11 Best Credit Monitoring Services (Free & Paid Options)

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Todd Jones

Product Manager at Aura

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    Identity theft and fraud protection for your finances, personal info, and devices.

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    How Do You Choose The Best Credit Monitoring Service?

    Credit monitoring is an essential part of your financial health. Credit monitoring services can alert you to changes in your credit score, provide calculators and simulators that show the impact of applying for a new loan, and give you access to your credit history.

    But even more importantly, credit monitoring is one of the only ways to catch the early signs of financial fraud and identity theft.

    If your identity is stolen or your personal data is leaked in a data breach, scammers can take out loans and open new accounts in your name. Credit monitoring can warn you in time to protect your finances — and good credit.

    Unfortunately, not all credit monitoring services are equal — and the differences matter.

    Some services only monitor your credit file at one of the three major bureaus, meaning you could miss signs of fraud. While others only alert you to credit score changes days or weeks after it happens. This means the damage could be irreversible by the time you discover it.

    In this guide, we review the top paid and free credit monitoring services along with what features you should be looking for and whether it’s worth it to pay for credit monitoring in 2023.

    4 Critical Credit Monitoring Features To Look For

    Here are the four categories we looked at when reviewing which credit monitoring services to include on our list:

    1. Credit monitoring and reports. We looked for services that offer three-bureau credit monitoring. These services track your credit report at all three of the main reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
    2. Speed and reliability of fraud alerts. Speed matters when it comes to credit monitoring. We looked for services that publish their fraud alert speed statistics and were able to back them up with third-party tests.
    3. Proactive protection against fraud or identity theft. Modern credit monitoring is usually bundled with identity theft protection services. We looked for tools that protected more than just your credit and helped prevent identity theft and fraud from happening in the first place.
    4. Insurance, support, and recovery options. If fraudsters gain access to your financial information, they can do serious damage. We looked for services that offered 24/7 support, high levels of identity theft insurance, and a proven track record of helping customers resolve issues of fraud.
    🛡 Get award-winning protection. Aura’s award-winning identity theft protection service provides three-bureau credit monitoring, the industry’s fastest fraud alerts, and up to $1 million in identity theft insurance. Try Aura free for 14 days and protect your credit from fraudsters.

    The 11 Best Paid and Free Credit Monitoring Services (2023)

    1. Aura
    2. Identity Guard
    3. IdentityForce
    4. ID Watchdog from Equifax
    5. PrivacyGuard
    6. Experian IdentityWorks
    7. LifeLock
    8. myFICO
    9. Credit Karma
    10. Credit Sesame
    11. CreditWise by Capital One

    Most credit monitoring companies hit the mark on some, but not all of the features we listed above. To help you choose the service that’s best suited to your needs, we’ll compare eight paid credit monitoring services and three free credit score apps.

    1. Aura: Award-winning protection with the fastest fraud alerts

    Aura is an award-winning intelligent safety solution that combines identity theft protection, three-bureau credit monitoring, powerful digital security tools, 24/7 U.S.-based support, and up to $5 million in identity theft insurance (on family plans). Every Aura plan comes with a free 14-day trial to see if it’s right for you.

    While Aura is a relatively new service, it’s already won awards and been rated #1 by Money.com, Security.org, Forbes, and more.

    Aura stands out from other services by offering three-bureau credit monitoring with the fastest and most reliable fraud alerts.

    According to a mystery shopper survey conducted by ath Power Consulting [*]:

    "Aura detected the most credit inquiries and delivered alerts in minutes — up to 250x faster than other credit monitoring services.”

    Credit monitoring and fraud alerts are only a small part of protecting your credit, identity, and finances.

    Here’s how Aura helps protect your credit and other financial accounts:

    Credit score monitoring and reports on all devices

    Aura tracks your credit score and provides monthly and annual reports on your credit accounts at all of the major bureaus.

    Aura lets you view your VantageScore® credit score updates for free every month, on any device.

    Monthly credit score reports help you track your financial health and can also be an early warning system for financial issues or fraud.

