It’s difficult enough keeping your own information safe from identity theft. Protecting your family, especially your children, is another matter entirely. If you’re looking for the best family identity theft protection, we’ve got all the information you need.
Today, you’ll learn about keeping IDs secure, locking down private data with a VPN, and utilizing the top identity theft protection services to monitor the web and alert you of potential ID issues. The best family identity theft protection is only a few clicks away.
Protecting your identity means more than just signing up for a service, of course. You’ll need to take further measures to keep your entire family safe from harm, especially since you can’t follow them around everywhere they go to make sure they keep their information safe. It’s a good idea to start with a secure browser, run background checks on yourself and each of your family members, and securing their smartphones with strong data encryption. Then, you can check out the best family identity theft protection services mentioned below to ensure your spouse and your kids are safe and secure at all times.
- 1 Identity theft protection for families
- 2 What can cause family identity theft?
- 3 Keep your family safe from identity theft
- 4 Conclusion
Identity theft protection for families
Keeping your identity safe used to be as simple as shredding bank statements and making sure your wallet or purse wasn’t stolen. Now, you have to watch out for sketchy online shopping sites, dangerous cafe Wi-Fi connections, credit card skimmers at retail outlets, and more, much of which is entirely out of your control. Staying safe isn’t easy for one person, let alone an entire family, which is why an easy to use family identity theft protection service is so important.
What the best ID protection services offer
A good protection service offers features that can prevent ID theft, notify you of breaches, and even help you recover from an attack. They should allow easy adding of family members, too, all while remaining easy to use and as affordable as possible.
Advanced monitoring should be your first feature priority. This includes scans of online data along with checking social media sites or even the dark web. Financial reporting is also useful, especially when it includes credit checks and credit card number monitoring. Alerts are your first line of defense against identity fraud, and a good protection service will notify you immediately if something goes wrong.
Below are two of the best family identity theft protection services you can use. Each offers all of the features above, and a lot more, all designed to keep you and your children safe from identity threats and scams.
1. Identity Force
Identity Force is a one-stop solution to ID theft scanning and protection that offers monitoring, alerts, and recovery services all in one. With it, you can guard against damage caused by identity theft, get instant notifications when trouble arises, and even receive personalized assistance in case an identity breach does occur. Best of all, Identity Force backs its service with a $1 million insurance policy, covering you and your assets in the most extreme of circumstances.
Using Identity Force is nice and straightforward. As soon as you sign up you can enter the details you want monitored, then sit back and enjoy the added security. Identity Force actively scans everything from credit card numbers to your name, address, social security number, and more. If information is found where it shouldn’t be, you get a notification along with a plan of action right away.
Family protection plans include ChildWatch, a unique service that lets you add minors to your account for full monitoring and alert protections, all for free. It’s a great way to keep everyone in your family safe, and because Identity Force is one of the best identity theft protection services on the market, you won’t have any trouble getting started. For more information, check out our complete Identity Force review.
2. Identity Guard
Identity Guard offers comprehensive identity theft protection that covers personal and financial information for individuals as well as the entire family. It comes with full monitoring and alerts that create a powerful early warning system fueled by artificial intelligence, all designed to keep a close watch on everyone in your family. Identity Guard scours billions of data points for vulnerabilities, everything from credit card records to social media and the dark web, creating an impenetrable radar that catches even the smallest breaches and notifies you immediately.
The Identity Guard service offers full scanning, monitoring, and alerts for all of its users, allowing you to discover and react to threats as quickly as possible. All of this is backed by IBM’s Watson technology, utilizing cutting edge artificial intelligence to keep your identity safe. Even if all of these precautions fail, Identity Guard offers a $1 million insurance policy to ensure you’re never left out in the cold after an attack.
Identity Guard offers three family plans to cover yourself, your spouse, and your children. It’s a powerful and easy to use service that offers some of the most thorough ID scanning around. It’s one of the most affordable services, as well, making it a great entry point to identity theft protection for your whole family.
TrustedID is a full-featured identity protection service that operates as a child service through the credit monitoring bureau Equifax. This gives it unique access to credit card and financial monitoring details, creating surprisingly secure protections that give you full control over what happens to your data online. With TrustedID you can monitor your credit, scan for bank account and Social Security numbers, set up fraud alerts, reduce your junk mail, and more, all from a single unified dashboard!
TrustedID works to monitor your sensitive data and provide instant alerts in case a breach is spotted. If you do suffer from an identity attack, you’ll have TrustedID’s full team to help you recover, including a $1 million insurance policy to help with lost wages and the like. All of this can be easily transfererd to your family members, as well, giving you the full power of a safe and reliable identity protection service to keep your family secure.
LifeLock is a secure and affordable identity theft protection service that operates as a subsidiary of Symantec, the creators of the Norton products as well as a handful of other security software suites. LifeLock helps keep a watch on you and your family’s identity by monitoring credit and non-financial data to make sure you stay safe in case of a breach. Over half of consumers in the U.S. have personal data floating around on the web. LifeLock helps keep tabs on that so you can react fast to security threats.
As with most identity protection services, LifeLock features full alerts, monitoring, and threat discovery features that give you the ability to watch and respond to potential breaches in an instant. The service is also one of the most affordable, with plans starting at just $10 per month for individuals. Family members must be added separately, unfortunately, but the extra work is worth it for the peace of mind you’ll discover.
What can cause family identity theft?
