Companies are hacked every day and every few months I receive a notification that my personal data has been compromised in a some company’s breach. These notifications often come with an offer for credit monitoring or protection.
In the past, I have received suspicious looking offers from LifeLock. Although vaguely familiar with the name, I didn’t know that LifeLock had credit monitoring service. Phishing remains a serious threat these days, so I decided to do some research on LifeLock to see if LifeLock is legit.
LifeLock Is Legit
Fortunately, my research indicates that LifeLock is a legitimate company and that LifeLock is a service frequently provided by companies to customers whose data has been exposed.
That being said, consumers should take steps to verify that any communication from LifeLock is indeed from LifeLock (and not a scammer posing as LifeLock).
History: Norton and LifeLock Partnership
LifeLock has been around since 2005 and was acquired by Symantec (who makes the Norton security software) in 2017. The partnership combines Norton’s security expertise with LifeLock’s identity theft protection to create a comprehensive solution for online threats. LifeLock experienced quite a bit of controversy prior to their acquisition, but things seem more stable now.
Features of LifeLock Standard
LifeLock Identity Alert System (Identity and SSN Alerts)
This benefit is “… the foundation for all LifeLock services. We monitor for fraudulent use of a member’s Social Security number, name, address, or date of birth in applications for credit and services. The patented system sends alert by text, phone, email, or mobile app.
The “Privacy Monitor Assistant” scans the websites of popular data brokers for your personal information and will request the opt-out and/or removal of your personal data. This seems to be a one-time scan that is repeated every 90 days, rather than an ongoing scan.
Dark Web Monitoring
In addition to credit monitoring, LifeLock also provides dark web monitoring. The dark web is a part of the internet that’s not indexed by search engines and often used for illegal activities, including buying and selling stolen personal information. Dark web monitoring service scans various databases, forums, and other platforms on the dark web, searching for your personal information. If your data is found, LifeLock will notify you, allowing you to take necessary measures and protect yourself from potential misuse of your information.
Stolen Funds Reimbursement
One of the notable features offered by LifeLock is the stolen funds reimbursement. If you fall victim to identity theft, LifeLock can help recover your lost funds up to a certain limit, depending on your plan ($25,000 under the Standard). This feature is particularly important for providing financial assistance when you need it most.
One-Bureau Credit Monitoring
LifeLock offers credit monitoring services, which track your credit reports from one of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Monitoring your credit reports is crucial in detecting potential signs of identity theft, as it can alert you to unauthorized credit inquiries, newly opened accounts, or changes to your personal information, such as your name or address. By partnering with these credit bureaus, LifeLock helps ensure users get timely alerts and can take action to minimize the impact of potential identity theft.
Lost Wallet Protection
In the case that you lose credit cards, government documents, IDs, and so on, LifeLock will attempt to help you cancel what needs to be cancelled and replace what can be replaced.
US Based Identity Restoration Specialists
If a LifeLock subscriber’s identity is stolen, LifeLock has identity restoration specialists whose job it is is to help the victim mitigate the risks and help restore the victims identity. LifeLock highlights that these people are in the US rather than a foreign call center.
USPS Address Change Verification
I believe USPS already provides this service, so I am not sure why this is highlighted as a benefit. As I’ve noted in another post, many of the benefits that these credit monitoring companies offer can be obtained for free.
Coverage for Lawyers and Experts
I’m not 100% clear how this part works, but the LifeLock website states, “If you become a victim of identity theft while a LifeLock member, we will provide the necessary lawyers and experts if needed to help resolve your case, up to $1 million.” Its not clear how the $1 million is determined if LifeLock is the one providing the “lawyers and experts.”
LifeLock Mobile App
LifeLock offers a user-friendly Identity Theft Protection Mobile App packed with features to help you stay protected against the growing threat of identity theft. The app is available for both Android users on the Google Play Store and iOS users on the App Store.
With the LifeLock app, identity theft protection is in your pocket. The app can detect a wide range of threats and send notifications straight to your mobile device if any suspicious activities are detected. It serves as the foundation of all LifeLock identity theft protection services, providing users with convenience and peace of mind. The LifeLock mobile app brings identity theft protection to your fingertips by merging technology and convenience. By making it easy to monitor your personal information, the app is a useful tool for maintaining proper control of your digital identity.
In addition to monitoring your credit, the LifeLock app also lets you check credit scores from three major credit bureaus. You can even receive alerts whenever your score changes, ensuring that you stay updated on your financial health. The app also offers tips on how to improve your score.
User Reviews and Testimonials
During my research on LifeLock, I came across varying opinions about the legitimacy of their services. Some users on the Better Business Bureau® website mentioned concerns about providing their Social Security number to LifeLock, expressing suspicion about their A+ rating claims.
While browsing Reddit, I found a post where a user received a letter from Medical Group offering complimentary identity monitoring services from LifeLock. However, a common concern (and one that I share) is whether to provide one’s social security number to credit monitoring companies. LifeLock itself has been hacked in the past!
Is LifeLock Legit?
In short, yes, LifeLock is legitimate. My own experience mirrors others in that I was not sure why they were contacting me or requesting personal information. If you receive something from LifeLock, a company was likely hacked and your information was possibly compromised. Hacked companies (or their insurers) typically pay LifeLock (or Kroll Monitoring is another popular one) to reach out to affected consumers and offer LifeLock. If you receive something from LifeLock, I would double-check to ensure it is actually LifeLock contacting you.