    The industry’s fastest fraud alerts with one-click credit lock

    Aura alerts you of suspicious activity on your credit file and allows you to instantly lock your Experian credit file with a single click. A credit lock stops anyone from accessing your credit file. For example, if scammers are trying to open new accounts or take out lines of credit in your name.

    Aura credit monitoring with the industry's fastest fraud alerts
    Aura has the industry's fastest and most reliable fraud alerts. Source: Aura credit monitoring
    ⚡️ Try Aura’s fast fraud alerts and powerful credit monitoring — for free. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to fraudsters and cybercriminals. Try Aura’s award-winning identity theft protection service free for 14 days.
    Financial account monitoring (bank account, investment accounts, etc.)

    Aura can monitor your linked bank, investment, and credit card accounts for suspicious transactions.

    Aura will alert you to over-limit transactions or if anyone is trying to alter your bank account details — such as adding unauthorized account holders or removing your name from an account.

    You’ll also get alerts for risky transactions, such as PayDay loans in your name or suspicious withdrawals from your debit account.

    Award-winning identity theft protection

    Unlike credit-only monitoring services, Aura protects all of your sensitive information. Aura can monitor your Social Security number, passport, driver’s license, name, address, account logins and passwords, home title, and more.

    Aura monitors across the internet, public records, and the Dark Web. If it finds anything, you'll get an alert in near real-time with guidance on what to do.

    Powerful digital security features to help prevent fraud

    While most credit monitoring services only alert you after identity theft, Aura proactively protects your financial data and online bank accounts with powerful antivirus software, a military-grade VPN, secure password manager, and more.

    For example, Aura’s secure password manager can alert you if your logins were leaked in a recent data breach — helping you to secure your online accounts before hackers can access them.

    Aura's secure password manager
    Aura's included password manager can warn you if your account credentials have been compromised. Source: Aura secure password manager
    24/7 Fraud Resolution Specialists and $1 million insurance policy

    No one wants to deal with fraud on their own. Every Aura member gets 24/7 access to a team of White Glove Fraud Resolution Specialists who will walk you through what to do and can even facilitate three-way calls between you and the credit agencies, your bank, or other financial institutions.

    Here’s what a customer on Trustpilot wrote about working with Aura’s support team [*]:

    “[Aura’s] service is over and beyond what I expected. With one phone call, [the Aura representative], called each creditor and checked my credit reports and offered great follow-up advice. If you want peace of mind, you need Aura.”

    If the worst should happen, Aura will also cover up to $1 million in eligible losses due to identity theft. This includes lost wages, stolen funds, lawyer fees, childcare, and more.

    Aura plans and pricing:

    Aura offers simple and transparent pricing. All plans include the same features —the only difference is the number of people you want to protect.

    • Individual Plan: $12 per month (billed annually)
    • Couple Plan (2 members): $22 per month (billed annually)
    • Family Plan (5 adults and unlimited children): $37 per month (billed annually)

    Aura’s Family Plan also includes additional features such as parental controls, Safe Gaming tools to protect against predators and cyberbullies, and child identity monitoring.

    🥇 Special offer: Save 50% on Aura when you sign up today! All annual memberships come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

    2. Identity Guard: Industry veteran for credit monitoring

    Identity Guard has helped protect over 38 million people against identity theft and fraud. Identity Guard and Aura recently joined forces to provide identity theft protection to more Americans.

    Identity Guard provides three-bureau credit monitoring and monthly credit scores using VantageScore 3.0.

    Here’s how Identity Guard compares on the key credit monitoring and protection features:

    • Credit monitoring: Three-bureau credit monitoring is offered on the Total and Ultra plans.
    • Credit lock: You can lock your Experian credit file with the Ultra plan.
    • Financial account monitoring: Identity Guard offers bank account, high risk transaction monitoring, credit and debit card monitoring, and investment account monitoring.
    • Identity theft protection: Identity Guard uses the same powerful identity theft protection tools as Aura to scan the Dark Web, social media, and millions of web pages for your name, SSN, and driver’s license number.  
    • Proactive digital security: They offer a safe browsing feature and a password manager.
    • Customer support: Support is available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. (EST) and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (EST). White Glove Fraud Resolution is only available on Ultra plans.
    • Insurance: Every adult member on an Identity Guard plan is covered for up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.
    What are Identity Guard’s pricing plans?

