Identity theft is on the rise and jeopardizes the economic stability of consumers. One report indicates that 15.4 million people had their identity stolen in 2016. With more recent data breaches, this number is expected to increase. A stolen identity can drain necessary funds from families and jeopardize their credit rating. Consumers who want to avoid these problems may rely on a credit monitoring service to detect threats. One of the most well-known companies that provides this service is LifeLock.

How Does Lifelock Work?

LifeLock members answer a few questions and then install Norton Security on their devices. They use proprietary technology to look for unauthorized use of your personal information in order to detect possible threats of identity theft. This technology scans hundreds of millions of data points per second for suspicious uses of your name, address, phone number, Social Security number, birth date and others.

Also, the LifeLock Identity Alert lets consumers know if the company has detected suspicious activity. Meanwhile, Norton Security runs automatic updates to help protect you from potential threats.

If a member’s identity is stolen or if a device is infected during active membership, the company will work to resolve issues. Identity theft victims are assigned to a United States-based identity restoration specialist who is personally dedicated to your case.

There are three primary types of compensation that the product offers:

  • Personal expense compensation – This covers your personal expense incurred as a result of identity theft, up to your LifeLock plan limits.
  • Reimbursement of stolen funds – This covers money that was directly stolen due to identity theft, up to your LifeLock plan limits.
  • Coverage for lawyers and experts – This protection pays for the necessary lawyers and experts who are needed to resolve your case.

LifeLock Product Information

LifeLock is an identity theft protection service that monitors your personal information for a variety of identity theft threats. The LifeLock cost depends on the LifeLock plan you choose. LifeLock offers three plans:

LifeLock Standard

LifeLock standard is currently $9.99 per month for the first year of service. It provides the following services:

  • Up to $25,000 reimbursement for stolen funds
  • Up to $25,000 personal expense compensation
  • Up to $1 million coverage for lawyers and experts
  • SSN and credit alerts
  • Address change verification
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Credit monitoring
  • Lost wallet protection
  • LifeLock Privacy Monitor
  • A U.S.-based restoration team
  • Norton security protection for up to five devices

LifeLock Advantage

This LifeLock plan costs $19.99 per month for the first year of service. It provides all of the benefits of LifeLock standard. It provides the following additional benefits:

  • Bank and credit card activity alerts
  • Alerts on crimes in your name
  • Up to $100,000 reimbursement for stolen funds
  • Up to $100,000 personal expense compensation
  • Data breach notifications
  • Fictitious identity monitoring
  • Annual credit report and score from one credit bureau

LifeLock Ultimate Plus

LifeLock Ultimate Plus provides all of the services for the LifeLock advantage plan. However, reimbursement for stolen funds, personal expense compensation and lawyer and expert fees are capped at $1 million each. 401(k) & Investment Activity Alerts† is provided. Additionally, credit monitoring for all three bureaus is provided and you can receive your annual credit report and score from all three credit bureaus. The monthly charge for the first year is $29.99.

Common LifeLock Reviews

Users who use LifeLock report that the company is very prompt about notifying them of potential threats. Some identity theft protection reviews lament that the service is sometimes too diligent in its efforts.

LifeLock is praised for its ability to provide comprehensive services to consumers, including using a variety of far-reaching credit monitoring services. Its protection amounts are also some of the highest in the industry.

One common criticism found in a LifeLock review is that LifeLock cannot prevent identity theft. This is true, as it is for all credit monitoring services. However, these services can potentially help detect the beginning moments of identity theft, which can stop it early in its tracks.

Another criticism contained in a LifeLock review is the cost. A family wanting protection can pay well beyond the monthly cost for an individual since there is a per-person amount added rather than one more affordable option for families. However, even with the additional individuals added to the plan, the membership fees pay for themselves if an identity is stolen due to the amount of protection offered by LifeLock. Most people accept the price for the peace of mind the service provides.

While some of LifeLock’s benefits can be replicated for free – such as by freezing your credit file – others cannot. Consumers who are ready to frequently check all of their credit accounts online, analyze statements, set activity alerts on their financial accounts, track monthly changes to their credit score and take on other tedious work may be able to replicate many of LifeLock’s services but at a significant cost of the consumer’s time. Identity theft protection reviews often rank LifeLock above its competitors.

What Makes LifeLock Stand Out?

LifeLock offers a larger protection amount than most other credit monitoring services. It guarantees that it will provide up to $1 million to hire lawyers, accountants, case managers, lawyers and other professionals if a consumer becomes an identity theft victim while a member. It contains very little fine print related to this guarantee.

Additionally, LifeLock provides wide-ranging monitors and alerts that save consumers the time to try to independently conduct all of these preventative measures.

Is LifeLock for Me?

LifeLock provides protection that can assist people of all ages and in a variety of situations. It provides certain services that would be difficult to achieve on your own without professional assistance, such as dark web monitoring. It is particularly helpful if your identity is more vulnerable than others due to having lost your Social Security card or if you received notification that your private information was breached. While LifeLock will not provide retroactive assistance, it can keep an eye out for any recent changes to prevent further identity theft. LifeLock provides great peace of mind knowing that you have someone actively monitoring your data security.