that Aura is one of the more expensive services.

All plans cover you for up to $1m in losses resulting from identity theft, and you can get support from US-based fraud experts any day at any time. The family plan also offers parental controls and safe gaming features, as well as other child protection tools.

Read our full Aura review.

Best identity theft protection for families

(Image credit: IdentityForce)
Best options for child protection

Specifications

ID Theft Insurance: $1 million
Family Plan Offered: Yes
Credit monitoring: Yes (on higher tier plans)
Dark web monitoring: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Base plan offers junk mail and social media monitoring
+
Family plan covers an unlimited number of children
+
Medical ID fraud monitoring

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricing
-
Quarterly credit reports
-
iOS app needs improvement
Subscribe if:

You have a big family: IdentityForce supports an unlimited number of children, and has an add-on called ChildWatch that keeps you abreast of concerns relating to your child's identity.

You want to get rid of junk mail: IdentityForce has a useful junk mail opt-out feature that can save your inbox from getting clogged with useless spam. 

Don't subscribe if:

You want regular credit reports: Credit reports are only given each quarter with IdentityForce, so not great if you want to stay on top of your score.

You want a good mobile app: Looking at the user reviews, both the iPhone and Android apps appear to need some improvement. 

The bottom line

🔒 IdentityForce offers great coverage for families, and has plenty of other great protection features. If you want more regular credit monitoring, though, you may want to look at a service like myFICO. ★★★★½

As far as we can tell, IdentityForce bills its service for pretty much anyone, all the way from individuals right up to families and government organizations. The basic plan comes with social media monitoring as standard, as well as a feature to eliminate junk mail. 

If you opt for the top plan, you get credit monitoring from the three main agencies, as well as support for freezing your credit to prevent others opening accounts in your name. You can also get alerts for your investment accounts too. 

One of the downsides of IdentityForce is that credit reports are only delivered to you once a month. It’s also not the cheapest identity protection services around either, although there is at least a 30-day free trial. 

If you want a cheaper alternative that also offers 3-bureau credit reporting and good family protection, then Complete ID may be one to look at - especially if you’re a Costco member, as they get discounts. The interface isn’t nearly as slick, though.

The family plan also allows you to get additional child protection features, such as ChildWatch, as well as offering protection for an unlimited number of children, so we think large families will find this beneficial.

Read our full IdentityForce review.

  • To speak to an expert about how identity theft protection software can keep you secure online, call IdentityForce directly on this toll-free number 888-266-3930.

Best identity theft protection package

(Image credit: Norton LifeLock)
Solid all-rounder identity theft protection option

Specifications

ID Theft Insurance: $1 million
Family Plan Offered: Yes
Credit monitoring: Yes
Dark web monitoring: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Credit lock feature
+
Norton 360 antivirus
+
$1 million identity theft coverage plan

Reasons to avoid

-
High-end plans can be expensive
-
Unclear pricing that rises after year one
-
Credit reports limited to one bureau
Subscribe if:

You want great antivirus: Norton is perhaps best known to many for its comprehensive 360 antivirus suite, which is included with LifeLock.

You want other extras: A VPN and a password manager are also included with LifeLock.

Don't subscribe if:

You want clear pricing: We found the pricing for LifeLock to be quite confusing, and prices even rise after the first year.

The bottom line

🔒 Norton LifeLock is a good package, complete with the company's industry-leading antivirus suite, plus a VPN and password manager. The pricing isn't something we are too sure of, though. ★★★★

The name Norton will be familiar to many, thanks to its popular 360 antivirus suite. LifeLock bundles this, as well as a password manager and VPN, with its identity theft protection, which we think makes it the best overall package for such a service.

Although the basic plan doesn’t have many identity protection features compared to other vendors, it does offer up to $1m in coverage from identity theft, which, based on our assessment of many other services, appears to be the baseline figure.

There is also credit locking, which looks to us to be easy to use, as well as support from the firm if you lose your wallet or if it thinks you’ve become a victim of identity fraud.

One thing we didn’t like about LifeLock is the pricing. It can be unclear, and the prices rise after the first year, so that is something to watch out for. There are three plans in total, with the most basic starting at $9.90 per month.

Read our full Norton LifeLock review.

