ID Watchdog is up for review as it's made it onto our list of the best identity theft protection services despite be far cheaper than the competition on that list. This budget-friendly options gets you identity theft protection peace of mind without adding in the worry of a sizeable outgoing. Often thrown in by companies as an employee benefit, this is a widely used a popular service.
While no service can totally prevent identity theft, decent services will help you negate the risk and alert you to any breach. It does this by consistently and thoroughly scanning the internet and the Dark Web for your information. Should your data be used illegally, you'll know about it so you can act as soon as possible to prevent further fallout.
All our reviews of identity theft protection apps and services examine features, pricing, alternative options, and what you actually get with each product. We do not go hands-on with these services for our reviews because it is almost impossible to accurately simulate and test these services. In order to properly test ID Theft apps we would need to purposefully hack accounts to assess the level of protection, provide personally identifiable information that would compromise our reviewer, and we would need to perform multiple credit checks - all over the course of several months.
ID Watchdog: Plans and pricing
You have the option of choosing one out of two plans: ID Watchdog Plus or ID Watchdog Platinum. You can also opt for a family plan or an individual plan for each of those options (family plans cover up to ten dependants).
Plans start at $14.95 a month or $25.95 for the family option, which is one of the lower prices we’ve seen for an identity theft protection service. For a Platinum plan, the cost is $19.95 for individuals or $34.95 for families.
Signing up takes just a couple of minutes, and you can immediately benefit by checking your credit score or seeing your credit report.
ID Watchdog: How easy is it to use?
The ID Watchdog dashboard is a well-organized and easy to use setup. The most important items are highlighted, and the section headers let you know exactly what kind of information you’re looking at.
That being said, the website isn’t particularly attractive, and looks rather outdated. It doesn’t inspire much confidence in the service, but it’s important to remember that a lot of the work happens behind the scenes, and that as the customer, there isn’t much for you to do on the site itself.
Because of its low cost, ID Watchdog is not the most comprehensive option on the market. It doesn’t have certain built-in features and calculators like IdentityForce UltraSecure+Credit. And it doesn’t monitor other data that could potentially be used, such as your driver’s license or your mother’s maiden name.
However, a standout data point monitored by ID Watchdog is the National Provider ID. Healthcare professionals can monitor their National Provider ID for potentially fraudulent activity.
Should ID Watchdog uncover suspicious activity around your data, you can receive alerts via text message, calls, or through the mobile app - or through a combination of the three. You will always get email alerts (these can’t be turned off). Depending on how you see it, this can be a good or a bad thing. While the alerts may clutter your inbox, they assure that you will, at some point, see them.
ID Watchdog review: Features
ID Watchdog is very bare-bones in terms of what it can offer. You can get the basic of ID monitoring, minus a few data points monitored by other services like Norton Lifelock, but you won’t find many tools, simulators, or resources to help you better understand your dashboard and alerts.
ID Watchdog is owned by Equifax, one of the three credit bureaus used to measure one’s credit health. So, we find it odd that ID Watchdog doesn’t provide more credit information than other identity theft protection services. As part of the more expensive plan, you can obtain a credit report from each credit reporting agency once a year - but you can also get that for free, according to the law.
And with the lower-tier plan, you can’t get credit scores from any of the credit bureaus - again, information you can otherwise get for free anytime through other credit-specific services. If you want more than credit monitoring and want to actually see reports and scores, opt for the more expensive plan.
All ID Watchdog plans have tools to help you monitor and detect threats, receive timely alerts, and opt for support to restore your identity in the event that your identity has been compromised. Such tools include Dark Web Monitoring, customizable alert options, lost wallet assistance and credit freeze assistance. Platinum plans offer a little more for a higher price, such as financial accounts monitoring and multi-bureau credit reporting.
Should you choose ID Watchdog?
While ID Watchdog isn’t the most elaborate identity theft service and seems rather basic and rudimentary, but it’s a fine choice for the price. In fact it's one of the most affordable of all the ID theft services.
For people who feel that they would benefit from an extra level of security between their information and fraudulent activity but don’t want to make a huge investment, ID Watchdog is a good introductory service to help you monitor what’s important.