Believe it or not, you don’t have to have a credit card to suffer from identity theft. Children are increasingly targeted by criminals as potential sources for ID fraud. All that’s needed is their Social Security number and a name, the rest is a simple matter of forging some paperwork. Because children lack any kind of financial history, most parents never bother keeping their identity secure. Below are just a few of the more common causes of identity theft that can affect adults and children alike.
Massive company-wide hacks, leaks, and data breaches are growing more and more common. Cyber criminals can target databases held by large companies to gain access to millions of identities at once. In the last few years alone, Verizon, Equifax, Bell Canada, Handbrake, Uber, and Yahoo have suffered breaches, resulting in over 1 billion records stolen. If you or anyone in your family have an account or have ever shared data with these companies, your identity details may be available to criminals.
School fraud and theft
Your childrens’ personally identifiable information is constantly at risk for being stolen or copied. This often happens at schools, while parents aren’t there to protect their family from harm. If another adult has access to your child’s private data, it’s easy for them to share it with other sources.
Credit card fraud
Identity theft has reached an all-time high, and it continues to grow more and more common as the years go by. The majority of these cases are directly related to credit card fraud, as what do thieves want more than money? Credit card skimmers and online number scanners are at the core of these scams, copying numbers the moment someone swipes their card. Thieves can also open credit cards in someone else’s name, including your children, even if they never had a financial background before.
Stolen or misplaced devices
Have you ever left your phone on the train or left your laptop at a cafe? Thieves see unguarded devices as a gold mind of information. Children are especially prone to this, as they rarely think about protecting technology when left to their own devices. All it takes is one lost iPhone or one misplaced tablet and the identities of your entire family are compromised.
Keep your family safe from identity theft
Having a service like Identity Force or Identity Guard on your side is an incredible way to check for deep breaches and hidden identity attacks on you and your family. A big part of stopping ID theft is preventing it from occurring in the first place, however, which is where the tips below come into play.
Use an identity theft monitoring service
You can’t keep tabs on every piece of data you and your family generates across the web. All it takes is one social media account and your kid’s private information is out there unprotected. Using reliable services like Identity Force and Identity Guard can help you have eyes across the entire Internet to keep your family safe. They utilize powerful technology that watches for unusual activity surrounding personal details. As soon as something suspicious arises, they send you a notification and you can spring into action.
Run VPNs on all devices
Virtual private networks are one of the easiest and most affordable ways to add encryption to your devices, which is an effective foundational aspect of online privacy. With a secure VPN in place, every piece of data that leaves your or your child’s device will be wrapped in a layer of impenetrable code. Even if a thief did scoop up Social Security numbers or credit card details, they would be unable to read it, as only the VPN itself can decrypt this code.
VPNs do more than keep data safe, they also allow you to stay anonymous thanks to non-local virtual IP addresses, a feature that makes it possible to stream videos from around the world, break through censorship barriers, and more. Make sure you use a reputable service, as free VPNs can be dangerous, and be sure to set up VPNs on all of your family’s Internet-enabled devices, even smartphones and Fire TV.
Bank statements, credit card account information, and any piece of paper that can be linked to your Social Security number or identity should be shredded as soon as they’re not needed. Don’t just drop them in the recycling bin, cut them into pieces or run them through a paper shredding machine. Do this for everyone in your family, including your children.
Really, your personal information can only stay safe if you keep it to yourself. Never enter your details into a website you don’t trust 100%. Check that the URL is correct, and make sure the HTTPS lock icon is green in your browser window before typing in your details. Avoid signing up for services you don’t need, too, as they can be potential sources of data breaches, which can severely compromise your information.
For your family, make sure the kids know that if they want to use a website, they need to let you create the account. It’s far too easy for a child to set up a subscription to certain services, sharing not only their name and address, but your financial details, as well.
Use a secure browser
Browsers are the main contact point for most online data, and not all of them are built with your security as a number one priority. Instead of using Microsoft Edge or Chrome, both of which are built by companies with an active interest in monitoring your data, go with Firefox or Brave. These two browsers provide users with as much identity and data protection as possible, going so far as to prevent phishing scams and making it difficult to enter your information into an insecure site. They also work on multiple platforms, including Mac, PC, Linux, and smartphones. For more ideas and browser suggestions, check out our guide to the most secure browsers.
Along with using a better browser, you should also install secure extensions that watch for threatening scripts, block unwanted ads, and keep your data as safe as possible. Check out our guide on the 8 must-have browser extensions to get started.
Use better passwords
If you use the same password for more than one site, or if any of your passwords too short or involve recognizable phrases such as your pet’s name, you are putting your information at risk. Kids are especially bad at this, as they rarely understand the need for complex and secure codes. Password lists are routinely leaked or stolen from companies and released to the public, meaning your family’s data could be freely available and easy to find.
Make sure you use a unique secure password for each site or service you join, and make sure they follow the rules of being at least eight characters long, featuring a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, and include one or more non-standard symbols. Consider a password management app like LastPass or Bitwarden to do most of the remembering work for you, that way you’re not tempted to make a weak password out of laziness.
The best family identity theft protection services work constantly to protect your online information. They scan for child ID scams, watch credit cards and bank account numbers, monitor social media sites for potential breaches, and keep tabs on the world wide web for suspicious activity relating to your family’s private lives. It takes surprisingly little to suffer from identity theft these days, which is why a good protection service for your family is vital.
Have any experience monitoring your family’s online identity? Share your tips in the comments below!