A top pick for families, offering great service and impressive credit monitoring
Nothing in life is ever 100%…right? Wrong. IdentityForce, an identity monitoring service owned by the cybersecurity company Sontiq, has a 100% success rate when it comes to recovering people’s stolen identities.1 Another mind-blowing statistic? According to their website, IdentityForce also has a 98% retention rate for customers. These numbers are impressive, to say the least, but you know us; we only trust something when we can test it out ourselves. Here’s what our experts thought of IdentityForce, from choosing a plan to using the mobile app on the go.
Pros and Cons of IdentityForce
Short on time? Here’s our favorite and least favorite things about using IdentityForce:
- Comprehensive monitoring: With monitoring of all three credit bureaus, the web, financial accounts, and more, we felt confident that if someone was using our credentials, IdentityForce would be on it.
- Reasonable pricing: Prices started at just $17.99 a month, but if we signed up for a year, that cost would break down to only about $15 a month.
- Two-factor authentication: Since we had to enter a passcode every time we wanted to access the IdentityForce account, that prevented unauthorized access.
- Mediocre iOS app: Although it’s not the worst app we’ve ever seen, the IdentityForce app for iPhones was a bit buggy and some features weren’t actually available, like contacting support through their phone number.
- Based in the United States: Like any U.S-based company, IdentityForce is subject to the rules of the international surveillance alliances Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes, meaning they could be forced to hand over our data in extreme situations.
FYI: To make your IdentityForce account more secure, turn on two-factor authentication. It may take you a bit longer to log in, but it’s worth it to prevent unauthorized access!
We needed IdentityForce to use personally, so we checked out their plans below. However, they also work with businesses, although the process isn’t quite so straightforward.
IdentityForce – Personal Subscription Plans
|Category||UltraSecure||UltraSecure + Credit|
|Advanced Fraud||Identity Monitoring||✓||✓|
|Change of Address||Identity Monitoring||✓||✓|
|Court Records||Identity Monitoring||✓||✓|
|Dark Web||Identity Monitoring||✓||✓|
|Mobile Attack Control||Identity Monitoring||✓||✓|
|Pay Day Loans||Identity Monitoring||✓||✓|
|Sex Offender||Identity Monitoring||✓||✓|
|Social Media||Identity Monitoring||✓||✓|
|Credit Scores and Reports from 3 Bureaus||Identity Monitoring||x||✓|
|Credit Score Tracker and Simulator||Identity Monitoring||x||✓|
|Medical ID Fraud Protection||Control||✓||✓|
|Online PC Protection Tools||Control||✓||✓|
|Lost Wallet Assistance||Control||✓||✓|
|Bank and Credit Card Activity||Alerts||✓||✓|
|Social Security number||Alerts||✓||✓|
|Junk Mail Opt-out||Alerts||✓||✓|
|Identity Theft Insurance up to $1 Million||Recovery||✓||✓|
|Full Managed Restoration||Recovery||✓||✓|
|Toll Free Customer Service||Recovery||✓||✓|
Choosing a subscription was pretty easy; the two options, the UltraSecure and the UltraSecure + Credit plans, are nearly exactly the same, but as you can imagine, the latter is the one with credit score and report monitoring, which is why we chose it. Even though we could technically access our credit scores and reports from the three major credit-reporting bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, for free, it was convenient for IdentityForce to do it for us. Pricing-wise, IdentityForce is definitely average when compared to competitors, and it’s even cheaper if you sign up for a year. However, for our purposes, we went with the slightly more costly monthly option.
Got kids? We don’t, but for those parents among us, IdentityForce can protect them, too. Simply pay for another account through ChildWatch, which will provide them with the exact same monitoring, identity theft insurance, and restoration services. We detail these features, and exactly what they entail, below, but first, let’s get down to business.
Important Tip: Although you’ll have to pay for the yearly plan all at once, if you break it down monthly, it’s cheaper than the monthly option.
Business Subscription Plans
Businesses need identity monitoring services, too! But with IdentityForce, the process isn’t as clearly defined as their plans for personal use. Rather than simply buying plans for all your employees, contact the company directly to qualify for a trial.2 If you like what you get, you can make a customized option that fits your business.
Want to know even more about your pricing options? Check out our primary IdentityForce price page for all of the nitty gritty details.
Okay, we’ve laid out the pricing, but what’s actually included in a subscription from IdentityForce? Let’s break it down.
Here are the basic things that IdentityForce tracked for us:
- Advanced fraud: If lenders request copies of our credit reports, we’d be notified. This was relevant when we opened a new checking account, but we’d also be notified when car dealerships, government agencies, and mortgage lenders requested copies as well. This ensures that if anyone is trying to buy something using our (impressive) credit score, we’ll get alerted so our score remains pristine.
