Updated June 16, 2020

LifeLock Review: Is It Worth It?

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LifeLock protects you against identity theft. Does it successfully do the job? Learn how it works and the pros and cons.

© CreditDonkey

In 2017, over 147 million people had their personal information exposed during the Equifax hack. This is just one of the thousands of security breaches each year. Are you protected?

Not only does LifeLock protect you from these types of incidents, it also helps you recover if you do become a victim.

However, the service can get costly starting at $10 per month. Is it worth the price and what exactly do you get?

Read on for the full review.

What is LifeLock

LifeLock is an identify theft protection service. It was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona.

It offers three main services:

  • Monitors for threats to your identity
  • Alerts you when threats are detected
  • Helps you recover from identity theft

LifeLock doesn't actually prevent you from identity theft. It only detects and tells you if there's something suspicious. This way, you can stop it before more damage occurs.

If you do become a victim, LifeLock can help you put your life back together. It can help you resolve the issue and restore your record, and even reimburse lost money.

You may consider LifeLock if you:

  • Don't want to freeze your credit files
  • Don't regularly check your credit report and/or financial accounts
  • Want help to recover from identity theft

LifeLock Pros & Cons

PROS:

  • 60-day money back guarantee
  • Scans over a trillion data points daily
  • Restoration services help repair damage
  • Stolen funds reimbursement
  • 24/7 customer service

CONS:

  • Expensive cost ($10-$30 a month)
  • Price goes up after first year
  • Lower tier plans are not comprehensive
  • No family coverage

Read on for a more detailed look at how LifeLock works.

Plans & Pricing

STANDARDSELECTADVANTAGEULTIMATE PLUS
$9.99/mo
($11.99 after 1st year)
$9.99/mo
($14.99 after 1st year)
$19.99/mo
($24.99 after 1st year)
$29.99/mo
($34.99 after 1st year)
Credit monitoring for 1 bureauCredit monitoring for 1 bureauCredit monitoring for 1 bureauCredit monitoring for all 3 bureaus
$25,000 Stolen Funds Reimbursement$25,000 Stolen Funds Reimbursement$100,000 Stolen Funds Reimbursement$1 Million Stolen Funds Reimbursement
XSecurity for 5 devicesSecurity for 10 devicesSecurity for unlimited devices
XVPN for 5 devicesVPN for 10 devicesVPN for unlimited devices
XXAlerts for crimes committed in your nameAlerts for crimes committed in your name
XXBank & credit card monitoringBank & credit card monitoring
XXXInvestment account monitoring
XXXBank account takeover alerts

All plans include the following:

  • Credit monitoring
  • Dark web monitoring
  • LifeLock Privacy Monitor
  • USPS Address Change Notification
  • Lost Wallet Protection
  • Data Breach Notifications

In addition to the basic features, LifeLock has four service tiers:

Standard: $9.99/mo
As the cheapest plan available, this plan monitors one credit bureau and provides up to $25,000 reimbursement for stolen funds. ($11.99/mo after first year)

Select: $9.99/mo
This plan adds Norton 360 features, such as security on up to 5 devices, VPN for up to 5 devices, and anti-virus protection. ($14.99/mo after first year)

Advantage: $19.99/mo
The mid-tier plan still only monitors one credit bureau. But it adds bank account and credit card monitoring. You also get security and VPN on up to 10 devices. ($24.99/mo after first year)

Ultimate Plus: $29.99/mo
The largest plan provides monitoring of all three credit bureaus. It adds monitoring of investment accounts and bank account takeovers. You get security and VPN on unlimited devices. ($34.99/mo after first year)

You may also request monthly credit scores from one credit bureau. However, it is the Vantage 3.0 score, not FICO.

Keep in mind: LifeLock does not do business with all banks, credit card companies, or financial institutions. Their scans may miss issues with specific companies if they are not within the LifeLock network.

LifeLock Features

© CreditDonkey

Below are the main features that LifeLock offers.

Credit Monitoring

LifeLock monitors your credit report for any suspicious activity and big changes. You'll get notified right away if anything is detected.

However, at the basic and middle packages, you only get monitoring for one credit bureau. Only the highest tier plan monitors all three credit bureaus.

This means that you don't get comprehensive coverage unless you pay up for the most expensive plan. Just monitoring one credit report leaves a lot of holes for fraud to slip through.

Dark Web Monitoring

Within the depth of the internet exists the mysterious dark web. This is where cyber criminals conduct illegal operations, including selling stolen personal information. This could include your bank account passwords, credit card numbers, and Social Security number.

LifeLock also monitors the dark web and dark forums and notifies you if your information is found there.

However, LifeLock cannot prevent your information from being sold and used. And once it is out there, LifeLock can't take it down. It just makes you aware so you can take steps to fix it.

Privacy Monitor

There are tons of people-search websites that act like a huge online directory. Anyone can access them. They could include personal information like your name, address, phone number, age, and even family members.

Sometimes, people use these sites to reconnect with a friend or relative. Or maybe a business will use them to perform identity checks. But cyber criminals could have scarier intentions.

LifeLock's Privacy Monitor lets you find and remove your personal information from these kinds of public websites and databases. This makes it harder for people to find your personal information.

Lost Wallet Protection

Have you ever lost your wallet? You can understand the panic. All it takes is your wallet falling into the wrong hands.

LifeLock will help you cancel your credit cards, checkbooks, driver's license, Social Security cards and more.

This assistance can be really appreciated when you're feeling too overwhelmed to handle the necessary tasks.

Stolen Funds Reimbursement

Being a victim of identity theft can leave you in financial distress. LifeLock can help you recoup some stolen assets.

