Is Identity Theft Protection Worth It?

Should you consider identity theft protection? Monitoring services can help you spot red flags quickly, but they won’t stop criminals from targeting you.

A man holds a locked phone in front of a computer.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When Benjamin Franklin penned this enduring phrase nearly three centuries ago, he was advising the public on how to avoid house fires. But his words are also useful when applied to a modern safety issue: identity theft. 

By some estimates, roughly one-third of U.S. residents have experienced some form of identity theft — a crime that includes everything from credit card theft to tax fraud to insurance fraud — and that figure is expected to rise. For some consumers, the instinct is to turn to a familiar brand such as Norton, Equifax or McAfee for protection. Each of them offers something different, and you can subscribe to one of their plans for yourself or your family for just a few dollars a month (or in some cases, for free).

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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady has covered personal and business finance since 2017. Prior to that, Sarah worked as an NFCC-Certified Credit Counselor, a HUD-Certified Housing Counselor, and taught financial education workshops for the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing affordable homebuyer programs.  

In addition to Kiplinger, Sarah has also written for CNN Underscored, Forbes Advisor, USA Today Blueprint, Fortune, Investopedia, Experian and more.