We’ve spent a lot of time with ID Watchdog. After all, we wanted to get to know this popular identity theft service inside and out. And that we did! Overall, we were pretty impressed with their identity monitoring and recovery features — which we share all about in our full ID Watchdog review. But our goal today is to lay out the key information so that you can choose the right ID Watchdog plan for you.
In our experience, ID Watchdog was there to help us spot threats to our identity. We’ll talk more about the core features, like credit monitoring and social security monitoring. But you probably want to learn more about ID Watchdog’s plans, pricing, and current deals. So let’s dive in to see what type of identity theft protection ID Watchdog offers that makes sense for you and your budget.
Essential features included in ID Watchdog
ID Watchdog has a lot of price options, but we think you’ll find them pretty easy to understand. There are only two main plans to consider: ID Watchdog Plus and ID Watchdog Platinum. The main difference between the two is in credit monitoring. The Plus plan monitored our credit with one of three big credit reporting bureaus. And the Platinum plan covered all three major bureaus (highly recommended), while also giving us daily credit scores and reports.
We’ll talk more about this in a bit. For now, just know that we recommend three-bureau monitoring. The major bureaus don’t share information with each other, so if you want comprehensive credit monitoring, you’ll need all three bureaus looking out for you.
Did You Know: Credit reporting bureaus rely in part on voluntary reporting from other organizations. Lenders, banks, credit card companies, and others tell credit reporting bureaus about your debts, missed payments, and more.1
Now let’s talk about what you can expect with their prices and monthly fees. With ID Watchdog’s two plans, we had the choice to cover just ourselves or our whole family. We could also choose between monthly and annual billing, which is always nice.
Note that annual billing does save you some money, but you are responsible for the full payment upfront. And don’t expect a pro-rated refund if you want to cancel mid-year. It’s a hard-and-fast rule that we’ve seen with other brands, too.
|Group||Monthly Fee||Annual Fee|
|ID Watchdog Plus||Individual||$14.95 per month||$164.00 per year|
|ID Watchdog Plus||+ Family||$25.95 per month||$287.00 per year|
|ID Watchdog Platinum||+ Family||$19.95 per month||$219.00 per year|
|ID Watchdog Platinum||+ Family||$34.95 per month||$383.00 per year|
If you’re considering signing up with ID Watchdog, you’ll first need to decide between ID Watchdog Plus and ID Watchdog Platinum plans. Both offer credit monitoring, identity monitoring, recovery, and insurance (all of these services are important enough to include in our identity theft protection guide). But note that there are extra features in the Platinum plan that are pretty enticing. Don’t worry, we’ll help you narrow it down to see which plan, if any, makes sense for you.
You can think of ID Watchdog Plus as an entry-level plan. But unlike some cheap plans, this one includes the all-important credit monitoring feature. However, this plan doesn’t cover all three major credit bureaus. It monitors your credit with just one bureau, which is to be expected for only $14.95 per month.
The Plus plan also won’t share credit scores and reports with you. That said, if something in your credit file raises a red flag, rest assured ID Watchdog will alert you. They were always quick to notify us of suspicious activity during our trials. This plan also gives you access to identity theft resolution specialists, helps you lock your credit (with one bureau), and covers you with $1 million in insurance. Although standard for the industry, the $1 million insurance policy is a pretty nice safety net in our eyes.
FYI: The Plus plan includes other monitoring features, too. ID Watchdog can scan for your personal information on the internet and Dark Web, check public records, and even scan your social media presence for threats to your reputation.
Who it’s best for: Individuals and families looking for affordable and reliable identity monitoring and up to $1 million in insurance coverage.
With ID Watchdog Platinum, we enjoyed all the features included with Plus, and then some. Instead of just monitoring our credit with one major bureau, Platinum covers all three. And remember, we’ve found three-bureau credit reporting to be far superior to one-bureau monitoring (in this case, three’s company!).
With Platinum, we were also able to see our credit scores (from one bureau) every day. This was nice, but keep in mind that it’s fairly standard with top-tier plans these days. ID Watchdog Platinum also offers daily credit reports from one bureau, annual reports from all three, and it’ll let you add financial accounts to be monitored. Finally, expect $500,000 in insurance for 401k and HSA funds.
Pro Tip: You can cover your loved ones by getting the “+ Family” version of either ID Watchdog Plus or ID Watchdog Platinum. With either plan, the + Family version covers a second adult and up to four children.
