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ID Watchdog Review [2023]

ID Watchdog dashboard view

Identity theft can happen to anyone. In 2021 alone, over 1.4 million Americans had their personal information stolen and used fraudulently, according to the Federal Trade Commission. With data breaches becoming more common, protecting your identity online is crucial.

Services like ID Watchdog aim to safeguard your personal data and alert you to any suspicious activity. But are these services worth it?

In this in-depth review, we’ll take a close look at ID Watchdog to see if it provides robust protection against growing identity theft threats. As online privacy experts, we’ll evaluate if ID Watchdog’s features are worth the cost for individuals and families.

What Does ID Watchdog Offer?

ID Watchdog is an identity theft protection service from Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus. It monitors your personal information across the internet, alerting you to potential identity theft.

Two plan options are available:

  • Select: Monitors credit through Equifax, scans the dark web, includes $1 million identity theft insurance
  • Premium: Monitors all three credit bureaus, daily credit score updates, adds social media monitoring, more features

Both plans provide identity restoration support if your ID is stolen.

But how does ID Watchdog actually protect you? Here are some key ways it safeguards your data:

  • Credit freezes/locks: Restricts access to your credit reports to prevent thieves opening new accounts.
  • Dark web monitoring: Scans black market sites for your info like SSN, passwords, and bank details.
  • Suspicious activity alerts: Notifies you if your info shows up in suspicious places.
  • Social media monitoring: Watches for imposter accounts using your name and image.
  • SSN tracking: Flags anyone fraudulently using your SSN for jobs, loans, or other purposes.
  • Credit scores/reports: Provides daily credit score updates and on-demand credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

How ID Watchdog Stacks Up

ID Watchdog offers fairly robust protection compared to competitors like LifeLock or IdentityForce:

Feature ID Watchdog LifeLock IdentityForce
Credit Monitoring All 3 bureaus All 3 bureaus All 3 bureaus
Alerts for High-Risk Transactions
Dark Web Monitoring
Credit Reports and Scores Daily scores + on-demand reports Reports only Reports only
Insurance Coverage $1 million Up to $1 million Up to $1 million
Identity Restoration

ID Watchdog holds its own with around $1 million in identity theft insurance and key features like dark web scans, high-risk transaction alerts, and daily credit score updates.

But how does this actually protect you day-to-day? Let’s look at some examples.

How ID Watchdog Caught Identity Theft

ID Watchdog uses sophisticated tracking technology to catch real threats. Here are two examples where it detected fraud early:

  • Fake accounts: ID Watchdog alerted a user that someone opened cable and electricity accounts using his SSN and address. He was able to close the fraudulent accounts before any services were used.
  • Suspicious loan activity: A user got an alert that her SSN was used to take out multiple payday loans. ID Watchdog helped her file police reports and notify creditors to stop the activity.

In both cases, ID Watchdog’s monitoring features spotted identity theft early before major damage was done. Quick alerts empowered the victims to take control.

But ID Watchdog isn’t foolproof. No service can catch 100% of identity theft. Here are some limitations to be aware of:

  • New account fraud: Alerts may come too late if thieves take fast action like opening credit cards.
  • Previous breaches: Your info from past breaches may already be sold before signing up.
  • Synthetic identity theft: When thieves combine real and fake info to create new identities. Harder to detect.
  • Medical identity theft: Often not monitored and can go undetected for years.

ID Watchdog lessens the chances of ID theft, but constant vigilance is still essential. Make sure to review your credit reports regularly for any unauthorized activity.

ID Watchdog Plan and Pricing Options

ID Watchdog offers both individual and family coverage. Let’s compare the costs:

Plan Monthly Price Yearly Price
Select Individual $14.95 $150
Select Family $26.95 $270
Premium Individual $21.95 $220
Premium Family $33.95 $340

The family plans cover your spouse/partner and up to 4 children under 18. For larger families, you may need multiple subscriptions.

We recommend the Premium plan since it includes monitoring for all three credit bureaus, dark web scans, and social media account monitoring. For under $30/month, it offers robust protection.

However, the Select plan provides solid basic coverage for individuals who want to save money. You still get single bureau credit checks, identity insurance, and dark web scans.

