Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
LifeLock’s identity theft monitoring, alert and recovery services aim to detect problems and help you bounce back, but it — and other similar services — cannot prevent identity theft.
However, LifeLock might be worth the cost if:
You don’t want to bother with monitoring your credit on your own
You rather not freeze your credit
You want help resolving an instance of identity theft or have other security worries
Here’s what you should know about LifeLock’s services, and its pros and cons.
What LifeLock does
LifeLock offers three main services: monitoring your credit files for signs of identity theft, alerting you to potential problems and helping you recover.
LifeLock also scans for uses of your Social Security number and other personally identifying information online. Alerts range from basic (credit applications in your name) to more esoteric (if someone uses your name when arrested or placed on a sex offender registry).
Here’s a breakdown of LifeLock’s three levels of service:
$9.99 monthly, $109.89 annually
$19.99 monthly, $219.89 annually
$29.99 monthly, $329.89 annually
All Standard alerts, plus others including:
All Advantage alerts, plus others including:
You can perform many of LifeLock’s identity theft protection services on your own, for free:
Frequently checking your credit accounts online, reading statements and setting activity alerts on financial accounts will help you quickly spot suspicious activity
You can track changes to your credit score and monitor your credit report for free online on sites like NerdWallet
If you’re a victim of identity theft, you can get a free, customized path to recovery at IdentityTheft.gov
LifeLock provides wide-ranging monitoring and alerts, making it useful if you don’t have the time or desire to monitor your own credit and accounts for suspicious activity.
It’s especially helpful if your information is vulnerable, such as:
You lost your Social Security card or know your information was exposed by the Equifax hack, for example.
Some of LifeLock’s services, such as dark web monitoring, would be hard to replicate on your own.
Cost is a concern. Only the most expensive tier of service is worthwhile, because it offers monitoring at all three major credit bureaus. Monitoring only one bureau is like locking your front door but leaving other entrances open.
The lack of a family coverage option also makes LifeLock more expensive than some other identity-protection services. You can add children to your plan for $5.99 each per month, but your spouse must purchase a separate package. Covering a family of four would cost more than $70 per month.
In addition, LifeLock paid $100 million in 2015 to settle with the Federal Trade Commission, which said it had failed to comply with a 2010 court order to improve security of customer data and stop deceptive advertising. The company said at the time that it had updated its policies and withdrawn the ads in question, and that customer data had never been stolen.