The Best Identity Theft Protection 2024

We put a handful of identity theft protection services to the test and Aura, LifeLock, and Identity Guard topped the list with the best features and value.
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Best Overall

4.9
Editorial Rating
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On Aura Identity Theft's website

Aura Identity Theft
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Best Digital + Identity Protection

4.9
Editorial Rating
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On LifeLock's website

LifeLock
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Best for AI-Driven Theft Detection

4.8
Editorial Rating
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On Identity Guard's website

Identity Guard
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Best for ID Theft Legal Support

4.7
Editorial Rating
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On IDShield's website

IDShield
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Best for Credit Monitoring

4.5
Editorial Rating
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On IdentityIQ's website

IdentityIQ
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If you're seeking identity theft protection, we did the legwork for you and found the best identity theft protection services on the market — AuraNorton LifeLockIdentity Guard, IDShield by LegalShield, and IdentityIQ.

In our comprehensive review, we'll explore each of their features, including but not limited to credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, and identity theft recovery services, as well as pricing plans for adults and families with children, and more. Let’s get started.

In this article
The best identity theft protection services
Aura: Best overall
Norton LifeLock: Best for digital security and identity protection
Identity Guard: Best for AI-driven identity theft detection
IDShield by LegalShield: Best for identity theft legal support
IdentityIQ: Best for credit report monitoring
Alternative identity theft protection services
How we tested the best identity theft protection
What is identity theft?
Do I need identity theft protection?
How does identity theft protection work?
How much does identity theft protection cost?
How to choose the best identity theft protection service
Best identity theft protection FAQs
Bottom line: The best ID theft protection

The best identity theft protection services

Top 5 identity theft protection services compared

Service
Aura Identity Theft
Best Overall

Norton LifeLock

Identity Guard

IDShield by LegalShield

IdentityIQ
Individual monthly plan Starts at $9.00/mo (billed annually) Starts at $8.29/mo for first yr Starts at $7.50/mo Starts at $14.95/mo Starts at $5.94/mo
Family monthly plan Starts at $17.00/mo (billed annually) Starts at $13.24/mo for first yr Starts at $12.50/mo Starts at $29.95/mo Starts at $25.50/mo
Free trial Yes — 14 days Yes — 30 days Yes — 30 days
ID theft insurance Up to $1 million Up to $3 million Up to $1 million Up to $3 million Up to $1 million
Best feature Parental controls and cyberbullying alerts Home title and investment account monitoring AI-driven monitoring alerts Licensed private investigators for ID recovery Monthly credit monitoring
Details Get Aura
Read Aura
Get LifeLock
Read LifeLock Review
Get Identity Guard
Read Identity Guard Review
Get IDShield
Read IDShield Review
Read IdentityIQ Review

Aura: Best overall

4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Aura Identity Theft's website
Aura Identity Theft
Up to 68% off Family Annual Plans
  • Excellent identity theft protection service
  • Includes a password manager and VPN
  • Robust tools for children’s security
  • Provides VantageScore and not FICO score updates

Who it’s best for

Aura is our top choice for individuals seeking a well-rounded approach to identity theft protection and digital privacy. It's particularly beneficial for tech-savvy users who value advanced technologies such as AI for combating identity theft.

Moreover, Aura’s family plans make it a viable option for households looking to prevent child identity theft and safeguard the personal information of all family members.

Aura alerts you to new account activity, compromised passwords, new transactions, and malware as well as if your data is spotted on data broker sites.

What we liked

Aura's use of innovative technology can provide comprehensive and proactive protection against identity theft. Its service goes beyond basic identity and credit monitoring, providing features like spam call and message protection, data removal services, white glove fraud remediation, and more.

It also comes with other cybesecurity features across plans, including a virtual private network (VPN) and antivirus. If you opt for a family plan, it also comes with features like Safe Gaming with cyberbullying alerts and parental controls so you can keep your kids safe too. 

What we appreciated most is its use of artificial intelligence to detect potential scam calls and texts before they manifest into identity theft losses. Furthermore, all Aura plans include credit score monitoring with all three bureaus and breach alerts, ensuring you're promptly informed of any suspicious activities.

