A big brand and a big deal in identity theft protection
If you know any identity protection service, you probably know LifeLock. LifeLock was one of the first big brands in identity monitoring and identity theft protection. And over the years, this company has invested a lot of marketing dollars to become a household name.
We haven’t just heard of LifeLock. We’ve tested it, too. We spent a lot of time using this service and digging into the features and benefits. You can read all about that in our full LifeLock review. But for today, we’re going to unpack LifeLock’s plans, pricing, and current deals to see if they have coverage that makes sense for you. And we know you’re wondering how NortonLifeLock, the partnership birthed by LifeLock merging with the antivirus brand Norton, plays out. We’ll tackle that in this article, as well, so let’s see if NortonLifeLock is worth your time and money.
We’re the glass-half-full type, and we see NortonLifeLock’s convoluted pricing structure as a sign that it gives customers the freedom to choose from multiple levels of service. You can either choose a LifeLock plan on its own, or bundle it with antivirus and device protections from Norton. That said, we know it can be confusing, so let’s break things down.
There are three LifeLock-only plans: Standard, Advantage, and Ultimate Plus. Another plan, LifeLock Select, comes with Norton 360, an antivirus, VPN, and device protection plan. Lastly, you can bundle LifeLock Ultimate Plus to get the most comprehensive protection.
As you’d expect, the different subscription levels include different features. The leanest LifeLock plan offers us credit monitoring for one bureau, social security number monitoring, and some insurance coverage. The plans moving up the price ladder cover more bureaus, add extra monitoring features, and eventually bring the insurance coverage up to the industry standard of $1 million for stolen funds alone. The insurance plans cover other expenses, too, like lawyer fees. In other words, with LifeLock, there’s something for pretty much everyone.
Pro Tip: How much insurance do you need? The average cost of identity theft is $1,343.1 But most ID theft victims don’t lose anything at all (thanks to safety features built into financial/bank accounts).2 On the other hand, some people lose everything they’ve worked so hard for. The good news is that ID theft insurance is now cheaper than ever — even affordable services like Zander Insurance offer $1 million in coverage. It’s the industry standard these days.
|LifeLock Plans||LifeLock Standard||Norton 360 w/ LifeLock Select||LifeLock Advantage||LifeLock Ultimate Plus||Norton 360 w/ LifeLock Ultimate Plus|
|Price for the first year||$8.99 / mo.||$9.99 / mo||$17.99 / mo||$23.99 / mo||$29.99 / mo|
|Price after the first year||$11.99 / mo.||$14.99 / mo||$22.99 / mo||$34.99||$34.99 / mo|
LifeLock has enough plans and packages to fit just about any budget, but price isn’t the only thing you should consider to decide on a plan. So we recommend giving each option a closer look, and then pick the one (if any!) that strikes a balance between affordability and helpful features. Keep in mind that everyone is different, and the monitoring that’s important to us might not be important to you, and vice versa. Thankfully, LifeLock seems to cover the gamut!
You’ll unlock more features as you work your way up the plans. Keep an eye on the stolen funds coverage of each plan, as that’s one of the most significant differences between them. The coverage starts at $25,000 with the entry-level Standard and Select plans. That increases to $100,000 with the Advantage plan. And lastly, you’ll get up to $1 million stolen funds coverage with the Ultimate Plus plan.
FYI: If you’re a Geico customer, you’ll find some other benefits beyond your typical auto insurance. Check out our guide to Geico’s identity theft protections to learn more.
Keep an eye on credit monitoring, too. We recommend credit monitoring in pretty much all cases and across the board for everyone. That said, we do think it’s most useful when you have all three major bureaus covered. Unfortunately, only LifeLock’s Ultimate Plus plan offers 3-bureau credit monitoring (and it’s not cheap!). All the other plans with one-bureau credit monitoring base use Equifax data only, leaving your TransUnion and Experian data unprotected.
Also keep in mind that Norton 360 features scale up with LifeLock’s plans, too. Higher-tier plans come with some really nice perks, like a VPN (virtual private network) for instance.
Pro Tip: Looking to protect your loved ones, too? Check out our guide to LifeLock’s family plans to understand more about protecting your whole household.
As we continue working our way up the LifeLock ladder, remember that every plan includes all of the features that its cheaper cousins have, plus extra features of its own. With each price tier, you’re only adding (or improving) features, never losing them. Now let’s dive into the individual plans to see how things shake out.
