The use of online identity theft protection services is now needed more than ever. This is because the statistics for people being victims of identity fraud and theft continuously raise as more and more data are stored online. This data can range from simple ones like names, addresses, and contact numbers up to sensitive ones like credit data, bank account numbers, and the likes.
Out of all these identity protection services, Identity Guard, LifeLock and Experian are among the best. They are applications that offer identity theft protection with each of them having unique features and technologies to help you protect yourself. They may be similar in terms of tools and basic functions, however, each of them differs in terms of cost, additional features, and others. Let us take a look at these products.
Basic comparison among the three products
These products, aside from offering identity protection services, also send you credit reports from reputable credit bureaus. Lifelock uses the Equifax credit bureau for single-bureau credit reports. Identity Guard uses TransUnion for single-bureau credit reports. Experian are already a credit bureau by themselves meaning that they report single-bureau reports from their own databases. This goes to show that the three products all have reputable and reliable credit bureaus for their services.
What are the functions for each of them?
- Identity Guard
They offer services for $8.99 up to $34.99 per month. This depends upon your plan, which may involve only a single person, a couple, or even a whole family. They offer plans in Premier, Total, and Value for a single adult. Identity Guard offers a free trial for those who may still be unconvinced. They offer secure ID vaults for you to store your passwords in.
What they don’t offer is FICO score checking. They also don’t have 24/7 customer service and annual billing with discount.
Additional features: What sets Identity Guard apart from other services is its IBM Watson artificial intelligence (which allows you to be notified whenever your personal details and information are present in secret chat rooms and the dark web) and their $1 million insurance policy (which covers legal fees, money from reduced work days, and others) in the case of an identity theft. Any high-risk transactions will also be notified to you to see if you are really the one doing it. They can also operate on a mobile app which makes it easier for you to see notifications.
Availing their services will give you alerts on the following: three-bureau credit changes (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion), monthly credit score, bank account takeovers, and any attempts to open savings accounts or open check accounts under your name. Credit reports are also reported to those who will avail for their Premier Plan along with social insight reports.
They offer services for $9.99 up to $29.99 per month. This depends upon your plan, which may be Standard, Advantage, or Ultimate Plus. You can also avail for an optional Norton security that you can use for five devices. A plan for children called LifeLock Junior can also be available for $5.99 charged monthly.
What they don’t offer are FICO scores, secure ID vault to store passwords, and free trials.
Additional features: They offer reimbursement and expense compensation for those who will have stolen funds will depend upon your plan. Standard Plans will be given up to $25,000, Advantage Plans will be given up to $100,000, while Ultimate Plus plans will be given up to $1 Million. All plans are also entitled to a $1,000,000 for coverage of experts and lawyers.
They also offer dark web monitoring (notifications in the case of the presence of your identity here), credit monitoring, and real-time alerts for any suspicious activities. Their credit monitoring is linked to Equifax for lower plans while premium members can avail monitoring from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Members are entitled to a 24/7 live customer support which is crucial for sudden emergencies. Reviews for LifeLock are mostly positive. It is also one of the most used identity protection services.
They offer services for $9.99 for IdentityWorks Plus plan and $19.99 for IdentityWorks Premium, both paid monthly. This is the most affordable among the three. You will be given the option to have two adults with no children included or one with one to two adults. You will then be given the option to add up to 10 children to either of the plans. This is a big difference from the former two services. Their service can also be tried for a 30-day trial period.
What they don’t offer is 24/7 customer service and secure ID vault to store passwords.
Additional features: Those availing lower plan levels will only be allowed to monitor their credits through Experian. Premium members are given access to TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Higher plans are also given protection for Social Security number, non-credit loan alerts, notifications for changes of court records and address, black market monitoring, and FICO scoring.
Which is the best identity protection service? Identity Guard, LifeLock, or Experian?
Notable differences among the three is LifeLock’s 24/7 assistance which is especially needed for cases of sudden identity thefts and emergencies in relation to your identity. Identity Guard is also good for those who may want to avail most of the important features like risk management scores and high-risk transaction alerts.
Identity Guard is best for those who want necessary features for the lowest price. It is also best for families as it offers kID Sure® Child Monitoring. It also offers a unique AI system (the IBM Watson) and a secure password vault.
Lifelock’s technology makes them stand out from the rest. It is capable of using its own technology to monitor identity theft. Aside from this, they also have a dedicated compensation for those who will need lawyers and additional coverage for investment account monitoring. Their dedicated compensation for stolen funds also makes customers trust them easier. Take note that it is separate from their coverage for experts and lawyers available up to $1,000,000 for any plan.
Experian is easily the cheapest out of the three. This is mostly attributed to the fact that it is already a credit bureau and will only need the help of TransUnion and Equifax for those availing for higher plans. Extra credit tools like CreditLock and the option to see your FICO scores are also good features. Its inclusion of up to 10 children for its plans can also be a reason for some to instantly choose it.