What we didn’t like

Despite its advanced features, Aura’s services might come at a high price point for some. While you indeed get what you pay for, it may not suit those on a tight budget. Services like LifeLock do increase their price after the first year, so that's something to consider if you're seeking long-term protection. 

We also wish Aura provided our FICO score and not just VantageScore. Most lenders use the FICO model, so this could be a gap when it comes to evaluating your credit profile.

Aura features

Plan Aura Individual Aura Couple Aura Family
Annual price $9.00/mo (billed annually) $17.00/mo (billed annually) $25.00/mo (billed annually)
Number of people covered 1 adult 2 adults 5 adults, unlimited kids
ID theft insurance Up to $1 million Up to $2 million Up to $5 million
3-bureau monitoring
Credit reports
Identity recovery
Learn more View Plan View Plan View Plan

Read Our Aura Review

Norton LifeLock: Best for digital security and identity protection

4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On LifeLock's website
LifeLock
Up to 52% off first year when paid annually
  • Top-rated identity theft protection service
  • Provides up to $3 million in coverage
  • Multiple monitoring features including dark web, home title, and social media monitoring
  • Customer support experience is lacking

Who it’s best for

Norton LifeLock is an ideal choice for anyone seeking a well-rounded identity theft protection solution: it offers extensive ID theft protection features, up to $3 million in identity theft insurance, and superb customer service with 24/7 live chat support.

You can see any active restoration cases directly from your LifeLock dashboard.

What we liked

We really liked that Norton LifeLock offers unique features. These include, but are not limited to, home title monitoring, 401(k) and investment account activity alerts, credit file detection for children on family plans, phone takeover monitoring, bank account takeover alerts, and file-sharing network searches.

We’re also impressed with LifeLock’s identity theft insurance coverage of up to $3 million with the Ultimate Plus plan. That’s broken down into the following:

  • $1 million in stolen funds reimbursement
  • $1 million in compensation for personal expenses
  • $1 million in coverage for legal and expert expenses

LifeLock also provides 24/7 live member support via chat, phone, or email. You can select a plan that covers one individual, a couple, or families with two adults and five kids. You can also get Norton antivirus bundled with LifeLock if you opt for a Norton 360 plan with LifeLock. 

LifeLock offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, coupled with a 30-day free trial, so you have plenty of time to determine if it's the right ID theft protection for you. 

What we didn’t like

Despite unique features that many LifeLock alternatives don't offer, LifeLock isn’t without its drawbacks. First, its family plan covers only up to a maximum of five kids, while other identity theft solutions like Aura and Identity Guard cover an unlimited number of kids.

Moreover, while its 24/7 live chat support generally provides a superb experience, there was one occasion when we interacted with a live customer service rep who didn’t give us direct and accurate answers to our inquiries.

Our experience with LifeLock customer service was less than ideal — the reps didn't seem to be knowledgeable about the plan features.

Finally, only with LifeLock’s most expensive plan, Ultimate Plus, can you reap the benefits of three-bureau credit monitoring, sex offender registry reporting, and social media monitoring. All of its plan prices also go up after your first year.

Norton LifeLock features

Plan LifeLock Standard Individual LifeLock Ultimate Plus Individual LifeLock Standard for Family with Kids LifeLock Ultimate Plus for Family with Kids
Annual price $8.29/mo for first yr$24.99/mo for first yr $18.99/mo for first yr $40.99/mo for first yr
Number of people covered 1 1 2 adults, 5 kids 2 adults, 5 kids
ID theft insurance Up to $1.05 million Up to $3 million Adults: Up to $1.2 million
Kids: Up to $1.05 million
Adults: Up to $3 million
Kids: Up to $1.05 million
3-bureau monitoring
Credit reports
Identity recovery
Learn more View Plan View Plan View Plan View Plan

Read Our LifeLock Review

Identity Guard: Best for AI-driven identity theft detection

Save 33% Now!
4.8
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Identity Guard's website
Identity Guard
  • Easy-to-use identity theft protection service
  • Includes extra features like a password manager
  • No dedicated remediation assistance available

Who it’s best for

Our next-best pick, Identity Guard, is one of the best identity theft protection services for tech-savvy folks and anyone who values the power of artificial intelligence (AI) for proactive credit monitoring and keeping identity thieves away from your personal data. The AI-driven alerts come in handy for protecting your personal information, like your Social Security number (SSN).