- Change of address: If anyone, including us, does a change of address request through USPS, we’ll be aware of it to make sure our mail is going to the right place— our garbage can (just kidding…sort of).
- Court records: There are literally millions of court records and criminal records out there, and if our identity was part of any of them, IdentityForce is on it.
- Dark web: If you don’t know what the dark web is, consider yourself lucky. It’s a part of the Internet that’s only accessible through special software, and since all of its users are anonymous, as you can imagine, it’s a source of thousands of stolen credentials. Fortunately for us, IdentityForce scanned the entire dark web for our data to make sure it wasn’t being sold.
- Mobile attack control: Let’s be honest: our phones are our babies, which is why we were thrilled that when we downloaded the IdentityForce app on our phones, it actually scanned our devices for any threats, be them unsecure websites, spyware, and even fake networks. This isn’t a feature included in most identity monitoring services, so we like that IdentityForce threw in even more digital security as well.
- Payday loans: If someone stole our Social Security number and tried to get money fast through a quick cash or payday loan, we’d get alerted.
- Sex offender: One of the last places we want to end up is on a sex offender registry, for obvious reasons. If our information was found on one, we’d get alerted, plus, IdentityForce keeps track of how many registered sex offenders live near us. Sure, we could’ve looked this up on Megan’s List, but it was nice to have IdentityForce do it for us.
- Social media: If any discrimination, profanity, violence, or cyberbullying happens on our Youtube,3 Instagram,4 Twitter,5 or Facebook6 accounts, IdentityForce is on it.
- Credit scores and reports: Only available with the top-tier plan, our credit scores and reports were monitored from the three major credit bureaus.
- Credit score tracker and simulator: IdentityForce even made a graph so we could see how our credit score changed over the months. Our general trend? Up and to the right! And if we wanted to make a change, like open a new credit card to buy furniture, to use a real-life example, IdentityForce showed us how that might affect our credit score, which was really convenient and in our case, entirely accurate.
There were even more features available, like digital security for our phones and mobile devices:
- Medical ID fraud protection: Paying for our own medical insurance is bad enough, so the idea of someone else using it for their needs is a total nightmare. But if anyone else was using our benefits, we’d know about it ASAP.
- Online PC protection tools: Sure, we’re obsessed with our phones, but our laptops are a close second (aside from friends and family, of course). IdentityForce goes above and beyond when it comes to digital security, with anti-keylogging, malware, and phishing software to make sure we haven’t inadvertently told a cybercriminal our credentials. Believe us, phishing has gotten incredibly sophisticated to the point 75% of cybersecurity professionals are concerned about bot traffic,7 so we were glad that IdentityForce didn’t forget about our PCs in their quests to make our lives more secure.
- Two-factor authentication: Like we mentioned before, we set our account up to we had to enter the passcode sent to our phones whenever we logged into IdentityForce, whether on the mobile app or online, to ensure that even if someone had our credentials, they wouldn’t be able to access anything unless they had our phones, as well. And since our phones are within a foot of us at all times, that pretty much ensured that only we’d be accessing our accounts.
- Lost wallet assistance: Recently, after losing our wallet at a high school reunion, we noticed a bunch of Lyft charges for rides that we hadn’t taken, so IdentityForce helped us cancel the cards in our wallet and replace them with cards that we’re definitely going to hold onto tighter this time.
Mobile app: We’ll touch on this more later, but both plans include the IdentityForce app for access on the go.
And with the IdentityForce app on our phones, we got different kinds of alerts, such as:
- Bank and credit card activity: After setting up a minimum dollar amount, we got alerted when there were charges, transfers, or withdrawals of that amount or higher, which actually made us notice our fraudulent charges sooner than if we had to manually check our account statement.
- Investment accounts: We have multiple 401(K) accounts, so it was nice whenever IdentityForce alerted us of transfers, withdrawals, deposits, or duplicate transactions. This also applies to brokerages and other financial accounts, as well, making it extremely comprehensive.
- Social security number tracking: If any name, address, or alias is used with our Social Security numbers, we’d be alerted.
- Junk mail opt-out: Okay, this feature had us seriously excited. Even though we’re millennials who consider snail mail to be the lowest form of communication, we tend to get a lot of it, specifically from credit card companies, food subscription services, and the occasional Chinese restaurant menu. Now, our mailbox is pretty low-tech compared to most, a simple slot that doesn’t exactly meet our high-security standards. But that’s okay, because not only did IdentityForce get rid of 90% of our trash mail by contacting marketing companies for us, but it also stopped all the credit card offers completely. This saved not only paper, but our patience as well.
- Identity threat: Today, data breaches are as common as oat milk lattes in Brooklyn (read: very). In the past year alone, we’ve seen breaches from companies like Ring, Wyze, and NordVPN, all of which we use on a daily basis. But rather than frantically reading the news, looking for security breaches that were relevant to us, we simply had IdentityForce tell us whenever our credentials were compromised so we could quickly change our passwords and add on two or multi-factor authentication to the account, if available. This saved us a lot of time scrolling through endless Google alerts!
