LifeLock is a leading provider of credit monitoring and identity theft protection services. It's probably the largest and best known identity theft protection company, thanks in part to an aggressive marketing campaign. The business is based in Temp, Arizona, and was started in 2005. LifeLock has around 3 million members and reported a total revenue of $130 million in 2014. It is a BBB-accredited business with an A+ rating.

What Services Does LifeLock Offer?

LifeLock offers a wide selection of identity theft and credit reporting services. These include removal from pre-approved credit card mailing lists, credit card and bank account monitoring, lost wallet protection, black market website surveillance for misuse of personal information, monthly credit score tracking, credit inquiry alerts, $1 million identity theft insurance*, annual credit reports from the three credit bureaus and credit inquiry alerts.

However, LifeLock does not provide users with their FICO scores and only offers updates to credit reports once a year. Clients who want to know their FICO scores must purchase them elsewhere. FICO scores are the credit scores most lenders use when assessing the creditworthiness of clients. The proprietary credit scores offered by LifeLock are only useful for educational purposes, they do not provide the score lenders look at.

How Does LifeLock Work?

LifeLock is a subscription-based service that detects and alerts cases of identity theft and helps users recover from the damage inflicted when ID theft does occur.

LifeLock divides its services into three tiers of protection. LifeLock Standard includes credit alerts, black market surveillance, Lost Wallet protection, address change verification, $1 million insurance and resolution support. LifeLock Advantage also includes fictitious identity monitoring, court records scanning, credit card activity alerts and an annual look at your credit score and credit report from TransUnion. LifeLock Ultimate Plus also adds bank account takeover alerts, credit inquiry alerts, annual credit reports and scores from all three credit bureaus, sex offender registry reports and monthly tracking of TransUnion's credit score.

As with all identity theft and credit monitoring services, users must first open an account and confirm their identity by providing their full name, address, date of birth and Social Security Number.

How Much Does It Cost?

LifeLock has different prices for each level of protection. The LifeLock Standard costs $9.99, the LifeLock Advantage is $19.99 and the LifeLock Ultimate Plus is $29.99.

How is LifeLock Better/Worse Than Other Credit Reporting Companies?

LifeLock includes a comprehensive identity theft protection program that claims to monitor over a trillion data points to help detect fraudulent behavior before it occurs. The company has over 10 years' experience and A+ rating with the BBB. In the last three years, it has only had 74 complaints with the BBB, all of which were closed. Quite the achievement for a company this size.

As comprehensive as LifeLock's identity theft protection services claim to be, it doesn't include ongoing credit monitoring or scores. Credit reports and scores are only provided once a year, and unless you pay for the $30 a month plan, you only get access to TransUnion's credit data. The credit scores it does provide annually are not FICO scores and are therefore only useful for educational purposes; not to check the score lenders use to assess your creditworthiness.

Another concern is LifeLock's history of questionable marketing techniques. In 2010, LifeLock paid $11 million to the Federal Trade Commission and $1 million to a group of 35 state attorney generals to settle charges of false advertising. Perhaps the most worrying false claim was that they encrypted all personal data. The FTC claims personal data was stored without encryption and vulnerable to identity thieves. However, there has been no further government involvement since 2010 and the low number of complaints in the last three years is reassuring.

* Service Guarantee benefits for State of New York members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy issued by State National Insurance Company. Benefits for all other members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by United Specialty Insurance Company. Under the Service Guarantee LifeLock will spend up to $1 million to hire experts to help your recovery. Please see the policy for terms, conditions and exclusions at LifeLock.com/legal (here).

  • Max Monthly Fee
  • No Monthly Fees
  • Fix Credit Report Errors
  • Identity Theft Insurance
  • 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring
  • FICO Score Available
  • Online Credit Education
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0 votes

I started off with their cheapest plan but soon found that it didn't do all that much. It does alert you if someone is trying to access your info/get your identity. After six months with barely a peep out of them I decided to try the premium plan. So far so good, but I'm not happy that I only get to see my credit report once a year.

0 votes

I was also bummed when I signed up with this company and then found out that they only give you an annual credit report to look at. You do get a regular score, but someone could do who knows what to your credit report over the course of a year. So I think I will cancel.

0 votes

Like many people, I saw commercials for this company on tv. I was a little skeptical at first, because it is more expensive than many companies that do the same thing, but I have to say that you get what you pay for. They have so many other services that protect your financial identity that the money is worth it.

0 votes

I guess there is no perfect company. For a little while I thought I'd found it with LifeLock, but then I found out that they don't really give you access to your credit reports. I'd been at another place that gave me 24/7 access to my credit report for all three bureaus. When I came here and discovered I couldn't do that anymore, I was bummed.

0 votes

I hate the fact that it has come to the point where you have to check your credit and banking and everything else all of the time, but if you have to do it, I would choose this company everytime. They make the credit and banking monitoring so seamless, and I really like getting the alerts.

0 votes

I was so shocked recently when Lifelock got ahold of me to notify me that someone had been trying to change my mailing address!!! Yikes, that scared me, but it was so good to know and it alerted me to check out my credit reports. They also gave me other pointers for what to do. If I had any old company they probably wouldn't even have noticed this!

0 votes

I was excited about signing up for this service until I saw that they don't provide you with your current credit report whenever you want to see it, like some places. They request your report annually. I do want someone monitoring my financial life, but I also want to be able to see my credit report every month at least.

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