Identity theft is a serious problem. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, if you're involved in a data breach, there's a one-in-five chance you'll be a victim of identity theft. And as we well know, data breaches are unfortunately very common and constantly growing in scope. With that in mind, using an identity theft protection service seems like it might make sense. But what do those services actually do?
LifeLock Standard protection
For $9.99 a month, a Lifelock Standard membership will go about the basic business of alerting you when something's suspicious with your personal data. The main services offered for this package include:
- Cancellation or replacement all of your insurance, credit/debit, and Social Security cards if your wallet is lost or stolen.
- Scanning common public people-search websites to find your personal information and help you opt-out.
- Patrolling black market websites to look for your data and alerting you if it's found.
- Opting-out of the pre-approved credit card mailing list for you.
- Letting you know of change in address requests linked to your identity.
- Assigning you an Identity Restoration Specialist if your identity is somehow compromised.
- Guaranteeing to spend up to $1 million to hire the necessary lawyers, accountants, and investigators to help your recovery.
- Reimbursement for up to $25,000 in lost funds.
LifeLock Advantage protection
This mid-tier LifeLock membership bumps the cost up to $20/month, but with that comes some important added coverage, including:
- Lost funds reimbursement jumps to $100,000.
- Review of all your credit card and bank statements and alerts for activities that look suspicious.
- Notification about large-scale data breaches so you can decide early on if you may have been affected and how to move forward.
- Scanning for names and addresses connected with your Social Security number to help protect against criminals building fictitious identities to open accounts or commit fraud.
- Checking of court records to make sure that you're not being falsely linked to arrests or convictions.
- Pulling your annual credit report from a major credit bureau (though to be fair, you can probably do this yourself if you want to).
LifeLock Ultimate Plus protection
For $30/month, this top-tier service includes everything from the first two memberships, plus you get:
- Lost funds reimbursement of up to a million dollars.
- Alerts if someone tries to take over your bank account or add new account holders to them.
- Alerts on fraudulent withdrawals and transfers from your investment accounts, and for credit applications using your name.
- Credit reports and scores from all three bureaus and monthly credit score updates from one.
- Priority support that lets you skip the line when you call.
- Notification if your name and personal information appear in a sex offender registry.
- Searches across file-sharing networks for use of your personal info.
With all of LifeLock’s services, you also get access to LifeLock's U.S.-based Member Support (with agents available 24/7), and notifications over text, phone, or email. This proactive protection isn't exclusive to LifeLock, but it's also not a given, and in a field where you're dealing with such sensitive information, it's important.