Identity theft can ruin your financial future, so it’s important to protect your information. One way to do it is by purchasing a reliable ID theft protection product.
We conducted in-depth research about ID Watchdog to give you helpful insights. We looked at the official ID Watchdog site, watched YouTube tutorials for tips, and read dozens of reviews from independent sites like TrustPilot, Reddit, and BBB. We also compared it with other products.
Keep reading to know the top consideration for choosing ID Watchdog. Don’t miss out on crucial details and get disappointed when ID Watchdog doesn't meet your expectations.
In this article
- ID Watchdog offers up to $1 million identity theft insurance which can help you recover lost funds and even retirement savings.
- You can conveniently enable and disable access to your credit reports through the two-bureau credit lock.
- The company has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, so you can get real-time alerts about your personal, social media, and financial accounts.
- ID Watchdog is more expensive than competitors, and most key features are only available for the Premium plan.
- The platform has limited digital security tools, which you can find on other ID theft protection services for a lower price.
- ID Watchdog is for individuals who want comprehensive identity theft protection features and don’t mind paying almost $20 monthly.
What is ID Watchdog?
ID Watchdog from Equifax provides identity theft protection services to individuals and businesses. It defends you against identity fraud through its features, such as identity monitoring, credit lock, and other services, which we’ll discuss later.
It was founded in 2005, but it was only in August 2017 that Equifax acquired ID Watchdog.
If you’re asking, “Is ID Watchdog legitimate?” Yes, Equifax, one of the major credit bureaus, owns it. Also, Equifax has been around for more than a century and has established its reputation in the industry.
We also discovered that ID Watchdog won the 2022 Identity Protection Service Provider Award from Javelin, a trusted source for financial insights for 20 years.
ID Watchdog features
The company offers several features through its Select and Premium plans.
1. SSN & Identity Monitoring
ID Watchdog monitors your Social Security Number (SSN) and other personal information, such as email address and driver’s license.
With this feature, you can be on the lookout for scammers who will use your personal details to apply for loans, get your benefits, and receive medical care.
Under the Fictitious Identity Monitoring, ID Watchdog provides up to a 30-year look back of verified and unverified records associated with your identity. It also searches public records and other databases for new names or addresses associated with your identity.
2. Credit Monitoring
It also monitors your credit report from the three credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. You can spot fraudulent accounts opened under your name when you regularly review your credit file.
But you can have this feature even though you won’t subscribe to an ID theft protection service. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) authorizes you to get one free credit report from each reporting agency per year.
So you can only take advantage of this feature if you want to check your credit report more than once a year.
3. Credit Lock
We consider credit lock as the top factor for choosing ID Watchdog.
You can lock or unlock access to your Equifax and Transunion credit reports. When you lock your credit file, creditors and lenders can’t access your credit file. As a result, identity thieves can’t open new accounts under your name.
It’s more convenient than credit freeze because you can disable access to your file through your ID watchdog account. There’s no need to call Equifax and Transunion.
But you must contact Experian when you want to lock your credit report because it’s not part of ID Watchdog’s plan.
4. Financial Account Monitoring
Aside from credit reports, ID Watchdog also checks your credit cards, checking, savings, and investment accounts. Often, you might overlook your bank statements and fail to see suspicious transactions.
Identity thieves’ tactics include purchasing inexpensive items before taking over your financial accounts. So if you couldn’t inform your bank about it, the scammers will continue to use your cards.
With this feature, ID Watchdog does the work for you. It monitors your balances and transactions to recognize early signs of fraudulent activities.
5. Dark Web Monitoring
ID Watchdog scans illegal websites, chat rooms, and forums known for trafficking personal and financial information. It monitors your SSN, email address, credit cards, bank accounts, and driver’s license.
Since accessing the dark web is risky, you need an ID theft protection service that will search the darknet for you. The dark web is also hidden from a regular internet user, so it’s helpful that ID Watchdog offers this feature.
It helps prevent criminals from using your information further. You can also quickly alert your banks and credit unions once ID Watchdog informs you about your compromised identity.
6. Payday Loan Monitoring
Under its Subprime Loan Monitoring, the company monitors your identity for financial activities, including payday loans. However, we discovered that the monitored network doesn’t cover all businesses or transactions. It means there are limitations to this feature.