Best identity theft protection for beginners

(Image credit: Experian IdentityWorks)
Best identity theft protection for beginners with a free option

Specifications

ID Theft Insurance: $500,000 - $1 million (depending on the pricing plan)
Family Plan Offered: Yes
Credit monitoring: Yes
Dark web monitoring: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Darkweb monitor
+
30-day free trial 
+
Budget friendly
+
Daily credit score tracking

Reasons to avoid

-
Confusing cancelation policy 
-
No dedicated smartphone app
-
Customer support could be better
Subscribe if:

You want good credit monitoring: As you would expect from an Experian company, credit monitoring is available for its own agency, as well as Equifax and TransUnion.

Don't subscribe if:

You want to cancel easily: IdentityWorks does offer a free week-long trial, but you have to buy it first, then cancel if you want your money back.

You want apps: There are no mobile apps for IdentityWorks, so if these are important to you, then Aura, Norton LifeLock and myFICO are better choices.

The bottom line

🔒 Experian IdentityWorks offers a competent service with good credit monitoring, as you might expect from the company. But the lack of apps and the cancellation policy may put you off. ★★★★

If you’re new to the world of identity protection, then we think Experian IdentityWorks could be a good place to start. Experian will of course be known to many for their credit reporting, so as you can imagine, you get credit monitoring with this service - not just from Experian, but also from Equifax and TransUnion.

As well as reporting and scoring - which you’ll get daily - you’ll also get alerts when there are any significant changes, in addition to dark web monitoring for checking if your personal data has leaked anywhere online.

Although the most basic plan is free, it only offers the bare minimum of features, which include an Experian credit report and FICO score tracker, as well as dark web surveillance.

The premium tiers offer more features, though, bringing them in line with what we would expect from an identity protection service. You get three-bureau credit monitoring, alerts, and support for removing your personal information from certain people finder sites.

Read our full Experian IdentityWorks review.

Best affordable identity theft protection provider

(Image credit: ADT Identity Protection)
Best affordable identity theft protection provider

Specifications

ID Theft Insurance: $1 million
Family Plan Offered: No
Credit monitoring: Yes
Dark web monitoring: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Reasonable pricing compared to rivals
+
Great coverage for individuals 
+
Fraud resolution reimbursement up to $1 million

Reasons to avoid

-
You get more features with top rivals
-
Notifications lack data breach alerts
Subscribe if:

You're on a budget: ADT Identity Protection is well priced in comparison to its rivals, and makes a good choice for individuals looking for basic coverage.

Don't subscribe if:

You want lots of features: The comparatively low price of ADT Identity Protection does mean that some of the more advanced features, like data breach updates, social media monitoring, and investment monitoring are all absent.

The bottom line

🔒 ADT Identity Protection is very affordable and a great way for individuals to protect themselves. But those with families looking for more advanced features may want to consider another option, such as Aura. ★★★★

Although it lacks some of the more advanced features of its peers, ADT Identity Protection comes at such a good price that it’s hard for us not to recommend it for at least some users. 

You still get credit reports - albeit annually - and monitoring for your bank account, credit cards, criminal records, the dark web, and more. However, it doesn’t monitor social media accounts, nor does it provide updates on data breaches. If you want the latter at a budget price, then Zander Identity Theft Protection may be for you (although there is no credit monitoring with this one).

One of the bonuses of ADT’s single plan offering, though, is that you can pay monthly, so you aren’t locked in for at least a whole year, as is the case for many other identity protection services.

Read our full ADT Identity Protection review.

Best identity theft protection for credit monitoring

(Image credit: myFico)
Best for credit report scores, but expensive

Specifications

ID Theft Insurance: $1 million
Family Plan Offered: No
Credit monitoring: Yes
Dark web monitoring: Yes (on higher tier plans)

Reasons to buy

+
Dark web monitoring 
+
Neat interface including apps
+
No cap on wage losses

Reasons to avoid

-
High price compared to rivals
-
No free trial 
-
Less focus on identity theft, more on credit monitoring services
Subscribe if:

You want FICO scores: As you might expect, FICO scores are a given with myFICO. So if you rely on these, then this could be a good option for you.

You want a good UI: the interface and the apps for myFICO are nicely presented, making it easier to navigate your way around them.

