Best Identity Theft Protection for Family in 2019

Security.org TeamSeptember 30, 2019

Identity thieves sometimes act like babies, and sometimes they act like parents. With stolen data they can act like ALL family members! Thieves not only drain bank accounts, but also use others’ identities to build credit for big purchases, to get medical care, to steal tax refunds, and to otherwise enhance their own lives. They might even use your good name to avoid jail time.

Fortunately you can guard every name in your household with rates as low as $12.50 per month. Here we detail the best family identity theft protection plans with affordable prices and great benefits. Each company has deals for up to $1 million in fraud recovery.

What’s Included with Family Identity Theft Protection?

The best family identity theft protection plans feature two main services: prevention and resolution. Some provide credit monitoring as well.

  • One example of identity theft prevention is monitoring chat rooms on the “dark web” where thieves exchange stolen data, and sending you instant notice if your info is detected. Another example is notifying you in real time if someone seeks a payday loan in your name.
  • An example of theft resolution is a case worker contacting credit bureaus to help restore your FICO rating. Another example is the company paying legal fees to help establish that your toddler did not, in fact, buy a yacht.
  • Credit monitoring may be offered with daily, monthly, quarterly, or annual credit reports. Some theft prevention plans are focused on one credit bureau (TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian). Others provide FICO scores, which may reflect changes from all three major bureaus. Also, some plans go beyond theft prevention to help improve your household’s financial well-being. They feature credit improvement simulators and/or other financial tools and advice.

Rates are as low as $12.50/month with typical coverage being $1 million per family member. A million might sound high, but legal fees can add up quickly. Resolving ID fraud is time-consuming for the victims too, so plans may include lost wage replacement up to $7,500 per month.

Our five favorites for family identity theft protection are:

  • Identity Guard – Best Family Identity Theft Protection Overall
  • LifeLock – Best Elderly Identity Theft Protection for Elderly Family
  • IdentityForce – Best Identity Theft Protection for Children
  • Experian – Best Identity Theft Protection for Large Families
  • Zander – Most Affordable Family Coverage

Identity Guard – Best Family Identity Theft Protection Overall

Identity Guard takes the trophy for “Best Family Identity Theft Protection Overall.” They offer extraordinary value, as the cheapest family plan is just $12.50/month with up to $1 million in stolen funds reimbursement per person. With a Better Business Bureau rating of A+, and more than 50 million customers having the opportunity to weigh in, Identity Guard has earned a solid reputation.

Main benefits available from Identity Guard are dark web monitoring, cyberbully alerts, credit monitoring, and safe browsing tools for desktop and mobile devices.

One membership can cover all adults and minors in your home. Each family member has a unique login. Adults may view minors’ information, but adults can’t see each other’s account information. Here is a list of main benefits:

Benefits

  • Flat rate to include entire household
  • IBM Watson dark web monitoring
  • Cyberbully alerts and response
  • Monthly TransUnion credit score & annual three-bureau report
  • Bank account alerts
  • Tax refund alerts
  • Facebook timeline analysis
  • Dedicated case manager for ID fraud resolution
  • Up to $1 million in stolen funds reimbursement

Dark web monitoring is one big benefit of all Identity Guard family plans. The company partners with IBM Watson, using supercomputer skills to constantly monitor the internet for stolen data. For example, IBM Watson monitors chat rooms where criminals post healthcare ID numbers, social security numbers, and other valuable data. Early alerts can give you the chance to change passwords before financial damage is done.

Cyberbullies can be caught by IBM Watson too. Artificial intelligence stays alert for signs of online harassment. Identity Guard sends cyberbully alerts to adults on the account, along with guidance about next steps to take.

Credit monitoring comes with two of Identity Guard’s family plans. This provides a monthly Vantage score based on TransUnion data. You’ll also get an annual credit report with information from all three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian). By law you can get annual credit reports for free; IdentityGuard streamlines the process.

Safe browsing tools are included with all Identity Guard family plans. These can help keep family members and their data protected online, whether with desktop computers or mobile devices. A main feature is anti-phishing software to screen out malicious emails and dangerous websites.

Identity Guard Family Prices

Family plan prices range from $12.50 to $34.99 per month. You can pay month-to-month, but the lowest rates come with 12-month deals; these reflect nearly 20 percent discounts. Choosing the Ultimate Plan for a year works out to $29.17 per month.

LifeLock – Best Elderly Identity Theft Protection for Elderly Family

LifeLock is an identity protection company owned by Symantec, the developer of Norton Security. This cozy relationship is reflected in LifeLock plans that include Norton 360 subscriptions. Overall the pricing isn’t necessarily best for big families, but LifeLock might be best for an elderly family member on their own. The top-tier LifeLock plan provides up to $1 million in ID theft protection for $25.99/month during the first year of service.

Each plan can send real-time privacy alerts to your mobile phone or email, and LifeLock lets you issue an instant credit freeze to help stop crime.

Courtesy of Norton is protection against cyberthreats. This is included for desktop and mobile devices, plus it’s active when you use public WiFi. By creating a virtual private network, Norton gives you the freedom to securely check email, bank accounts, and other sites even when you aren’t at home.

Other LifeLock benefits include credit monitoring, banking/credit card alerts, alerts about crimes committed in your name, and more.

