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Identity Guard vs LifeLock (2020): Choosing Identity Theft Protection

Millions of people fall prey to identity-based fraud each year. Identity theft protection services such as Identity Guard and LifeLock provide safeguards against data breaches and the like, keeping your personal information secure. Here’s a look at what these protection services offer and how they can help you prevent identity theft as well as assist you in case your data gets compromised.  

Identity Guard vs LifeLock Comparison Chart

NameIdentity GuardLifeLock
 Identity Guard logoLifeLock logo
PricingCheck Fees at IdentityGuard.comCheck Fees at LifeLock.com
Stolen Funds Reimbursement$1 million insuranceUp to $1 million reimbursement
Identity and SSN AlertsYesYes
Internet MonitoringYesYes
Credit MonitoringYesYes
Bank Account AlertsYesYes
Antivirus and VPNNoYes
Dedicated Case ManagerYesNo
Family PlansAvailableAdd-ons
Customer SupportMon – Sat business hours, Email24/7 Live Chat, Phone

Identity Protection

Both Identity Guard and LifeLock provide identity monitoring and reimbursement.

Much of what Identity Guard and LifeLock do involves monitoring of your personal information on the Internet and your credit scores from credit bureaus. Identity monitoring tracks your non-changing data, such as your name, Social Security Number, birth date, etc., on the Internet as well as on the dark web. You’ll receive alerts any time their systems detect suspicious activities such as high risk transactions, changes to bank accounts, and other actions that can impact your credit negatively. 

Real time notifications can go a long way towards protecting your identity and credit, since quick responses to data breaches, for example, can shore up the security of your personal information. Identity Guard and LifeLock also provides criminal offense monitoring so you can be alerted of any crimes committed in your name. They can also keep an eye on your 401k and other investment accounts, home title, and USPS address changes, though these are only included in their premium plans.

It’s notable that LifeLock includes credit monitoring in their lowest plans (Standard and Select) while Identity Guard only offers it in their mid-tier plan (Total). Identity Guard does provide three-bureau credit monitoring and a monthly credit score, which is only available on LifeLock’s top plan (Ultimate Plus). LifeLock’s credit score is based on Equifax data while Identity Guard uses your TransUnion credit file. 

In case your identity gets compromised, Identity Guard includes a $1 million insurance policy in all three plans to go towards recovering your identity and reimburse any losses that resulted from it. You’ll also get a dedicated case manager to guide you through any legal processes. LifeLock, on the other hand, include increasing stolen funds reimbursement per tier, starting from $25,000 to $100,000 and up to $1 million. These also cover personal expense compensation as well as coverage for fees from lawyers and experts as needed.

Extra Features

LifeLock provides device security while Identity Guard offers family plans.

Ever since LifeLock became part of the same company as Norton, the latter’s antivirus and VPN services are now available as all-in-one packages with the former’s identity theft protection services. As such, LifeLock is unique in including device security in all of its non-Standard plans. You’ll get secure VPN and antivirus protection for up to 5, 10, or unlimited PCs, laptops, and phones (based on tier), along with an ad blocker, safe cam, and cloud backup. 

Identity Guard is not without its unique technology: it uses IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence to constantly scan the Internet and the dark web for your personal info. The powerful IBM Watson is able to build a more concrete identity management core to monitor your credit files, SSN, DOB, etc., in real time. 

In addition, Identity Guard offers separate plans for individual and family protection. Normally, its individual plans are only applicable to a single adult, so you and your spouse will need to purchase separately. However, Identity Guard’s family plans will cover you, your spouse, and your children as long as you all reside in a single household. This represents a lot of value for either small or big families. 

Rather than family plans, LifeLock offers LifeLock Junior and LifeLock Senior addons for children and adults 65 and older, respectively. While this provides savings and extra protection for a few kids, it can still be costly for big families or those taking care of senior parents. Moreover, you and your partner or spouse will still need to purchase separate plans.

Pricing and Support

Identity Guard costs lower while LifeLock provides 24/7 support.

It’s easy to say that Identity Guard is more affordable as its plans cost lower across the board compared to LifeLock’s. Both have three tiers of protection with increasing features and coverage, LifeLock does have an extra base plan (Standard) that doesn’t include device security. Note also that LifeLock offers special pricing only for the first year you subscribe, so your annual plan jumps up quite a bit once you renew. So not only is Identity Guard cheaper, you also keep the annual discount in successive years.

Customer support is more accessible on LifeLock, however, thanks to its 24/7 Live Member Support. You can call their hotline at any time or speak with a representative via the messaging feature in their mobile app. In contrast, Identity Guard’s support team is only available during limited hours (ET) from Monday to Saturday. You also have the option of sending your concerns or queries via email. 

Verdict

Identity Guard offers better value while LifeLock offers extra online protection.

Identity Guard

Better for families

Identity Guard logo

LifeLock

Better for online security

LifeLock logo

Considering similar monitoring coverage and insurance, Identity Guard comes out ahead strictly on value, as both its individual and family plans enable identity theft protection at lower costs. Its IBM Watson AI works tirelessly to scan the web and keep it clean from unauthorized usage of your personal information, ensuring you receive timely alerts to prevent further problems later on. In particular, its Total plan gets you 3-bureau credit monitoring, helping you improve your credit score proactively. 

On the other hand, LifeLock can be costly, especially after the first year promo pricing is over. However, it includes a suite of digital protection software and services into a sweet package. By incorporating an antivirus, VPN, ad blocker and more, your family can get an extra layer of defense against malicious attacks that can compromise your personal information. You also get more accessible support, especially during weekends when you’ll likely have more time to assess potential issues.

FAQs

📌 Is Identity Guard worth the money?

For most busy individuals, the services offered by Identity Guard can be worth the cost simply for the peace of mind that you get knowing someone’s there looking out for you. Identity Guard monitors various portals and keeps you aware of your standing with credit bureaus so you can remain vigilant against identity theft. Considering the potential damages and headaches such an event can cause later on, taking proactive measures can be well worth the money.

📌 Does LifeLock protect Social Security Number?

Insofar as monitoring if your SSN is used by other parties, then yes, LifeLock can protect this critical personal information. 

📌 How can I protect my identity for free?

There are numerous steps and tips you can follow to prevent your personal info from leaking out online. Most of it involves limiting your exposure and checking up on your credit reports regularly. Online safety is a priority, so using strong passwords, mixing them up for different sites, and staying away from shady websites is important. Moreover, you should be wary of clicking links, whether on emails or unfamiliar sites, as they can lead to malware, phishing, and other malicious attacks.

📌 What is the difference between LifeLock and Norton LifeLock?

LifeLock is a brand under NortonLifeLock Inc. focusing specifically on its identity theft protection services. NortonLifeLock encompasses the company’s entire cybersecurity products and services.

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Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.