LifeLock Review: Is It Worth the Cost?

Sean PylesOctober 14, 2019
LifeLock Review 2017

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.

Freezing your credit files with the three major credit bureaus is the best way to prevent someone from using your personal information to open accounts. Freezing your credit at each bureau is free.

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.

Worried about identity theft?

Checking your credit report can tip you off to ID theft — and NerdWallet makes checking easy.

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

Credit Monitoring

  • One bureau

  • One bureau

  • Annual credit report and score from one bureau

  • All three bureaus, including annual credit report and score from all three

  • Monthly credit score tracking from one bureau


Alerts include:

  • Personal data used in credit applications

  • Personal data seen on dark web

  • Fake personal information connected to your identity

  • Address change

All Standard alerts, plus others including:

  • Significant cash withdrawals, transfers and purchases

  • Large-scale breaches

  • Your personal information on arrest records

All Advantage alerts, plus others including:

  • New bank account applications

  • Investment / 401(k) account activity

  • Your name on a sex offender registry


  • Stolen fund reimbursement and personal expense compensation up to $25,000 each

  • Up to $1 million in coverage for lawyers and experts

  • Up to $100,000 each

  • Up to $1 million for lawyers and experts

  • Up to $1 million each

  • Up to $1 million for lawyers and experts

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

LifeLock’s pros

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.

LifeLock’s cons

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.

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.