Don't subscribe if:

You are on a budget: myFICO has no annual plans, making it one of the more expensive options out there.

You want more identity protection features: Identity protection only comes with the more premium plans on myFICO. There are also no family plans.

The bottom line

🔒 myFICO is a great service for those who want good credit monitoring and FICO scores, and there is no cap on wages lost either. But identity protection features are only available with the premium plans, and families aren't catered for, as they are with services like Aura. ★★★★

myFICO gives you regular updates on your credit scores, and naturally this includes your FICO scores, which give you valuable knowledge as to what financial institutions look for when determining your creditworthiness. The UI is also user friendly for desktop and mobile apps, making it easy to navigate. 

The basic plan only covers credit score updates, while the Premier and Advanced plans give you identity protection features. You can also buy a single report for your FICO score  if you wish, without having to commit to a subscription.

However, one of the glaring omissions from myFICO is the lack of family plans, and the premium plans are quite expensive. However, for those plans, claims for wage losses are uncapped (other services usually top out at $7,500). You can also get assistance with travel expenses and getting new documents, such as a passport or driving license. MyFICO is also underwritten by the American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida.

Read our full myFico review.

Best identity theft protection for social media

(Image credit: Allstate)
Great all-around identity theft protection with solid social media tools

Specifications

ID Theft Insurance: $1 million
Family Plan Offered: Yes
Credit monitoring: Yes
Dark web monitoring: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Solid all-round solution
+
Digital footprint tool
+
Free trial

Reasons to avoid

-
No support for Experian or Equifax on Essential and Premier plans
-
Single-Bureau Credit Monitoring
Subscribe if:

You want good social media coverage: Social media monitoring is good, as is the Digital Footprint tool which finds the potentially harmful traces you've left online.

Don't subscribe if:

You want better credit monitoring: Allstate only monitors credit reports from TransUnion on the basic plans - only the top tier will monitor Experian and Equifax as well. Our top pick, Aura, offers credit monitoring from the triumvirate even on its basic plan.

The bottom line

🔒 Allstate provides good social media profile monitoring tools, but the lack of credit monitoring on the lower plans is a drawback. ★★★★

Social media monitoring is included with Allstate, along with the obligatory credit monitoring. However, on the latter, you only get monitoring from one agency - TransUnion - on the basic plans; you need to opt for the most expensive plan to get monitoring from Experian and Equifax too. 

There are three plans in total, all of which offer financial fraud protection and identity monitoring. In addition to coverage for expenses you incur dealing with fraud - which maxes out at $2m for the top family plans - there is also a stolen fund reimbursement available up to a million dollars for the top tier plan, as well as 401K/HSA reimbursement up to $1m too. 

This top plan also offers cybersecurity for your devices and something called family digital safety, which allows you to monitor content, manage screen time, and set location alerts for your loved ones.

Read our full Allstate review.

We've also featured the best credit monitoring service.


The best Identity theft protection FAQs

What is identity theft protection?

You might be surprised how much of your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is strewn across the web. Your online bank account alone, for example, will have your bank details, address, and potentially the details of those close to you as well. 

And when you consider all the other bank and credit card accounts you have, all the social media platforms you’re on, and the countless other platforms and services you’ve signed up to, then it’s not hard to see that cybercriminals have a wealth of information on billions of digital users, just waiting to be mined with their phishing scams and malware.

ID theft protection will alert you if it thinks you’ve had your identity stolen or compromised, by monitoring various aspects of online life, as well as scouring the dark web to see if any of your data has appeared in any breaches. 

By also offering credit monitoring with the main bureaus, these services can let you know of negative changes to your scores, which can indicate that your identity was used to take out a loan and subsequently defaulted on, for instance. 

By alerting you to such things, you’ll hopefully be able to make the necessary amendments and cancellations to your accounts - and the fraudulent ones opened in your name - as well as changing your credentials, before the damage is done. Some services can also help and advise you with this process too.

Is identity theft protection worth it?

If you’re someone who casts a lot of their personally identifiable information far and wide online - such as your credit card details, ID documents, credit reports, etc. - then they are absolutely worth the investment. 

