NEW YORK, Feb. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 16 million people in the U.S. were victims of identity-fraud-related crimes in 2017, with an estimated $16.8 billion stolen, according to a recent study by Javelin Strategy & Research. The concern over identity theft has been met with a proliferation of identity-protection services — online businesses that monitor consumers' financial activity and personal information.
But are these services safe to use, and which one is worth your money?
Tom's Guide recently tested six of the top identity-protection services — Credit Sesame, ID Watchdog, IdentityForce, IDShield, Identity Guard and LifeLock — and the results of this research and testing were surprising, especially when it came to the services' use of two-factor authentication.
Of the six services Tom's Guide tested, only ID Watchdog and IdentityForce offer two-factor authentication for customers logging in to the main desktop-browser interface, the investigation found. A third service, Identity Guard, offers two-factor authentication, but only for its mobile apps.
Also known as multifactor authentication, two-factor authentication (2FA) is a simple but powerful security feature that's used by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple and many other online companies.
"Enabling two-factor authentication is one of the simplest, yet most important, steps in securing any online account. It makes sure that a thief can't break into your account even with your password, and every online service should make it available," said senior editor Paul Wagenseil, who led Tom's Guide's investigation into identity-protection services.
A spokesperson for LifeLock, one of the companies reviewed, told Tom's Guide that "implementing two-factor authentication is a priority" and that the company is working to make that security option available to subscribers.
After using each of the six services listed above for three months, Tom's Guide found that one of the services offering two-factor authentication, IdentityForce, has the best combination of features and services overall.
"Given all of the personal information identity-protection services are supposed to protect, we're glad that IdentityForce takes 2FA seriously," said Mark Spoonauer, editor-in-chief for Tom's Guide. "We're hoping that this report spurs immediate action by the other services."
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SOURCE Tom's Guide