IDShield grew out of a 50-year-old legal business, and prides itself on its identity monitoring and restoration services, making it a solid choice for identity theft protection. With IDShield, you can be confident that your personal data is being checked for breaches in a range of locations, with instant alerts to let you know there may be a problem. Whilst the service doesn’t include device protection, its unlimited consultation guarantee means you’ll get plenty of support for a reasonable price.
Plans and pricing
IDShield divides its plans into two categories: Individual, if you just want protection for yourself; and Family, if you’d like to cover your spouse/domestic partner and children as well.
Within these two categories, you can choose either one- or three-bureau monitoring. This refers to the three main credit bureaus operating in the United States — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If you choose to monitor just one bureau, you will be able to stay on top of any changes to your credit rating, as they will eventually be reflected in your score.
But if you choose to monitor all three, you may be able to catch problems more quickly. This is because each creditor reports to a particular bureau, and information is then transferred across the three. This can lead to a delay in detection if you are only checking one source.
Regardless of which package you purchase, IDShield’s investigators will undo damage to your credit score and online reputation—across all three bureaus. And regardless of whether you choose one- or three-bureau monitoring, your details will be monitored across the same locations, such as public records and the dark web. This means IDShield is a solid choice if you’re on a budget and want to stick to the cheaper option. If you want to test out IDShield, there is a 30-day free trial.
IDShield monitors either one or three of the main credit bureaus, depending on the package you purchase. It will send you an instant alert if there are any changes to your credit report. This can be a useful warning that your identity may have been compromised: for example, if your details have been used to apply for credit.
As well as monitoring your credit report, IDShield will keep an eye on your bank account, social security number (SSN), and the dark web, where identity thieves may sell or use your personal details. IDShield will also monitor your personal identifiable information (PII) across public and court records, payday loans applications, address changes and telecoms, amongst other possibilities. If you have purchased the Family package, your children’s SSNs will also be checked.
IDShield works with licensed private investigators who take on the hard work of restoring your identity if it does get stolen and used. This is a valuable service, because it can prevent your credit and other records being permanently damaged by the identity thief’s actions.
Interface and in use
Setting up your account requires a few personal details such as your address, phone number, and SSN. You will also need to establish your security questions before you get through to your dashboard. This just takes a few minutes. You will need to enter further information to set up some of the more specific monitoring services, such as credit monitoring.
The web dashboard allows you to see the outcomes of monitoring at a glance. You can click through to each category for more information. You can also easily review your dashboard via the mobile app (available for both iOS and Android), with an uncluttered interface that focuses on credit score and flagged alerts.
If you need support from the IDShield team, you can reach them via live chat, Monday to Friday, from 7am to 7pm CST. There is also a phone line for members, with an emergency option if you need help out of hours. Members can access a thorough FAQ service via the web portal.
IdentityForce provides the same monitoring as IDShield, as well as a similar identity restoration service. It also includes PC protection tools to cover you as you surf, something IDShield lacks. Its individual pricing options are slightly more expensive than IDShield’s ($17.99 and $23.99 a month), but with a price reduction in place as of March 2021 ($9.99 and $17.99), IdentityForce offers a little more for your money. Read our full IdentityForce review to learn more.
ID Watchdog’s monitoring services are similar to IDShield and IdentifyForce. However, if you have children, ID Watchdog’s Equifax Child Credit Lock will be particularly useful, and several of its other features are also aimed at families. Price-wise, it is slightly more expensive than IDShield for the individual plans ($14.95 a month for Plus and $19.95 a month for Premium), but similarly priced for the family option ($25.95 and $34.95), although you can only add four children in comparison to IDShield’s limit of ten.
IDShield offers a fairly comprehensive monitoring service across a range of locations, so you can receive instant alerts if your identity has been compromised. Its unlimited consultation with restoration specialists is another plus point.
What’s great is that its two pricing options differ only on the number of credit bureaus checked. IDShield will monitor your identity across a comprehensive range of locations no matter whether you purchase the one- or three-bureau package.
Although IDShield doesn’t offer PC and mobile protection, instead focusing on external threats, for a reasonable price you’ll get peace of mind. Not only will you be warned if your identity is compromised, but you can use the restoration service to repair any damage done.