Credit
August 10, 2017

LifeLock vs. Experian vs. TrustedID

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Lifelock vs. Experian vs. IdentityForce: It’s a fact that identity theft is a growing problem. According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft complaints have increased by 47 percent since 2014. One of the most effective ways to protect yourself and your confidential data is to subscribe to one of the many identity theft protection services that are now available. There are a number of companies offering these services, but two in particular stand out in the marketplace: LifeLock and IdentityForce. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of each so you can make the best decision about how to protect yourself and what matters the most.

LifeLock offers proactive protection by monitoring credit applications in your name and file sharing networks that you use. There are effectively three layers of protection: detect, alert and restore. The service looks for any suspicious activity during which your identity is used to obtain credit, loans or services under your name. The moment any potentially fraudulent activity is detected, you will be sent a notification by email, text or phone. LifeLock also operates a restore facility to help customers restore their identity should it ever be compromised.

Lifelock Identity Theft Protection Review

Lifelock website

Lifelock Identity Theft Protection Review image
  • Price: LifeLock has a unique price for each of its three plans: The basic plan costs $9.99 per month, the medium plan costs $19.99 per month, and the most robust plan costs $29.99 per month. All prices require a two-year obligation.
  • Plans: Lifelock offers four plans: Lifelock Standard, Lifelock Advantage, Lifelock Ultimate Plus and Lifelock Junior. Lifelock Junior is for children under 18.
  • Features: The specific features that you get from LifeLock depends on the plan that you choose. All plans, however, offer some level of identification theft restoration, device protection, ID theft monitoring, credit monitoring and credit reports.
  • Customer Service:  Customers can contact LifeLock’s customer service representatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week either by phone or by email.
  • LifeLock Identity Alert System
  • Black market website surveillance
  • Reduced pre-approved credit card offers
  • Online access to credit scores and credit reports
  • Lost wallet protection
  • Address change verification
  • $25,000 stolen funds replacement

While it may be true that you could do a lot of what LifeLock has to offer for yourself, do you really have the time to set protective measures in place and actively monitor your credit reports and other channels on a regular basis? Would you know what to do if your identity was compromised? These are questions worth asking yourself when weighing DIY tactics against an automated service.

Like many subscription services, LifeLock is available in a range of prices that will depend on your requirements. They are:

  • LifeLock Standard — $9.99/mo
  • LifeLock Advantage — $19.99/mo
  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus — $29.99/mo
  • LifeLock Junior — $5.99/mo

If you are wondering about a LifeLock family plan, there isn’t one in the true sense, but they do offer the LifeLock Junior plan, which allows children under the age of 18 to gain access to the same protection as their parents. Criminals can often resort to targeting a child’s personal records and information, and so LifeLock Junior is a good way for parents to gain peace of mind. For a family of four with two children under the age of 18, the LifeLock family plan cost would be $31.96.

The consensus with the majority of LifeLock users is that the service is very good, with many saying the service gives them peace of mind and that they have received fast alerts when their identity was compromised. It seems users also appreciate the 24-hour support line and the bank account monitoring option, with many users giving instances of how LifeLock alerted them to fraudulent activity on one of their accounts.

  • Price: LifeLock is one of the more affordable of identity protection services, with prices starting at just $5.99 for protection for a child and $9.99 for an adult.
  • Features: LifeLock offers a range of features, including instant notifications, bank account monitoring and also sex offender register alerts on the Ultimate Plus plan. LifeLock is not able to monitor all transactions, but they are clear about this on their website and in their terms and conditions.
  • Cancellation: Users can cancel at any time by calling the customer service number or canceling through their LifeLock portal.
  • Reputation: LifeLock is considered one of the leading identification protection companies by its users, but has only been awarded 3.5 stars by the Better Business Bureau.
  • Guarantee: LifeLock offers a full 60-day money back guarantee.
  • Customer Service: The general consensus is that LifeLock customer service is good. There is also good evidence of LifeLock responding quickly to negative reviews and offering to find solutions for its customers.

