Every parent wants to protect their kids. Children can also become victims of identity theft. So, how do you keep them safe from that kind of harm?
This is where ID theft protection services come in. They can help protect your child’s information, but maybe you’re not sure which one would be best for your little ones.
We've searched for the best ID protection for children by going through official sources of ID theft protection companies and recommendations from other people through online sources. We also reviewed dozens of feedback from independent sites and checked ratings and reviews for these products.
Read until the end to know the most important factor parents should look for in an ID theft protection service for children. Avoid signing up for a product that's not right for your needs, leaving your kids' identity vulnerable to hacking and scamming.
What are the top identity theft protection services for children?
Child identity theft statistics show that the crime affects one out of 50 children. However, it’s not until their late teens that they discover the fraud.
If you want to keep your child’s information safe, you might want to check the following protection services.
1. Identity Force
Identity Force offers the following features for children’s identity theft protection:
|Child SSN Monitoring||It alerts you when a stranger uses your child’s Social Security number and associates it with another name or address. When that happens, it could indicate fraud.|
|Financial Account Monitoring||What happens when a child’s identity is stolen? We found out that criminals can even apply for loans under your child’s name.|
|Identity Theft Insurance||Identity Force offers insurance coverage of up to $1 million. It allows you to recover the money you spent if your child’s identity was compromised.|
|Restoration||Most parents don't know how to recover their child’s compromised identity. So we think it’s helpful to have the services of US-based Certified Protection Experts, which can help you complete paperwork and call several agencies.|
|Alerts||With Identity Force, you can get alerts on your iOS and Android devices.|
|ChildWatch||You can also get ChildWatch as an additional child monitoring service from Identity Force. It costs $2.75 a month per child, but it’s included for organizations that offer Identity Force protection for their employees.|
So how much do the Identity Force’s plans cost?
You need to pay $17.99 for the UltraSecure plan, but sometimes the company gives discounts, so it only costs $17.95 monthly.
On the other hand, the UltraSecure + Credit is worth $23.99 per month and $23.95 monthly when discounted. As its name suggests, you can only use the Credit Monitoring features if you sign up for this plan.
Most users and review sites say that Identity Force provides comprehensive identity theft protection, but you must pay another $2.75 monthly for the ChildWatch. Some users also claim that some features weren’t available on the mobile app and that the app keeps crashing.
2. Norton LifeLock
We found an additional feature on Norton LifeLock, and we think you’d want it for your child’s protection.
|Child Personal Information Monitoring||You need identity theft protection for your kids because it’s nearly impossible for you to monitor thousands of websites. NortonLifeLock solves this problem by scanning file-sharing networks for your child’s personal information.|
|Child Credit Monitoring||It also monitors your children’s SSN to detect credit information linked to them. Once your children have credit files, it’s a warning sign of identity theft.|
|Dark Web Monitoring||Did you know that fraudsters can sell your child’s information on the black market? NortonLifeLock searches the dark web and other internet sources to look for signs of compromised child identity. This is an additional feature that’s missing on Identity Force’s products. It monitors your child’s information, such as SSN, name, birthdate, and insurance ID number.|
|Stolen Funds Reimbursement||NortonLifeLock offers reimbursement of up to $25,000 per child on Family plans.|
|Restoration||Like what Identity Force provides, you can also employ the services of lawyers and experts to help resolve your case when you sign up for NortonLifeLock.|
|Alerts||You can access NortonLifeLock on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.|
|Lifelock Junior||NortonLifeLock collects more fees for its add-on, LifeLock Junior. You must pay $5.99 monthly for the child protection features we mentioned.|
The company’s Standard plan costs $8.99 per month; the Advantage requires $17.99 monthly, and the Ultimate Plus costs $23.99 per month.
Their most significant difference involves the Stolen Funds Reimbursement, but it won’t actually affect your child because it refers to the reimbursement you’ll receive. It can be up to $1,000,000 if you sign up for the Ultimate Plus.
Most review sites don’t like that the Standard plan only covers $25,000 per member and the Advantage only reimburses up to $100,000 in stolen funds. According to them, NortonLifeLock has higher-priced products, up to $23.99 per month plus $5.99 for the LifeLock Junior.
Despite these criticisms, they like the identity, credit, and dark web monitoring features.
3. Identity Guard
Identity Guard offers the lowest base price among the three and with valuable features.
|Child SSN Monitoring||It monitors your child’s SSN to prevent scammers from opening accounts under your child’s name and ruining your kid’s credit report.|
|Child Dark Web Alerts||Identity Guard also monitors your child’s personal information on black market websites and underground forums. CNBC reported that hackers could sell stolen personal details for $1,000. They may use your child’s information to create fake IDs, and Identity Guard will help you stop them.|
|Alerts||You can access Identity Guard on Android and iOS devices.|
Identity Guard’s Family plans start at $12.50 monthly, but you might have noticed that it doesn’t contain reimbursement for your children. In fact, children on the family plan can only access the monitoring features.
Overall, we think you’ll get your money’s worth at Identity Force when you want insurance of up to $1 million. But we recommend NortonLifeLock if you need dark web monitoring and stolen funds reimbursement. You may also choose Identity Guard if your priority is to monitor your child’s information.
What should an ID theft protection service include?
Based on the features we highlighted, here’s a list of what you need in an identity theft protection service.
- SSN & Identity Monitoring
- Black Market Surveillance
- Identity Theft Insurance
- Alerts and Cross-Platform Availability
We discovered that SSN Monitoring is the most important factor that parents should look for in an ID theft protection service. Once scammers know your kid’s SSN, they can open credit accounts and obtain other information.
Credit monitoring is also helpful, but under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you’re entitled to one credit report from Equifax, Experian, and Transunion per year. So this feature doesn’t make that much of a difference.
Why do identity thieves target children?
Most people are shocked that scammers steal children’s personal information, but they’re actually the perfect target for ID theft.
Since children have no credit scores or credit history yet, fraudsters can start with a clean slate. They can apply for several loans and get many credit cards. As a result, they can milk thousands of dollars using children’s personal details.
Also, children won’t learn about the incident until they become adults and need to apply for student financial assistance, buy properties, or apply for a job.
Identity theft can have far-reaching effects on children's lives, so it’s crucial to protect their information.
How to prevent children from becoming victims of identity theft?
Aside from signing up for identity theft protection services, here are other ways to protect your child from scammers:
- Don’t immediately give your child’s SSN, even to schools’ administrators. Ask them first why they need it and if it’s alright to just use the last four digits of your child’s SSN.
- You might ask, “Do I need to freeze my child's credit?” The answer’s yes because it stops creditors from accessing your child’s credit file. As a result, they won’t approve applications under your kid’s name.
- Keep your child’s documents, such as medical bills or Social Security card, in a safe place.
- Refrain from sharing your child’s information on social media and teach them about safe online behaviors.
- Limit their social media use because they might talk to strangers and provide sensitive data.
Secure your kid’s future
Identity theft can affect anyone, including your children. Fortunately, ID theft protection services can help you avoid it: Identity Force, NortonLifeLock, and Identity Guard.
Make sure to look for monitoring services, insurance and reimbursement, real-time alerts, and cross-platform availability.