Identity Guard is also a cost-effective choice for seniors and families aiming to safeguard their children's (or grandchildren’s) identities against identity fraud.

Identity Guard's main dashboard, with links to transaction monitoring and credit monitoring features.
Identity Guard dashboard

What we liked

We were intrigued to discover that Identity Guard leverages IBM Watson AI, using a futuristic and effective approach to identity theft detection. Watson excels at monitoring and reporting fraudulent activity, helping you stay on top of breaches, phishing, and malware.

Furthermore, Identity Guard’s user-friendly interface and straightforward identity theft and credit monitoring protection are notable positives. Identity Guard is worth it for those seeking to mitigate potential identity theft losses — especially older adults who are often targets of identity theft crimes and scams.

What we didn’t like

Even though we found Identity Guard's AI capabilities impressive, we were saddened to discover it doesn't include credit reports or monitoring with its basic plan. You'll need the Total plan for three-bureau credit monitoring and the Ultra plan for three-bureau annual credit reports. 

Additionally, Identity Guard provides remediation tools like identity theft insurance and white glove fraud resolution, but it doesn't seem to provide remediation assistance. So if you ever fall victim to identity theft, you'll receive funds from Identity Guard but otherwise you'll be on your own.

Identity Guard features

Plan Identity Guard Value Individual Identity Guard Ultra Individual Identity Guard Value Family Identity Guard Ultra Family
Annual price $7.50/mo $25.00/mo $12.50/mo $33.33/mo
Number of people covered 1 adult 1 adult 5 adults, unlimited kids 5 adults, unlimited kids
ID theft insurance Up to $1 million Up to $1 million Up to $1 million Up to $1 million
3-bureau monitoring
Credit reports
Identity recovery
Dark web monitoring
Learn more View Plan View Plan View Plan View Plan

Read Our Identity Guard Review

4.7
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On IDShield's website
IDShield
  • Full identity protection features included on all plans
  • Comes with bonus VPN and password manager
  • Affordable pricing compared to other options
  • Limited customer support

Who it’s best for

IDShield by LegalShield provides helpful legal support in the event of an identity theft incident. Its unique strength lies in providing legal assistance, which may be indispensable if you’re grappling with the complex legal aftermath of ID theft.

If price is a concern, this may be a good option, as IDShield offers competitive pricing options that can fit many budgets. It's also worth considering for families, as it offers a family plan providing identity theft protection for you, your spouse, and unlimited dependents.

IDShield's portal that you access from IDShield.com

The IDShield.cloud dashboard


What we liked

What sets IDShield apart from other services like LifeLock or Aura is its comprehensive legal support, including licensed private investigators. It also provides up to $3 million in identity theft insurance with every plan, unlike LifeLock which limits that amount to its Ultimate Plan subscribers. 

IDShield is adamant about providing assistance, no matter what situation you’re in. We especially like that each plan comes with consultation services and 24/7 emergency assistance.

We also like that IDShield offers the same features across all of its plans. All you need to do is select whether you need an individual or a family plan and select if you want one-bureau or three-bureau credit monitoring. The service is also ready to assist you if you need to freeze your credit or place a fraud alert on your report.

What we didn’t like

Despite being a solid option for step-by-step support, IDShield has some drawbacks. While IDShield does provide child identity protection, its services are not as robust as those of other providers, such as Norton LifeLock, which offers a LifeLock Junior plan focused on protecting children from identity theft.

