During our in-depth testing of IDShield, we found a whole lot to like about the service. Our IDShield account was backed by more than 40 years of experience, so you can imagine our expectations were sky-high. For the most part, we felt that IDShield delivered on its promises. We were especially impressed with their three-bureau credit monitoring and unlimited consultations, which will definitely be valuable to you in protecting your identity.
However, IDShield wasn’t a perfect solution. We had some minor issues with the apps and the overall user experience. Also, we would like to see customized alerts, as we’ve seen from other brands. We did find IDShield a bit rigid when it came to fielding alerts. That said, we still think it’s a solid option for the price. So, if you’re on the hunt for full-service ID theft protection, read on! We’re going to share our full experience with you — the good and the bad. So, let’s get to it!
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s talk about what IDShield is all about.
Since threats to your private information are everywhere, we recommend protecting yourself with an identity monitoring service. It just makes sense. We sometimes call these services “identity protection services,” but remember that the big idea here is to detect identity theft, not prevent it. Early detection is key to locking down your accounts quickly and limiting the damage caused by fraudsters.
We also suggest that you look for an identity monitoring service that offers recovery and insurance. These aspects are where the “protection” features really drive home value. After all, identity theft does happen. And if you fall victim to a crime, having recovery mechanisms in place can save you loads of money, headaches, and sleepless nights. Don’t worry, we’ve found that most services like IDShield offer decent recovery and insurance options, so just keep an eye out for those.
After researching and testing their services, we can say that IDShield offers what we’re looking for in terms of monitoring and recovery, all in one easy-to-use package. IDShield tracks your private information, alerts you to suspicious activity, and helps you put your life back together in the wake of an identity theft disaster. We tested IDShield ourselves to see how it stacks up against the competition. Here’s what we found.
We expected comprehensive monitoring, alerts, recovery services, and insurance. With IDShield, we got all of the above. And we were (mostly) impressed with how IDShield pulled off these important offerings. However, we did find some room for improvement, especially when it came to their passport and driver’s license monitoring. We’ll get to that soon.
When it comes to monitoring, we look for a couple of key features. First, we want to see credit monitoring, which from our experience should be non-negotiable. That’s because identity crimes like fraudulent loans show up pretty fast in credit files. If our credit is being actively monitored, we’ll (hopefully) spot crimes like these right away. And again, you have to spot crime before you can fight it!
Second, we’re looking for social security number (SSN) monitoring for a plan to be a true contender. Identity thieves are always after our social security number, which they can use to impersonate us and wreak all sorts of havoc. We’re talking bank accounts being opened in our name, loans applied for, medical care received, fraudulent tax filing, crimes committed in our name, you name it.
Thankfully, we were happy to see that IDShield covered these two most important aspects of monitoring. They included credit monitoring and social security number monitoring in our subscription. Our IDShield monitoring also covered loan applications in our names, including payday loans. On top of all that, we also had sex offender registry monitoring and court records monitoring, too.
IDShield even monitors the Dark Web for us. If you’re not familiar with Dark Web monitoring, this service means they were looking for our information in the digital underworld, where crooks could be buying and selling it on the black market! The Dark Web alerts we received from IDShield were useful, but we didn’t get as many alerts as we’re used to seeing from other services like LifeLock or Identity Guard. IDShield missed some threats to our privacy that these other services actually caught. So, that shortcoming cost IDShield some points in our book.
FYI: When crooks get their hands on social security numbers, passwords, and other private information, it often ends up on the Dark Web. The Dark Web can only be accessed with special browsers, and it’s tough to keep track of its sites and its users.1
To be fair, Dark Web monitoring isn’t as simple or as precise as credit monitoring. We don’t even know how big the Dark Web is. Of course, we weren’t thrilled with what IDShield’s Dark Web monitoring missed, but thankfully we weren’t at all concerned about the credit monitoring or any of their other types of monitoring. For the most part, we think you can count on IDShield to find your sensitive info that matters most.
We really liked that IDShield let us monitor our bank and financial accounts, too. We just had to enter some information upfront to set up the monitoring. Sure, your bank and investment accounts may already offer some free fraud protection (if not, consider leaving them!), but we think you’ll be happy with this extra bit of coverage from IDShield. We were.
That said, we didn’t like everything about IDShield’s monitoring. We weren’t able to monitor our driver’s license, and we didn’t seem to be able to add passport monitoring, either. Some competitors allow this type of monitoring, which we like, so we have to ding IDShield for this deficiency.
Our IDShield account did include some next-level monitoring, though. For instance, we don’t always see social media monitoring, but IDShield came through with this service. Social media monitoring scours social platforms for our personal information, then it flags any instances that use that information in a way that might “damage our reputation.” That is, we think IDShield looks for political posts and profane postings in our name, as that’s what we’ve seen from other services that offer social media monitoring.
