Tuesday, March 2, 2021

ADT Identity Protection

Our series on identity theft protection apps will evaluate the features, pricing options, competition, and also the overall value of using each app. However, these are not full hands-on reviews since evaluating identity theft protection apps is almost impossible. It would require several months of testing, purposefully hacking accounts to see if the protection app works, handing over personally identifiable information, performing multiple credit checks, and risking exposure of the reviewer’s personally identifiable information.

ADT Identity Protection is an interesting product from a company you may already recognize. As a trusted brand for home security - think alarm systems and motion detectors - ADT typically would protect you against actual criminals trying to break into your house and steal your belongings. Because they already have name recognition, you may be more likely to trust the experience and credibility of ADT to guard your personal information as well.

ADT Identity Protection does just that - it provides a fairly well-established set of features all intended to protect your credit card information, banking details, and credit history. There are a few small “gotchas” along the way - namely, that you can only view a credit score once per year - but the monitoring and theft detection are well worth the surprisingly low price.

Plans and pricing

For $9.99, you might wonder if there is a catch. That’s about half the cost of other apps and a full $20 cheaper than the premium plans with Norton LifeLock. 


(Image credit: ADT)

ADT Identity Protection includes $1 million in identity theft protection insurance, credit monitoring, Dark Web notifications about fraud, and other common features. Unlike one of our other top picks for low-cost IT theft protection (Complete ID requires a Costco membership but costs only $8.99), ADT Identity Protection doesn’t require that you become an ADT home security customer or sign any long-term contracts. 

ADT does include a disclaimer about their membership which likely applies to every other identity theft protection app, which is that it may take weeks or even months to enroll. This could mean you are paying for the membership fee while waiting for the registration to complete. It reads this way: “Credit score tracking, and non-credit monitoring requires an additional enrollment process and ADT will be unable to provide services until you are fully enrolled.” It’s not a serious issue - in fact, it’s a good thing ADT makes this clear before you ever sign up for the service. It might be an indicator of other full disclosures.


ADT Identity Protection won’t win any awards for a novel interface - it is fairly general with a mostly white background and tabs along the left for accessing the main features. That said, it doesn’t look totally dated or too much like a tax program. Interestingly, the app doesn’t really look like the home security interface you might already know. There’s a familiar blue color that matches the ADT logo you may have seen in the yard of people who use the home security system. For the most part, the interface is meant to help you find features quickly without the status updates and wizards that make Norton LifeLock a bit easier to use.


(Image credit: ADT)


When it comes to the basic security features for identity theft protection, ADT Identity Protection has you covered. There are all of the typical options for credit monitoring and fraud detection. You’ll find all of the entry-level features for detecting activity on a bank account or credit card, and some of the most common “extras” for analyzing and monitoring your passport and other identification materials. Nothing new there, but for $9.99 per month it’s definitely a good place to start. 

The only real differences have to do with the number of credit scores you can obtain - it is only one annual report, whereas many of the top identity theft protection apps like Equifax Complete provide a monthly credit score update. ADT Identity Protection does include $1 million of theft protection insurance, which is unusual at this price point. Other apps tend to offer a low price but also only $100,000 or $500,000 in identity theft insurance.

The competition

ADT Identity Protection doesn’t fall at the bottom of the spectrum of apps available to protect your identity, and it isn’t the most comprehensive tool you will find. 

We prefer the interface and extensive features of IdentityForce and Norton LifeLock. However, there is something to be said for choosing an app that provides the basics at a low price. ADT is a well-known security company with the financial resources and staff to support you if there is a problem with identity theft and you don’t know where to turn. While companies like Equifax and Experian offer arguably better apps with more features, they have both experienced well-known data breaches and the premium plans that provide credit scores and insurance cost more. 

Final verdict

This means ADT Identity Protection isn’t exactly a no brainer in terms of signing up and experiencing the best identity theft protection around. Where it might meet your needs is in offering the basics at a low price from a company you can trust. An important point to make here is that there are no strings attached that we know about - if you register for ADT Identity Protection, you can cancel at any time and you won’t have to pay for the home security products. While the personal identity protection might be a lead generator for home security products, that doesn’t mean you have to take the bait or feel pressured to use ADT for home security.


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