    Here are Identity Guard’s pricing plans as of April 2023:

    • Value Plan (no credit monitoring): $8.99 per month (individual) and $14.99 (family)
    • Total Plan: $19.99 per month (individual) and $29.99 (family)
    • Ultra Plan: $29.99 per month (individual) and $39.99 (family)

    Identity Guard doesn’t offer a free trial but includes a 60-day money-back guarantee on all annual plans.

    3. IdentityForce: Credit monitoring from TransUnion

    IdentityForce is an identity theft protection and credit monitoring service offered by TransUnion — one of the three major credit bureaus. IdentityForce uses the VantageScore model for credit scores and also provides three-bureau credit monitoring (but only on its most expensive UltraSecure+Credit plan).

    Here’s how IdentityForce compares on the key credit monitoring and protection features:

    • Credit monitoring: Three-bureau credit monitoring is offered in its highest priced credit plan. IdentityForce doesn’t publish any statistics on fraud alert speeds.
    • Credit lock: Not available.
    • Financial account monitoring: IdentityForce offers bank account, PayDay loan, and investment account monitoring.
    • Identity theft protection: IdentityForce offers a few types of identity theft monitoring, including social media and Dark Web monitoring.
    • Proactive digital security: IdentityForce offers PC protection tools that protect against key-logging and phishing sites. It doesn’t include a secure password manager or other features that Aura does.
    • Customer support: IdentityForce advertises 24/7 U.S.-based fraud remediation.
    • Insurance: IdentityForces advertises a $1 million insurance policy to cover stolen funds and compensate you for some legal fees and lost wages. However, they also state that insurance coverage amount varies by membership plan.
    What are IdentityForce’s pricing plans?

    Here are IdentityForce’s pricing plans as of April 2023:

    • UltraSecure (individual): $17.99/month or $179.50 billed annually
    • UltraSecure+Credit (individual): $23.95/month or $239.50 billed annually

    You’ll need to opt for IdentityForce’s most expensive plan option to get credit monitoring, making it one of the pricier options.

    ⛳️ Related: Aura vs. IdentityForce: 2023 Comparison

    4. ID Watchdog from Equifax: Credit monitoring from Equifax

    ID Watchdog is another service run by one of the major credit bureaus — Equifax. ID Watchdog uses the VantageScore model for credit scores, however, your score is only based off of your Equifax credit file (meaning it might not be the same score other lenders use when deciding to give you new credit accounts).

    Here’s how ID WatchDog compares on the key credit monitoring and protection features:

    • Credit monitoring: ID Watchdog only offers three-bureau credit monitoring in its premium plan.
    • Credit lock: You can lock your Equifax credit file with ID Watchdog Select and both your Equifax and TransUnion files with the Premium plan.
    • Financial account monitoring: ID Watchdog offers basic bank account monitoring as well as subprime loan and high-risk transaction monitoring.
    • Identity theft protection: ID Watchdog offers the basic types of identity monitoring, including public records and Dark Web monitoring. You can add your SSN, email addresses, and driver’s license to the watchlist.
    • Proactive digital security: ID Watchdog only offers a few proactive protection features, including VPNs, a password manager, and safe browsing.
    • Customer support: ID Watchdog advertises 24/7 customer care and in-house resolutions specialists.
    • Insurance: You’ll be covered by up to $1 million in identity theft insurance for eligible out-of-pocket expenses and lost funds. The Premium plan also includes up to $1 million for stolen funds and 401k/HSA losses.

    What are ID Watchdog’s pricing plans?

    ID Watchdog offers a Select plan and Premium plan for both individuals and families. The family plan lets you add one additional adult and up to four minors.