If you want to sign up for ID Watchdog, you’re probably wondering about the best rates and current deals. Right now, ID Watchdog’s lowest prices are the ones outlined below. Keep in mind that you can save even more by going with their annual billing option, but don’t forget that monthly billing offers more flexibility.
|ID Watchdog Plus||ID Watchdog Platinum|
|Identity Monitoring||Identity Monitoring|
|Black Market Surveillance||Black Market Surveillance|
|Email & SMS Notifications||Email & SMS Notifications|
|Identity Restoration||Identity Restoration|
|National Provider Identity (NPI) Alerts||National Provider Identity (NPI) Alerts|
|Social Security Number Monitoring||Social Security Number Monitoring|
|Pay Day Loan Monitoring||Pay Day Loan Monitoring|
|Single Credit Bureau Credit Monitoring||$1 Million in Identity Theft Insurance|
|$1 Million in Identity Theft Insurance||Three Credit Bureau Credit Monitoring & Reporing|
ID Watchdog’s plans aren’t the cheapest we’ve seen in the industry. We do think they offer great value, though. With ID Watchdog, we received a full set of features for just $15 or $20 per month. That’s not half-bad considering that early detection is crucial to limit damage and even help you recover after identity theft occurs.
We’ve used other services, like Zander Insurance, that provide cheaper plans. But keep in mind that the most affordable plans typically don’t include credit monitoring (like Zander, for instance). And honestly, we think credit monitoring is a big part of what makes ID Watchdog and other top brands like Identity Guard useful. We always recommend paying a little more to get 3-bureau credit monitoring.
FYI: Will identity monitoring be a waste of money? We certainly hope so! Hopefully, you’ll never have your identity stolen. And if you do, hopefully, you won’t lose any money — most people don’t!2 That said, if you’re one of the unlucky ones who ends up losing your shirt, you’ll be glad to have a service like ID Watchdog step in with $1 million in insurance coverage, or more.
This is why we consider ID Watchdog a great budget option for complete ID theft protection. It’s not the cheapest service out there, but we found that it offers a lot for your money. The prices do get steeper with the family plans, though, so that’s something to keep in mind. Also, be sure to check out other alternatives like IdentityForce for affordable coverage.
ID Watchdog was founded back in 2005. From the start, the company has been focused on protecting people from identity theft and its dangers. Then, in 2017, ID Watchdog was acquired by Equifax.3 You probably recognize the name Equifax as one of the three major credit bureaus that tracks your credit. Equifax isn’t the only credit bureau that provides credit monitoring services. Its fellow bureau Experian offers three different brands including Experian IdentityWorks, Complete ID, and ProtectMyID.
Yes, it does. You can get ID Watchdog’s app for iOS and Android.
Yes. You may get ID Watchdog protection through your employer as part of an employment benefits package. And if you don’t, you can always sign up for yourself!
Unfortunately, no. We prefer when services let us cancel online, but with ID Watchdog, you’ll have to call customer service to end your subscription.
Generally, no. That’s why you’ll want to think carefully before you choose between the annual and monthly plans. The monthly plan ends up costing more over the course of a year, but it will cost you less to cancel mid-year.
Yes, ID Watchdog will monitor your information on the Dark Web. Nobody knows how big the Dark Web is, and nobody can search every Dark Web site.4 But companies like ID Watchdog do their best to check all known criminal hangouts on the Dark Web, and that can be a big help in keeping your identity safe.
Experian. DeNicola, L. (2019, March 6). What Are Credit Bureaus and How Do They Work?
Money. Timestaff. (2014, May 26). Do I Need Identity Theft Insurance?
PR Newswire. (2017, August 10). Equifax Acquires ID Watchdog, a Leading Identity Protection and Resolution Services Company.
ZDNet. Patterson, D. (2016, September 1). How the Dark Web Works.
With a decade of experience as a journalist, Derek Prall has been covering cybersecurity for seven years. He has spent more than 1,000 hours researching digital privacy and has covered almost 100 topics related to VPN and identity theft protection. Previously, Derek has covered tech issues at American City & County magazine, where he won numerous national awards for his cybersecurity coverage. His areas of expertise included network security, big data analytics, and AI applications in public safety. Derek graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees in English and Communications from Furman University and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and two cats.