- Fraud: If, god forbid, our identities were ever at risk, IdentityForce would prevent people from opening credit lines in our names by placing fraud alerts accordingly. Wow, they’ve really thought of everything!
Of course, like any other identity monitoring service, IdentityForce can’t totally prevent our identities from being stolen, just detect possible clues that they might be at risk. So in the worst-case scenario that our identities were compromised or stolen, IdentityForce provides a few helpful features:
- Identity theft insurance: If our identities were stolen, we could’ve gotten up to a million dollars in reimbursements, which was pretty sweet.
- Fully managed restoration: We’d also be paired with a Certified Protection Expert, who we could speak to day or night to help us restore our identities. While we didn’t have to use this feature, we think having an extra set of eyes and hands would be incredibly helpful to us in this situation, because we’re sure we’d be too stressed to deal with it ourselves. You know what they say, teamwork makes the dream work, especially when it’s available 24/7!
- Customer service: Finally, we also had a support team to call if we had any technical questions, but we’ll describe that more in a minute.
That’s all for what we got with IdentityForce, but let’s make sure the company is as trustworthy as they seem.
IdentityForce Security and Privacy
- Phone number
- Bank and financial account information
- Credit card information.
This is actually pretty bare-bones compared to other companies we’ve looked at; plus, all the information is stored using AES-256, the current industry standard that even the U.S military uses to protect its data. So although the U.S may not be the best place to headquarter an identity monitoring service, we felt pretty confident that IdentityForce had our best interests at heart.
The IdentityForce App
For identity monitoring on the go, we turned to the IdentityForce app, available for iPhones like ours as well as Androids for the green-texters among us.
In general, Android-users like the IdentityForce app, if its 4.2 rating on the Google Play store is any indication. But as far as our experience testing out the IdentityForce iOS app went, we ran into a few small issues. Things took a while to load, the contact number for support wasn’t actually clickable, and we also had some trouble logging. But overall, the app is usable; we just had to close and open it a few times to get it to work. Fingers crossed IdentityForce fixes these bugs soon!
Suggestion: iPhone users may find the IdentityForce app a bit frustrating, so we’d recommend it to Android users in particular.
When we needed help with IdentityForce, we of course first turned to the online help center, which was really, well, helpful. It answered all of our questions about the ChildWatch feature, so we didn’t end up having to use the online form, phone number, email address, and physical address provided. But with so many options, we feel confident that IdentityForce supports its customers around the clock.
Our Experience Using IdentityForce
Now, absolutely none of this matters if IdentityForce is hard to use. Here’s our experience:
To get started, we went on the IdentityForce website, selected the top plan, and entered in our name, email address, birthday, and credit card information.
Then, we got a confirmation email which had a link that brought us to a page that had us update our personal information, like:
- Phone number
- Social Security Number
- Street address
- Driver’s license number
- Passport number
- Medical account number.
Next, we created a password and security questions and turned on two-factor authentication for added security. After adjusting our notification preferences, we agreed to their terms and conditions and our service started. Woo-hoo! Here’s what the dashboard looks like:
As you can see, it was pretty easy to navigate between our most recent alerts, credit reports, transaction history, and more. We even already had an alert that our Poshmark account was compromised immediately upon signing up for IdentityForce, which was good to know. We changed our Poshmark password and felt more secure than ever, confident that IdentityForce had our backs.
If you want to see IdentityForce in action, we’ve created a video review on our Youtube channel, embedded below. You’ll get to see us actually use the app and tell you everything you need to know about IdentityForce.
IdentityForce: Worth It?
We had a great experience using IdentityForce and would definitely recommend it. We’re hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive identity monitoring service, and with even more digital security features added on, it was certainly worth its price tags, which start at $17.99 a month. Considering the average loss from identity theft is $6,000, this is a small price to pay for total peace of mind.
We’d recommend IdentityForce if you’d like…
- Extensive identity monitoring
- Great Android app
- Free trial available
But IdentityForce isn’t a good option if you are looking for…
- Fantastic iPhone app
- Non-member to international surveillance alliances
- Most affordable pricing on the market
IdentityForce. (2020). Our Story. identityforce.com/about/our-story
IdentityForce. (2020). Products and Pricing.
Youtube. (2020). Security.org. youtube.com/channel/UC6DS1pJ0Y9UsjS5jz3cvU1g
Instagram. (2020). Security.org. instagram.com/securitydotorg/
Twitter. (2020). Security.org. twitter.com/securitydotorg
Facebook. (2020). Security.org. www.facebook.com/dotorgresearch/
Neustar International Security Council. (2020). Neustar International Security Council. nisc.neustar/