Finally, IDShield also offered us a family plan option. We always recommend family monitoring options. Believe it or not, identity thieves will stoop as low as stealing the identities of your children, and they’ll stop at nothing to use it for personal gain.
Did You Know: Identity theft isn’t like other types of crime. You don’t need to be rich for crooks to take out loans in your name. You don’t even need to be an adult. Some shocked parents have gotten notices from the IRS claiming their toddlers failed to pay income tax.2
Overall, we found that IDShield’s monitoring coverage was pretty solid compared to most of the competition out there. Although we would have liked to see passport and driver’s license monitoring, we think you’ll find they cover the most important things.
Whenever IDShield detected a threat for us, we received an instant alert. Our alerts showed up in our email and IDShield mobile app.3 We could also set up the mobile app to send push notifications to alert us even when the app wasn’t open. We thought this process all worked pretty well, but we wish we could change and customize the settings. If you’re anything like us, you’ll find it frustrating not to be able to change how you receive alerts.
We work hard to protect our identity, and so should you. But remember, services like IDShield alert us to threats, but they don’t stop crime from happening (only the FBI can do that!). That’s why we think it’s critical to have recovery services with your monitoring plan.
Our IDShield account included recovery services that we could use if our identity was ever stolen. We were happy to see that IDShield had on-call recovery experts always at the ready. After all, we’d have a lot of work to do if our identity ever got stolen, including filing police reports, canceling credit cards, freezing credit files, and more.4 So, IDShield’s recovery services are there to make all that easier on us. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use these recovery features, but as they say, better safe than sorry!
Another thing to note is that IDShield offers insurance coverage. Even if we caught an identity crime right away, we’d still probably lose some hard-earned money. So, insurance coverage can help us reclaim stolen money and the costs of getting back on track in the wake of identity theft.
Our IDShield insurance coverage was good for up to $1 million in reimbursable losses and expenses. We’ve found that $1 million is pretty much the standard across the industry, so we think that you’ll find IDShield to be right on the money in this department (no pun intended).
We typically only recommend services like IDShield that offer monitoring and insurance. To us, those basic features are essential. But we like to see companies set themselves apart by providing a little more on the menu.
We appreciated that IDShield offered some useful personal finance resources, and we think you will, too. IDShield plotted our credit score on a “Monthly Score Tracker” graph. This graph wasn’t useful to us right away, as it only included credit scores from after our subscription started. But we think that it could be handy in the long run. Our only gripe is that the graph only covers one year’s worth of scores at a time.
Pro Tip: Catching fraud isn’t the only reason to track your credit score. If you know where you stand, you can catch mistakes and contest them. Improving your credit will set you up to get better rates on important loans like mortgages and can also get you better credit card deals.
IDShield also has extra features packed away in the “Additional Resources” part of its app. The extra resources included something called “Lost Wallet Protection.” We see this often, but it’s always nice to have. Of course, it wasn’t actually “protecting” our wallet (they didn’t send us a special pair of jeans or anything), but the service did help us store important information about the things we carry around in our wallet or purse. If our wallet was ever lost or stolen, we could go back to the record and quickly cancel, freeze, and replace the important stuff. If you’ve ever lost your wallet before, like us, then you know the headaches associated with remembering what was in there. So, we found this service to be quite helpful.
Another thing our IDShield account included was unlimited consultations with security experts. We found this to be an impressive inclusion. In our opinion, more services should offer this kind of personalized guidance. We think that IDShield’s security consultations make the service more useful between alerts, and we think you’ll find it to be a big bonus, as well.
There’s one last component of IDShield’s services that’s worth mentioning. In the IDShield app, we were able to check out “Member Perks.” To get these perks, we had to create an account for the “LegalShield MEMBERPerks Program.” So, if you go with IDShield, you’ll want to set this up. It was pretty fast and painless for the benefits.
As far as we could tell, the perks would only come up after we enrolled in an “exclusive perks and discounts” email newsletter. The perks page also had a newsletter offer for “how to excel in the 21st-century workplace.” And to be honest, we don’t think you’ll get much out of either newsletter.
IDShield’s features and services had some flaws, but we liked the way the service offered bonus features and resources. We think you’ll find IDShield’s core services to be pretty solid, while the other services are icing on the cake (hopefully buttercream).
Identity theft monitoring and recovery are the two most important things to look for in any ID theft protection plan. But we know price matters, too. We don’t want to be shelling out lots of money every month for a safety net that we hope we never even have to use. With this in mind, we found that IDShield offered us a good amount of bang for our buck.
We had different plan options when we signed up for IDShield. We were glad that all of the plans included IDShield’s core set of features, which are:
When we see dirt-cheap deals, they’re usually for stripped-down plans that normally don’t offer enough coverage. We like that IDShield, despite being inexpensive, makes sure their plans come with all the important coverage options.