Still, it’s a great way to protect your information because most identity theft victims only learn about the fraud after a collection agency sends them a letter.
7. Identity Theft Insurance
ID Watchdog offers identity theft insurance of up to $1 million. It includes stolen fund reimbursement for unrecoverable, fraudulent electronic transfers from checking, savings, and money market accounts, which is a hybrid of the two.
You can also reimburse for out-of-pocket expenses you spend to recover your identity. But the website doesn’t specify reimbursement for legal fees.
You can even protect your retirement and health savings account 401k/HSA Stolen Funds Reimbursement. ID Watchdog offers up to $1 million in reimbursement.
Also, take note that it’s the American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida that administers the insurance. The said company sets out the terms, conditions, and exclusions.
ID Watchdog employs certified, in-house resolution specialists for your identity theft case. Often, victims don’t know the steps, so it’s crucial to have experts help you in recovering from ID theft. They can assist you in completing forms and making calls.
You can set your preferences to receive alerts via email, text, phone call, or push notification. The company notifies you when they detect suspicious use of your personal and financial information.
The ID Watchdog app is available for both iOS and Android phones. You can also access your account on its official website.
11. Social Media Monitoring
You can also link and monitor your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts so that ID Watchdog can notify you of potential cyberbullying or reputation-damaging information.
ID Watchdog also alerts you of potential account takeovers. It helps you to recover your social media accounts quickly.
12. Lost Wallet & Vault Assistance
The company will also assist you with canceling and replacing credit and debit cards and government-issued identification if someone ever stole your wallet or lost its contents.
Now that you know ID Watchdog's features, let’s see how much you need to pay for them.
How much does ID Watchdog cost?
We’ll compare Select and Premium plans, then the Individual and Family plan to help you decide which one is for you.
Select vs. Premium
|Individual||$14.95 per month||$21.95 per month|
|Family||$23.95 per month||$34.95 per month|
The Premium plan costs more and includes all the features we mentioned earlier. On the other hand, the Select plan is cheaper, but you’ll miss out on several services, such as:
- Credit Report Lock
- Financial Accounts Monitoring
- Social Account Monitoring
The Select plan also lacks 401k/HSA Stolen Funds Reimbursement, which is up to $1 million for the Premium plan.
Individual vs. Family
The Family plan allows you to add a second adult and up to four children. The adults have their personalized accounts to monitor credit reports. Minors have access to the following features:
- Personal VPN & Safe Browsing
- Subprime Loan Monitoring
- Dark Web Monitoring
- Equifax Child Credit Monitoring
- Social Account Monitoring
- Social Account Takeover Alerts
You can also lock your child’s credit report and prevent scammers from getting loans using your kids’ identities.
But take note that only the Premium plan offers all features. You can refer to the previous section to know the unavailable services for the Select plan.
ID Watchdog user experience
We read reviews from people who subscribed to ID Watchdog, and here’s what they have to say.
First, you must visit the website and access the ID watchdog login page in the upper right corner of your screen. Don’t download the app immediately because it requires a username and password, which you must create on the website.
ID Watchdog also allows you to review your information in detail, so if you wish to check your credit report or financial statements, you might need to set aside some time to review them. It means you’re getting your money’s worth because the platform will guide you through each step.
Alternatives to ID Watchdog
So, what’s the best identity theft protection for you? Let’s check other products, so you have options aside from ID Watchdog.
Aura‘s basic plan offers the same features as ID Watchdog's premium plan at a cheaper price.
At only $15 a month, you can get 3-bureau credit monitoring, Credit Locking, Financial Account Monitoring and Digital Security Tools compared to $21.95 with ID Watchdog.
Along with their $1 Million identity theft insurance, this definitely makes it a more affordable alternative to ID Watchdog.
If you only want identity monitoring, the Zander Essential plan includes some of the key features you need —identity monitoring, identity theft insurance, and restoration.
If you want a simpler plan and don't need credit monitoring and digital security tools, Zander is a good option for you at for $6.75 per month.
ID Watchdog offers reliable identity protection features for a higher price than most competitors. It can monitor your personal information, track your financial accounts, alert you if someone applies for a loan under your name, and help recover your identity.
If you don’t mind paying more than $21 for these services, you can try ID Watchdog.