They address a very specific problem by checking with other organizations, such as credit monitoring agencies, to assess the likelihood of your identity being stolen. Other security software, such as antivirus, firewall and malware do not do this (unless they come as part of an all-in-one package).

However, it is of course a very personal choice, and comes down to how much value you place on protecting your identity and how at risk you think you are to damages as a result of identity theft - which is high in most cases. 

It’s also worth keeping in mind that according to the FTC, nearly $6bn was lost to fraud in 2021, with the most popular kind being identity theft.

Identity Theft Protection vs Monitoring Services: What's the difference?

While there are similarities between identity theft protection and monitoring services, there are some big differences. 

The latter will only monitor your credit rating, and send you notifications if there are drops in your score. Beyond that, however, credit monitoring services do little else in the way of providing further resources or remediation.

Identity theft protection apps, on the other hand, will not just monitor your credit rating, but also the dark web for data breaches containing your information, as well as criminal databases and SSN repositories. They’ll also insure you for damages incurred in cases of identity theft, and can assist in dealing with the problem too.

We also have a dedicated guide to walk you through the differences between credit monitoring, credit protection and identity theft protection services

How identity theft happens

Due to advances in technology and the evolving tactics and marketplace of cybercriminals, identity theft is more rife than ever before. 

As well as breaching organizations that hold your valuable data, threat actors can also attain your data by luring you in with phishing scams, which are becoming increasingly more sophisticated by the day. The rise of GenerativeAI in particular could spell disaster for the future of phishing, as it can be used to create the most convincing emails and messages.

If cybercriminals get hold of your financial information, then the damage is obvious. If they get hold of your PII, then they can use this to open fake accounts in your name, and even take out loans with your identity, defaulting on them and leaving you to pay the costs. 

What types of identity theft are there?

Online identity theft can take various forms. By using phishing tactics to steal your credentials, cybercriminals can do all kinds of damage.

They can use your identity to access your bank accounts and apply for loans and credit cards - which is why credit score monitoring is a core aspect of many protection services. 

Fraudsters can also submit false tax returns with your identity, in which case you may receive a letter from the IRS informing you of a dubious return that’s been filed (you can contact the body if you believe your identity has been stolen for this purpose).

Your medical care plans can also be exploited by bad actors to pay for treatments and prescriptions, or make insurance claims. You can contact your healthcare provider if you think someone has used your name and details to do these things, and you can ask to see your medical records to check for any illegitimate events. If your provider refuses to share them, then you can appeal. You can dispute false records and claims and have them removed.

Signs of ID theft: what should I look out for to see if my identity was stolen?

Thankfully, there are some warning signs of identity theft that you can spot. Strange bills and charges on your accounts are one, as well as having debt collectors on your case. Remember to also check for small charges in your bills too, as criminals may start out with small transactions to test the waters and avoid detection.

You should act immediately if these occur, by contacting the relevant organizations and firms, as well as perhaps placing locks on your credit and setting up fraud alerts to prevent identity theft happening in the first place - which is preferable to dealing with it once you’ve already fallen victim.

Sometimes the signs are more subtle. Not receiving a monthly bill or statement when you expect to, for instance, could indicate that a fraudster has managed to change your address registered with the account in question.

Other signs include new cards opened in your name and credit score drops.

What are the steps to take to prevent my identity from being stolen?

Preventing identity theft in the first place is obviously better than dealing with it once it’s occurred. Following good cybersecurity practices, such as using strong and unique passwords for all your online accounts will help. Using one the best password manager options for this task will make life a lot easier for you.

If you think you have fallen victim to identity theft, then you should contact law enforcement to report it, and also your bank and other financial institutions you have accounts with. Dispute any charges you don’t believe have been authorized by yourself, and have the firm in question put a fraud alert on your file. 

You should also check the credit bureaus and have them initiate a credit freeze too, which helps to prevent new credit accounts being opened under your name. Alerting just one of the big three - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion - will likely mean the others are alerted too, as they share such information with each other.

If you would like further information on staying protected, then we have also come up with the top 5 tips for avoiding identity theft, as well as ways to get free identity theft protection

Should I get identity theft protection?