    Here are ID Watchdog’s pricing plans as of April 2023:

    • ID Watchdog Select: $14.95/month (individual) or $23/95/month (family)
    • ID Watchdog Premium: $21.95/month (individual) or $34.95/month (family)
    📌 Did you know? Equifax suffered a massive data breach in 2017 and recent agreed to a global settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for up to $425 million to help victims. According to a September 2022 update from the FTC, you can still file a claim for expenses incurred between January 23, 2020, and January 22, 2024 due to the breach [*].

    5. PrivacyGuard: Flexible plans for identity and credit monitoring

    PrivacyGuard allows customers to choose between identity monitoring, credit monitoring, or both — giving you more options if you only want one or the other. Unfortunately, while its credit monitoring features are competitive to other services, it lacks some critical features for identity theft protection, such as 24/7 customer support and a password manager.  

    Here’s how PrivacyGuard compares on the key credit monitoring and protection features:

    • Credit monitoring: PrivacyGuard offers three-bureau credit monitoring as part of their credit protection plan. You also get monthly credit scores (using VantageScore) from all three bureaus.
    • Credit lock: Not available.
    • Financial account monitoring: PrivacyGuard offers bank account monitoring and a financial calculator.
    • Identity theft protection: PrivacyGuard offers SSN, driver’s license, and passport monitoring on the Dark Web and public records.  
    • Proactive digital security: PrivacyGuard only offers safe browser and safe keyboard features for digital protection.
    • Customer support: You’ll receive a dedicated restoration specialist if you do become a victim of identity theft, and they offer a credit hotline that will walk you through each piece of your credit profile.
    • Insurance: PrivacyGuard offers $1 million in identity theft insurance, but they don’t specify what it covers.
    PrivacyGuard plans and pricing

    Here are PrivacyGuard’s pricing plans as of April 2023:

    • Identity Protection: Starts from $9.99/month — only offers basic identity protection.
    • Credit Protection: Starts from $19.99/month — includes monthly three-bureau credit scores.
    • Total Protection: Starts from $24.99/month — offers everything in both plans.

    ⛳️ Related: Is Credit Monitoring Worth It? How To Decide

    6. IdentityWorks: Credit monitoring from Experian

    Experian IdentityWorks homepage

    IdentityWorks is another credit monitoring service run by one of the three major credit bureaus — Experian. It’s also one of the few options in this list that provides you with your FICO credit score (instead of using the VantageScore model).

    Here’s how Experian IdentityWorks compares on the key credit monitoring and protection features:

    • Credit monitoring: Experian IdentityWorks offers three-bureau credit monitoring in their paid plans.
    • Credit lock: You can lock your Experian credit file.
    • Financial account monitoring: You’ll receive financial account takeover alerts.
    • Identity theft protection: Experian IdentityWorks offers SSN monitoring, change of address monitoring, and a few other types of identity monitoring.  
    • Proactive digital security: Experian IdentityWorks only recently added VPNs and safe browsing to their plans. However, they don’t mention antivirus software.
    • Customer support: Experian IdentityWorks only offers customer support during select business hours.
    • Insurance: They offer $1 million in ID theft insurance to cover initial legal consultations, child care, and lost wages.
    Experian IdentityWorks plans and pricing

    Experian IdentityWorks is often included on lists of free credit monitoring services because they offer a free plan. However, their free plan offers very little. You’ll only be able to monitor your Experian credit report and FICO® credit score.

    If you want three-bureau credit monitoring or access to credit locks, you’ll have to pay.

    Here are IdentityWorks’ pricing plans as of April 2023:

    • Basic: Free plan for Experian credit report and FICO score.
    • Premium: Starts at $24.99/month.
    • Family: Starts at $34.99/month (Premium plan for 2 adults).

    ⛳️ Related: LifeLock vs. Experian IdentityWorks vs. Aura: 2023 Showdown

    7. LifeLock: All-in-one solution (with a few flaws)

    LifeLock is one of the most well-known names in identity theft protection thanks to its long history and connection with Norton 360. For credit monitoring and credit score tracking, LifeLock uses the VantageScore model.

