LifeLock Review

We checked out LifeLock to see if its alert services and identity theft insurance are worth the price tag.
Best identity theft insurance coverage
LifeLock
LifeLock by Norton
3 out of 5 stars
3
Starts at
$7.99
/mo
  • pro
    Account takeover alerts
  • pro
    24/7 identity theft help
  • con
    Past data breaches
Kasey Tross
Apr 06, 2022
bullet5 min read

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review. We may earn money when you buy through our links.

At a basic level, LifeLock is an identity theft monitoring service. LifeLock surveys and inspects locations, platforms, and services where your identity-related information (like Social Security number, credit card information, or driver’s license number) is stored. LifeLock will alert you to any suspicious behavior or indications that your information has been stolen.

Signing up for a LifeLock package does not guarantee that your identity won’t be stolen—the company is simply a watchdog for red flags.

LifeLock Pros and Cons

pro
Pros
pro 60-day money-back guarantee
pro Identity restoration specialists
pro 24/7 identity theft support
pro Personal loss reimbursement
con
Cons
con Increasing membership fees
con Vague notifications
con Delayed alerts
con Past data breaches

Compare LifeLock plans and pricing

Plan
Monthly Cost (First Year)
Monthly Cost (Second Year)
Alerts
Stolen Fund Reimbursement
Active Monitoring
Learn more
LifeLock Standard

$11.99

Credit
Social Security number
Identity fraud
Data breach

$25,000

1 credit bureau
Dark web

LifeLock Advantage

$22.99

Bank
Credit
Social Security number
Identity fraud
Data breach

$100,000

1 credit bureau
Dark web
Crime reports

Lifelock Ultimate Plus

$34.99

Bank
Credit
Social Security number
Identity fraud
Data breach

$1 million

3 credit bureaus
Dark web
Crime reports
Sex offender registry

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

LifeLock's upper-tier plans are more comprehensive than those offered by similar services, but you pay a lot more for features like million-dollar reimbursements and file-sharing network protection that most people don't need to worry about. We're also not fans of the introductory price that then goes up a year after you subscribe, no matter what plan you choose.

The plans work like a subscription service with annual renewals, but you can cancel at any time. If you pay annually, you can get a prorated refund of any months you've already paid for.

bullet
Protect Your Identity During the Pandemic

Identity theft protection is a must, especially with so many more "everyday" things happening online—like meetings and school. Here are some extra things you can do to reinforce your online protection (on top of tools like LifeLock).

Update privacy settings on every device, app, software package, and platform that you or your kids are using.

Protect your details. Don't share any personal information like your phone number, birthday, or social security number. Make sure that none of that info is listed in public online profiles.

Keep everything updated. Software and firmware updates can seem annoying, but they're your first line of defense. And most include security patches to new threats that are discovered daily. Make sure the latest updates have been installed on all of your devices.

These are just a few measures that offer an extra level of safety at this time. Find more safety tips in our comprehensive guide to keeping your computer safe while working from home.

Identity alerts

Despite its name, LifeLock's identity theft protection works less like a lock and more like a security system. LifeLock watches for suspicious activity on your credit report and will alert you if something looks fishy so you can take steps to fix it. It won't prevent people from getting access to your information, but it will give you the opportunity to stop the fraudulent activity before they get away with much.

Alerts are sometimes vague

On the downside, the LifeLock fraud alerts are often vague and confusing. Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether the "suspicious activity" that triggered the alert was you doing your daily business or identity thieves using your account. Also, because LifeLock checks multiple credit bureaus for its top-tier plans, you may get multiple fraud alerts about the same activity.

Standout feature: Bank account takeover alert

One of LifeLock's biggest strengths is the Bank Account Takeover Alert. We talked to Susan Quackenbush, a credit fraud investigator for Capitol One, who told us that thieves often change names and addresses on existing bank and credit accounts to take them over—it’s one of the most common ways of stealing account information.

Quackenbush says even many of the best identity theft protection companies don't monitor that kind of fraud activity. LifeLock does, but the alert is available only with the most expensive Ultimate Plus plan.

LifeLock App

The LifeLock app comes free with every plan, and it gets high ratings from both Android and iOS users. The app lets you see the different ways LifeLock monitors your identity, and it lets you check your credit score. We think the best feature is the in-app communication that lets you talk directly to identity theft experts 24/7 by either messaging or calling. If you lose your wallet or your driver's license or get an alert that your private information has been stolen, having someone to walk you through important next steps can take a huge weight off your shoulders.