From tiny tots to wise seniors, identity theft is an equal opportunity offender that shows no signs of slowing down. Protect yourself and your loved ones by considering these seven groups that could benefit from identity theft protection:

1. Digital Doers - Anyone who spends a significant amount of time online or has numerous financial accounts is at higher risk for identity theft. Every account is a potential point of attack, so be wary of suspicious activity or messages.

2. Senior Savers - Older Americans may have more money saved, but they're also less tech-savvy, making them prime targets for identity thieves.

3. Family Firsts - Children and teens with clean credit histories can be attractive targets for fraudsters. Keep them safe by signing up for a family identity theft protection plan.

4. Repeat Victims - If you've been hit by identity theft once, you're more likely to be targeted again. Stay ahead of the curve with reliable protection.

5. Busy Bees - If you don't have the time to monitor your accounts constantly, identity theft protection services can help.

6. Insurance Insureds - Don't risk losing everything. Protect your home, savings, and credit score with an identity theft insurance policy.

7. Dark Web Dwellers - After a data breach, your account credentials could be floating around on hacker forums. Use Identity Guard's Dark Web scanner to keep an eye on any potential leaks.

Remember, the more accounts you have, the more important it is to keep your identity safe.

How to choose the best identity theft protection services

Here are some things to consider when choosing an identity theft protection service:

• Monitoring: Which aspects of your digital life you and your family need monitoring is an important consideration. Credit reports are a feature that many services provide, but not all of them. Other checks to look out for are criminal and court records, as well as bank accounts. The speed and quality of alerts is also something that will be vital to these services’ performance.

• Family protection: You should also consider whether you need just individual protection or family protection. If you live with children who have online devices, then a family plan is certainly worth it, as it will offer protection for them too. Naturally, however, these are often quite a bit more expensive than individual plans.

• Customer support: As with any other service, customer service and ease of use are very important factors. But it’s especially important if you’ve fallen victim to identity theft and need to remedy the situation asap.

Where we’ve been able to find out, we’ve detailed how well the services in this guide perform on these fronts. Reading customer reviews is again something that is always recommended when choosing any service or product.

• Insurance: You should check how much you are insured for in the event your identity has been stolen and you’ve suffered financial damages. Again, where possible, we have provided these details in our picks for the best identity theft protection services.

• Price: Price is of course always something to take into account. For identity theft protection services, be aware that family plans are often quite a bit more expensive than their individual counterparts, and also look out for services that increase charges after the first year.

You can also read our in-depth guide on how to choose the best identity theft protection service for you.

How we tested the best identity theft protection

Our reviews of the identity protection apps in this guide looked at the features they offer, as well as their value for money and how well they compare to one another. 

It is important to note that while we have been as thorough as possible, we have not reviewed these services hands-on, as that wouldn’t be feasible. It would involve deliberately compromising our own personal accounts and sensitive information to see how well they worked. 

Instead, we made our choices based on each service's reputation, as well as a desire to include those with differing features, use cases and pricing. We've also reviewed each of them in-depth.

Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar.

Tested by

John Brandon
John Brandon

John's tech journalism career spans decades, and during that time he has covered many stories related to identity theft and reviewed numerous protection services. He has also written features and weekly columns for TechRadar.

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He covers all things cybersecurity, including ID theft, ransomware, and data breaches, as well as laws and regulations related to the field.

Why you can trust us

You can trust our opinion on identity theft protection services: our journalists are experts in the topic, and cover all the latest news and developments in the field. They have also closely reviewed dozens of products from the biggest names and the lesser-known alternatives.

Disclaimer

We may earn a commission when you click on links to buy products in this guide. However, our product reviews are impartial and only take into consideration the qualities of the services themselves. They are also not influenced by our advertisers. 


Get in touch

  • You've reached the end of the page. Jump back up to the top ^
Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict has been writing about security issues for close to 5 years, at first covering geopolitics and international relations while at the University of Buckingham. During this time he studied BA Politics with Journalism, for which he received a second-class honours (upper division). Benedict then continued his studies at a postgraduate level and achieved a distinction in MA Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy. Benedict transitioned his security interests towards cybersecurity upon joining TechRadar Pro as a Staff Writer, focussing on state-sponsored threat actors, malware, social engineering, and national security. Benedict is also an expert on B2B security products, including firewalls, antivirus, endpoint security, and password management.