IDShield gave us four options. We could choose between plans that offered monitoring for one credit bureau or all three major credit bureaus. We could also cover just ourselves individually or our whole family.
|Credit monitoring for one credit bureau||$12.95 per month||$17.95 per month|
|Credit monitoring for three credit bureaus||$25.95 per month||$32.95 per month|
We always recommend three-bureau coverage over one-bureau solutions. You might be surprised how often the different credit bureaus see different information. That is, something important (like a loan taken out in your name!) might be missed if you’re only having IDShield monitor one bureau. We also recommend family plans for folks with families. Identity thieves will steal from just about anyone, including young children and the elderly — and believe it or not, even the deceased.
IDShield also offers a free trial, which is a big plus for us. We’re fans of free trials, as they’re a non-committal way for new users to decide which service is right for them. We think it’s important to read reviews, but sometimes it’s better to try it out for yourself. We recommend trying out a few different options simultaneously, including IDShield. Just remember to cancel whichever services you don’t want to keep before the free trials end!
Pro Tip: Three-bureau credit monitoring is better than one-bureau coverage, but one-bureau coverage is better than nothing. If you’re on a budget and need to go with just one bureau, you’ll still be doing yourself a lot of good.
And another thing to keep in mind — IDShield also offered us a service called LegalShield, which would give us “access to legal advice for just $20/month.” We’re experts in security, not the law, so we’ll leave the LegalShield review to someone else. For now, just know that LegalShield is a separate service from the same company. You don’t need to have LegalShield to have IDShield, but you will see the brand name here and there because that’s the name of the parent company.
We’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours testing identity monitoring services, so we appreciate it when a service is a pleasure to use. For the most part, we think you’ll be happy with IDShield’s monitoring, but we’re not so sure about the user experience.
We had a few issues when we tested out IDShield. Some of these issues were small and basic. For instance, IDShield’s sign-up page only had two lines for the address, which won’t work if you live in an apartment. It was also frustrating that they asked us to activate our account with a “membership number.” We didn’t have a number, so we were confused. We later got the number in an email…hours after we signed up. And when we went back to activate our account with the number, IDShield told us that our account was already active!
Once they activated our account and we signed in, we had to complete our profile by typing in some extra information. The information was really basic, and we wish we’d been able to add it right after we signed up. That way, we could’ve done everything in one sitting.
Once we added this new information, IDShield sent us yet another email. This one was a “verification email,” and it included a link to even more registration requirements, like creating security questions. Needless to say, we wish that IDShield’s sign-up process was more streamlined.
We found IDShield’s web app to feature a better design than their sign-up process. There are slicker apps out there, but IDShield’s app gets the job done just fine. Our subscription also included access to a mobile app. However, we found two IDShield apps in the app store. If you sign up with IDShield, you’ll find that the right app is called “IDShield Plus.” All things considered, we liked the IDShield app, and it’s even compatible with biometric ID measures.
Pro Tip: If you have access to biometric ID, use it! Good biometric security measures are extremely safe. Some experts have long-term concerns about biometrics in government and the corporate world, but you don’t need to worry about using a fingerprint or face scan to open your smartphone.5
The mobile app also came with a tutorial that played the first time we opened it. We liked the idea, but it didn’t work so hot in practice. The tutorial text was cut off on our screen, so we were looking at tips like “Menu button brings up a new navigation me…” We think you’ll find everything easy enough to figure out, but this instance is just another case of the design being rough around the edges.
The good news is that we don’t think you’ll need the tutorial to get the hang of the IDShield mobile app. We found it pretty simple and intuitive.
The mobile app put our credit score front and center, which we liked. We could also read our alerts by tapping our way to another page in the app.
In our testing, IDShield’s apps worked well enough to handle the important things. But bear in mind, we don’t think IDShield’s user experience will have you jumping for joy.
We recommend that you have identity monitoring and recovery services, and you can certainly get those from IDShield. IDShield is a cost-effective option if you’re willing to go with individual coverage and one-bureau credit monitoring.
We were impressed with the monthly credit scores and the credit graph displayed in the IDShield app, and we appreciated the extra resources and unlimited consultations. But we didn’t love the user experience, and we don’t think you will either. IDShield takes care of the important monitoring well enough, but we didn’t think it offered anything spectacular to set itself apart from the competition.
In our opinion, IDShield is a quality identity monitoring option with some extra appeal to budget shoppers. We don’t think IDShield will let you down, but we do think you’ll enjoy a better experience from some of their competitors. So, we recommend exploring all your options thoroughly before choosing this brand.
Patterson, D. (2016, September 1). How the Dark Web Works. ZDNet.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC). (2018, September). Child Identity Theft.
LegalShield Corporation. (2020, June 16). IDShield. Google.
LaPonsie, M. (2019, July 8). 10 Things to Do After Your Identity Is Stolen. U.S. News & World Report.
Suciu, P. (2019, August 2). Is Biometrics ID Security Good Enough? TechNewsWorld.