    Here’s how LifeLock compares on the key credit monitoring and protection features:

    • Credit monitoring: Three-bureau credit report monitoring is only available on the most expensive Ultimate Plus plan.
    • Credit lock: LifeLock lets you lock your TransUnion credit report. (They call it Identity Lock.)
    • Financial accounts and identity theft monitoring: LifeLock offers many forms of identity theft monitoring, including Dark Web monitoring, public records monitoring, bank account monitoring, and more.  
    • Proactive digital security: If you bundle your LifeLock plan with Norton 360 (for an additional cost), you’ll have access to digital protection features such as a VPN and antivirus software (the bundle will also require a separate mobile app).
    • Customer support: LifeLock advertises U.S.-based fraud remediation and 24/7 customer support.
    • Insurance: LifeLock offers identity theft insurance, although the amount and what it covers varies by plan.

    🔎 Want to learn more? Read our Aura vs. LifeLock 2023 Comparison Guide

    What are LifeLock’s pricing plans?

    The main thing to know about LifeLock’s pricing plans is that they can increase significantly after your first year of service. For example, the Ultimate Plus plan starts at $23.99/month but increases to $34.99/month after the first year — a 45% cost increase in its monthly fee.

    Here are LifeLock with Norton 360’s pricing plans as of April 2023:

    • Select: Starts at $9.99/month but renews at $14.99/month – only includes one-bureau credit monitoring
    • Advantage: Starts at $19.99/month but renews at $24.99/month – only includes one-bureau credit monitoring
    • Ultimate Plus: Starts at $29.99/month but renews at $34.99/month
    LifeLock data breach in the news: The company recently disclosed that sensitive information from thousands of LifeLock customers — including passwords — was compromised in a December, 2022 data breach [*]. If you're looking for a secure LifeLock alternative, consider trying Aura free for 14 days.

    8. myFICO: The official FICO credit score app

    As the name suggests, myFICO provides your FICO® credit score (rather than the more common VantageScore model).

    Here’s how myFICO compares on the key credit monitoring and protection features:

    • Credit monitoring: Three-bureau coverage is available on the Advanced and Premier plans with reports updated either every month or every three months.
    • Credit lock: myFICO doesn’t mention the ability to lock any of your credit reports.
    • Financial accounts and identity theft monitoring: myFICO advertises that they scan public records and thousands of websites, chat rooms, and other online databases for signs of your personal information. They don’t mention Dark Web surveillance or bank account monitoring specifically.  
    • Proactive digital security: Like many credit score apps, myFICO doesn’t offer any digital or online protection against scams.
    • Customer support: They provide 24/7 identity recovery specialists.
    • Insurance: myFICO offers $1 million in identity theft insurance for expense reimbursement and cash recovery.
    What are myFICO’s pricing plans?

    Here are myFICO’s pricing plans as of April 2023:

    • Basic: Starts at $19.95/month – no identity monitoring and only one bureau coverage (Experian)
    • Advanced: Starts at $29.95 – three-bureau coverage with credit reports every three months
    • Premier: Starts at $39.95/month - three-bureau coverage with monthly credit reports

    ⛳️ Related: Credit Monitoring vs. Identity Theft Protection — Which Do You Need?

    9. Credit Karma: Free credit score app and offers

    Credit Karma uses the VantageScore model based on your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports. They also offer a credit score simulator which lets you see how specific financial decisions may impact your credit score.

    Credit Karma recently agreed to a $3 million settlement with the FTC over misleading users by saying they were “pre-approved” for loans that they couldn’t actually secure [*].

    Here’s how Credit Karma compares on the key credit monitoring and protection features:

    • Credit monitoring: Credit Karma only monitors Equifax and TransUnion credit files.
    • Credit lock: You won’t be able to lock your credit files with Credit Karma.
    • Financial account monitoring: Credit Karma doesn’t offer bank account monitoring.
    • Identity theft protection: Credit Karma’s identity monitoring scans the Dark Web for your email address and sends you a notification if it’s been found. Then, you’re advised to change your passwords and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
    • Proactive digital security: Credit Karma doesn’t offer any digital or online protection features.
    • Customer support: Credit Karma offers an online tool for disputing errors on your credit reports, however, this is the only fraud remediation that they advertise.
    • Insurance: Credit Karma doesn’t offer identity theft insurance.
    • Pricing: Credit Karma is entirely free, but makes money when you take out loans or pay for services that it promotes.

