Full Review

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LifeLock® has been a pioneer in identity theft protection since 2005, and offers some of the most comprehensive protection and credit report monitoring features on the market. Unfortunately, not all of that is true for the LifeLock Advantage® membership. Similar to LifeLock Ultimate Plus®, this plan offers a lot of identity theft protection and identity restoration tools; however, unlike LifeLock Ultimate Plus®, the LifeLock Advantage® membership does not include 3-bureau credit monitoring or provide you with monthly credit scores. It also does not provide as high a level of monitoring as you get with the more expensive plan.

Pricing

With the first-year discount (terms apply), LifeLock Advantage® costs $16.50/month* when you pay for one year upfront ($197.90/year), or $17.99/month if you pay monthly. After the first year, the cost increases to $22.99/month if you’re on the monthly plan or $19.99/month ($239.99/year) for the annual prepay. Note that as there isn’t a free trial option, you’ll need to decide whether or not you want to purchase a full year or play it safe with a monthly subscription to start if you’d like to test it out before committing. If you want to add protection for children in your family under 18, LifeLock Junior lets you add children for an extra cost per child.

Sign Up

The signup process for LifeLock Advantage® includes five easy steps that help it move along smoothly. Once you’re all signed up, a pop-up window appears and requests your personal information so LifeLock® can start monitoring it. Even though this process may seem unnecessary, it’s essential that you complete this step sooner rather than later because the sooner you complete it, the sooner LifeLock® can completely protect you.

Identity Theft Protection

LifeLock Advantage® helps protect your identity using several different, mostly basic, protection methods. The first is the LifeLock Identity Alert® system that uses data sources to detect your social security number, name, date of birth or address on applications for credit and other services — such as utilities — within an extensive network† to make sure your information is not being used fraudulently to open any account that could damage your credit reports. If your personal information is detected on any of the applications, you will be alerted via email, phone, SMS text or mobile app and provided with steps that you should take to protect yourself. You can change how and when you receive these alerts easily within your account preferences. Similar to the Identity Alert feature, LifeLock Advantage® also includes USPS address change verification that will notify you anytime LifeLock® detects a change of address connected to your personal information, as well as credit card, checking and savings account alerts to tell you if there’s been a suspicious transaction.

Next, LifeLock Advantage® offers dark web monitoring, which includes the active monitoring of your personal information on criminal websites to verify that identity thieves are not buying, selling or trading any of your information, along with court records scanning and fictitious identity monitoring to ensure nobody is trying to pass themselves off with your identity. LifeLock® will alert you via SMS text, phone, email and/or mobile app in the event that it finds any of your information on these sources. You will also be notified in the event a data breach occurs, so you can take steps to protect your information.

LifeLock Junior monitors for your child’s information on applications for credit cards, wireless services, retail credit, utilities, mortgages, auto and payday loans, as well as alerts you when suspicious activity is detected. This service also monitors your child’s social security number to verify that no credit files are associated with it, and scans more than 10,000 criminal websites on the dark web to verify that your child’s personal information is not being sold. Since children and young adults often use peer-to-peer sharing websites, LifeLock® also searches these networks for exposure of your child’s personal information.

Credit Report Monitoring Information

Unfortunately, LifeLock Advantage® does not offer continuous, 3-bureau credit monitoring. It does provide you with free annual credit reports and scores from Equifax, but this isn’t a very good deal considering you can get all three credit reports once per year for free, and only checking your reports and scores once a year is far too seldom to catch a problem. If you want to ensure your credit reports are monitored continuously and receive updated credit scores from Equifax on a monthly basis, LifeLock Ultimate Plus® is a better bet.

Identity Theft Assistance

In the event that you do fall victim to identity theft while you’re a member of LifeLock®, you will receive complete access to a certified resolution specialist — for no additional cost — who will help assist you through every step of the identity restoration process. On top of complete access to a specialist, you will also be protected with LifeLock®’s $1 million protection package** that can be used to cover certain out-of-pocket costs, such as reimbursement of stolen funds, coverage for lawyers and experts and personal expense compensation. Note that only LifeLock Ultimate Plus® members get a full $1 million maximum — the maximum for LifeLock Advantage® members is $100,000. Children protected under an adult’s account are also covered by the protection plan. Even though the guarantee is a good addition to the restoration process, we find the value of the service lies in the resolution specialists because they will help alleviate the headache and piles of paperwork that you need to complete when you fall victim to identity theft.

Customer Service

LifeLock® offers some of the most generous customer service hours out of any identity theft protection we review. You can reach a LifeLock® customer service representative via phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also contact a customer service representative through email or traditional mail. We found all forms of communication to be effective, considering we received a speedy response from friendly and helpful customer service representatives.

Conclusion

Even though LifeLock® is usually a top-runner in identity theft protection, we found the LifeLock Advantage® membership falls short in terms of credit report monitoring. That being said, the service does offer top-quality identity theft protection features as well as identity theft restoration assistance. Although a service with 3-bureau credit report monitoring would be best to protect you from identity thieves opening new lines of credit in your name, the LifeLock Advantage® membership is still a great option to protect your identity and personal information, as well as at least get a feel for what your credit might look like from one bureau. If you’re looking for a LifeLock® membership that includes complete identity theft protection as well as credit report monitoring, you may want to consider LifeLock Ultimate Plus®.

*Applicable sales tax not included.

**Reimbursement and Expense Compensation, each with limits of up to $25,000 for Standard, up to $100,000 for Advantage and up to $1 million for Ultimate Plus. And up to $1 million for coverage for lawyers and experts if needed, for all plans. Benefits provided by Master Policy issued by United Specialty Insurance Company, Inc. (State National Insurance Company, Inc. for NY State members). Policy terms, conditions and exclusions at: LifeLock.com/legal

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†Network does not cover all transactions.

Disclosure: NextAdvisor.com has a financial relationship with LifeLock whereby NextAdvisor is compensated if consumers choose to enroll in LifeLock via links on the NextAdvisor.com web site.

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