IDShield by LegalShield features

Plan IDShield Individual IDShield Family
Monthly price Starts at $14.95/mo Starts at $29.95/mo
Number of people covered 1 adult 2 adults, unlimited dependents
ID theft insurance Up to $3 million Up to $3 million
3-bureau monitoring
Credit reports
Identity recovery
View Plan View Plan

Read Our IDShield by LegalShield Review

IdentityIQ: Best for credit report monitoring

4.5
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On IdentityIQ's website
IdentityIQ
  • Variety of plans to meet your needs
  • Unlimited monitoring for children
  • Nearly impossible to contact customer support

Who it’s best for

IdentityIQ is an excellent service for anyone striving to remain vigilant when it comes to their credit health. With its detailed credit report monitoring system and frequent updates, it's highly suitable if you’re actively working on improving your credit to show lenders or simply want to maintain a good credit status.

Despite the emphasis on credit monitoring, IdentityIQ is also a useful identity theft protection service that monitors the identities of families, with options to prevent child identity theft.

IdentityIQ page showing credit scores for TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.

What we liked

IdentityIQ provides a comprehensive identity theft protection and credit monitoring guide on its dashboard. Unlike some competitors, such as Experian, myFICO, or Zander Insurance, IdentityIQ excels at providing credit reports from all three bureaus on a monthly basis. This extensive reporting helps you check your credit score frequently and identify any inaccuracies early on.

We also appreciated IdentityIQ's commitment to educating us on how to report identity theft and how to safeguard personal information. In comparison to services like Aura and LifeLock, we found IdentityIQ more user-friendly with intuitive interfaces and clear instructions.

IdentityIQ also comes with Bitdefender antivirus and a VPN to further protect you online. Learn more about this highly-rated anti-malware software in our Bitdefender review.

What we didn’t like

Even though IdentityIQ is undoubtedly a legitimate identity protection service, we did encounter some areas of concern. One downside we noticed was the absence of biometric multi-factor authentication (MFA), which some competitors like Allstate Identity Protection do offer.

Providing biometric MFA allows you to further secure your account in case someone tries to gain unauthorized access to your IdentityIQ information.

The service could also do better at providing diverse customer support options. Currently, it's mainly phone-based. Although the emphasis on credit monitoring is beneficial, we felt that more could be done to provide features that prevent child identity theft or offer a plan focused on identity protection for seniors.

IdentityIQ features

Plan IdentityIQ Secure IdentityIQ Secure Plus IdentityIQ Secure Max
Annual price $5.94/mo $8.50/mo $25.50/mo
Number of people covered 1 adult 1 adult 1 adult, unlimited children
ID theft insurance Up to $1 million Up to $1 million Up to $1 million
3-bureau monitoring No — 1 bureau only
Credit reports Yes — annually (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) Yes — monthly (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax)
Identity recovery

Read Our IdentityIQ Review

Alternative identity theft protection services

  • OmniWatch: OmniWatch is a new identity theft protection service that offers up to $2 million in identity theft insurance, dark web and credit monitoring, identity resolution specialists, and more.
  • IdentityForce: This service comes packed with extras, including PC protection tools, a VPN for mobile, and phishing and botnet monitoring. You can opt for IdentityForce UltraSecure+Credit if you're seeking credit monitoring features or just IdentityForce UltraSecure depending on your needs.
  • Complete ID: An Experian product, this service covers all the necessities, including credit reports, financial account monitoring, and USPS address changes.
  • Zander Identity Theft Protection: One of the most budget-friendly ID theft protection services, Zander's Elite plan comes with antivirus software and a VPN for additional online security.
  • ID Watchdog: ID Watchdog provides comprehensive identity monitoring and restoration services as well as bonus features like NordVPN and NordPass.

You may also be interested in personal data deletion services that help you scrub information like your name, address, and phone number off the internet. 

  • Surfshark Incogni: A simple set-it-and-forget-it service that tracks down your data and gets it removed while continuously monitoring for new data broker sites.
  • DeleteMe: This service scans 750+ data broker sites for your info and requests removal for you. Bonus features include email, credit card, and phone masking to keep your data private.
  • HelloPrivacy: HelloPrivacy scans data broker sites and the dark web for your personal information, saving you hours of time if you had to do the legwork yourself.