    💡 Related: The 7 Best Credit Karma Alternatives in 2023

    10. Credit Sesame: Free one-bureau credit monitoring

    Credit Sesame’s basic plan provides credit score tracking with estimates of your credit score using the information in your TransUnion credit report. They also help you with personal finance decisions including student loans, car loans, suggested credit cards, etc.

    Here’s how Credit Sesame compares on the key credit monitoring and protection features:

    • Credit monitoring: Credit Sesame monitors your TransUnion credit report.
    • Credit lock: You won’t be able to lock your credit with Credit Sesame.
    • Financial account monitoring: Credit Sesame lets you link several bank accounts and will alert you to any activity on those accounts.
    • Identity theft protection: Credit Sesame doesn’t offer any identity monitoring.  
    • Proactive digital security: Credit Sesame doesn’t offer any digital or online security features.
    • Customer support: You’ll have access to customer support 24/7.
    • Insurance: Credit Sesame provides $50,000 in identity theft insurance for some expenses.
    • Pricing: Everything we’ve mentioned so far is in regards to the free service. They do offer premium subscriptions, but you have to log in as a member to view the details of those plans.

    11. CreditWise by Capital One: Simple credit monitoring for anyone

    CreditWise is a service offered by Capital One that uses VantageScore to track changes to your credit report.

    Here’s how CreditWise compares on the key credit monitoring and protection features:

    • Credit monitoring: You’ll receive fraud alerts for major changes to your TransUnion and Experian credit files.
    • Credit lock: They don’t offer any credit locks.
    • Financial account monitoring: CreditWise will scan the Dark Web for signs of your SSN and primary email address and alert you if they find either one.
    • Identity theft protection: They don’t offer any bank account or public records monitoring.
    • Proactive digital security: CreditWise doesn’t offer any type of digital or online protection.
    • Customer support: Once you receive an alert, you’re on your own. CreditWise doesn’t provide any identity fraud remediation.
    • Insurance: CreditWise doesn’t offer identity theft insurance.
    • Pricing: CreditWise is a free service for anyone, even if you aren’t a Capital One customer.

    How Does Credit Monitoring Work? 7 Essential Features

    Ultimately, monitoring your credit reports is just one small piece of the puzzle when it comes to protecting your finances and identity.

    Here are seven essential features that you should look for when deciding to pay for or sign up for a credit monitoring service:

    1. Credit score tracking and monthly and annual reports

    Every credit monitoring service provides you with some version of your credit score.

    Although financial institutions use many official credit score models, the most common are VantageScore® and FICO®. Both will give you a good indication of your credit health, but here’s the difference:

    The VantageScore® model was developed by the three major credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. While FICO® scores were developed by private citizens (Bill Fair and Earl Isaac).

    2. Three-bureau credit monitoring

    Your credit reports at Experian, TransUnion and Equifax aren’t always identical. This is because not all lenders report to all three credit bureaus.

    If an identity thief takes out a loan that is only reported to one of the credit bureaus, you’ll only be able to catch the fraudulent activity if you’re monitoring that credit report.

    Unfortunately, many credit monitoring services only offer three-bureau credit monitoring in their highest priced plan. Additionally, many free credit monitoring services only alert you to major changes to your credit report instead of all changes. This means you may miss signs of financial fraud.  

    The bottom line: Look for affordable, three-bureau credit monitoring that alerts you to all changes in your credit score.

    3. Instant credit lock to protect your credit report

    A credit lock prevents creditors from accessing your credit file. Creditors will typically run an inquiry into your credit file to determine whether or not to grant a loan. If your credit is locked and a criminal tries to take out a loan in your name, they will likely be denied the loan.

    Credit locks are available from the main credit bureaus — but usually at a price.

