Personal Finance

LifeLock vs Identity Guard

Editor's Note

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Two of the very best names in the identity theft protection arena are LifeLock and Identity Guard. Each has been providing protection for millions of consumers for many years. Both companies offer an impressive suite of identity theft protection services, but also provide valuable additional features. For example, both companies offer varying degrees of credit monitoring capabilities, as well as insurance reimbursement for losses sustained as a result of identity theft or fraud.

What’s more, both also offer multiple plan levels, giving you an opportunity to choose how much protection you want, with various price point options to fit your budget.

Let’s take a close look at both LifeLock and Identity Guard and see which service might be the best one for you.

About LifeLock

LifeLock may very well be the most recognized name in identity theft protection services. The company began operations in 2005 and is based in Tempe, Arizona. It provides services for millions of users, offering four different plans at prices and features to fit every budget and desired level of security.

LifeLock is partnered with Norton, another well-respected name in the computer and cybersecurity industry. In fact, the official name of the company is NortonLifeLock, as the two companies are now one.

The company provides what might be the most comprehensive security suite in the industry. That includes monitoring of multiple devices (depending on your plan level), multiple alerts (Social Security numbers, financial accounts, credit, etc.), stolen wallet protection, Dark Web monitoring, and various degrees of credit monitoring.

But one of the most interesting features is their Million Dollar Protection Package offering reimbursements for stolen funds, personal expenses, and coverage for lawyers and experts. The protection is available on all four plans offered by the service, with varying degrees of dollar amount coverage.

Learn More: Is LifeLock Worth It?

About Identity Guard

Based in Herndon, Virginia, Identity Guard is one of the better-established identity theft protection companies in the industry, having been launched in 1996. That’s right about the time the Internet was starting to become popular with individuals, and the company has grown along with web usage. Identity Guard provides privacy and data protection, as well as defense against identity fraud.

To better serve the customer base, Identity Guard has teamed up with IBM Watson, which is considered the world’s most recognizable artificial intelligence. It helps to identify data breaches, hacks, and identity theft. It does this by mining data, evaluating risk, and generating customized guidance for consumers. The use of IBM Watson has put Identity Guard on the cutting edge of identity theft protection in the 21st century.

Much like LifeLock, Identity Guard offers identity theft protection, information alerts, credit monitoring, and up to $1 million in insurance reimbursement should you become the victim of identity theft or fraud.

Identity Guard has provided protection for more than 47 million customers over the past 20+ years and has resolved 140,000 cases along the way.

What LifeLock Offers

LifeLock has partnered with Norton and offers Norton 360 with each of its four plans. Each plan comes with the following features as standard:

  • Identity and Social Security number alerts
  • U.S.-based identity restoration specialists
  • Stolen wallet protection
  • USPS address change verification
  • Dark Web monitoring
  • LifeLock Privacy Monitor
  • Data breach notifications

Features specific to each of the four plans include the following:

LifeLock Standard

Cost: $9.99 per month for the first year, then $11.99 per month thereafter

Million Dollar Protection Package:

  • Stolen funds reimbursement: up to $25,000
  • Personal expense compensation: up to $25,000
  • Coverage for lawyers and experts: up to $1 million

Credit Monitoring: One bureau

Number of Devices Covered: One

Security features: Standard features as listed above

Device security features: N/A

LifeLock Select

Cost: $9.99 per month for the first year, then $14.99 per month thereafter

Million Dollar Protection Package:

  • Stolen funds reimbursement: up to $25,000
  • Personal expense compensation: up to $25,000
  • Coverage for lawyers and experts: up to $1 million

Credit Monitoring: One bureau

Number of Devices Covered: Five devices + five VPN (includes PCs, Macs, mobile devices, and tablets)

Security features: Standard + 24/7 live member support, ID verification monitoring, and data breach notifications

Device security features: PC cloud backup to 100 GB, 100% virus protection promise, parental controls, anonymous browsing, ad-tracker blocker, PC SafeCam

