Identity theft is a pressing issue in the United States. Thankfully, there are a number of identity protection businesses you can subscribe with to help protect your information from criminals. LifeLock and Identity Guard are two of the top companies in their field. Here is a breakdown of the two companies and how they differ.
LifeLock’s tiers begin with their cheapest option: LifeLock Standard. This plan costs $9.99 per month. The middle-tier is LifeLock Advantage for $19.99 monthly, and finally, the top-tier is LifeLock Ultimate Plus, which costs $29.99 per month. For a closer look at LifeLock’s services, you can read our overview of the packages here.
Identity Guard’s lowest tier is called Essentials, and it also costs $8.99 per month. The middle-tier option is Identity Guard Total Protection for $16.99 per month, and the highest tier for Identity Guard is Platinum, which is $22.99 monthly. You can find our overview of Identity Guard services here.
LifeLock and Identity Guard both provide web surveillance and social security monitoring for each tier. But the two companies really differ when you look at fraud alerts. LifeLock alerts you of suspected fraud by phone*, text, or email, whereas Identity Guard does not alert you if it suspects fraud. A second large difference is computer protection. Identity Guard gives its customers full computer protection with an anti-virus, malware, and spyware defense, as well as keyboard encryption. This software helps protect you while you’re on your computer. If you want to learn more about Identity Guard’s PC protection, you can read our in-depth review of Identity Guard Platinum.
Credit monitoring is where LifeLock and Identity Guard begin to define themselves. LifeLock only provides monthly credit score tracking with its top tier, LifeLock Ultimate Plus. While Identity Guard doesn’t refer to its services at “tracking,” you’re able to view your credit score** quarterly with Total Protection or monthly with Platinum. Additionally, every quarter, you’re able to see your entire credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus—Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You can get credit history reports through LifeLock, but you’re only able to get one bureau annually for the Advantage plan, and three bureaus annually for the Ultimate Plus package.
A huge way the two companies differ is the “credit analyzer” service. You can use Identity Guard’s credit analyzer tool to see how various financial decisions will impact your credit score. This can include making payments, transferring balances, or making credit inquiries. This service is available for both Total Protection and Platinum. LifeLock only offers a credit analyzer for one bureau only. You can find more information about the credit analyzer for Identity Guard in our in-depth review of Total Protection.
Finally, LifeLock Ultimate Plus is the only plan that offers credit inquiries. This feature is part of LifeLock’s patented Identity Alert system. If you want to know more about this system, you can read all about it in our review of LifeLock Ultimate Plus.
All personal data are secured for each tier of both companies including driver’s license, public record, full name, phone, street address, criminal records, and credit card information. LifeLock Ultimate Plus is the only tier that also monitors your banking information***, but Identity Guard Total Protection and Platinum both help protect your bank accounts. Loans and leases are only protected through LifeLock Ultimate Plus and Identity Guard Platinum.
Vehicle registration is another way that thieves can steal your identity, but only Identity Guard also helps to protect this information. Available through every Identity Guard tier, you can get vehicle registration protection. If you want to know more about this, you can read our review of Identity Guard Essentials.
Both LifeLock and Identity Guard offer stolen wallet assistance, but Identity Guard also sends you up to $2,000 emergency cash from one of your accounts. If something does happen to your account, both services require you to notify them immediately to receive any compensation. LifeLock and Identity Guard state that any necessary lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and any direct restitution are covered. Identity Guard promises to provide up to $2,000 in lost wages per week, but LifeLock doesn’t specify the amount.
LifeLock refers to its $1 million protection**** as an “assistance guarantee,” whereas Identity Guard specifically calls it “insurance,"***** but both services cover the same expenses. However, Identity Guard only reimburses you for an attorney approved by the company, should you need legal assistance to recover your identity.
If you want to protect your children, both services allow you to do so. LifeLock has protection for $5.99, and Identity Guard offers kID Sure for $5.00 as an addition to any of their other plans. However, only Identity Guard has family plans. You can get Total Protection for your entire family for $27.99 monthly.
Mail list removal can be incredibly important, and only LifeLock offers this service. When you enroll, you’ll receive fewer pre-approved credit card offers. If you want to know more about this service, you can find out more in our review of LifeLock Advantage. If you want more information on how to improve your credit or protect your identity, only LifeLock offers this service through their blog.
If you need to make changes to your account, or just check your service, LifeLock offers a mobile app for every tier, but Identity Guard only has a mobile app for Total Protection and Platinum. Ultimately, if you need assistance, Identity Guard only has 24/7 email support, while LifeLock has 24/7 email and phone support. If you want to know more about LifeLock’s excellent customer service, you can read our review of LifeLock Standard.
*Phone alerts made during normal local business hours.
**The scores you receive with Identity Guard are provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. They are calculated using the information contained in your Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit files. Lenders use many different credit scoring systems, and the scores you receive with Identity Guard are not the same scores used by lenders to evaluate your credit. Credit scores are provided by CreditXpert based on date from the credit reporting bureaus.
***LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
****Service Guarantee benefits for State of Washington members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy issued by United Specialty Insurance Company. Benefits for all other members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by State National Insurance Company. Under the Service Guarantee LifeLock will spend up to $1 million to hire experts to help your recovery. Please see the policy for terms, conditions and exclusions at LifeLock.com/legal.
*****ID Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions, and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.