Complaints about LifeLock have noted difficulties in canceling subscriptions and that there is no fixed LifeLock cost for family. Some business owners have also complained that certain fraudulent business transactions have not been flagged by the system.

Other complaints referenced the lengthy setup process and outdated website. If you want to know more, check out our full Lifelock review.

Experian has an advantage over other identity theft protection services in that it is one of the main three credit bureaus that need to be monitored to avoid identity theft. Since credit is it’s business, you also get a lot of extra benefits from the service, including ability to dispute items on your credit report directly from the Experian website. It also helps that Experian has direct access to one of your credit reports, so it can be alerted to any fraudulent activity immediately instead of going through a third party. Here’s a full review of Experian’s identity theft protection service, called IdentityWorksSM:

Experian Review

Experian website

Experian Review image
  • Price: Experian has two plans that are priced at $9.99/month and $19.99/month. You can also opt for paying for a year upfront, which will save you 2 months of payments on both plans.
  • Plans: Experian has two plans, the IdentityWorksSM Plus plan and the IdentityWorksSM Premium plan. The Plus plan offers the basics of identity theft, while the Premium plan offers extras like FICO credit scores, social security number monitoring and non-credit loan alerts.
  • Features: Experian’s IdentityWorksSM Plus features include credit monitoring, credit alerts, daily FICO scores, identity theft insurance and black market website monitoring. The IdentityWorksSM Premium plan includes 3-bureau credit monitoring and alerts, quarterly 3-bureau FICO scores, financial account takeover alerts, social security number trace alerts, change of address alerts, court records and booking alerts, non-credit loan alerts and sex offender registry alerts.
  • Customer Service: Experian offers stellar customer support, allowing you to do everything from disputing credit report errors and adding fraud alerts from its website. It also offers phone support 7 days a week, as well as email support.

One of the main things that makes Experian stand out is its engrained knowledge of credit reports and identity theft. Since it is already one of the three credit bureaus that compiles credit reports, it only made sense for the company to expand into identity theft protection services.

Another thing that makes Experian stand out is the wide range of things that it monitors to help protect against identity theft. The IdentityWorksSM Premium plan, which is cheaper than Lifelock’s highest plan, monitors everything from black market website activity, social security trace activity, change of address, court records, non-credit loan alerts and other areas that have the potential to alert you to identity theft, many that other identity theft protection services do no monitor.

Experian is fairly new to the identity theft protection game, and it has been operating as a credit bureau business for decades, so it is difficult to differentiate the credit bureau reviews from the identity theft protection reviews. For example, Experian has an A- from the Better Business Bureau, but that score is mostly reflective of its credit bureau business, so there is no way to tell how that relates to IdentityWorksSM, although if there were any major problems with its identity theft protection service, it would drag the overall grade down much further.

Most other online Experian reviews of IdentityWorksSM give it fairly high marks, which is a good sign for the service. There are few actual consumer reviews of the service, which makes it difficult to determine just how happy actual customers are. Overall, though, from the professional reviews, it seems like Experian’s IdentityWorksSM does a good job at identity theft protection.

TrustedID is actually owned by Equifax, and considering its recent issues with identity theft, it seems like it might have some issues when it comes to reputation when dealing with identity theft protection. Nevertheless, we have done an in-depth look at TrustedID to give you a better understanding of how the identity theft protection service works.

TrustedID Review

TrustedID website

TrustedID Review image
  • Price: TrustedID’s basic coverage comes in at $16.99/month, which is much more than most other service. It also has a family plan that allows you to add any number of family members for $29.99/month.
  • Plans: TrustedID only offers the one tier of plan for both individual accounts and family accounts, so all the features you see are the features included in your plan.
  • Features: TrustedID will scan black market websites, your social security number, bank account numbers, name, and address. It also includes lost wallet protection and allows you to set up fraud alerts so that lenders must contact you before they can issues a new card. You also get TrustedID’s $1 million insurance policy.
  • Customer Service: You can contact customer service by phone or through the company’s website.

