In our ID Watchdog review for 2020, we see a much less comprehensive service compared to others, but it is an effective and more budget-friendly option for folks who want some peace-of mind. ID Watchdog is notable not just for its price, but because it is one of the most popular ID theft protection services offered by organizations and companies as an employee benefit.
The best identity theft protection services set themselves apart by being effective tools against fraud and data breaches. While they can’t prevent them from happening, they can provide two types of services: the first, covered by LifeLock, they can provide an extra layer of preventative measures by increasing security on your devices like your laptop and your internet connection with a VPN. The second is having systems that consistently and thoroughly scan the internet and the Dark Web for your information. Some of these services are quite pricey, but other options, like ID Watchdog, are more affordable.
ID Watchdog review: Platform
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 10 dependants). Plans start at $14.95 a month ($164 per year), which is one of the lower prices we’ve seen for an identity theft protection service. For a Platinum Family plan, the cost is $34.95 per month or $383 per year - which also happens to be one of the most expensive plans we’ve seen to date.
Signing up takes just a couple of minutes, and you can immediately benefit from signing up for an identity theft protection service, such as checking your credit score or seeing your credit report.
After signing up for ID Watchdog’s Platinum Family plan, we found the dashboard to be well-organized. 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 That being said, the website isn’t particularly attractive, and looks rather outdated.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.
ID Watchdog review: Product
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.
Because of its low cost, ID Watchdog is not the most comprehensive option on the market. For more complete protection, we encourage those looking to better protect their identity to opt for another service. It does not include ways to protect your devices like Norton 360 with LifeLock does. It also doesn’t have resources in built-in features and calculators like IdenityForce 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 IS 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 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.
Plan provider: ID Watchdog
Credit monitoring? Yes
Bank account monitoring? Yes
Dispute assistance? Yes
ID Watchdog review: Tools
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 IdentityForce UltraSecure + Credit, but you won’t find many tools, simulators, or resources to help you better understand your dashboard and alerts.
Should you choose ID Watchdog?
While ID Watchdog isn’t the most elaborate identity theft service and seems rather basic and rudimentary, it’s a fine choice for the price. One of the most affordable of all the ID theft services, 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.