In 2014, the IRS estimated that consumers lost $3.1 billion in stolen funds during tax season due to identity theft. If this figure is scary, it may be even more terrifying to know that the president/CO of the Identity Theft Resource Center states: “I am convinced that 2016 will see more massive public and private sector takedowns, hacks, and exposure of sensitive personal information.” Identity theft protection services can help protect your identity, but with so many companies out there, it’s hard to know who to trust.
In 2005, LifeLock was founded to help protect people’s identity from thieves who want to use their personal information maliciously. With over 10 years in the business, it’s no surprise that LifeLock has made a name for itself and even won the International Stevie Award for its work with the FBI in 2010. There are several packages available, but here is an overview of the top-tier membership, LifeLock Ultimate Plus, to determine if you should spend your money on this service.
SecurityVisit Their Site
At $29.99 per month, you’d expect LifeLock Ultimate Plus membership to have quality protection. You’ll get web surveillance to monitor black market sites, fraud alerts by phone, and an alert if something suspicious has happened with your bank account. The only downfall is that LifeLock doesn’t offer medical fraud protection or PC protection. Thankfully, there are ways to protect your PC for free, and monitoring your social security number keeps most medical fraud at bay.
Credit MonitoringVisit Their Site
The first sign someone has stolen your identity can be when your credit score goes down, or strange inquiries or accounts begin to appear on your credit history. Monitoring your credit is incredibly important for this reason, and LifeLock is sure to provide excellent coverage. The top-tier package gives you credit history reports from all three bureaus annually in addition to alerting you if there is a credit inquiry.
The biggest downfall is that the credit analyzer and the monthly tracking are through only one major credit reporting bureau. Other companies monitor all three, and your credit monitoring happens daily. Thankfully, the credit inquiry alerts you if someone attempts to get a credit account, which helps protect your information from being used elsewhere.
Protected InfoVisit Their Site
Protected information with LifeLock Ultimate Plus membership is well rounded. This top-tier package monitors your social security number, bank, credit cards, loans/leases, driver’s license, public record, and so much more. The only downfall with this subscription is the lack of vehicle registration. This crime is when someone gets your personal info through the registration in your car. Other competitors monitor this information, so it’s a little disappointing that LifeLock doesn’t offer this necessary protection.
RecoveryVisit Their Site
Recovery is where the LifeLock Ultimate Plus membership shines. Not only does it come with stolen funds reimbursement, but it also comes with $1 Million Service Guarantee. This coverage means you can recover funds lost in the event of a stolen identity if you are subscribed with LifeLock. Additionally, if you are forced to miss work, you’ll receive lost wage assistance. Finally, LifeLock provides stolen wallet support to cancel all of your cards if you lose your wallet/purse.
Additional ServicesVisit Their Site
LifeLock also makes a name for itself with the other services offered. Some of these services include mail list removal to decrease pre-approved credit card offers and child protection for an additional $5.99 per month. Most other companies offer to protect your children for as high as $9.99 monthly. One of the most important things with LifeLock is that every client has access to assistance 24/7. If your wallet is stolen at 2 AM, you can call and get help immediately rather than waiting until 8 AM or 9 AM when most businesses open. This feature can be crucial in helping to protect your identity. If you want more information about identity theft, LifeLock also has a blog with educational articles you can read that teach you how to decrease your risk of identity theft.
Overall RatingVisit Their Site
When it comes down to it, no company will get a perfect score, but the LifeLock Ultimate Plus membership is one of the best in the business. Not only does LifeLock help protect nearly every piece of valuable information, but it also alerts you when they see something suspicious going on with your personal information. While there are some downfalls, many of them are easy to fix (such as getting free malware protection for your PC). When it comes down to it, $29.99 per month for LifeLock Ultimate Plus membership is a very reasonable price to pay when it comes to helping protect yourself from identity theft.
Disclaimer: No one can prevent all identity theft.