Identity theft is on the rise, so safeguarding your private information has never been more important. Billions of dollars are lost to this crime annually, so it’s worth investing in professional protection.
There are many services to choose from, but a few stand out due to their popularity and services. This Identity Guard vs. LifeLock review compares two of the most popular options to help you see which can meet your needs better.
LifeLock vs. Identity Guard—Overview
LifeLock is owned by Norton, a well-known antivirus company. With over 80 million global users, it’s among the industry leaders in the identity protection space. It’s far from the most affordable options, but there are numerous services included in the price.
Identity Guard isn’t as widely adopted as LifeLock—it has around 47 million users, so almost half of LifeLock’s user base. It’s still a trusted and reputable option—the company has been around for over two decades and has resolved over 140,000 ID fraud cases.
Features and Key Differences
Identity Guard and LifeLock share many similarities, as both options offer decent coverage and encompass the most critical security measures. There are still significant differences between these services, so we’ll compare them according to the following factors:
- Identity monitoring
- Additional security
- ID restoration and fraud remediation
Both LifeLock and Identity Guard offer the basic services you’d expect from an identity protection provider, most notably:
- Credit profile monitoring—Looks out for signs of credit fraud using someone’s Social Security number (SSN) and other information
- SSN monitoring—Tracks information connected to the user’s SSN to proactively detect any misuse
- Dark Web monitoring—Overseen traffic from hard-to-reach Dark Web sites to scan for any potential trading of the user’s personal information
Where the two options differ significantly is feature availability across plans. Identity Guard doesn’t offer credit profile monitoring with the lowest tier, while LifeLock supports it for one credit bureau. Monitoring only levels out with both providers’ highest-paid tiers, which support all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).
Identity theft can happen in many ways, and not all cases are financially motivated. You need comprehensive online and offline protection to cover as much ground as possible. While LifeLock and Identity Guard come with a few useful features, the latter lacks some valuable security measures.
For example, LifeLock offers computer security, which includes Norton’s VPN and antivirus software. Note that these are add-ons, so you’d have to pay a premium on the existing tiers or choose a bundle. Identity Guard doesn’t support such protection at all, so it may be limiting for users who spend a lot of time online.
LifeLock supports another useful feature unavailable with Identity Guard—phone takeover monitoring. It can help prevent someone from getting access to your device and using it to open new accounts.
These extra features justify LifeLock’s higher price point to an extent, but they might be unnecessary or available from another provider at a more affordable price. Despite omitting them, Identity Guard still gives users adequate protection. Both options include social media monitoring, which can be useful for preventing social engineering attacks like phishing or catfishing.
They also support sex offender monitoring, which tracks offenders to alert you if they use your name to register under a new identity.
ID Restoration and Fraud Remediation
Capable as they may be, identity protection services aren’t almighty. No reputable provider will ever give you a guarantee that your identity will never be compromised. That’s why it’s important to choose a service with a proper contingency plan and extensive restoration coverage.
LifeLock is certainly a winner from this perspective, as it offers better insurance than Identity Guard. Both options have a $1 million insurance policy covering restoration service if your identity is stolen, but LifeLock also supports two additional reimbursements:
- Stolen funds reimbursement
- Personal expense reimbursement
Each policy ranges between $25,000 and $1 million depending on your chosen plan, so you get up to $3 million in total insurance with the highest tier. This can prove valuable if you run into financial hardship as a result of identity theft.
LifeLock and Identity Guard offer different plan categories for individuals and families. Identity Guard is far more affordable, especially if you want to protect your whole family. The following table breaks down the available tiers:
|Identity Guard Plan||Individual||Family (Five Adults and Unlimited Children)|
Besides the individual plan, LifeLock has two family plans—one supporting two adults and the other with up to five children as well. Not only is the pricing structure more complicated than Identity Guard’s, but the tiers are also significantly pricier:
|LifeLock Plan||Individual||Family (Two Adults)||Family (Two Adults and Five Children)|
As you can see, it costs much more to invest in LifeLock for your family than Identity Guard. You do get discounts if you make an annual commitment, which vary between plans but still don’t bring the prices close enough to Identity Guard.
Should You Choose LifeLock or Identity Guard?
Neither service is universally better than the other—it all comes down to your budget and needs. If you want more advanced features and are willing to pay for them, LifeLock can be your choice.
Still, many users might consider LifeLock’s features an overkill. If you need decent protection that doesn’t come at high costs, Identity Guard is a solid service. It also has a cleaner reputation than LifeLock, which has gotten in trouble with the FTC in the past.
Whichever option you choose, you can’t avoid monthly subscriptions without expensive annual fees, especially with LifeLock and its pricey tiers offering protection for children. Minors are up to 51 times more likely to have their identity stolen than adults, so securing their information is paramount.
If you need a budget-friendly service that helps safeguard children’s identities and offers numerous other benefits you can’t get with typical ID protection, check out FreeKick.
FreeKick—ID Monitoring and Credit Building for Children and Young Adults
FreeKick is more than an identity theft protection solution—it combines a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-insured (FDIC-insured) deposit account with additional services to also help your child enjoy a more stable future through credit building.
The product is powered by Austin Capital Bank and is suitable for two age groups depending on the specific service:
- ID theft protection—All children 25 and under
- Credit building and credit profile monitoring—Teens and young adults ages 14–25
FreeKick’s ID Monitoring Features (Coming Soon)
FreeKick encompasses several crucial security measures that drastically reduce the chances of your child falling victim to identity theft. When you sign up, your child’s SSN starts being monitored for true-name and synthetic identity fraud—a vicious and complex crime that can leave long-term consequences.
All names, aliases, and addresses associated with the child’s SSN are tracked ongoingly, and you get a mapped view of all locations connected to the SSN.
Additional services available to all children and young adults include:
- Dark Web monitoring with the CyberAgent surveillance system
- Full-service ID restoration with support from a certified restoration specialist and $1 million insurance
- Neighborhood sex offender monitoring
If your child is a legal adult (18 or over in most states), they’ll be covered by extra security measures:
- Payday loan monitoring that detects unauthorized use of the child’s information for obtaining fraudulent loans
- Court records monitoring looking out for any misuse of the child’s identity
- Lost wallet protection that helps keep the child’s documents safe and offers support in reissuing stolen or lost documentation
- Change of address monitoring that alerts you if your child’s mail has been redirected through the USPS
Parent-Sponsored Credit Profile Building and Monitoring
As mentioned, identity protection is only a part of FreeKick’s offering—its combination with automated credit building makes the service a unique solution for giving your child a more secure future.
FreeKick establishes and improves your child’s credit profile in three steps:
- Create an Account—Go to FreeKick.bank and choose a plan based on a one-time deposit
- Set It and Forget It—When the account is active, FreeKick will build a credit history for your child over 12 months through a locked credit-builder loan
- Keep Growing—When the 12-month term ends, you can renew the account to further improve your child’s credit profile and give them up to 48 months of credit history
The credit history of legal adults will be reported to credit bureaus ongoingly while the account is active. If your child is a minor, they’ll need to activate reporting when they become an adult due to the credit bureaus’ restriction.
You won’t face high costs or monthly subscriptions with FreeKick—you can choose between a free plan and two tiers with low annual fees:
- Free—One-time deposit of $2,500
- $49/year—One-time deposit of $1,750
- $99/year—One-time deposit of $1,000
If you decide to close the account, your deposit will be returned to the external account it came from. There are no early cancellation fees, but if your child is still a minor at the time of closure, no credit can be reported for the account.
Keep your child’s information and identity secure while helping them get a major head start in life—sign up for FreeKick.