How we tested the best identity theft protection

To help us select the best identity theft protection solutions, we considered several crucial features. This included but was not limited to, monitoring capabilities, alert systems, recovery assistance, and pricing.

We took into account the following:

  • Monitoring: We checked to see if ID theft services continuously scan the internet as well as dark web databases for personal data misuse.
  • Alerts: Fast and accurate alerts allow quick response to suspicious activity.
  • Recovery assistance: If identity theft occurs, services should help with recovery and reporting.
  • Pricing: We also considered cost-effectiveness, examining what each service offers relative to its price.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is a crime where someone illegally acquires and uses another person's personal information, like their Social Security number or bank account numbers, typically for financial gain. Types of identity theft include tax-related identity theft, medical ID theft, and ghosting identity theft, to name a few examples.

Identity theft happens in several ways. Fraudsters may use sophisticated methods like phishing scams, data breaches, or malware to gather personal information. More traditional methods include dumpster diving for discarded documents containing personal data or outright stealing wallets or mail.

Identity theft can lead to significant financial loss and a host of other issues, like damage to your credit score. This is why services offering the best identity theft protection and credit monitoring are vital.

Do I need identity theft protection?

As identity theft crimes are on the rise and more young people are becoming victims of ID theft, it’s unquestionable that ID theft protection is worth it. In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 1 million reports of identity theft, with imposters topping the list of types of identity theft.[1]

Identity theft protection services are beneficial for many reasons. They provide continuous monitoring of various databases and the dark web for any misuse of your personal information, alert you to potential threats, and assist in the recovery process if you're a victim of identity theft. They can also help prevent child identity theft by monitoring for any fraudulent use of your child's personal information.

Keep in mind, though, that no service can completely guarantee the prevention of identity theft. You may find the costs of these services a deterrent. But, considering the potentially severe consequences of identity theft, many find these services a worthwhile investment.

How does identity theft protection work?

Identity theft protection services work by continuously monitoring various databases and online platforms for your personal information. Here are some typical features:

  • Credit monitoring: They monitor your credit reports from major credit bureaus, like Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, and alert you to any changes. Be sure to note whether the identity theft protection plan you're choosing offers one-bureau or three-bureau credit monitoring services. One bureau is usually enough, but you may prefer the extra security of three-bureau credit monitoring.
  • Dark web scanning: These services scan the dark web for your personal information, reducing the chance that criminals can sell your Social Security number or other details.
  • Public data monitoring: You may need help scouring public records for home title theft or other types of fraud. Look for ID theft protection plans that monitor your social media accounts, court records, and even USPS change of address requests.
  • Identity recovery services: If you become a victim of identity theft, these services will guide you through the recovery process.
  • Identity theft insurance: Most services offer insurance that can cover out-of-pocket costs related to restoring your identity.
  • Credit lock and credit freeze: Most ID theft protection services assist you with placing a credit lock or freeze on your account. This is essential if you've been targeted by fraud since it ensures no one can open a new account in your name.
  • Credit score simulator: Some identity theft protection companies help you build your credit by offering credit score simulators that guide you toward making the best decisions to boost your credit score.
  • Additional cybersecurity features: Many of the top identity theft protection service providers on our list offer extra digital security features like a password manager, VPN, and antivirus. This is ideal since hackers can target your Wi-Fi connection or device with malware to extract your sensitive data.

How much does identity theft protection cost?

An identity theft protection plan can run you anywhere from less than $10 a month to over $70 a month. Factors that affect your pricing include:

  • Are you seeking an individual plan or a family plan? Do you need to cover children with your plan?
  • Can you commit to an annual subscription or would you prefer to pay month-to-month?
  • Do you need the premium plan with additional cybersecurity features or are you only seeking identity theft protection?
  • Is credit protection a priority or do you only need identity monitoring tools?

After considering these questions, you can review the table below and get started on finding a pricing plan for you.

