LifeLock Review – Is It Best or Waste of Money? (Detailed Review)

LifeLock is a popular American identity theft protection company now owned by Symantec.

The service combines multiple techniques and technologies to keep you safe. It looks out for your identity being used to obtain loans, credit and services.

It checks court and criminal records to warn you of others using your name. Change of address records are monitored, detecting attempts to redirect your mail, and the service is always scanning the dark web for any sign of your personal or financial details.

Mobile apps and alerts keep you in touch with what’s going on.

If LifeLock detects an auto loan application in your name, for instance, you’ll get a notification asking if this was a legitimate request. Say no and the LifeLock support team will investigate.

LifeLock isn’t another me-too company using a standard data feed to access this information. It’s coming from Symantec’s own ID Analytics network, a comprehensive data consortium which takes input from multiple lending, service and other industries, and now receives more than 100 million new identity elements every day.

If you’ve been hit by fraud, LifeLock’s team of ID specialists are on hand to help fix the problems and restore your identity. This isn’t just about giving advice – they take on all the main admin tasks on your behalf, making phone calls, filling in paperwork and more.

That can be an expensive process, especially with legal fees, but LifeLock helps here, too, with up to $1 million worth of reimbursement for losses and expenses due to identity fraud.

Quality and Warranty

LifeLock offers a $1 million insurance stating it will reimburse you “dollar for dollar” should the worst happen and your identity gets stolen. A closer look at their pricing structure reveals, however, that the company’s reimbursement limit depends on your subscription. In other words, you need to subscribe to a high-tier plan to have that $1 million protection.

The company also offers monthly and yearly subscriptions complete with a 60-day money-back guarantee. You can cancel any time without incurring early cancellation fees, too.

Features

Personal data monitoring – one user can track one Social Security Number, and only one driver’s license number, which is understandable. But you can also track your mother’s maiden name, up to 10 bank accounts and credit cards, up to five addresses, emails, and phone numbers.

Alerts – whenever the service detects your address in online searchable documents or identifies that someone is trying to open a bank account in your name using your SSN, it alerts you immediately via email, phone, or text, based on your preferences. If a financial transaction is in question, you can approve or reject it from the dashboard or mobile app.

Lost wallet assistance comes handy if you should ever need help getting a new driver’s license, credit cards, or insurance cards.

Bank account monitoring is the one feature that makes LifeLock worth the investment. LifeLock will monitor your bank account for any fraudulent activity by using read-only access to view your recent transactions. You can review your transactions directly from LifeLock interface, too, but the major benefit here is the company will keep an eye on your account to secure lines of credit.

You can also customize your alerts and receive notifications for transactions exceeding a certain amount.

Note: LifeLock lets you monitor your 401K account, a feature you won’t find with many competitors in the field.

LifeLock mobile app for iOS and Android gives you access to all the resources you have in your browser-based dashboard. Notably, in many cases, competitors’ mobile apps come with chopped functionality. But LifeLock’s app is polished and advanced, letting you approve or reject financial transactions and chat with LifeLock customer service.

Dark Web monitoring – LifeLock monitors black market sites where identity thieves sell stolen IDs and alerts you if it finds your data is up for sale.

LifeLock can also remove your name from pre-approved credit card mailing lists often targeted by identity thieves.

Price​

LifeLock doesn’t have the easiest-to-digest pricing structure. The three plans on its pricing page may or may not reflect discounts, but the actual roster of plans contains more than a dozen items. It is this list you want to check before subscribing because it includes the prices without the discounts, which is what you get to pay when your next billing period is due.

LifeLock Standard for one user is priced at $9.99/mo or $109.89/year and gets you SNN monitoring, credit alerts from one bureau, and up to $25,000 coverage for identity fraud-related losses.

LifeLock Advantage for one user costs $219.89/year or $19.99/mo and adds alerts about credit card and banking activity, as well as monitoring for crime recors. It also raises cover for ID theft losses to $100,000.

LifeLock Ultimate Plus costs $29.99/mo or $32.89/year and gets you up to $1 million reimbursements for stolen funds, as well as alerts for 401K and investment activities. It also adds three bureau credit reports and score monitoring.

Also, LifeLock Junior addon costs $5.99/mo or $65.99/year, while LifeLock Senior addon is priced at $19.99/mo or $219.89/year for both of your parents. But if you want to add your spouse to your plan, you have to pay the full price. As a result, your LifeLock bill can quickly bloat if you’re going to monitor data of your entire family.

For additional $3-$5/mo, you can get Norton Security Online to any of these plans. It might block malware attacks and protect your Win, Mac, Android, and iOS devices from spyware. Since it’s a Symantec product, which ranks high among consumer antivirus suites, Norton could be worth the investment, but the full Norton Security suite is still more robust than its online sibling.

LifeLock doesn’t offer a free trial but backs your purchase with a 60-day money-back guarantee and zero dollars early termination fees.

Installation

LifeLock web-based dashboard offers a clean and intuitive user interface complete with credit scores, recent alerts, reports, self-descriptive tabs, and a wealth of useful information in the FAQs section. Its mobile app allows editing information and approving or rejecting transactions, as well as receiving alerts, and contacting the customer service directly.

How Does It Work?

Reports

Opening your LifeLock account works much the same as with competing products: hand over your name, email, physical address, birth date and social security number, and you’re given access to the basic service right away.

Credit-related features (reports and scores) require a separate validation process before you can access them, and the website says LifeLock Ultimate Plus ‘three bureau credit monitoring’ could take several days to begin. Still, this doesn’t necessitate any further intervention from you, and there are plenty of other options to explore while you’re waiting.

