It’s highly likely, or even inevitable, that most people will experience some type of identity theft in their lifetime. Data released by the US Federal Trade Commission indicates that cases of identity theft have risen to over 15 million cases in the United States in 2015, making it among the fastest growing crime segments. To address this issue, a number of companies have been established to offer protection against identity theft for a fee. Lifelock is among the most prominent companies offering such a service. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has won a number of American Business Awards and boasts of over 4 million customers.
Pricing and features
Lifelock provides its identity theft protection service using a three-tiered system. The basic service, called Lifelock Standard, is priced at $9.99 per month (or $109.89 annually) while the Lifelock Advantage Plan costs $19.99 per month (or $219.89 annually). The Lifelock Ultimate Plan is the premium service, and it is priced at $29.99 per month (or $329.89 annually).
All plans provide identity theft recovery, round-the-clock phone support and website monitoring (to check if the client’s information has been put up for sale). The Advantage and Ultimate Plus plans add credit report monitoring, bank account and data breach alerts and scanning of public records. The Ultimate Plus plan also provides extra online monitoring, credit reports from the three major credit bureaus, added financial alerts and reports on sex offenders. If a customer wishes to add extra adult family members to their account, they are required to pay the full price for each one of them. They have a LifeLock Jr. membership for children under the age of 18 that costs $5.99 per month per child.
In case a client becomes a victim of identity theft while using the service, the company promises to use up to $1 million to hire lawyers, experts, consultants and investigators and any other person needed in order to attain recovery. The client is required to give Lifelock the power of attorney so that the company can clean up in case his or her identity is compromised.
Pros of the service
• The Lifelock plans can suit various needs, budgets, and children can also be protected with the Lifelock Junior program.
• The $1 million guarantee assures clients of recovery in case their identity was compromised. It also indicates that the company is confident about its services.
• The company enjoys strong collaboration with law enforcement agencies like FBI. This ensures fast and effective action when suspected fraudulent activity has been detected.
• Lifelock will quickly alert the customer once their service or account is compromised, and will give as comprehensive details as possible, including the location of the suspected fraudulent activity.
• The stolen wallet protection assists clients to initiate the necessary steps to protect their identity. The company will help in cancellation and replacement of vital IDs, licenses or credit cards.
Cons of the service
• The service can be costly depending on which membership is chosen
• Constant fraud alerts on a person’s account may slow down credit approval processes. This is because banks may take additional steps to confirm an individual’s credibility as result of frequent hits on their account.
• The service provides no protection for insurance records or even motor vehicle information.
•The client has to pay for all family members individually since there are no umbrella family plans, which would improve the affordability of the service.