TrustedID is much like Experian’s IdentityWorksSM in that it is owned by one of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, so it has a knowledge of credit reports and identity theft. Unlike IdentityWork, TrustedID was an independent identity theft protection company before it was bought by Equifax, so it combines its own knowledge of identity theft with Equifax’s knowledge of credit.

The other thing that makes TrustedID stand out is its family plan. You can add everyone within your immediate family to your plan for just $29.99, which is a great deal for larger families. If it’s just you and your spouse, other service provide better discounts for spouses and significant others.

TrustedID tends to get mixed reviews, both from professionals and actually consumers. TrustedID reviews from professional do tend to be more positive, but generally top out at 4 out of 5 stars, making it second to heavy hitters like Lifelock and Experian. TrustedID also does not have a rating from the Better Business Bureau, so there is no way to compare it to other identity theft protection services in that field.

Consumer reviews of TrustedID tend to be a little more harsh, although most online company reviews do tend to skew more toward angry customers as opposed to happy customers. A combination of reviews on Yelp and other consumer sites talked about how TrustedID’s customer service was good, but what the service offered was often confusing, and some complained about being charged more than they originally agreed to.

Lifelock, Experian and TrustedID are some of the top names in identity theft protection, but there are other options if you are not satisfied with any of those. Here are some lesser-known names in identity theft protection that might help you make the right decision.

If you’re comparing Identity Guard versus IdentityForce versus Lifelock, then you will have a difficult decision to make. All three companies offer good services that protect clients from identity theft and fraud. At $23.95 per month, though, you may find that IdentityForce charges too much for the services it provides. Considering that other companies provide extensive features that check black market websites and protect you from lost wallets, you may want to avoid IdentityForce unless you want a simple, straightforward approach to keeping your identity secure.

Identity Force Review

IdentityForce website

Identity Force Review image
  • Price: IdentityForce plans cost from $17.95 per month to $23.95 per month.
  • Plans: IdentityForce offers two plans: UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit. UltraSecure+Credit includes credit report monitoring.
  • Features: Both IdentityForce plans provide the essential services needed to protect people from identity theft and fraud.
  • Customer Service: You can contact customer service by phone or through the company’s website.

IdentityForce doesn’t offer as many identity theft guard services as other companies, but it has an affordable price that makes it appealing to people who want basic coverage. Overall, clients appreciate that the company gives them dedicated case managers, comprehensive monitoring services and strong customer service. When comparing Identity Guard versus IdentityForce, some people fall on Identity Guard’s side because the company offers more plans. Those who like to keep things simple, however, often prefer IdentityForce.

IdentityForce has a strong following and maintains contracts with a number of government agencies, including the FAA and the FBI. Overall, user reviews are positive, with many verified users citing the company’s outstanding customer service and the speed with which restoration and protection services were implemented.

  • Price: IdentityForce offers two plans priced at $17.95 and $23.95 a month. While these plans may be more expensive than LifeLock’s offerings, each plan does include protection for children in the form of ChildWatch.
  • Features: IdentityForce offers credit monitoring, legal protection, internet scanning and complete financial, medical and criminal identity recovery services. They also offer a Delete Now feature that allows users to see what personal information is being displayed about themselves online and to delete information immediately.
  • Cancellation: With IdentityForce, there are no contracts to worry about, but if you cancel in the middle of your subscription month, you will not be refunded the unused portion of that month’s subscription. Cancel by calling a dedicated customer service line.
  • Reputation: IdentityForce has been awarded 4.5 stars by the Better Business Bureau, although users have been slightly less generous with their personal reviews.
  • Guarantee: There is no money back guarantee with IdentityForce. However, new users are offered a 30-day free trial.
  • Customer Service: Customer service is good, with customer complaints in reviews being responded to almost immediately.

