With your information just about everywhere, identity theft is a very real problem. No matter how cautious you are, there are always ways for thieves to steal your identity. Think about it, your information is given to your work, your children’s school, your doctor’s office and just about anywhere you have shopped. What happens if thieves start fishing for information in any of these places? Are you safe from identity theft? Luckily, there are products like LifeLock. LifeLock features threat detection, Internet surveillance and a proactive alert system. Let’s take a look at this identity theft protection service to see if it’s really worth the money.
Lifelock has 3 main service plans:
- LifeLock – The most basic of their plans, LifeLock will monitor your credit and noncredit accounts, and alert you to any potential threats. When you sign up, you get online access to your own dashboard that shows all your accounts and current identity theft threats. LifeLock will monitor your accounts and personal information 24/7 and provide you with phone support all hours of the day. You will also get protection for lost or stolen wallets, offering to cancel and replace your prepaid, debit and credit cards. Recovery services are included if you should ever happen to fall victim to identity theft while under their program.
- ULTIMATE Plan – In addition to the above services, ULTIMATE members receive even more benefits. They get advanced savings and checking account alerts, as well as expanded credit account monitoring. You also get surveillance of your public records and payday loans. Monitoring of all 3 of the major credit bureaus is also included, as well as alerts if there are any changes to any of your existing accounts.
- LifeLock Credit Score Manager – Besides the two plans mentioned above, LifeLock also offers management of your credit score. They will monitor all 2 credit bureau reports daily, and alert you via email if they detect any important changes. You will also get a monthly TransUnion credit score tracking, and annual tri-bureau reports and scores.
What to Expect
Once you sign up with LifeLock and your enrollment is completed, they claim your identity will be protected. Within 48 hours of enrollment, you should see a welcome email that explains all your benefits. You will also get a link for your own secure member portal so that you can provide your account information. After 4-6 weeks, expect to see your membership cards in the mail.
With LifeLock monitoring your accounts, you will get alerted anytime they detect a threat to your identity. You can opt to be alerted by email, text message or phone call. You can also view your alerts at any time by logging in to your portal.
You will also get a monthly account summary emailed to you. This summary will detail how safe your identity is. LifeLock also gives you email newsletters that tell you all about the most current identity theft scams and what to look out for.
LifeLock also offers a $1 Million Total Service Guarantee. They state that if you are to become a victim of identity theft anytime you are a member with them, they will spend up to $1 million to hire lawyers, investigators and consultants to help you recover your assets.
When objectively looking at any service, we should look at its pros as well as its cons. Here are some of the possible disadvantages of enrolling with LifeLock:
Applying for credit services may become harder. Since LifeLock is protecting your identity and your credit, extra measures may need to be taken so that you can verify who you are whenever you need to apply for some type of credit service. This aspect is great for your protection, but it can become a hassle if you plan on applying for various types of credit.
Make applications could take longer. Make the extra verification steps for credit services, getting a bank application approved may also take longer than normal. Again, from an identity protection standpoint, this is a good thing. However, it can be a little annoying from a consumer standpoint.
You may not be able to access some online credit managers. Some online credit services may not be accessible, and may show up as a fraud alert on your LifeLock report.
Credit monitoring is not available throughout the entire year. Depending on which plan you choose, LifeLock will order your credit report from all three major credit bureaus at once, leaving you unable to check your credit report for the remainder of the year. Of course, you can opt to pay for credit report, but a free credit report is offered only once a year.
Some of the services you can do on your own for free. With the exception of the $1 Million Total Service Guarantee, some of the services can be done by you. Things such as ordering your free annual credit report, placing fraud alerts on your credit cards and credit report and opting out of those pre-approved credit card offers can all be done for free and on your own.
Lifelock’s services vary in price depending on which service plan you choose, with the basic plan being the cheapest at $10 a month, and the Ultimate plan being the most costly at $25 a month since you get the most services. You can save a little by paying for an entire year of service, with the annual prices being $110 for the standard plan and $275 for the Ultimate plan.
The actual enrollment process is fairly easy. Simply go to their site and enter your personal information such as your name, your address, your Social Security number on your payment information. They claim that enrollment takes under 3 minutes and you can even add information to protect your family.
With so many identity thieves out there coming up with new tricks to steal your information, it can be beneficial to have some sort of protection. LifeLock is a full service identity protection service that monitors your accounts, and assures you total service if you should become a victim of identity theft. It will cost you some money to become a member, so only you can make the decision on whether or not the service is worth it.
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With so much identity theft out there, you can never be too careful. Lifelock is a full service ID theft protection company that will monitor your accounts, keep you up-to-date and even spend $1 million to restore your good name.
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