Much of the information for LifeLock reviews that you read on the web is out-dated. The following is an in-depth report on the most current available research.
The first thing you need to know about identity theft is that nothing can completely keep it from happening. Nothing.
Determined thieves can break into banks, casinos and museums even with the sophisticated alarm systems they’ve got installed. But it takes more than a run-of-the-mill thief to get though all the layers of security. So the idea behind identity theft protection of any kind, LifeLock or DIY, is to make your personal and financial information harder to get.
LifeLock is heavily promoted on television, radio and the newspapers. Their tagline is “Relentlessly Protecting Your Identity™“. Is this for real?
What is LifeLock?
It’s a company started in 2005 and is an award winning industry leader in identity theft protection. The CEO is the guy who used to put his social security number out in public. They currently have 2.5 million members.
Why Worry About Identity Theft?
According to data from the FTC, once again, id theft topped the list of consumer complaints in 2012. It even beat out complaints about debt collectors, banks/lenders and “free” prize entries. So this is a serious problem with approximately 400,000 people reporting it to ftc.gov. and an estimated 11.6 million Americans became victims in 2012.
The Target data breach in December 2013 highlights why identity theft has been the number one complaint with the FTC for the last 13 years.Cybercrime is growing and no matter what you personally do, you can still fall victim to a ruthless hacker.
Here’s some things a thief can do with your identity:
- Open new credit accounts including cell phone
- Rent a house or apartment and have utilities turned on in your name
- Buy a house, a car, a boat, a motorhome – create their dream lifestyle
- Use your health insurance for their own treatment (medical identity theft)
- Wipe out your bank accounts
- Commit crimes and use your name when arrested. If they don’t show up for court, an arrest warrant is issued for you.
- Completely ruin your credit, your name and your life.
What Does LifeLock Do?
You can choose between a couple of plans that have different levels of monitoring.
|LifeLock Protection Features||LifeLock®||LifeLock Ultimate™|
|Identity Threat Detection and Alerts†||✓||✓|
|Lost Wallet Protection||✓||✓|
|Address Change Verification||✓||✓|
|Black Market Website Surveillance||✓||✓|
|Reduced Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers||✓||✓|
|Award-Winning Member Service 24/7/365||✓||✓|
|$1 Million Total Service Guarantee‡||✓||✓|
|Alias Name and Address Monitoring||✓|
|Court Records Scanning||✓|
|File-Sharing Network Searches||✓|
|Unauthorized Payday Loan Notification||✓|
|Sex Offender Registry Reports||✓|
|Checking and Savings Account Application Alerts†||✓|
|Bank Account Takeover Alerts†||✓|
|Enhanced Credit Application Alerts||✓|
|Online Annual Credit Reports and Scores||✓|
|Monthly Credit Score Tracking||✓|
What Do People Say About LifeLock?
With any type of membership plan, the best way to measure how satisfied people are is how members vote with their wallets. In other words, if someone is happy with the service, they will continue to pay for it.
According to Javelin Strategy & Research 2012 Identity Protection Services Scorecard, “LifeLock outperformed all other vendors achieving a perfect score this year in the high-scoring category of detection.”
LifeLock’s consumer satisfaction ratings were also recognized in the Javelin report, stating that 79% of members were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘extremely satisfied’ with LifeLock services. 2014 Update: Satisfaction rate has climbed from 79% in 2009 to 87.6% as reported in the 3rd quarter of 2013.
From the BBB.org website, here are the 2 complaints as of the time this review was written in 2013.
- James H. wrote that someone opened an account with DISH network in his name. He was upset that LifeLock didn’t stop it and was dissatisfied with their service to resolve his problem.
- Jeff B. was upset because he enrolled when there was a free shredder offer. He didn’t get his shredder right away. He did not mention anything about the service. Kirk D. responded to the complaint by saying his own shredder took a while to get to him because of the popularity of that offer in 2012.
The ConsumerAffairs.com website had no complaints in 2011 and 8 complaints in 2012 of which 4 were written by actual members. There were various reasons: billing, blue-collar characters in TV commercials and that coverage was something they said they could do themselves.
Some people have expressed dissatisfaction with LifeLock because they advertise on the Rush Limbaugh talk radio show.
How Much Does LifeLock Cost?
The cost of LifeLock depends on whether you choose a monthly or yearly plan. If you use a promo code, you’ll get a discount and a free* trial to test it out with no obligations. You can always cancel at any time without hassle.
LifeLock Basic Plan
- $10 monthly or $110 yearly
- $9 monthly or $99 yearly + 30 day free* trial – use promo code ‘TEN30“
- $25 monthly or $275 yearly
- $22.50 monthly or $247.50 yearly + 30 day free* trial – use promo code ‘TEN30“
Can I Cancel LifeLock?
You can cancel at any time. If you paid a yearly membership, the unused balance is credited back to you. Each year when your membership is up for renewal, you will receive a letter with re-billing information.
Do I Really Need LifeLock?
Less damage is done if you catch identity theft quickly. Fraudsters act quickly with stolen information of all kinds: credit cards, loans, bank accounts and mobile phone bills. Data breaches are at an all time high. 25% of people who were notified that their info was stolen in a breach became a fraud victim.
Because of increased awareness, people are responding faster, too. Comprehensive and proactive monitoring are important to reduce the damage. 50% of victims detected fraud themselves by using
- Credit monitoring
- Financial alerts
- Monitoring their accounts
- Identity protection services
You can do a lot of monitoring and setting alerts yourself. The catch is that you have to be consistent and dedicated to the routine of checking.
For this reason, many people prefer to have a membership with an identity protection company. It’s combination of the convenience factor and types of monitoring that would be difficult for the average person such as black market website surveillance.
LifeLock has been around for many years and has large base of repeat customers. Besides monitoring your information, you also have a company to help you if your identity is stolen while being a member. Knowing there’s help at any time is very appealing to some people. This is the reason many people enrolled with LifeLock after the Target data breach even though they were offered free credit monitoring.
How to Get LifeLock
- Click the link to enroll online at https://secure.lifelock.com/enrollment/
- Call 1-800-LifeLock (543-3562)
† Network does not cover all transactions and scope may vary.
‡ The benefits under the Service Guarantee are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by State National Insurance Company. As this is only a summary please see the actual policy for applicable terms and restrictions at LifeLock.com.