One of the top complaints among IdentityForce users is that there is no mobile app. Alerts are sent through as text messages or emails, but users would also like to have an app they can use to check information live and contact the IdentityForce team.

There are also only two plans, with features varying quite significantly between the two. A number of users and prospective users have said they would prefer a third plan that offers features and pricing that sits somewhere in the middle of the two plans currently offered.

Identity Guard is one of the most respected identity theft and fraud security companies in the world. Given its prominence, it makes sense that so many people choose Platinum as their Identity Guard Family Plan. It offers practically everything you could want in a family plan. When you think about Identity Guard versus Lifelock or IdentityForce, you have to consider Identity Guard’s affordable price and long list of services. Assuming that the company successfully protects you from identity theft, you won’t have to worry about your plan’s lack of victim assistance services.

Identity Guard Review

Identity Theft website

Identity Guard Review image
  • Price: Identity Guard offers a variety of plans, so pricing ranges from $8.99 to $24.99 per month, but you can sign up for the 30-day free trial to test out the service.
  • Plans: Identity Guard has separate plans for consumers and for businesses. Identity Guard offers two business plans: The Essential Plan and The Total Protection Plan. Businesses can then opt for the Employee Benefits or the Breach Services package once they’ve decided on the right plan for their employees.
  • Features: All consumer plans offer lost wallet protection, a dedicated U.S.-based case manager, an anti-phishing app, the Identity Dashboard, account access via the mobile app, ID vault password protection, identity theft victim assistance. The Total Protection and Platinum consumer plans provide a three-bureau credit monitoring, three-bureau credit analyzer, address change monitoring, credit scores*, public record monitoring, PC keyboard encryption software, PC antivirus software and online financial tools.
  • Customer Service: Identity Guard has a U.S.-based customer service office that can be reached online through virtual chat and email or on the phone, while a Privacy Now Members hotline is offered 24/7.

Identity Guard gets positive reviews from practically everyone who uses the service. Clients like that the company has joined forces with IBM Watson to provide a higher level of identity protection. They also appreciate the Identity Guard $1 million guarantee that applies to every plan. Considering the Identity Guard price, technology and comprehensive monitoring services, it’s easy to see why so many people prefer Identity Guard.

Common Identity Guard Complaints

The only serious complaint about Identity Guard is that it doesn’t offer victim assistance. Even if you have an Identity Guard Family Plan, you will have to put your life back together without professional help from Identity Guard.

It really depends on the service. Each identity theft protection company offers pros and cons, so it depends on what you are looking for. Here are some of the pros for each service:

IdentityForce Is Better ID Theft Protection for Your Family

IdentityForce offers a great add-on to their standard service for your children. Child Watch monitors your child’s information for fraud or identity theft, and also offers the same $1 million in insurance that you get with the standard plan. For only $2.75/month for an add-on, it’s a pretty good deal.

LifeLock doesn’t have a family plan, but if your family is only you and your spouse, you can get their basic plan for both of you for less than $20 with our 10 percent discount.

LifeLock Has the Longer Free Trial

If you are looking for an identity theft service that you can try out for longer, LifeLock offers a 30-day free trial. That way you can try out the service before you decide to buy it. IdentityForce’s free trial is only 14 days.

LifeLock Has Better Credit Report Monitoring Services

If you choose the LifeLock Ultimate plan ($26.99/month), you get monthly updates about your TransUnion credit score and reports. IdentityForce monitors all three of your credit bureau scores (as does LifeLock), but only gives you access to your credit scores once a year. For someone who wants to monitor their credit as well as protect their identity, this can be a huge drawback.

All 3 Offer Specific Features, So Choose Wisely If You Are Picky

Here are IdentityForce’s special features:

  • Insurance records
  • Vehicle registration monitoring

LifeLock’s basic plan has basic features, but LifeLock’s Ultimate plan offers these extra features:

  • Surveillance of unregulated global networks and file-sharing sites
  • Checking and savings account application alerts
  • Will remove you from mailing lists

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