These LifeLock plans can help save you from being a victim of financial crimes and help get you back on your feet if you do get attacked.
The holidays are here and not only does that mean egg nog and mistletoe, it also means identity theft and stolen credit cards.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports three million complaints of identity theft and financial crimes every year. More than 1,500 data hacks are reported by companies each year and a new victim of identity theft is reported in America every two seconds.
And it’s estimated that more than a third of those happen around the Christmas holiday season.
Sorry, that’s a really depressing way to start a blog post!
The point is that protecting your personal information and your money has become a sad fact of life. It’s no longer just something rich people do. Protecting your personal information and credit monitoring is like buying health insurance. It may be years before you need it but it could save your life when you do.
I’ve reviewed credit monitoring services on the blog before but have never done an in-depth review of the credit protection site I use.
That’s why I wanted to review LifeLock, why I use it and how it works to protect you from being a victim of financial crimes.
What is LifeLock?
LifeLock is the most popular identity theft protection service, founded in 2005 and serving over five million Americans. The company continuously monitors your credit, online financial information and personal information to protect you from hacking or other scams.
If you do become a victim of credit card theft or other identity crimes, LifeLock has a team of specialists and lawyers that help you recover. This includes covering your legal bills and reimbursing you for money lost.
Where LifeLock exceeds its competitors is in its Norton internet security which protects your computer from viruses and scams. This provides complete protection beyond just credit monitoring.
What Does LifeLock Do?
The graphic shows everything LifeLock does to protect your credit and personal information. The company continuously monitors your credit reports for hacking and fraud charges. LifeLock also monitors the Dark Web, a network of hackers and financial scammers, to make sure your identity isn’t being sold or shared.
Beyond this proactive monitoring of your financial life, LifeLock also takes a defensive approach with its Norton Security service. The software protects your computer from hackers, viruses and all kinds of digital scams that could be used to steal your identity and your money.
LifeLock Plans and Price
LifeLock isn’t the cheapest identity theft protection service available but people overlook the extra features when comparing credit monitoring services. The higher cost is because you get the Norton Security service as well as credit monitoring and protection.
LifeLock Standard is the basic service and provides a lot of protection for the price. For less than $10 a month, you get constant monitoring of your credit and social security number as well as reimbursement of stolen funds and costs.
The basic credit monitoring package alerts you when anyone tries to change your address in your credit, a common warning sign to fraud, as well as any fake personal information connected to your credit.
LifeLock Advantage is the plan I use and will be enough for most people. Beyond all the benefits you get from the standard plan, you get alerted to hacking reports at companies that might have your personal information. You also get bank information protection with alerts on any cash withdrawals, transfers or credit card purchases.
The advantage plan increases your coverage for up to $100,000 in stolen funds and expenses. You would be amazed at how fast expenses to recover your identity and credit can add up. One reader reported last year that, even though they only had $20,000 in fraud charges on their credit card, the total cost of getting their identity stolen was well over $50,000 in one year.
LifeLock Ultimate Plus is more than most people will need but that $1 million protection gives you the ultimate peace of mind from identity theft. Anyone with more than $100,000 in assets and credit available on cards should consider this level to protect from a hack.
Beyond the services you get in the standard and advantage plan, you also get monitoring on your investment accounts for any suspicious activity and warning signs.
How I Use LifeLock to Protect my Credit
It takes less than five minutes to get set up with LifeLock to protect your money and identity. The only requirements are that you be 18 years old and a U.S. resident or citizen.
To sign up for the service; you’ll need your name, address, email, date of birth, social security number and a phone number. You’ll also need a credit card and valid driver’s license to sign up.
LifeLock will immediately scan the internet for warning signs and threats to your personal information. The service continuously monitors the internet and Dark Web for any threats and activity in your name to catch theft before it happens.
Through Norton Security, your computer will be protected from hacking and other scams that try to get your personal information. You can use the security across all your devices connected to the internet including laptops, phones and tablets.
If you are ever a victim of identity theft or a financial scam, LifeLock uses its team of legal and recovery experts to get you back on your feet. They have a special Restoration Department that contacts credit bureaus and financial institutions to help you recover your credit and reimburse you for stolen funds up to your plan limit.
LifeLock Alerts with Each Plan
Not only does LifeLock monitor your credit and protect your computer from fraud but it will alert you to warning signs of a possible hack. The company uses special software to find legitimate threats to your credit and immediately sends you an alert of the activity.
LifeLock alerts include:
- New credit and loan applications in your name
- Court records listing your name
- Change of address with the post office or on your credit reports
- Suspicious activity in your bank accounts and credit cards
- Your name and information on the Dark Web, a part of the internet used to sell personal information and credit card numbers
If an alert does trigger identity theft or a scam, the LifeLock team will help you lock down your personal information to protect from losing money. Any losses are covered up to your plan limit and the Restoration Team starts to work immediately to recover your identity.
LifeLock Review: Is LifeLock Worth It?
I initially hesitated at the cost of paying identity protection every month but then thought about it. We pay more than $50 a month in car insurance and hundreds in life & health insurance. Insurance on our home is another few hundred dollars a month.
As important as your personal information and credit is, wouldn’t you want to protect it as well?
Hacking and identity theft have become a common occurrence and it’s not necessarily if it’s going to happen to you, but when. More than 40,000 Americans get their identity stolen each year.
While LifeLock may not be the cheapest credit monitoring service, I’m not looking for cheap when I protect my identity. I’m looking for quality, customer service and the full protection I need to keep from being a victim. With the addition of Norton Security, LifeLock provides the protection I need to not worry about identity theft.
Pros of LifeLock
- 60-day money back guarantee means you can try it out risk-free
- Reimbursement and legal fee coverage has high limits so you’re not stuck covering some of your bills due to identity theft
- Customer service is excellent with 24/7 availability online or by phone
- LifeLock service means you don’t have to freeze your credit when a data hack occurs
- LifeLock monitors all your financial accounts including credit, banking and investment
Cons of LifeLock
- Apple devices are not supported by Norton Security
- LifeLock is for individual use so business owners will need another service
- The price includes the Norton Security protection and can’t be unbundled for just credit monitoring
It sucks that there’s yet another type of insurance we need in our daily lives. I guess that’s the price we pay for being digitally connected and having our entire lives on the internet. LifeLock pricing offers quality protection that costs much less than other types of insurance. The LifeLock plans are inclusive and will protect you from identity theft as well as online financial crimes.