If you lose money from an act of identity theft, LifeLock can provide reimbursement up to a certain amount.

  • Standard plan: up to $25,000
  • Advantage plan: up to $100,000
  • Ultimate Plus plan: up to $1 Million

This can include stolen money from fraudulent bank account takeovers, investment account withdrawals, and tax return refunds.

Restoration Services

If you do unfortunately become a victim of identity theft, LifeLock will help you sort it out. You'll get a dedicated Restoration Specialist to help you through the entire process.

Each plan also comes with up to $1 million coverage for lawyers and experts to help resolve your case. LifeLock will provide the lawyers and other experts if needed.

This is often the true value of LifeLock. Most people don't know what actions to take after they've been compromised. LifeLock handles it for you so you get the proper help in restoring your identity.

Downsides

Not comprehensive credit monitoring.
Only one credit bureau is monitored with the first three plans. You have to pony up and pay for the most expensive plan to monitor all three credit bureaus.

Since not all companies report to all three bureaus, there could be fraud that you're not made aware of.

Cost is expensive.
The most affordable plan lacks the proper coverage. However, the most comprehensive plan is expensive at $30 per month. The price for all plans also go up after the first year.

No family plan.
If you want to protect more than one family member, it can get really expensive. You can add children for an extra $5.99 per month. But you'll have to purchase a whole separate plan for a spouse.

Limited coverage guarantee.
Despite their million dollar coverage guarantee, there are many limitations. If your identity is stolen or accounts hacked into, it must be due to some failure or defect on LifeLock's behalf for the guarantee to take effect.

If LifeLock did what they promised and you still got hacked, the guarantee may not apply.

Customer Service

LifeLock offers 24/7 customer support via phone. Live online chat is offered Monday to Friday 7am - 10pm EST. All customer service is US-based and not outsourced.

Ultimate Plus members get priority customer service.

If you do experience identity theft, you'll need to wait until business hours to secure any restoration services, though. Chances are this is because LifeLock needs to work with banks and credit card companies during their operating hours.

LifeLock also offers online member support. Their member portal provides up-to-date information about your account status. Their website also offers a multitude of resources that may either answer your question or help you figure out what to do next.

Customer Service Phone Number: 1-800-543-3562

How to cancel: If you obtained your LifeLock service directly from LifeLock, call 1-800-LIFELOCK (543-3562). You can also cancel via your member portal. If you obtained the service through a third-party, you must contact the third-party to cancel.

Is LifeLock Worth It?

© CreditDonkey

It's important to remember that LifeLock cannot truly prevent identity theft. What it does is helps limit your exposure and keeps an eye out for any suspicious activity.

LifeLock's highest tier provides comprehensive coverage, but it's pricey. The lower tiers still leave a lot of gaps in coverage, making it essentially half useless. A lot of features you can do yourself for free if you're willing to do take some time.

In this sense, LifeLock's security service may not be worth it unless you pay for the most expensive plan.

However, LifeLock's real value comes if you do become a victim of identity theft. It will handle the process of reclaiming your identity, and even reimburses stolen funds. This service can be invaluable since it's troublesome and costly to do it yourself.

Security Measures You Can Do Yourself

If you don't want to pay for an identity theft protection service, there are some things you can do on your own.

Sign up for fraud alerts.
You can sign up for fraud alerts with the three credit bureaus. This is a notification that requires creditors to verify your identity before approving a new account. Each fraud alert lasts for one year, and you can renew as often as you like.

Check your credit reports.
You're entitled to one free credit report per year from each credit bureau. Review the reports yourself for any accounts you did not open. Get yours at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Monitor your financial accounts.
Make it a habit to check your banking, credit cards, and investment accounts for any transactions you did not approve. Sign up for alerts with your bank for any suspicious activities.

Remove yourself from people search sites.
You can go through sites like WhitePages and PeopleFinders yourself and remove your listing. This limits your exposure on these sites so your personal information won't be sold.

Credit freeze.
The most drastic action is freezing your credit files. This puts a complete stop to access to your credit report. So a fraudster will not be able to open new accounts with your identity. You can still temporary lift the freeze whenever you need to with a PIN.

Hear from an Expert

CreditDonkey asked Patrick Juola from Duquesne University how identity theft happens in the first place.

Here's what he had to say:

How It Compares

  • Identity Guard: With Identity Guard, you get basic identity protection with the exception of driver's license number monitoring. They offer a breadth of services that monitor what happens on your accounts, but they lack the restoration services needed to pick up the pieces. Their customer service is more of an "advice line" than professionals fixing the problem.

  • ID Shield: With ID Shield, you get a $5 million guarantee if your identity is stolen, and you can monitor up to 2 adults and 8 children on one plan. However, they only monitor one credit bureau (TransUnion), no matter which plan you choose. In the event that your identity is stolen; however, you have access to private investigators who also help you restore your identity and/or accounts.

  • IdentityForce: With IdentityForce, you get more than financial protection. They monitor social media sites, blogs, and court records too. Their most basic plan includes most everything LifeLock's most expensive plan offers. However, they do not offer a family plan.

Bottom Line

If you are willing to pay for credit monitoring because you won't do it yourself, LifeLock may give you a little more protection against identity theft. It'll also help you recover if you do become a victim.

Keep in mind that there's no way to completely prevent identity theft. If you are not proactive in keeping your passwords secure and monitoring your accounts on a regular basis, it might be worth the peace of mind to know when something is amiss.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

More from CreditDonkey:


Identity Theft Statistics


Hacking Statistics


Opt Out of Junk Mail



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