Plenty of identity protection for individuals and families on a budget
With the latest, catastrophic T-Mobile breach, ID theft has now officially reached pandemic proportions. Or what else would you call 55 million customer accounts hacked, 47 million of them down to the social security number (SSN)? So, if you’re still on the fence about whether identity theft is a very real issue, now might be the time to jump off.
With its triple-bureau credit monitoring, full array of suspicious activity alerts, and very sensible family plans, IDShield makes an attractive ID theft protection provider to get your feet wet with.
I spent a lot of time reviewing IDShield and its many ID theft-busting features. Here’s a breakdown of the IDShield basics: pricing, packages, options, and special deals, for individuals and families.
Pro Tip: Some ID theft protection providers, like Zander Insurance, go light on monitoring to focus on recovery and restoration. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — if you know you’re more hands-on with your identity protection. That’s why the first step in choosing the right ID monitoring service is always assessing your own needs.
IDShield’s core features include:
|One Bureau||$14.95 per month||$29.95 per month|
|Three Bureau||$19.95 per month||$34.95 per month|
Note: All IDShield plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee
IDShield keeps its plans simple, which I always like. Two plans: single-bureau and triple-bureau. (That’s credit monitoring, by the way. We’ll get into that in a second.) Two options: individual and family. Again, more on this down below.
You probably also noticed in the snapshot above that with IDShield you don’t have to worry about choosing between a monthly and yearly plan, because there are only monthly plans. In my experience, while the savings of annual plans often makes more sense in the long run, monthly plans offer more flexibility for new customers. You can cancel at any time and don’t have to worry about paying one lump sum upfront.
FYI: Along with credit monitoring, always look for SSN monitoring in your ID monitoring plan. If your SSN pops up in the wrong place, you’ll want to know fast.
Last, but definitely not least, you should know that you can trial your IDShield service for 30 days with your money back at the end of the period if you decide not to stick around. Money-back guarantees aren’t guaranteed in this business, so this is a nice touch, too.
You may be wondering why IDShield divides its plans into single-bureau and triple-bureau credit monitoring to begin with. In fact, you may be wondering what credit monitoring is! Before I get into the nitty gritty of IDShield’s plans, I’d like to break this feature down for you because it’s actually very important no matter what provider you end up entrusting your sensitive details with.
If you think your financial situation is a secret between you and your bank, that’s not really true. There are companies (three major ones in the U.S.) that monitor and compile your credit transactions over time so that if you do approach a lender, like a bank, for a loan, that lender knows how much of a credit risk you are.
To keep it simple, those companies, or bureaus, assign you a “credit score.” Your credit score is a measure of your creditworthiness. The better your score, the easier it is for you to take out a loan.
Did You Know: The three main credit bureaus in the U.S. are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You don’t need an ID monitoring service to access your credit report. You can do it once a year for free.1
When you throw ID fraud into the equation, your credit situation gets a little more complicated. Say a grifter hijacks your identity and wreaks havoc with your credit and only one of the three bureaus catches it at first (this actually happens). If you’re only monitoring one bureau (Experian, for example), your credit score could be haemorrhaging points at one of the other two, Equifax or TransUnion, and you might not know for some time.
That’s why, if you’re going the route of an ID monitoring service, I always recommend going with triple-bureau coverage.
Just like with Identity Guard plans and IdentityForce packages — two of our favorite providers at samehome.org — IDShield gives you a solid set of features with each of its plans, including recovery experts on-call 24/7.
You’ll also find the usual suspects on your IDShield dashboard: SSN monitoring and credit monitoring (both at the top of our list), as well as dark web and payday loan monitoring.
But, unlike many ID theft protection services on the market, your IDShield mobile app will also be pinging with credit report dispute and sex offender alerts, bank account monitoring updates, and court records and bookings notifications. In other words, if something bad is brewing in the criminal justice system, IDShield will ping you.
Pro Tip: Spongers out for a quick fix can take out a quick cash loan, a.k.a. a payday loan, if they get their hands on your SSN. With their off-the-charts high interest rates, a single bad payday loan can trash your credit score for years to come.
Also worth noting up top: IDShield is the only ID theft protection provider on the market I’ve found that offers the services of licensed, in-house private investigators, in addition to its restoration specialists. I’d say that probably beats standing in line at identitytheft.gov2 (where you can report and manage your own ID theft case, FYI). Just don’t expect Magnum P.I.
And another thing to note, now IDShield has taken their ID theft protection game to the next level with a suite of security tools that are going to make their privacy-minded users very happy. I’m talking about a native malware blocker, VPN, and password manager — at no extra charge.
IDShield’s new line of fraud-busting features couldn’t have come at a better time, with COVID-19 scams on the rise and ransomware attacks at an all-time high.
But the big choice you’ll have to make with IDShield — besides settling on single- or triple-bureau credit monitoring — is going with an individual or family plan. Here’s the lowdown on that.
For $17.95 per month, ID Shield’s triple-bureau individual plan covers one adult and all the identity protections I mentioned above. Keep in mind that you’d get the same protection if you went with the single-bureau plan. The only difference with the triple-bureau option is total credit monitoring at all three bureaus.
Who it’s best for: IDShield’s Individual Plan is ideal for individuals who want comprehensive identity monitoring and recovery services at a reasonable monthly cost.
