|by Mr Credit Card|
Lifelock made a name for itself when Todd Davis their CEO publicly disclosed his social security number, only to be hacked by professional theft specialist (though Lifelock came to the rescue and there was never any real damage). So what is the fuss with Lifelock? Do they and would they protect your identity? Let’s find out.
Lifelock Identity Alert System – When LifeLock first started offering their services, their main arsenal was simply to put fraud alert on customers three credit bureaus and simply do so every three months automatically. What this does is that permission has to be given by you to allow any creditor to check your credit report. Experian too Lifelock to court and claimed the law did not allow anyone to put fraud alert on behalf of someone else. Lifelock settled the case with Experian, but this sent shockwaves to the industry and how it operates. Some ID theft firms get around this by “helping you” to file fraud alerts (which could do yourself). Rather than taking this route, Lifelock set up a system where you will be called when a creditor decides to look up your file. And they will do this without putting your credit report on a credit freeze or fraud alert.
This system is way better than any credit monitoring service can provide because it stops potential fraud from happening in the first place. This, essentially, is the crux of what lifelock does. But there is more to ID theft than simply monitoring your credit. An inquiry in your credit report is only a clue or symptom that you ID has been stolen. You could have lost your wallet with your Social Security card in it. Your ID could be sold and used not just to apply for credit, but perhaps for drivers license etc. Lifelock also provides monitoring service in these other areas as well. Specifically –
Lifelock also comes with other what I call “convenient services” like (all of which you can easily do yourself)
In addition to these services, Lifelock provides a $1 million guarantee should your ID be stolen while using their services and they will aid you in recovering your ID. They also have a 24/7 customer service support.
Pricing – Lifelock offers two levels of service. The basic service cost $10 a month. If you want the additional service of monitoring the other public registry’s for any signs that your ID has been stolen, it will cost you $15 a month.
Opinion – Writing a review about an identity theft provider is pretty much like writing one for an insurance company! Nobody happily walks into an insurance company and says “I want to $x amount of whole life”! I doubt anybody would simply decide that they need a service like Lifelock, although you do know that millions of IDs get stolen in a year and what a hassle it can be to remedy the situation. Very often, it is folks who have had their ID stolen that subscribes to the services of lifelock!
Here’s what I can say. Having a service like Lifelock sure beats having a credit monitoring service. A credit monitoring service cannot prevent ID thefts. You do not get a phone call asking you if you have given a creditor permission to check your credit report. More importantly, I doubt if most people know which sites to monitor if your ID is floating around and even if you did, you would not have the time or have the computer system in place to actually monitor it. It is the additional monitoring of potential misuse of your ID through public registries and also the monitoring of black market ID sites that I feel Lifelock adds the most value.
If you are looking for an ID theft protection service, LifeLock is one of the big and better known brands which you should consider.