LifeLock Standard is the cheapest option, hands down. However, it still includes crucial features like credit monitoring (for one bureau) and social security number monitoring. You’ll be covered if you’re ever a victim of an identity crime. The stolen fund’s insurance tops out at $25,000, though you’ll still get up to $1 million in coverage for lawyers and experts. At only $8.99 per month for the first year, we think it’s a good deal. But you might want more robust coverage.
Who it’s best for: LifeLock Standard is ideal for budget shoppers looking for essential coverage on the cheap.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select is similar in a lot of ways to the LifeLock Standard plan, but the big addition, as the name suggests, is Norton 360. This is Norton’s flagship device protection suite, which includes antivirus software, a virtual private network, a secure password vault, and parental controls. These added protections will keep you safe from digital threats, particularly malware and hacking, which could be used to steal your identity.
At $14.99 per month after the first year, Norton 360 with LifeLock Select is a solid option if you’re looking for both identity protection and device protection. Note that NortonLifeLock isn’t the only company that offers such protections. We saw similar protections when we reviewed IdentityForce, just as not comprehensive as NortonLifeLock. Perhaps the package that comes closest to Norton is the IdentityIQ plans with Bitdefender Total Security. You can read about it in our IdentityIQ review.
Who it’s best for: Norton 360 with LifeLock Select is a safe bet for budget shoppers who want device security and VPN services.
Did You Know: In early 2017, the parent company of Norton, Symantec, acquired LifeLock for a whopping $2.3 billion!3
Moving up to the Advantage plan — priced at $22.99 per month after the first year — we’re introduced to extra monitoring features. This LifeLock plan lets you add bank and credit card accounts to monitor for suspicious transactions. It also expands public records checks to include crimes committed in your name. Thankfully, stolen funds coverage is bumped up to $100,000 for extra peace of mind. The drawback is that you’ll still only get one bureau credit monitoring. However, you will get an annual credit report and credit score from the same bureau, Equifax.
Who it’s best for: LifeLock Advantage is a good deal for those who want a bit more insurance coverage but don’t feel that they need three-bureau credit monitoring or the added device protection that Norton 360 provides.
FYI: It’s always nice when services give us annual credit reports and scores. But keep in mind that you can get your own credit report for free. By law, the three major credit bureaus have to hand over one report per year, free of charge — all you have to do is ask.4
This is LifeLock’s most expensive option, but it’s also the most complete plan. At $34.99 per month (after the first year), you’ll get three-bureau monitoring and up to $1 million in insurance coverage for stolen funds alone. We also like that this plan includes monthly score tracking, even though it’s only for one bureau, Equifax, but it could help you reach personal financial goals. Annual credit reports and scores are included, too, but this plan shares them from all three bureaus, not just one. This premier plan by LifeLock offers some of the best protection in the business.
Keep in mind that you can also add Norton 360 to this plan. Without Norton 360, Ultimate Plus costs $23.99 a month for the first year. If you add Norton 360, the first-year price will increase to $29.99 per month. However, after the first year, the price of the Ultimate Plus plan both with and without Norton 360 will run $34.99, so consider adding Norton 360 for the added protection.
Who it’s best for: Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus is best for folks who want complete identity theft coverage and total peace of mind.
Did You Know: Seniors are disproportionately impacted by identity theft and fraud. Check out our guide to LifeLock for seniors to better protect your aging loved ones.
Great deals are hard to come by, but the best deals we’ve seen offered by LifeLock are the ones advertised on its website: the heavily discounted first-year prices we mentioned above. Just look at the difference. The first year price for LifeLock Advantage is $17.99, $5 less than the $22.99 regular price. That’s $60 in a year right off the bat.
That being said, it would be wise to think ahead while enjoying the discounted first-year prices. Particularly, you must decide if the service is still worth it once the price jumps $60 the next year. See below for LifeLock’s monthly fees beginning the first day of your second year of service.
FYI: If you’re looking to save some money, consider LifeLock’s standard plan, their most budget-friendly subscription service.
|LifeLock Standard||LifeLock Advantage||LifeLock Ultimate Plus|
|View Plans||View Plans||View Plans|
|Reimbursement for Stolen Funds****||Reimbursement for Stolen Funds****||Reimbursement for Stolen Funds****|
|Personal Expense Compensation****||Personal Expense Compensation****||Personal Expense Compensation****|
|Million Dollar Protection Package****||Million Dollar Protection Package****||Million Dollar Protection Package****|
|SSN Alerts||SSN Alerts||SSN Alerts|
|Credit Alerts||Credit Alerts||Credit Alerts|
|Data Breach Notifications||Data Breach Notifications|
|Fictitious Identity Monitoring||Fictitious Identity Monitoring|
|Bank Account Takeover and New Accounts Alert|
|File-Sharing Network Searches|
When you lock in the best price, we think you get good value from LifeLock. But even still, how does it measure up to the competition?