Individual starting price Family starting price
Aura $9.00/mo (billed annually) $17.00/mo (billed annually)
LifeLock $8.29/mo for first yr $13.24/mo for first yr
Identity Guard $7.50/mo $12.50/mo
IdentityIQ $5.94/mo $25.50/mo
IDShield $14.95/mo $29.95/mo
IdentityForce $19.95/mo Contact IdentityForce for family plan pricing
CompleteID $8.99/mo $11.98/mo
Zander Identity Theft Protection $6.75/mo $12.90/mo

How to choose the best identity theft protection service

When choosing an identity theft protection service, consider the following questions:

  • How much does it cost? Can you save money by signing up for an annual plan?
  • Does it alert users to data breaches in multiple areas?
  • Does it monitor credit reports from all three bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax?
  • Does it allow you to access annual credit reports or, better yet, quarterly or monthly credit reports?
  • How often does it provide credit score updates?
  • Does it assist with identity recovery?
  • Does it provide identity theft insurance, and if so, how much? (Up to $1 million is most common.)
  • Is the service encrypted with AES-256?
  • Does the service offer an app that’s compatible with your device?
  • Does the service’s privacy policy state that it doesn’t sell data?

Best identity theft protection FAQs


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Which identity theft protection is best?

The "best" identity theft protection service depends on your personal needs. We recommend our top picks: Norton LifeLock, Identity Guard, Aura, IDShield, and IDShield.


+

Is LifeLock worth getting?

LifeLock can be a good investment thanks to its extensive monitoring services and real-time alert system. Their service can prevent identity theft losses and give you peace of mind, making it worthwhile.


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Is LifeLock or Aura better?

Both LifeLock and Aura offer robust identity theft protection services, but we think Aura edges out LifeLock. LifeLock has comprehensive credit monitoring, while Aura is known for its advanced technology and preventative approach to identity theft. You can view our comparison of Aura vs. LifeLock for more details.


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Will changing my name help with identity theft?

Changing your name won't necessarily protect you from identity theft, as thieves can still access other personal information, like your Social Security number or birthdate. Instead, we recommend working with an identity theft protection provider that also offers identity restoration services.


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How do I check to see if someone is using my Social Security number?

Regularly check your credit reports for unfamiliar and suspicious activities, track your Social Security statements at SSA.gov, and monitor your tax records to spot any misuse of your Social Security number.

Bottom line: The best ID theft protection

Choosing the best identity theft protection service boils down to personal needs. Aura protects your identity and online privacy, Norton LifeLock offers comprehensive ID theft protection with 24/7 live chat support, Identity Guard leads with AI-driven detection, IDShield by LegalShield provides necessary legal support, and IdentityIQ excels in credit report monitoring.

5 best ID theft protection services

Starting price Best for Learn more

Aura Identity Theft
Starts at $9.00/mo (billed annually) Best overall Get Aura
Read Aura Review

Norton LifeLock
Starts at $8.29/mo for first yr Best for digital security and identity protection Get LifeLock
Read LifeLock Review

Identity Guard
Starts at $7.50/mo Best for AI-driven identity theft detection Get Identity Guard
Read Identity Guard Review

IDShield by LegalShield
Starts at $14.95/mo Best for identity theft legal support Get IDShield
Read IDShield Review

IdentityIQ
Starts at $5.94/mo Best for credit report monitoring Read IdentityIQ Review


4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Aura Identity Theft's website
Aura Identity Theft
Up to 68% off Family Annual Plans
  • Excellent identity theft protection service
  • Includes a password manager and VPN
  • Robust tools for children’s security
  • Provides VantageScore and not FICO score updates
Author Details
Mars is a cybersecurity professional and writer based in California. Currently pursuing a B.S. in Cybersecurity, he serves as an Advisory Board Member for WEBGAP, specializing in browser isolation. With an interest in OSINT, ethical hacking, and threat intelligence, Mars enjoys writing security content and has experience as a Security Researcher, Cybersecurity Analyst (WEBGAP), and Editor-in-chief (Secjuice).

Citations

[1] As Nationwide Fraud Losses Top $10 Billion in 2023, FTC Steps Up Efforts to Protect the Public