Benefits

  • Norton 360 online security
  • Real-time alerts by text, phone, email
  • Instant credit freeze
  • Triple-bureau credit reports
  • Dark web scans
  • File-sharing site scans
  • Bank account monitoring
  • Crime alerts
  • Lost wallet protection
  • Up to $1 million restitution for ID fraud

LifeLock Family Prices

Month-to-month LifeLock rates range from $9.99 to $25.99 per adult. Children can be added to any LifeLock plan for $5.99 each. Again though, LifeLock seems best for an elderly person on their own; other companies have better rates for households with more than one adult and children.

What are the main differences among plans? Most important is the maximum coverage in case of identity theft:

  • LifeLock Standard, $9.99/mo. – $25,000 reimbursement
  • LifeLock Advantage, $17.99/mo. – $100,000 reimbursement
  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus, $25.99/mo. – $1,000,000 reimbursement

Some other differences: Each LifeLock plan includes credit monitoring, but credit protection is more advanced with the pricier plans. The higher-priced plans protect more devices against malware, phishing, and other cyberthreats.

Discounts are given with yearly ID protection plans.   

IdentityForce – Best Identity Theft Protection for Children

Whether you have one child or enough for a baseball team, IdentityForce is a great value for family identity protection. Their Family ID Protection plans can support two adults plus any number of minors, giving each enrollee up to $1 million in ID theft compensation. Plans include cyber protection (Windows only) along with 24/7 monitoring of public records, the dark web, and your financial accounts. Credit monitoring is included only with the top-tier plan.

  • If you don’t already have credit monitoring in place, then IdentityForce’s $35.90/month UltraSecure+ Family Plan is best. It provides a credit improvement simulator along with quarterly credit reports from the three major bureaus.
  • If you already use a credit monitoring service, then the $24.90/month UltraSecure Family Plan is a better buy. You can try this plan free for 14 days.

Notably IdentityForce uses two-factor authentication for account sign-in. Taking an extra step at sign-in helps ensure that only you can access your account, even if somebody else enters your login ID and password.

A partial list of perks:

Benefits

  • Two-factor authentication
  • Three-bureau credit reporting
  • Lost wallet assistance
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Court records monitoring
  • Social media identity monitoring
  • Real-time alerts of potential identity fraud
  • Bill payment history
  • Credit-improvement simulator
  • Financial advice
  • Junk mail opt-out
  • Up to $1 million in restitution

IdentityForce family rates aren’t published on the company’s website. You can order a plan by phone. As mentioned above, the cheaper plan is available with a two-week free trial.

Experian – Best Identity Theft Protection for Large Families

If your family something like Eight Is Enough? Experian IdentityWorks is a great value for large families, as up to 10 minors and two adults can share low-priced plans. Coverage is up to $1,000,000 per person with monthly rates starting at $14.99 for single adult households and $19.99 for two-adult households.

Experian IdentityWorks is a branch of the Experian credit monitoring bureau, and a big benefit of membership is daily updates of your Experian credit score. You’ll also get quarterly reports with your FICO 8 score, which reflects data from all three major credit bureaus, and access to a FICO score simulator.

Some features are especially useful if you have minors. These include local sex offender alerts, social media fraud monitoring, and checking popular file-sharing networks for accidentally shared data.

Furthermore, IdentityWorks surveils the dark web for data breaches, monitors payday lenders for your data, provides fraud resolution support, and more.

Benefits

  • Daily Experian credit updates
  • Instant Experian credit locking
  • Quarterly FICO reports
  • Real-time credit alerts
  • Credit simulator
  • Up to $1,000,000 in restitution
  • Assistance with fraud resolution
  • Dark web surveillance
  • Payday loan fraud prevention
  • Sex offender registry alerts
  • Social media monitoring for fraud
  • File-sharing network monitoring
  • Monitoring court records for ID theft

Experian Family Plan Prices

The two family plans are called IdentityWorks Plus and IdentityWorks Premium. Each has two prices depending on whether one or two adults enrolls. Overall the prices range from $14.99 to $29.99 per month. Up to ten minors can enroll with no extra charge.

  • IdentityWorks Plus: $14.99 for a one-adult home, or $19.99 for a two-adult household. Provides ID theft prevention, detection, and up to $500K in resolution.
  • IdentityWorks Premium: $24.99 for a one-adult home, or $29.99 for a two-adult household. Provides identity theft prevention, detection, and up to $1,000,000 in restitution. This plan also builds upon the Plus plan with file-sharing network scans, sex offender registry alerts, notifications of crimes committed in your name, and more.

You can try either Experian family plan free for 30 days.

Zander – Most Affordable Family Coverage

Zander is a nearly century-old insurance group. Along with homeowners insurance and other traditional insurance products, Zander now offers the most affordable family coverage on identity theft protection. Their $12.90/month Family Plan covers minors for free, and the benefits are generous. Given Zander’s general insurance background, the company is well-positioned to guard against car title fraud, healthcare fraud, employment fraud, tax fraud, and other types of ID theft.

Each Zander Family Plan enrollee is guaranteed up to $1 million in restitution, plus wage earners secure up to $7,500/month in wage replacement. (For comparison, many competitors will cap monthly wage replacement at $5,000.)  In case of identity theft, a case manager will assist with resolution for up to three years.

Benefits

  • Affordable family coverage
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Proactive monitoring for ID fraud in employment, healthcare, auto sales, tax refund filing, and more
  • Three years ID restoration with a certified case manager
  • Can save with other insurance products

Credit reporting isn’t available through Zander. It’s best to supplement a Zander plan with free annual credit reports and a free credit reporting service.