We think that LifeLock’s cheapest plan is one of the better budget-friendly options out there. It falls in that $10-15 per month price range we like to see for affordable protection, and it includes all of the important core features: monitoring, recovery, and insurance. Note that it’s not the cheapest option in the industry, but it’s a solid choice backed by a trusted name. Other low-cost options we recommend include plans from Aura (as low as $12 per month) and plans from IdentityForce.
LifeLock’s higher-tier plans are a little pricey compared to competitors like Identity Guard. But part of why LifeLock is more expensive is that it includes Norton 360. And we think Norton 360 brings a lot of value to the table. The VPN is a big plus, for example. VPN subscriptions on their own can cost around $5-10 per month. Not to mention, antivirus software like Norton 360 can help prevent malware designed to steal personal information stored on computers. Overall, we found Norton 360 with LifeLock to be a solid value for the money, despite its premium price tag.
FYI: If you want to take the edge off of your purchase and try before you buy, you might want to check out our guide to LifeLock’s free trial.
LifeLock has been around for a long time. Some might even say that it was the first to bring identity theft protection to the masses. But perhaps you’re most familiar with the LifeLock commercials back in the early 2000s, long before many of its competitors even existed. To us, LifeLock is a reputable brand. We’ve tested its products over the years, and we’ve come to trust LifeLock as a company.
With that said, LifeLock’s relatively long history has some dark moments. The company got into hot water over deceptive advertisements back in the 2000s.5 Some LifeLock ads made it sound like LifeLock would actually prevent identity theft from ever happening. It doesn’t. In fact, there’s not a service out there that can keep the bad guys at bay. Rather, it’s all about early detection and recovery.
Did You Know: “Identity protection” is a tricky term. LifeLock doesn’t stop identity thieves in their tracks — that’s the FBI’s job. What LifeLock does is alert you when suspicious activity occurs. This allows you to lock down your credit and take other actions to limit financial or reputational damage. Think of it as a safety net, not a superhero.
LifeLock was also involved in an embarrassing scandal in the 2010s, when it accidentally exposed user email addresses.6 That’s a pretty bad look for a company in this business. At any rate, LifeLock weathered the storm and lived to tell the tale (well, they won’t tell it, but we will!). When the dust finally settles, we think LifeLock is a strong brand name in the identity monitoring business, despite their checkered past.
Norton 360 keeps devices like smartphones and laptops virus- and malware-free. It also includes a VPN, ad-blocker, anonymous browsing tool, PC SafeCam, and a cloud backup system for PCs.
You can protect up to five devices on the Norton 360 with LifeLock Select plan and an unlimited number of devices on the Ultimate Plus plan.
All LifeLock plans include $1 million in coverage for attorneys and experts used in identity theft recovery. Each plan also includes coverage for personal expenses and stolen funds related to identity theft. The coverage in here starts at $25,000 each and grows to $1 million with LifeLock’s top
No. LifeLock is designed to keep you aware of potential threats and ring the alarm when fraud takes place. However, you can limit your risk of being an identity theft victim by doing things like using strong passwords and shredding personal documents.
Technically, you don’t need any monitoring at all — but we recommend you have it! Monitoring your credit helps you spot fraud fast. Most of the time, the three major bureaus see the same things. However, it’s possible for financial activity to be reported to just one or two of the three bureaus. So we recommend springing for three-bureau monitoring for extra coverage and peace of mind.
Gredler, C. (2016, September 9). The Real Cost of Identity Theft. CSID.
Money. Timestaff. (2014, May 26). Do I Need Identity Theft Insurance?
Baker, L; Roumeliotis, G. (2016, November 20). Symantec to acquire LifeLock for $2.3 billion. Reuters.com.
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information. Retrieved June 4, 2020. Free Credit Reports.
Federal Trade Commission. (2015, December 17). LifeLock to Pay $100 Million to Consumers to Settle FTC Charges It Violated 2010 Order.
Krebs, B. (2018, July 25). LifeLock Bug Exposed Millions of Customer Email Addresses. Krebs on Security.
With a decade of experience as a journalist, Derek Prall has been covering cybersecurity for seven years. He has spent more than 1,000 hours researching digital privacy and has covered almost 100 topics related to VPN and identity theft protection. Previously, Derek has covered tech issues at American City & County magazine, where he won numerous national awards for his cybersecurity coverage. His areas of expertise included network security, big data analytics, and AI applications in public safety. Derek graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees in English and Communications from Furman University and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and two cats.