FYI: IDShield stands out for the special protections it offers. Social media monitoring, for example, can help you spot compromised social accounts. It’s also useful for checking your authentic posts for anything that might hurt your reputation. Don’t forget, more than two-thirds of employers check job applicants’ social media accounts!3
ID Shield’s Family Plan includes all the monitoring services the Individual Plan gives you. The only difference is that, for an additional $15 per month, you can cover a spouse or partner and up to 10 dependent children. For comparison, this is about on-par with Experian IdentityWorks family plans.
Did You Know: Your identity is only as safe as the weakest link in your chain. If you have a joint banking account or share any other account info with a spouse or children (Spotify, Google Play, Apple Store, etc.), you’re all at risk when ID fraud strikes. So if you do have a family, and you’re getting serious about identity theft, consider a family plan.
Just like the Individual Plan, the Family Plan gives you the choice between IDShield’s single-bureau coverage and their more comprehensive triple-bureau bundle. If you’re looking to cover the kids under your wing, by the way, I also recommend checking out this list of our favorite ID theft protection services for children.
Who it’s best for: ID Shield’s Family Plan is for folks who want to safeguard their whole family with premium credit monitoring, recovery services, and insurance coverage.
|IDShield Individual Plan (One Bureau)||IDShield Family|
|View Plans||View Plans|
|Covers Account Holder||Covers Account Holder, Spouse or Partner, and up to 10 Dependent Children|
|Transunion Credit Monitoring and Alerts||Transunion Credit Monitoring and Alerts|
|Unlimited Consulting and Identity Restoration Services, including Access to In-House Licensed Private Investigators||Unlimited Consulting and Identity Restoration Services, including Access to In-House Licensed Private Investigators|
|$1 Million in Identity Theft Protection Coverage||$1 Million in Identity Theft Protection Coverage|
|24/7 Access to Customer Support||24/7 Access to Customer Support|
|12 Month Credit Score Tracking History||12 Month Credit Score Tracking History|
|SSN Monitoring||SSN Monitoring|
|Bank Account and Payday Loan Monitoring||Bank Account and Payday Loan Monitoring|
|Dark Web Surveillance||Dark Web Surveillance|
|Sex Offender Alerts||Sex Offender Alerts|
*Note that individual plans offer the same protections as family plans. Also note that plans with triple-bureau coverage (starting at $17.95) include TransUnion, Equifax and Experian credit monitoring and alerts.
We’re always keeping an eye out for IDShield deals and discounts, and we’ll keep you posted on the best savings right here. Currently, the cheapest IDShield option is the Individual Plan with single-bureau coverage (see the table above for a list of main features).
If you’re on a budget, and are a single-person household, $12.95 per month will give you premium coverage. But if you’re looking for IDShield’s best protection, then triple-bureau coverage ($17.95 per month) is the way to go.
There’s no doubt that IDShield scores high marks in identity protection features. But there are lots of options for identity coverage on the market these days. So how much bang for the buck does IDShield actually give you?
Well, I liked that IDShield gave me credit monitoring even with their cheapest plan. Not all services include this very basic feature, especially in their budget packages. I also thought IDShield’s single-bureau Individual Plan was a pretty good deal at $12.95 per month.
IDShield’s triple-bureau plans, on the other hand, are going to burn a bigger hole in your pocket. But when you add up all the features and benefits, the prices are still reasonable. Keep in mind that the industry average is around $20-$30 per month for comprehensive ID theft coverage, so $17.95 isn’t bad at all.
As for family plans, while IDShield’s multi-user packages do come brimming with features at competitive rates, let’s just say that there are better options out there for full houses. See our best family identity protection plans for more info.
Pro Tip: Most identity theft protection plans offer the same core features. But not always. Especially when it comes to adding children to your plan. So always read the fine print before you hit subscribe.
IDShield is owned by LegalShield. Founded back in the 1970s as Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., LegalShield uses a network of lawyers to provide legal services as necessary to its subscribers. You can think of it as something like a legal insurance policy.
IDShield didn’t come around until a while later. The identity theft service first launched in 2015.4 Over the years, IDShield has earned a solid reputation with its customers. The company claimed to have saved its subscribers more than $20 million in 2019.5 That’s quite the claim! My experience using IDShield’s products and services bear that claim out. IDShield is a standout company we at safehome.org wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to our readers.
While IDShield doesn’t have a dedicated children’s plan, you can purchase a family plan, which covers up to 10 dependent children.
No, their individual plans start at as low as $12.95 per month (for single-bureau coverage).
Yes, IDShield’s premium plan offers triple-bureau credit monitoring, which we highly recommend.
Yes, when you sign up for IDShield, you can download their smartphone app, which is well designed and easy to use.
No. IDShield offers month-to-month service, allowing you to cancel at any time. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
FTC. (2021). Get My Free Credit Report.
FTC. (2021). IdentityTheft.gov Home Page.
CareerBuilder. (2018, August 9). More Than Half of Employers Have Found Content on Social Media That Caused Them NOT to Hire a Candidate, According to Recent CareerBuilder Survey.
PRWeb. (2015, June 1). LegalShield and Kroll Launch IDShield, an Innovative Identity Theft Protection Service Supported by Dedicated, Licensed Private Investigators.
BusinessWire. (May 29, 2020). LegalShield Saved its Members Over $20 Million in 2019.
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.