Identity theft is a worry that never goes away. Even if you protect your good name, there are so many ways someone else can trash it. So, what’s the best way to protect your name? Javelin Strategy & Research released a review of 24 ID protection services, and found significant variations in the service provided.

The advertising for these companies will lead you to believe they’ll do everything to protect you, but some companies have gotten in trouble with the feds for their advertising campaign. It might pay to look beyond the hype, because the survey found victims who found the fraud with a credit monitoring or other ID service usually lost less money.

“Promote value, not hype,” James Van Dyke, President and Founder of Javelin advises. “Don’t aggressively market to consumers and don’t lure them with promises of free credit reports that aren’t really free or Internet scanning, which varies according to the quality of the database used. Our report helps vendors attract and retain more customers, by highlighting specific strengths or weaknesses.”

The Javelin report surveyed more than 25,000 consumers, and named the following winners:

  • Best Overall: Identity Guard Total Protection (Intersections)
  • Best in Prevention: LifeLock Credit Score Manager; LifeLock Command Center
  • Best in Detection: IDEssentials (TrustedID); Identity Secure (Affinion)
  • Best in Resolution: Identity Force (Bearak Reports); Royal (EZShield); AllClear ID Pro (Debix)

Consumer Reports points out a good caveat — this typically involves new account fraud meaning someone opens a new account in your name rather than measuring the fraud on existing accounts.

Before you provide a company your sensitive information, make sure you research the company and read the privacy policy. Make sure you can truly trust the company, as you’re giving yet another company your personal information.

There’s another way to protect your identity for half the cost or even free. Some of the companies named in Javelin’s study, also offer a FREE option or you may be able to avoid a third party altogether. Check in for those money-saving tips tomorrow.

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