- Detects a wide range of threats to help protect your identity
- Agents are available 24/7 to answer questions.
- Alerts you to suspicious activity via text, email, phone, or through the mobile app.
- If your identity is stolen, you can sign a Limited Power of Attorney to allow Lifelock to work with banks and creditors on your behalf.
- We recommend the Ultimate Plus™ plan.
Our LifeLock Review
While no identity theft protection service can actually prevent theft, LifeLock is one of only a few companies to offer the next best thing: monitoring and restoration services. LifeLock's Ultimate Plus™ plan tracks your credit scores, your banking info, and whether your personal details show up online, looking for signs of fraudulent activity. If LifeLock detects a potentially suspicious use of your personal information, it alerts you via app, email, text — or a phone call (during regular business hours). Most importantly, if the worst happens and your identity is compromised, LifeLock takes on the heavy-lifting — contacting merchants, credit bureaus, and financial institutions on your behalf so that you can get your life back on track as quickly as possible.
From the Lifelock website: "LifeLock uses proprietary technology that searches for potential threats to your identity. If we see activity using your personal information, we alert you. [Phone alerts made during normal local business hours.] If it’s not you, we go to work on your behalf. And if you’re ever victimized by identity theft... a member of our U.S.-Based Identity Restoration Team will be dedicated to your case."
Is it true?
LifeLock monitors your personal and financial information, alerts you to potentially suspicious activity, and — in the unfortunate event that your identity is stolen — springs into action to mitigate the damage. The company stands out for four reasons:
- Tri-bureau credit monitoring: LifeLock's Ultimate Plus™ plan monitors all three major credit-reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to make sure that our credit scores aren’t being dinged by fraudulent applications.
- LifeLock Identity Alert™ System: LifeLock tracks whether your personal info is being used to open payday loans, credit applications, and utility services — which otherwise may not show up on your credit report until they go to collections.
- Multiple means of communication: LifeLock makes it easy for you to stay apprised of any changes, with 24/7 email and text notifications in addition to phone availability during regular business hours.
- Takes on the brunt of restoration: If you become a victim of identity theft, a dedicated LifeLock specialist will help resolve the issue. The member can sign a Limited Power of Attorney to allow LifeLock to work with merchants, credit bureaus and financial institutions on the member's behalf throughout the restoration process, rather than handing you a list of phone numbers and expecting you to figure it out on your own.
When we assessed other identity theft protection services, we found that LifeLock was one of only three services to offer a plan that monitors both tri-bureau credit scores and personal information — in addition to helping us recover in the event of a theft. LifeLock’s mobile app is also extremely easy to use, with an equally user-friendly website portal. In short? The company follows through on its promise to make identity theft protection as comprehensive as possible.
A Closer Look at LifeLock’s Features
We recommend the Lifelock Ultimate Plus™ plan. While the company offers two lower-tier plans, Ultimate Plus™ is the only one to monitor all three credit bureaus (instead of just one). Here’s how the plan breaks down:
|Price||$9.99 to 29.99 / month|
|We recommend it for||People who want to spare no expense for comprehensive identity monitoring and restoration.|
|We don't recommend it for||People who are on a budget, or those who are tackling pre-existing identity theft.|
|Annual Credit Reports and Scores||Yes; Three-bureau reporting
|24/7 Support||Text, email, mobile app|
|Kids add-on protection||$5.99 / month per child|
|Alerts||Email, text, or phone|
Our Deep Dive
LifeLock Plan Details
- Multiple service tiers: Only LifeLock’s highest service tier – LifeLock Ultimate Plus™ — met all of our requirements when we looked for the Best Identity Theft Protection Service. However, LifeLock also offers a Standard Plan ($10/month) and an Advantage Plan ($20/month), in exchange for having less detailed monitoring and a smaller funds reimbursement package. You can also help protect your elderly parents with LifeLock’s Senior plan ($20/month), which allows you to monitor their credit activity.
- Million Dollar Protection™ Package: If you become a victim of identity theft, LifeLock helps protect you with their Million Dollar Protection™ Package, which provides reimbursement for stolen funds and coverage for personal expenses, each with limits of up to $25,000, $100,000 or $1 million depending on your plan, and coverage for lawyers and experts if needed up to $1 million, to help resolve your case. For full details, see LifeLock's website.
- Easy user interface: LifeLock’s online member portal make it easy to find and view credit scores and alerts, while clearly labeled tabs give you access to more details and enable you to edit personal information.
- Fewer pre-approved credit offers: Pre-approved credit card offers can provide important information to identity thieves, who attempt to open credit cards in your name after you've discarded the offer. LifeLock will request your name be removed from many pre-approved credit card mailing lists.
- Mobile app: If LifeLock sends you notifications about the use ofyour personal information. From the app, you can confirm that the activity is legit, or contact a LifeLock agent for help.
- Lost Wallet Protection: If your wallet is lost or stolen, LifeLock can help cancel or replace credit cards, driver's licenses, Social Security cards, and insurance cards, among others.
- LifeLock Privacy Monitor™: Privacy Monitor helps reduce public exposure of your personal information by scanning common public people-search websites to find your personal information and help you opt-out.
- Infrequent credit report updates: While LifeLock will update you immediately about potentially suspicious changes, the company only gives you access to one set of credit reports per year. Some competitors offer updated reports on a monthly or quarterly basis. But if you want to keep closer tabs on this info, you can always get one free annual credit report yourself from each bureau.
LifeLock vs. The Competition
LifeLock vs. IdentityForce
IdentityForce offers monitoring and restoration services comparable to LifeLock, with one notable difference. Its app is not as convenient as LifeLock’s – you can see alerts through the app, but you’ll have to call customer service or switch over to a desktop to respond to them. We also didn’t like how you can’t contact customer service through the app: If you see an alert, you have to hop on the phone to ask IdentityForce about it. In exchange, however, IdentityForce’s UltraSecure+Credit plan (comparable to LifeLock’s Ultimate Plus™) costs less, coming in at $20/month rather than $30/month.
LifeLock vs. ID Watchdog
ID Watchdog doesn’t offer much by way of mobile support: It has an app but you’ll have to call customer support to actually resolve issues. We also found ID Watchdog’s online portal more confusing and difficult to navigate than LifeLock’s. However, ID Watchdog has two potential advantages: its Platinum plan costs less, at $18/month. It also offers rehabilitation for pre-existing theft. LifeLock and IdentityForce both require you to discover theft during your membership in order to take advantage of their restoration services, but ID Watchdog’s “ID Rehab for Previously-Existing Conditions” charges a lower fee for each pre-existing record error that needs to be corrected. If you discover additional theft during your enrollment, your restoration will be covered under your regular subscription (no additional fees necessary). While the charges might add up, they’ll probably be less expensive (and less hassle) than fighting to change the records yourself.
The Bottom Line
While it doesn’t have a squeaky-clean record, LifeLock’s acquisition by Symantec suggests it’s turning over a new leaf regarding data privacy. And you won’t find an identity theft protection service more comprehensive than LifeLock. Its Ultimate Plus™ plan is pricier than the competition, but it combines comprehensive monitoring with unrivaled user-friendliness and accessible customer support.