LifeLock Review: Is LifeLock Worth it? (Updated for 2022)

Many years ago, I gave my first LifeLock review. The LifeLock service has changed quite a bit since then, with multiple offering expansions, and then getting purchased by identity and computer security giant Norton Symantec. I have updated this LifeLock review periodically and as recently as 2022 in order to keep up with the changes.




Before signing up for LifeLock (fyi for those that do, this affiliate link offers the best price I’ve ever seen with up to 25% off for the first year), it’s important to understand what you’re paying for and my goal with this review is to present a full picture of all LifeLock features so that you can make a fully informed decision on if LifeLock is worth it for you. There are many ways to protect yourself from identity theft that are free, but they do take some effort. In some ways these free identity protection measures can go above and beyond the paid services that are available. In other ways, they fall short, and in order to keep up with paid services, it can take a lot of manual work on your part.

LifeLock Review

In this LifeLock review, let’s take a look at what LifeLock has to offer for $8.99 per month for its discounted “Standard” plan in addition to the pricier higher service “Advantage” and “Ultimate Plus” plans as noted below, and whether you can achieve the same results for free on your own. I’ll go through each LifeLock feature benefit claim and let you know if there are free alternatives.

Feature Benefit: LifeLock Identity Alert System, One-Bureau Credit Monitoring, & Identity Restoration Support

LifeLock Identity Alert System: “It’s the foundation for all LifeLock services. We send alerts through the patented LifeLock Identity Alert system by text, phone, or email and our Identity Restoration Specialists are there to help.”

One-Bureau Credit Monitoring: “We monitor key changes to your credit file at a leading credit bureau and alert you to help detect fraud.”

Identity Restoration Support: “If your identity is compromised, an Identity Restoration Specialist will personally handle your case and help restore your identity.”




Free Alternative? Partially. You can go to any of the 3 credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and request fraud alerts of varying lengths. You only have to do this with one bureau and they will notify the others. Here’s the link to Experian’s fraud alert. Also, Credit Karma offers free credit monitoring alerts. The value-add here is the “Identity Restoration Specialists” that can help if a problem is detected. Having someone to guide you through an issue, once detected, could be valuable.

Feature Benefit: Dark Web Monitoring

“Identity thieves can sell your personal information on hard-to-find dark websites and forums. LifeLock patrols the dark web and notifies you if we find your information.”

Free Alternative? No. I am not aware of a free alternative to this benefit. I do know that credit monitoring services will alert you if your information is improperly used (or attempted to be used) and maybe that is enough. I suppose it would also be helpful to know proactively if your information is out there on the “dark web”.

Feature Benefit: LifeLock Privacy Monitor Tool

“The Privacy Monitor tool provides reduced public exposure of your personal information to help you keep your private information private.”

Free Alternative? Partially. You can opt out of pre-approved credit card offers at optoutprescreen.com. Beyond that, it’s difficult to determine how far and to what extent the privacy monitoring benefit goes, given that it appears to be a proprietary technology.

Feature Benefit: Annual Credit Reports and Monitoring

The “Standard” and “Advantage” (Equifax) plans offer 1 credit bureau monitoring, while the “Ultimate Plus” (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) plan offers that from all 3 credit bureaus:

“The credit scores provided are VantageScore 3.0 credit scores based on data from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion respectively. Third parties use many different types of credit scores and are likely to use a different type of credit score to assess your creditworthiness.”

Free Alternative? Yes. You can do this on your own for free at annualcreditreport.com (scores) and Credit Karma (scores and reports). See my articles “Smart Planning will get you 3 Free Credit Reports Per Year” and “Credit Karma Now Offers Free Credit Report Access!” on how to take advantage of this.

Feature Benefit: Lost Wallet Protection

“A lost wallet can mean a lost identity. Call us if your wallet is lost or stolen and we’ll help cancel or replace credit cards, driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, insurance cards and more.”

Free Alternative? Partially. These all seem like things you can do on your own with a few phone calls (this would be a good time to recommend that you keep a list of everything in your wallet, along with service phone numbers). The benefit summary does say that LifeLock will cover “Up to $25,000 per Member Per Annum (Maximum of $500 for replacement of stolen cash” (Standard) in document replacement costs – which could be a nice benefit.

Feature Benefit: USPS Address Change Verification

“Identity thieves try to divert mail to get important financial information. LifeLock lets you know of changes in USPS address requests linked to your identity.”

Free Alternative? Yes. Address changes should show in your credit reports, and if you have credit monitoring, you should be alerted. Credit Karma is a good one for this. Additionally, you could set up USPS Informed Delivery.

Feature Benefit: Coverage for Lawyers and Experts

“If you become a victim of identity theft while a LifeLock member, we will provide the necessary lawyers and experts if needed to help resolve your case.

Reimbursement and Expense Compensation, each with limits of up to $25,000 for Standard, up to $100,000 for Advantage and up to $1 million for Ultimate Plus. And up to $1 million for coverage for lawyers and experts if needed, for all plans. Benefits provided by Master Policy issued by United Specialty Insurance Company, Inc. (State National Insurance Company, Inc. for NY State members). Policy terms, conditions and exclusions at: LifeLock.com/legal.”

This could include reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket costs and expenses in the following categories:

  1. Replacement of Documents
  2. Traveling Expenses
  3. Loss of Income
  4. Stolen Handbag, Purse, or Wallet
  5. Childcare and Elderly Care
  6. Travel Assistance
  7. Arrest Related Expenses
  8. Fraudulent Withdrawals
  9. Legal Costs
  10. Remediation Services Costs
  11. Case Management Services Costs

Free Alternative? No. It’s hard to determine how much this is all worth, but if this gives you some peace of mind, then it might be worth the cost.