Norton Antivirus and LifeLock partnership

LifeLock has teamed up with Norton Antivirus to give you virus protection on up to five devices, including laptops, desktops, phones, and tablets.

Protection is optional, so if you already have an antivirus that works for you, you can opt out. But Norton Security (aka, Symantec) has some of the best anti-malware products around, and its most recent tests from AV-Comparatives showed that it scored well in protecting against spyware, malware, and other viruses that could infect your device and leak your personal information.1 The only thing we don't like about the included Norton Antivirus software is that it doesn't work on iOS devices.

Customer Service

Most of the glowing reviews from customers have to do with LifeLock's experts helping them recover from identity theft. Less-than-stellar reviews are usually about billing, with customers continuing to get charged for cancelled memberships. Account access is another sore point—several members report being unable to access their accounts and receiving very little assistance from LifeLock customer service.

bullet
LifeLock controversies

In our research we discovered that in 2015 LifeLock was ordered to pay a settlement for false advertising and failure to protect customers' sensitive information, among other offenses.2 We also discovered that the company suffered an email leak in 2018, putting its customers' privacy at risk.3

Keep in mind that the fact that you have to give over so much personal information to an identification theft protection service can make it your Achilles’ heel if it were to ever get hacked.

Compare LifeLock to other identity theft protection services

Service
Best for
Lowest price
Recovery insurance
Family plan available
Credit monitoring
Learn more
Best individual coverage $1 million
bulletYes
bulletIncluded
Best overall coverage $1 million
bulletYes
bulletPaid upgrade
Best family coverage $1 million
bulletYes
bulletPaid upgrade
Best value $1 million
bulletYes
bulletPaid upgrade
Best insurance coverage $1 million,
reimbursement up to $1 million
bulletYes
bulletIncluded

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

LifeLock's main selling point compared to its competitors is its $25,000 insurance policy that covers out-of-pocket expenses if your identity or wallet is stolen. This reimbursement is more clearly defined than the vague million-dollar "identity theft insurance" promise offered by both LifeLock and its competitors.

Final word

If you want complete coverage, LifeLock's top-tier Ultimate Plus plan is a good choice, but it's pricey. The lower-tier plans are less expensive, but they have enough holes in their identity protections that they just aren't worth the monthly fees.

LifeLock's history with the FTC is also troubling, and we don't like how it can change the rates for its services each year. LifeLock is almost a good option, but with the exception of the top-tier plan, we can't recommend it as a whole for your identity protection. We recommend shopping around to find a stronger identity protection service.

FAQs

Like an insurance company, LifeLock can't help with reimbursement of personal expenses after your identity has been stolen, but it can help you with identity protection going forward.

Protect your child’s Social Security number by keeping their Social Security card and other personal information in a safe place. Don't give their Social Security number out to anyone unless you know specifically how it will be used. Keep an eye out for any pre-approved credit card offers in their name, and request their credit report from a major credit reporting bureau. If their identity hasn't been stolen, they won't have a credit report yet. To further protect your child’s identity, you can request that a credit report be created and then put a freeze on it to prevent any activity until they're old enough to use it.4

Two-factor authentication is a way of protecting a private account—like a bank account—by requiring you to provide two forms of proof of access. One is usually a password, but the other could be a PIN number, an answer to a security question, or even a thumbprint ID. This type of authentication adds another layer of protection to your personal accounts.

How we reviewed LifeLock

We studied how the company monitors credit reports and other indicators of identity theft and compared its methods and pricing with similar services. We looked at the Better Business Bureau to find customer complaints against LifeLock, and we also checked into the company's history to learn of any data breach issues. Our full methodology explains more about the process we use to review products.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

  1. AV-Comparatives, "Performance Test October 2021," November 2021. Accessed April 6, 2022.
  2. Federal Trade Commission, "LifeLock to Pay $100 Million to Consumers to Settle FTC Charges it Violated 2010 Order," December 2015. Accessed April 6, 2022. 
  3. Brian Krebs, Krebs On Security, "LifeLock Bug Exposed Millions of Customer Email Addresses," July 2018. Accessed April 6, 2022.
  4. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information, “How to Protect Your Child From Identity Theft,” May 2021. Accessed April 6, 2022.
Kasey Tross
Written by
Kasey Tross
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers.

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