So is ID Watchdog worth the monthly or yearly cost compared to free alternatives? In our opinion, yes. You gain valuable peace of mind knowing your identity is being monitored 24/7.

What Happens if Your Identity is Stolen?

Despite your best efforts, identity theft still happens. If you become a victim while using ID Watchdog, here’s the support you’ll receive:

  • Dedicated restoration specialist: An expert will walk you through each step of the recovery process.
  • $1 million insurance: Covers costs related to restoring your identity and recovering from fraud.
  • Full-service recovery: ID Watchdog disputes fraudulent accounts, contacts creditors, freezes credit, files reports, and monitors your credit during recovery.
  • Lost wallet support: Cancels lost cards and replaces key IDs if your wallet is stolen.

ID Watchdog also provides guidance to help prevent future identity theft. Their remediation services can save countless hours if you deal with identity fraud.

Is ID Watchdog Easy to Use?

Once you get logged in, ID Watchdog is straightforward to use thanks to the well-organized online dashboard. Here are some highlights:

  • Simple layout: Key sections for credit reports, credit locks, alerts, and social media are easy to navigate.
  • Customizable alerts: Choose to get email, text, or in-app notifications for different events like suspicious activity.
  • Available on mobile: ID Watchdog apps for Android and iOS make it easy to monitor your identity on the go.
  • Dark web scans: See any compromised accounts detected on black market sites that need new passwords.
ID Watchdog dashboard view

ID Watchdog‘s dashboard provides an organized view of your protection status.

However, be aware that ID Watchdog only supports Google Chrome browsers currently. Safari, Firefox, and others won’t work. This surprise compatibility issue caused headaches when we first signed up.

Reliable Customer Service

ID Watchdog’s customer service team is extremely patient and helpful. When we encountered issues getting logged in initially, the phone support reps stayed on the line providing step-by-step troubleshooting until everything was working properly.

Phone is the only support option offered by ID Watchdog. But during our experience, we found the team fast to answer questions and knowledgeable about the service’s features. Don’t expect live chat or email support though.

Is Your Data Safe?

When it comes to data security, ID Watchdog’s privacy policy raises some concerns. One section states that data won’t be shared for marketing purposes. But later, it mentions that Equifax (ID Watchdog’s parent company) reserves the right to share information as outlined in their own privacy policy.

Equifax’s policy says data may be shared with external parties for marketing purposes in many cases. This conflicting information makes it unclear how your personal data is utilized by ID Watchdog and their parent Equifax.

We reached out to ID Watchdog’s privacy team for clarification but received no response. The lack of transparency is worrying for a service handling your sensitive personal information.

Who Should Use ID Watchdog?

ID Watchdog can be a smart choice for:

  • Individuals: The single plans provide solid protection for an affordable monthly rate.
  • Smaller families: Covers 1-2 adults and up to 4 kids with family plans.
  • Convenience seekers: The built-in VPN, antivirus, and password manager provide all-in-one protection.

However, ID Watchdog may not be ideal for:

  • Budget shoppers: More affordable competitors like IdentityForce are available.
  • Large families: Family plans max out at 2 adults and 4 kids.
  • Basic users: Those wanting only simple credit reports/scores can find cheaper options.

So weigh your specific needs, but ID Watchdog hits a nice sweet spot for individuals and smaller households.

Bottom Line: Is ID Watchdog Worth It?

Despite some concerns around transparency and data handling, ID Watchdog delivers valuable identity protection capabilities for individual users and smaller families. The hassle-free dashboard and useful combination of credit/identity monitoring, insurance, and restoration services provide peace of mind.

Just be prepared to rely on phone support and use Google Chrome. And given the confusing privacy policy, it may make sense to utilize ID Watchdog’s active monitoring features without providing more of your data than absolutely necessary inside the dashboard.

If you prioritize robust protection and convenience, ID Watchdog is a strong choice compared to LifeLock and competitors. But there are cheaper options available if you just want basic credit reports and scores.

Overall, ID Watchdog is reasonably priced for the protection it provides. Just know the limitations and shop around to find the best identity theft solution tailored for your needs and budget.


Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.