Feature Benefit: Stolen Funds Reimbursement

“If you have money stolen due to identity theft, LifeLock will reimburse you dollar for dollar-up to $25,000, up to $100,000, or up to $1 million-based on the limits of your plan.”

Note: $25,000 is for the “Standard” plan, $100,000 is for the “Advantage” plan, and $1,000,000 is for the “Ultimate Plus” plan.

Free Alternative? Not that I am aware of.

Added LifeLock “Advantage” Plan Benefits Review:

The middle-tier “Advantage” plan ($17.99/month, after discount) adds the following benefits to the Standard plan benefits above.

  • Identity Lock: TransUnion Credit File Lock and Payday Loan Lock: TransUnion typically charges $24.95/month alone for their credit “lock” service. Credit “freezes” are free (see my credit lock vs credit freeze article).
  • Phone Takeover Monitoring: I’m not aware of another monitoring service here, but each phone service provider should have safeguards in place. If someone has taken over your phone number, reach out to your service provider ASAP.
  • Bank Account & Credit Card Activity Alerts: banks and credit card issuers have all kinds of alerts in place. The key benefit here would be consolidating across multiple accounts.
  • Alerts on Crimes in your Name: If you’ve committed a crime, you’re probably keenly aware of it. I think the value here would be if someone stole your identity and was then convicted of a crime. I’m not aware of another service that does this.
  • Credit Reports and Scores (1 bureau – Equifax): you can do this for free as highlighted above.
  • Up to $100,000 Stolen Funds Reimbursement and Personal Expense Compensation (vs $25,000 for Standard): increased perk not available elsewhere.
  • Fictitious Identity Monitoring: credit reports should do this, to some extent, but you’ll have to actively monitor.

Added LifeLock “Ultimate Plus” Plan Benefits Review:

The top-tier “Ultimate Plus” plan ($19.99/month, after discount) adds the following benefits to the Standard plan benefits and the Advantage plan benefits above.

  • Credit Reports and Scores (3 bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion, Experian): you can do this for free as highlighted above.
  • 401(K) & Investment Account Activity Alerts: each broker is going to have their own alerts in place, the key here is consolidation.
  • Up to $1,000,000 Stolen Funds Reimbursement and Personal Expense Compensation (vs $25,000 for Standard and $100,000 for Advantage): increased perk not available elsewhere.
  • Checking & Savings Account Activity & Application Alerts: the application part could be valuable.
  • Sex Offender Registry Reports: if your neighborhood doesn’t alert you first.
  • Priority Live Member Support: skipping to the front of the line could be helpful, if you have an issue.

Paid Alternative Competitors to LifeLock

In addition to some of the free services noted above, there are also a number of paid competitors to LifeLock that you compare features against. These include the 3 credit bureaus, which tend to be more focused on the credit related side of things (e.g. credit reports, credit scores, credit monitoring, credit lock features, credit freezes, etc.). Their monthly costs generally are:

  1. Equifax: “Complete” is $9.95/month for 1 credit bureau (Equifax), “Premier” is $19.95 for 3 credit bureaus. You can add family members for an additional $19.95/month.
  2. Experian: “IdentityWorks Plus” is $9.99/month for 1 credit bureau (Experian), “IdentityWorks Premium” is $19.99/month for 3 credit bureaus.
  3. TransUnion: Membership is $24.95/month for 3 credit bureaus.

Alternatively, there are a number of identity theft related paid services out there that focus more on identity theft protection, often with the option to add more of the credit monitoring features for an added cost. 2 of the more popular ones are:

  1. Identity Guard: “Value” is $8.99/month – no credit monitoring, reporting, or scoring. “Total” is $19.99/month and includes credit scores but no monitoring or reports. “Ultra” is $29.99/month and includes 3 bureau reports, scoring, and monitoring.
  2. IdentityForce: “UltraSecure” is $17.99/month – no credit monitoring, reporting, or scoring. “UltraSecure+Credit” is $23.99/month and includes 3 bureau reports, scoring, and monitoring.

LifeLock Review Summary

As you can see, LifeLock offers a lot of stuff in 1 package. You can do some of what LifeLock does for free, with effort and discipline (to keep doing it periodically). However, there are a number of benefits that you cannot get otherwise, without paying. LifeLock seems worth it if you have the attitude “well, I could do this stuff for free, but I don’t want the hassle, and I’ll probably forget, so I’ll just let someone else handle it for a small price”. You’re basically paying for organization, peace of mind, and to set it and forget it plus some other benefits you can’t get elsewhere (e.g. restoration specialists, reimbursement).

Is LifeLock a scam? No, it is not, as you can see by the full feature set that the service offers. LifeLock’s recent purchase by Norton Symantec has only further expanded its product offering and added to its legitimacy.

Note: signing up for LifeLock is a low risk proposition. If you decide to cancel, and are an annual member and request a refund within 60-days after being billed, you are entitled to a complete refund. Otherwise, you are eligible for a pro-rated refund on any unused months through the end of your term.

If you’re interested in LifeLock, you can get up to 25% off membership here.

LifeLock Review
  • Price
  • Features
4.7

Review Summary:

LifeLock has done quite a bit to improve its service offering over the years, and the Norton Symantec purchase adds to that. While there are many features that LifeLock offers that can be done for free, there are now a good number of features that cannot. Additionally, there is value in peace of mind and not having to worry about keeping up with everything on your own. With plans starting at $8.99 per month (with 25% off promo discount for the first year of service), there is not much to lose if you feel like you aren’t getting enough value to justify the price. You can cancel any time and get a full refund within the first 60 days.

Get 25% off LifeLock here.

One Response

  1. Aaron

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