If your personal information was leaked in a data breach or you’ve been a victim of fraud, ID theft protection can shield you from the negative consequences. IdentityForce is one of several such services, so I tested it out for myself to see how it stacks up against the competition.
For this IdentityForce review, I wanted to find out the following:
- Is IdentityForce worth the price?
- How does IdentityForce protect me?
- Is IdentityForce easy to set up and use?
- Does IdentityForce have good customer support?
- What does the membership insurance cover?
IdentityForce isn’t at the top of the list of the most well-known identity theft protection agencies, but it certainly has the chops to compete when it comes to both feature and protection. The company has been around for over three decades, though not exactly in its current form, and it seems to have gained some real insight of what customers want during that time.
DEAL ALERT: IdentityForce is offering a free trial here. This also includes a discount off the monthly price if you decide to continue.
How much does IdentityForce cost? Which plan should you get?
- UltraSecure costs $17.95 per month or $179.50 per year
- UltraSecure+Credit costs $23.95 per month or $239.50 per year.
Those prices are on the higher end when compared to rival services that often charge around $10 per month at the base tier. UltraSecure+Credit, as the name implies, includes credit reports from the three national credit bureaus. On their own, those reports individually cost around $10 or $12, though you can get one per year from each major bureau for free. IdentityForce monitors your credit daily, tracks your score monthly, and comes with a credit score simulator.
Other than the credit information, the two tiers are identical. You get all the typical protections:
- IdentityForce will monitor the black market for your personal information to see if it’s being bought or sold or traded anywhere.
- Activity alerts let you know when someone is making fraudulent purchases with your credit and bank cards, and you can set alerts whenever a charge, withdrawal, or transfer exceeds a certain amount.
- In case of identity theft, restoration experts will assist you with paperwork and other bureaucracy to cancel and replace cards.
- You get $1 million of insurance to compensate for any damages as a result of identity theft, which is par for the course.
Since the last time I reviewed IdentityForce, the company has added family and business plans. The prices for these are not listed, however, so you must inquire for a quote.
When I tried to sign up, the online form rejected my payment cards and would not go through. I had to sign up over the phone, and the representative informed me the website encounters that issue during « and influx of orders ».
IdentityForce insurance: what’s covered?
IdenityForce’s $1 million insurance plan covers some out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages if your ID is stolen. You’ll be reimbursed for costs associated with restoring your identity, such as ordering credit reports, medical records, application filing fees, making long-distance phone calls, and postage. It also includes:
- $1,500 per week in lost wages, up to five weeks
- $1,000 for a legal consultation
- $2,000 in travel expenses
- $2,000 elder and child care expenses
- $1,000 in accountant costs
Notably absent from this list is money that’s actually stolen from you. If a criminal manages to actually steal money from you, those damages are not covered by IdentityForce’s insurance policy. It’s worth mentioning that some rivals do offer stolen funds reimbursement.
There’s no deductible to file a claim.
Monitoring, alerts, and reports
As with any ID theft protection service, I can keep track of a lot of the info IdentityForce monitors on my own, such as unauthorized transactions. But compiling it all into one place is convenient, and there are a few things I couldn’t do on my own, such as black market monitoring.
What IdentityForce does very well is monitor a wide variety of information without overlooking anything:
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license number
- Medical benefits and accounts
- Payday loans
- Court records
- Sex offender records
- Address changes
- Phone numbers
- Credit cards
- Bank accounts
- Social media accounts
- Credit score
- Passport number
- Email address
I can bind both my bank and credit cards to the service as well as the online accounts associated with those cards. For instance, I input my credit card number so it can be monitored, but I also linked my online Chase account. This seems a bit redundant, but it essentially puts all of those notifications I would normally get from Chase in one place with all my other accounts.
Note that I did have to allow Chrome to run « unsafe scripts » in order to add accounts for transaction monitoring. After giving the website permission to run those scripts, Chrome flagged the site’s connection as unsafe. IdentityForce loads third-party login forms for bank and credit card accounts into its dashboard, which might be causing a security vulnerability. It’s disconcerting, to say the least, though Microsoft Edge did not flag the same issue.
Another downside is that it only recognizes well-known banks, so the small credit union I bank with couldn’t be linked. I was still able to input the account and routing numbers in so it can be monitored for abuse, however.
Alerts are sent via email and I can optionally set up SMS alerts. An archive of all those alerts also appear under the associated tab on the website.
The website also has a rolling blog of recent data breaches that may or may not have put your data at risk.
When we last reviewed IdentityForce, the Delete Now Report scanned for personal details on public websites and allowed you to delete or opt out of sharing that information. It appears that feature is no longer available as of this review.
Social media monitoring
IdentityForce can monitor Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube for « inappropriate activity and posts that could be perceived as violent, are using profanity, or could be categorized as cyber bullying or discriminatory. » I don’t find this particularly useful but it could come in handy if you have kids whom you want to monitor on social media.
IdentityForce PC Protection tools
Each account comes with free Identity Theft Protection Software made by SentryBay, an antivirus software developer. Available only for Windows, it prevents you from opening phishing pages online, stops malware from taking screenshots, and prevents keylogging–a type of virus that records whatever you type and sends it to the hacker. It is not a full-antivirus program and only tackles these three threats, so don’t toss out your existing antivirus. It is meant to be a supplement, not a replacement.
Setup and Interface
IdentityForce has the cleanest, most intuitively designed interfaces of any identity theft protection service we’ve reviewed yet. I started out by entering ID numbers like my SSN, driver’s license, and passport. I then moved on to bank accounts, credit cards, social media, and more.
Setup is a painless process but obviously requires having a lot of information on hand, like routing numbers and phone numbers. You can always enter this information later.
I strongly encourage anyone using IdentityForce to set up two-factor authentication (2FA). This requires me to enter a PIN number sent to either your phone or email address when logging in from a new device. It can be a pain, but it goes a long way in protecting my account if a hacker manages to steal my password.
IdentityForce mobile app
An IdentityForce mobile app is available for Android and iOS. This will allows you to monitor alerts, transactions, and credit score on the go. I can’t add or change information through the app, though. Instead, I have to set up everything on the website.
Support comes in the form of phone and email. If you have general questions about the product, you must call on weekdays during work hours. For members, ID restoration experts are on hand 24/7.
I encountered some issues signing up and contacted customer service by email to sort it out. They directed me to phone support, which was able to resolve my issue without any hiccups. Due to the sensitive nature of ID theft protection, most customer service requests will probably have to be dealt with over the phone, because email is not secure enough.
The website also includes FAQS, a glossary of terms, and general tips and recommend tools to protect yourself. Several calculators are also available for loan comparison, credit card comparison, auto leasing versus buying, mortgage consolidation, and more. These are handy but not really part of the core protection offered.
The service is spam free with no ads or upsells. I received more alerts from IdentityForce than any other service tested so far, but they never seemed to be fear-mongering or otherwise inappropriate.
IdentityForce is a bit on the expensive side, but it offers very comprehensive protection with a well-designed interface. It doesn’t leave customers wanting by hiding value-added perks on top shelf premium tiers, with the exception of credit reports. On the downside, the insurance policy doesn’t compensate stolen funds, and I encountered a couple issues with the website and dashboard.
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