LifeLock Advantage

Cost: $19.99 per month for the first year, then $24.99 per month thereafter

Million Dollar Protection Package:

  • Stolen funds reimbursement: up to $100,000
  • Personal expense compensation: up to $100,000
  • Coverage for lawyers and experts: up to $1 million

Credit Monitoring: One bureau, includes an annual credit report and credit score

Number of Devices Covered: 10 devices + 10 VPN (includes PCs, Macs, mobile devices, and tablets)

Security features: All features of the Select Plan + bank account and credit card activity alerts, alerts on crimes committed in your name, and fictitious identity monitoring

Device security features: All features of the Select Plan + PC cloud backup to 250 GB

LifeLock Ultimate Plus

Cost: $29.99 per month for the first year, then $34.99 per month thereafter

Million Dollar Protection Package:

  • Stolen funds reimbursement: up to $1 million
  • Personal expense compensation: up to $1 million
  • Coverage for lawyers and experts: up to $1 million

Credit Monitoring: Three bureaus, including annual credit reports and credit scores, plus monthly credit score tracking from one bureau

Number of Devices Covered: Unlimited devices and VPNs (includes PCs, Macs, mobile devices, and tablets)

Security features: All features of the Advantage Plan + 401(k) and investment account activity alerts, priority 24/7 live member support, home title monitoring, checking and savings account application alerts, bank account takeover alerts, file-sharing network searches, and sex offender registry reports

Device security features: All features of the Advantage Plan + PC cloud backup up to 500 GB

Learn More: LifeLock Alternatives

What Identity Guard Offers

Identity Guard offers three different plans: Value, Total, and Ultra. Much like LifeLock, each of the plans has a different price and service package. The three plans are less expensive than those offered by LifeLock, however, they don’t offer quite as many features and protections.

Each of the three plans includes the following protections:

  • IBM Watson artificial intelligence
  • $1 million insurance with stolen funds reimbursement, covering lost wages, travel expenses, elder care, spousal care, and childcare
  • U.S.-based dedicated case manager
  • Risk management score
  • Online identity dashboard
  • Mobile application
  • Alerts for personal information on the Dark Web, high-risk transactions, and personal threats
  • Anti-phishing mobile app
  • Safe browsing extension

The three plans and the prices and additional protections they provide are as follows:

Identity Guard Value

This is Identity Guard’s baseline product. It’s designed to provide comprehensive identity protection for individuals interested in extensive monitoring.

Cost:

  • Individual: $8.99 per month, or $90 per year
  • Family: $14.99 per month, or $150 per year

Credit monitoring: N/A

Alerts: As listed above

Additional tools for protection: As listed above

Identity Guard Total

This plan provides powerful identity protection for individuals interested in the latest in online protection.

Cost:

  • Individual: $19.99 per month or $200 per year
  • Family: $29.99 per month, or $300 per year

Credit monitoring: Monthly credit score and three-bureau credit changes

Alerts: Same as Value Plan + bank account takeovers and requests to open checking or savings accounts with your information

Additional tools for protection: Same as Value Plan

Identity Guard Ultra

The Ultra Plan offers advanced identity protection for individuals interested in credit information.

Cost:

  • Individual: $29.99 per month, or $300 per year
  • Family: $39.99 per month, or $399.96 per year

Credit monitoring: Same as Premier Plan + three-bureau credit report

Alerts: Same as Premier Plan

Additional tools for protection: Social insight report

Related: Best Identity Theft Protection Services

Pros and Cons of Both Plans

LifeLock Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Respected Names: Both LifeLock and Norton are two of the most respected names in the Internet and cybersecurity fields.
  • Comprehensive Offering: The security suite offered by LifeLock is one of the most comprehensive in the industry.
  • Multiple Plans for Multiple Budgets: You can choose from one of four plans, based on your budget and the services you want to have.
  • 24/7 Customer Contact: Contact them whenever you have a problem.
  • Restoration Specialists: LifeLock restoration specialists help you recover from the damage done by various types of identity theft.
  • 60-day Money Back Guarantee: The service comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee with an annual membership.
  • Live Member Support: Three of the four plans come with 24/7 live member support.
  • Reimbursement Plans: The Million Dollar Protection Package offers reimbursement for stolen funds, personal expenses, and lawyers and experts, and is available on all four plans.

