Identity theft is a very real threat in our modern, connected world — it’s even (some studies say especially) happening to young children and people of limited means. It’s not just about the money that you have in the bank and the things you’ve achieved in the past. Your identity has inherent value, and everyone has something to protect. Crooks could use your identify to apply for loans, run up credit card debt, and even commit crimes, leaving you behind to deal with the consequences.
Identify theft is very hard to predict and even more difficult to prevent, but it can be detected early and dealt with effectively. Identify protection services like LifeLock monitor things like financial accounts and court records in an effort to spot your personal information whenever it appears somewhere that it doesn’t belong. If your information does appear unexpectedly, these sorts of services will alert you and, if necessary, help you cancel accounts and rebuild your life after an information security breach.
LifeLock is just one of these companies, but it’s arguably the biggest name in the business. How does it measure up to the competition? Let’s take a closer look.
LifeLock is one of the longest-tenured and most popular companies of its kind. It was founded back in 2005 and boasts more than 4 million members. Since a 2017 acquisition, LifeLock has been owned by Symantec, which also owns the popular Norton AntiVirus software. Norton AntiVirus is now rolled into LifeLock’s suite of services and features.
It hasn’t all been roses for LifeLock over the years. They ran afoul of the FTC in the 2010s — most notably in 2015, when they were found to be in contempt of a prior agreement over false advertising practices and, of all things, failing to properly secure customer information. But that’s behind LifeLock now, and the service enjoys a strong reputation for security and customer service these days.
LifeLock customers enjoy Norton AntiVirus protection as well as the services that you’d expect from an information security service: monitoring, alerts, identity theft resolution services, and reimbursement for covered damages associated with identity theft.
Reaching customer support through LifeLock is easy to do. The company offers support over the web, on the phone, and even through its mobile apps. LifeLock has a strong reputation for customer support and customer service.
Equipment and Apps
LifeLock is all about information security, so there’s no hardware or equipment to worry about here. There are some software solutions, however.
LifeLock offer and app for major platforms like iOS. LifeLock’s subscription services also include access to Norton AntiVirus software (as mentioned above, Norton shares a parent company with LifeLock).
Features, Services, and Plans
The core of LifeLock’s offerings are the familiar information security services that every business in this space offers: monitoring, alerts, remediation, and compensation for identity theft and related crimes. LifeLock will keep an eye out for things associated with your name, Social Security number, and financial information. The service will alert you to everything from large financial transactions to crimes committed in your name. If one of these alerts turns out to be connected to a real identity theft crime, LifeLock will help you out with the fallout and compensate you for covered losses. In the case of LifeLock, those losses include not only stolen money, but personal expenses related to the identity theft incident.
LifeLock also includes Norton AntiVirus. The latest version of Norton AntiVirus isn’t just for PCs: it covers some mobile devices, too. Norton AntiVirus updates automatically and can protect you from computer viruses and other online threats.
You don’t actually have to have your identity stolen to use LifeLock — if you lose your wallet and just need to cancel some credit cards, LifeLock can help with that, too.
LifeLock’s subscription service comes in three tiers. The most basic, LifeLock Standard, includes social security number alerts and credit monitoring. LifeLock Standard also includes up to $25,000 in reimbursement (for covered losses related to identity theft).
The next step up, LifeLock Advantage, includes those services plus bank and credit card account monitoring and alerts on crimes committed in your name. The LifeLock Advantage tier also ups your maximum reimbursement to $100,000.
LifeLock’s top-of-the-line suite of services is called LifeLock Ultimate Plus. That one gives you all of the above plus annual credit scores and credit reports from the three major agencies and monitoring of investment and retirement accounts like 401(k)s. Your maximum reimbursement also rises to $1 million.
- LifeLock Standard ($9.99 per month): Social Security number and credit monitoring, $25,000 coverage for stolen funds
- LifeLock Advantage ($19.99 per month): All of the above plus bank and credit card monitoring, crime monitoring; coverage for stolen funds increased to $100,000
- LifeLock Ultimate Plus ($29.99 per month): All of the above plus annual credit scores reports from three bureaus, investment monitoring (including 401k plans); coverage for stolen funds increased to $1,000,000
LifeLock Standard costs $9.99 per month. LifeLock Advantage costs $19.99 per month. LifeLock’s “recommended” service, the top-shelf LifeLock Ultimate Plus, costs $29.99 per month.
LifeLock’s prices are more or less standard for this space. LifeLock’s cheapest option costs less than most rival programs, but the LifeLock packages that are most comparable to offerings from competitors like IdentityForce tend to a cost a bit more per month than their peers.
It’s hard to go wrong with LifeLock, which has the biggest brand and most established reputation of any company in its space. LifeLock’s suite of services is robust, and its inclusion of Norton AntiVirus is a nice perk. The prices are reasonable, if not exceptionally low, and the service is a great choice for anyone who lives in our sometimes dangerous connected world.