    The bottom line: Choose a credit monitoring service that lets you lock and unlock your credit at a moment's notice. Most free services don’t offer credit locks.

    4. Financial account monitoring (bank, investment account, etc.)

    There are many types of financial fraud that won’t show up on your credit report. For example, criminals will add their name to your home title to try to improve their own credit score, which would likely bring down your credit score.

    The bottom line: Check what other accounts your credit monitoring service also monitors. Ideally, it should monitor at least your credit, bank, and investment accounts.

    5. Identity theft protection and alerts

    Most free credit monitoring services focus almost entirely on monitoring your credit score and credit report for errors.

    While this is helpful for understanding the health of your credit, errors on your credit report often mean that someone has already stolen your identity and committed financial fraud. Instead, you want a service that can help catch the thief before they have the chance to do too much damage.  

    Identity monitoring — which includes Social Security monitoring and Dark Web monitoring — deals with scanning various platforms for signs of your personal information. If your information is found in a place it shouldn’t be — court records, for example — chances are your identity has been stolen.

    Knowing this as soon as possible gives you the chance to stop the fraudster from using your identity to commit crimes that could damage your financial health.

    The bottom line: Pay close attention to what platforms a credit monitoring service monitors (the Dark Web, public records, social media, etc).

    Make sure you’re able to add all of your sensitive information to their monitoring watchlist. This includes your:

    • Social Security number (SSN)
    • Driver’s license
    • Passport
    • Multiple phone numbers and email addresses

    Many free services will only scan limited Dark Web sites and forums for signs of just your SSN.

    6. Proactive digital security to safeguard your data and accounts

    Some credit monitoring services will offer features like VPNs and antivirus software to help keep your information secure. The more features you have to protect your information, the less likely it is that criminals will be able to steal it and use it for financial fraud.

    The bottom line: Proactive security features, including a VPN, antivirus, password manager, and safe browsing tools, should be an essential part of any credit monitoring service you’re considering.

    7. Support and insurance against losses

    Identity theft is often very unsettling and can be complicated to resolve. Yet, many free credit monitoring services will only alert you to suspicious activity, leaving you on your own to resolve it.

    Even paid credit monitoring services that offer 24/7 support rely almost entirely on automated phone messaging systems or outsource their customer support. This can make it really difficult to get the help you need.

    If you become the victim of fraud, you’ll also want to know that your finances are protected.

    The standard amount for identity theft insurance is $1 million. However, most identity theft insurance policies will only cover legal expenses or stolen funds and not other related expenses such as lost wages or additional childcare.

    Make sure you understand what your identity theft insurance covers.

    The bottom line: Choose a service that provides 24/7 U.S.-based customer support, a dedicated Fraud Resolution agent for each case, and $1 million insurance policy that covers legal expenses, private investigator expenses, lost wages, stolen funds, care for loved ones, and travel expenses.

    It’s also worth noting that most credit monitoring providers won’t include identity theft insurance in their basic credit monitoring plans (or will only include a small amount of coverage).

    Is Credit Monitoring Worth It?

    Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you want to sign up for a credit monitoring service. Many simply automate actions you can take on your own. For example, checking your monthly bank statements or reviewing your credit report.

    Every American is also entitled to a free credit report from each of the three bureaus every week until the end of 2023 at Annualcreditreport.com.

    However, few people have the time or energy to check their financial and personal accounts on a daily basis.

    An all-in-one solution like Aura does the work for you. Instead of stressing over data breaches and fraudsters, you get peace of mind knowing Aura is protecting your accounts and will cover you with trained Fraud Resolution Specialists and up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.

    🛡 Don’t leave your credit and finances unprotected. Try Aura free for 14 days and protect your assets and identity from fraudsters.

    The Final Verdict: Choose All-in-One Protection

    When it comes to your credit score, it can take a lifetime to build and just seconds to destroy it. Credit monitoring helps protect your financial well-being so you can live your life how you want.

    For award-winning all-in-one protection, consider signing up for Aura.

    For all your credit monitoring needs, sign up for a free Aura trial today.

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