LifeLock’s web dashboard looks good and is thoughtfully designed. The main part of the screen highlights all the details you’re likely to need right now – recent transactions, new alerts, your current credit score – and a sidebar gives speedy access to the other areas of the service: Alerts, Credit, Transactions, ID Restoration, Support and more.Advertisement

LifeLock’s iOS and Android apps enable receiving alerts on credit events, wherever you are. If the company’s ID Analytics network spots a new credit card application, a wireless account opening (Verizon, AT&T), a new loan (auto, payday and others) then you’re notified right away, and asked to confirm that this is a legitimate action.

Click Yes, and all is fine. Click No and LifeLock’s member services team will look into it. There’s no need for you to do anything: the company gets back to you when it has found out more.

LifeLock Advantage and Ultimate Plus can also monitor and raise alerts for bank and credit card transactions. You’re able to set per-account thresholds for transactions you might consider unusual, and if that threshold is exceeded you’ll be alerted.

For this system to work, you must provide LifeLock with your login credentials for each account. That may not appeal to everyone, and it also means you’ll have to update LifeLock whenever you change your password in a monitored account.

But if you can live with that, it’s a useful system which effectively allows you to build a personalized financial portal where you can track multiple accounts and providers in one place.

Just like most of the competition, LifeLock says it monitors the dark web for signs that your personal details are being sold. We’re generally skeptical of these claims as most providers give you no information on what this involves, but LifeLock is a little different.

The company at least provides an idea of the scale of what it’s doing by claiming to check more than 10,000 dubious websites, and with Symantec’s security expertise to call on, we’re more confident LifeLock will deliver more in this area than we are with most of the competition.

No service can guarantee 100% protection from ID theft, so LifeLock also provides US-based restoration specialists to help you recover if the worst happens. This isn’t just a matter of having someone advise you what to do.

LifeLock handles many major tasks itself: collecting details, investigating facts, preparing for and remediating the case, settling insurance claims, retaining legal representation, and more.Advertisement

If you need help or have any general questions, LifeLock’s support team is available 24/7. The website explains that ‘priority live member support’ is reserved for Ultimate Plus users only, which leaves us wondering what lesser customers might experience.

LifeLock Alerts

There’s good news and bad news here. If LifeLock detects suspicious activity, you will be alerted by email, phone or text. And if it does turn out to be a legitimate identity theft event, LifeLock does provide remediation.

Events that will trigger an alert include:

  • An application for new credit.
  • A change in court records, including information reporting you were charged with a crime, you have been a victim of identity theft, or even inaccurate court records.
  • Information about you is detected on the Dark Web (hard to find websites where personal information is frequently sold by identity thieves).
  • U.S. Postal Service change of address verification.
  • Bank and credit card alerts.*
  • Data breach notifications.*

(*Not available on the Standard plan.)

Unfortunately, not all events will trigger an alert. For example, LifeLock reports certain activities could generate an alert up to 30 days later, which of course will have limited value. These events include:

  • Applying for credit, services, or refinancing with the company or bank listed in your alert.
  • Making changes to an existing account, or being added as an authorized user on any account with the company or bank listed in your alert.
  • Applying for or inquiring about new services, store rewards cards, airline rewards programs, or sweepstakes/drawings with the company or bank listed in your alert.

LifeLock acknowledges that though there are a large number of companies in their network, the network does not cover all transactions. As well, not all merchants participate, and an application may occasionally be submitted that does not appear in the network.

If an event does turn out to be fraudulent, the process is as follows:

  1. You must first notify the financial institution where the event took place, then
  2. contact LifeLock Member Services Department.

The LifeLock Silver Lining

If you experience identity theft as a result of activity that is reported on a delayed basis, or not reported at all, you will still be eligible for the Million Dollar Protection Package, including the Service Guarantee to provide experts and lawyers, as well as the Restoration Department to work on your behalf.

When you do receive an alert, you will be given the option to select either “YES, this was me” or “NO, this was not me.”  If you select NO, LifeLock will review the situation and you will then receive a follow-up notification by either phone or email.

LifeLock does advise that you may also receive multiple alerts for the same event, due to the fact that the information may be reported to two or three major credit bureaus. Each report will trigger an alert, although each will be in reference to the same event.

Mobile Experience

LifeLock’s Mobile App is free for iOS and Android devices, and can be downloaded through the App Store and Google Play. With the mobile app, you can receive alerts and notifications directly to your mobile device, providing you with the fastest alerts possible.

Alerts come by push notification, and you’ll be able to respond to them immediately. If you confirm an activity to be suspicious, Identity Protection Agents will be available to help you.

You can use LifeLock Mobile App’s in-app messaging service or calling feature to get in touch with Member Services.

Once again, you can access your credit score from the mobile app, but not your credit report.

LifeLock Support

There are two ways to contact LifeLock. The LifeLock Member Portal provides self-service options, where you can get quick answers to general questions.

You can also contact LifeLock by phone at 1-800-LifeLock (1-800-4543-3562). Phone contact is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you do become the victim of identity theft, LifeLock provides a Restoration Department to help guide you through the process and make sure you aren’t having to face the crisis alone.

VERDICT

The identity theft protection offered by LifeLock is as comprehensive as it can be, short of providing 100% security. But the real strength of the service is what happens when you become a victim of identity theft.

They offer their Restoration Department to work with you through the entire process, so you’re never facing the problem alone. They also offer up to between $25,000 and $1 million for stolen funds reimbursement and personal expense compensation.

Of course, it has to be considered that LifeLock is a multi-level service. It not only provides identity theft notification and resolution, but also credit monitoring. On balance, LifeLock is an excellent service.

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