TrustedID

TrustedID Review: Identity Theft Protection

Identity Theft Protection
 
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Rating:
Bottom Line:
Best value, especially for families; full credit report monitoring; monthly Equifax credit reports and scores; 10% discount & free 14-day trial
Full Review:
4.5 2014-08-19 13:08:00 [Editor's Note: For a limited time, TrustedID is offering NextAdvisor visitors an exclusive and free 14-day trial and 10% discount. There is no coupon code required for this offer but you must click on a link from our site to sign up.]

TrustedID has been providing a solid identity theft protection service for years, with features like three-bureau credit report monitoring, access to all three of your credit reports and scores, monitoring for your personal information in a variety of sources, medical record protection and computer protection. TrustedID's features are now second to none, and in our opinion, it is the best overall value in identity theft protection. It also offers a tremendous value for identity theft protection and credit report monitoring starting at $9.38/month (with annual prepay) using NextAdvisor's exclusive and 14-day free trial and 10 percent discount.


Family and Individual Pricing

Unlike some of the other services we review, TrustedID offers a cost-friendly family plan for only $18/month paid with an annual prepay, or $25.19/month paid with monthly payments. The family plan is a great deal because it protects the identity of an unlimited number of family members living at the same address and costs less than two individual plans. Individual plans cost $9.38/month paid with an annual prepay, or $13.49/month paid with monthly payments.


Signup

Signing up for TrustedID is divided into three steps — choose your protection, enter your personal and billing information, and start protection — that make the process very simple. In the first step, you'll be able to choose between two plans, a family or individual plan, and two payment options, annual prepay (one year upfront) or month-to-month. Once you select your plan, you continue to the personal and billing information. This step is where you give TrustedID the general information it needs to protect your identity. The final step to signing up is entering your bank account, credit card and health insurance information. Once you finish signing up, you are completely protected by TrustedID.


Identity Theft Protection

TrustedID's IDEssentials starts by offering strong identity theft protection features. TrustedID's Internet black market monitoring service monitors your personal information such as social security number, credit cards and bank accounts for any suspicious activity. It begins working as soon as you sign up by taking the social security number you used in the sign-up process and monitoring its use immediately. Adding all your credit/debit card and bank account numbers is quick and easy compared to other identity theft protection services, and you should do this right away. This service monitors the Internet's black market for the use of any of these account numbers and immediately alerts you if it finds any of your numbers are being bought or sold. TrustedID also monitors the Internet and public records for any changes to or misuse of your name, address or social security number. In addition, it "looks back" 36 months to see if this information has been used fraudulently or suspiciously in the past, and will alert you if any information has been used fraudulently.


TrustedID is the only service we've found that also gives you medical record protection. This aspect of the service will help you request your medical benefit history from all your providers so you can make sure no one else has been receiving benefits in your name. TrustedID then monitors your account for any suspicious usage on an ongoing basis.

When you sign up for TrustedID you are given an Identity Threat Score, with additional information about any other steps you may need to take to protect yourself. This score provides a gauge of your individual risk level based on an analysis of the various records and databases that TrustedID monitors. Your score will help TrustedID's protection specialists determine the necessary steps to proactively protect your identity.

In addition, TrustedID helps you send letters to opt out of junk mail in general and credit card and other lending offers in particular. Not only do these clog your mailbox and kill trees, but they are also a prime target for identity thieves to steal, gain your personal information and open a credit card account in your name.


TrustedID also can check your Facebook privacy settings for you with TrustedID's Facebook Privacy Monitor, which is included in both TrustedID's family plan and TrustedID's individual plan. The monitor checks your Facebook privacy settings to see if any of your information is at risk of being stolen. Your risk is measured on a risk scale of low, medium and high. TrustedID monitors your account settings weekly and alerts you if your account is at risk for identity theft. If you have a TrustedID family plan, then only the main account holder will have access to the Facebook Privacy Monitoring, but the service does allow you to switch out which account you want to scan whenever you'd like.


Credit Report Monitoring Information

On top of providing you with superior identity theft protection, TrustedID also provides three-bureau credit report monitoring and monthly updates to your Equifax credit report and score as well as annual updates to your Experian and TransUnion credit reports and scores. You can access all three of your credit reports and scores anytime when you log into your TrustedID membership. All of the credit reports and scores are provided by Equifax Risk Score. This new scoring system uses the range 280 to 850, which is similar to FICO's range of 300 to 850.


While three-bureau credit report monitoring is not included in all identity theft protection services, we think it's a very valuable identity theft protection tool and a last line of defense to detect financial account identity theft when other methods may have failed to prevent it. We also think monitoring all three bureaus is critical as many financial accounts only report to one of the bureaus. Thus, TrustedID is actually one of the better-priced credit report monitoring services out there in addition to being a great value for identity theft protection. Since the service includes reports, scores and monitoring of all three bureaus, it's also one of the most complete. The only thing it lacks is frequent updates to your credit scores and reports as the ones you get at sign-up are only updated annually, and not quarterly or monthly like some of the other identity theft protection services we review. Of course, you'll be able to continue tracking any changes to your credit reports with the credit report monitoring which is an ongoing part of the service, but you won't be sure how exactly how these changes affect your score. We'd also note that if you sign up for the family plan, 3-bureau credit report monitoring and the credit reports are scores are limited to two adults, although the entire family is covered by all the other identity theft protection features.


For those that want to take the additional step of setting fraud alerts on their credit files, TrustedID has developed a simple interface that walks you through the process of setting your own fraud alerts online with Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus. Once your fraud alerts are set, Equifax will notify the other two credit bureaus — Experian and TransUnion — on your behalf and fraud alerts will be set on your credit files at those two bureaus as well. After you set your fraud alerts the first time they will need to be renewed every 90 days and TrustedID sends an email notification that reminds you to reset your fraud alerts before they lapse.


Identity Theft Assistance

TrustedID's ID theft service warranty starts the moment you sign up and covers you for up to $1,000,000 in costs to recover from identity theft. While this is a great benefit, direct monetary losses from identity theft are almost always much less, since you are not legally responsible for paying any fraudulent debt accumulated by a thief. The real cost of identity theft is the loss of ability to get credit for an extended period of time, the time and effort it takes to restore your good name, and many other adverse consequences that can even include mistaken incarceration. Thus, we think the most valuable part of the warranty is the identity theft restoration service that TrustedID gives you as part of the warranty. In the extremely unlikely event that your identity is stolen while you're a TrustedID member, the service will pay for and perform all the tasks necessary to restore your identity, which can be extremely time-consuming, difficult and costly.


Customer Service

We've found TrustedID customer service representatives to be very helpful and easy to reach at any time of the day or week. TrustedID's phone customer services hours are 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT seven days a week. If you'd prefer to live chat with a customer service representative, they are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. Customer service representatives can also be reached via email.


Conclusion

Overall, TrustedID offers a great identity theft protection solution and a comprehensive yet cost-effective option for those serious about preventing identity theft. With strong features like vigilant monitoring for your personal information, three-bureau credit reports and scores, three-bureau credit report monitoring, medical record protection and free computer protection software, it's a terrific choice to protect you and your whole family.

Sign up for TrustedID | Compare to Other Identity Theft Protection


 
Service Details:

Price:Free 14-day trial & 10% discount; $9.38/mo (paid annually)
Fraud Monitoring:Monitors 3-bureau credit report, credit cards, public records, social security number, bank accounts, medical records
ID Theft Insurance/
Guarantee:
$1,000,000 warranty
Reports Delivered:Equifax credit reports & scores monthly; TransUnion, Experian credit reports & scores annually
Computer Security:None

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