Cons:

  • Fees Go Up the Second Year: The fee structure for each of the four plans is set at one monthly price for the first year, then increases between $2 and $5 per month for each plan after the first year.
  • Fees Higher than Competitors: LifeLock isn’t the least expensive security suite in the industry. The fee will be even higher when you add coverage for your minor children, at $5.99 per month.
  • Poor Better Business Bureau Rating: LifeLock has a Better Business Bureau rating of F, the lowest on a scale of A+ to F.

Identity Guard Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Low Fees: Lower plan prices across the board.
  • Use of AI: IBM Watson uses artificial intelligence to monitor the web more extensively than other systems, and comes standard with all Identity Guard plans.
  • Add Your Family Cheaply: Your entire family can be added to a plan level for just a few extra dollars per month.
  • Social Media Insights: The Premier Plan provides social media insights, giving you an opportunity to assess the risk your social media profile presents.
  • Risk Management Score: All plans provide your risk management score, giving you a numeric representation of your risk of identity theft and other threats.
  • Monthly Credit Scores: Both Total and Premier plans provide monthly credit scores, which is one of the best ways to detect identity theft and other problems.

Cons:

  • Lacks 24/7 Customer Contact: This is important in the case of an off-hours identity threat.
  • Marginal Benefits for More Expensive Plan: The Ultra plan offers only minor benefits over the Total plan but at a higher monthly fee.
  • Not PC Friendly: No PC cloud backup capability.

LifeLock vs Identity Guard Which Service is Better?

As you can see, both LifeLock and Identity Guard offer an incredible matrix of services for identity theft protection, credit monitoring, alerts, and insurance restoration coverage. To better compare the services offered by each, the table below summarizes the main features of each service.

LifeLockIdentity Guard
Standard: $9.99 the first year, then $11.99Value: $8.99 per month, or $14.99 for a family
Select: $9.99 the first year, then $14.99Total: $19.99 per month, or $29.99 for a family
Advantage: $19.99 the first year, then $24.99Ultra: $29.99 per month, or $39.99 for a family
Ultimate Plus: $29.99 the first year, then $34.99
Monthly FeesAdding children: $5.99 per month
Special Security PackageNorton 360IBM Watson
Credit MonitoringOn all four plansOn Total and Premier plans only
Insurance ReimbursementYes, on all plansYes, on all plans
PC Cloud BackupYes, on Select, Advantage, and Ultimate Plus plansNo
Multiple Devices CoveredYes, on Select, Advantage, and Ultimate PlansYes, on family plans
Customer Service24/7 by phone, chat, or emailMonday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, all times Eastern

Bottom Line

So, which is the best service between the two, LifeLock vs Identity Guard? It really depends on the type of protection you want, and how much you’re willing to pay for that coverage.

Both companies certainly provide more than adequate identity theft protection. And each also offers various levels of credit monitoring as well as insurance reimbursement for losses sustained as a result of identity theft. Each also offers its own additional unique services and features.

Given the broad range of services each provides, we recommend you review the plans offered by each company, with a strong emphasis on the specific features that will work best in your own situation. It’s usually not possible to say one service is categorically better than another, but rather that each service may be the right one for you based on what it offers and the fee it charges. What’s most important is that you choose an identity theft protection service, in which case either LifeLock or Identity Guard will be a solid choice.

Also read: LifeLock vs. Experian

You (hopefully) wouldn’t drive a car without car insurance the same can be said about navigating the Internet. You shouldn’t be spending much time there unless you have some type of insurance. That’s the basic service LifeLock and Identity Guard provide, and the kind you need to have to protect yourself and your family.


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