LifeLock vs. Equifax: The Contest Over Your Identity

by Calvin Fellows

Topic:  ID Theft

> 3 min read

Offers the most comprehensive identity theft protection and assistance. Has many more features than Experian.

  • Top-notch identity protection and coverage
  • Data and personal information are monitored for you, so you have more spare time to do the things you love
  • Build a plan for the entire family, choosing what is best for you

An excellent service provider with many features. Equifax offers very low pricing for the number of services you receive.

  • Excellent coverage for smaller and budget-minded families
  • Maximum insurance and fund replacement for those with large asset value
  • Credit protection from a credit bureau reduces the middleman when dealing with your credit

Modern life is tied to our electronics and our information. Our information is linked to our ability to borrow, and we need it to access our financial accounts and records. In recent years, credit has become more than the ability to borrow. It’s now an essential part of modern life. Your credit score enables you to finance a new phone, set up your home’s utilities, or rent an apartment.

The importance of credit makes our identities and information natural targets of thieves. Therefore, it is imperative to have someone monitoring your identity and information. In LifeLock vs. Equifax, we’ll compare two top companies and help you determine who has the best protection for you and your family.

LifeLock vs. Equifax: Comparison

WHAT YOU GET

LIFELOCK

EQUIFAX

Pricing

Coverage

  • Individuals and family members
  • Individuals and family members (with a family plan)

Funds Replacement and Insurance

  • Stolen funds reimbursement up to $25,000
  • Personal expenses up to $25,000
  • Lawyer and expert fees up to $1 million
  • Amounts increase with upper-tier packages
  • Up to $1 million replacement of stolen funds
  • Up to $1 million for out-of-pocket expenses related to ID theft

Identity Theft and SSN Alerts

  • All plans include alerts
  • Advantage and Ultimate Plus send alerts if crimes are committed in your name
  • Stolen wallet protection
  • All plans include alerts
  • Up to 3 email addresses
  • Up to 10 medical ID numbers
  • Up to 5 passport numbers

ID Recovery/Monitoring

  • Specialists assist US-based members with recovering ID
  • Alert sent if ID used for suspicious transactions
  • Fraud alerts notify lenders to verify your identification thoroughly

Financial Account Monitoring

  • Advantage and Ultimate Plus plans have credit, checking, and saving account activity alerts
  • Up to 5 bank account numbers
  • Up to 6 credit/debit card numbers that you provide

Credit Monitoring

  • 1-bureau credit file monitoring
  • Annual 3-Bureau Report
  • Daily Equifax credit score and report
  • An annual 3-bureau credit report
  • 3-bureau credit monitoring

Cyber Security

  • Internet and Dark Web scanning
  • Data breach notices
  • Internet and Dark Web scanning

QUICK FACE-OFF

Similarities

  • Dark web and internet scanning to look for your instances of your information being used. If your address, Social Security number, or name is exchanged or found on the Dark Web, you’ll receive alerts so you can take action.
  • 1-bureau credit monitoring (Equifax Premier and Family Plan only). All LifeLock plans monitor the bureau of your choice after an identity validation process, which ensures no one is trying to use your information to monitor your credit.
  • Identity restoration experts are included in all packages to help you with the process of recovering your identity.
    Receive up to $1 million in stolen fund reimbursement with either provider; however, the only package LifeLock offers with $1 million in coverage is its Ultimate Plus plan. Experian provides up to $1 million in coverage for certain out-of-pocket expenses and stolen fund reimbursement in all of its packages.
  • All out-of-pocket expenses are covered up to $1 million by Equifax. In comparison, LifeLock covers lawyer and expert fees of up to $1 million but only reimburses stolen funds of up to $1 million in its Ultimate Plus plan.
  • Family members are covered in specific plans by both providers. Experian offers coverage for a second adult and 4 children in their family plan; LifeLock lets you build a family plan that is right for you.

Differences

  • Since Equifax is a credit bureau, they monitor your credit file at the other 2 bureaus for 3-bureau credit report monitoring. LifeLock monitors all 3 bureaus but only does so in its Ultimate Plus plan. 
  • 'Equifax doesn’t offer investment account monitoring. While both providers offer bank account monitoring, only 
  • LifeLock’s Ultimate Plus plan will monitor your 401(k) and investment accounts and watch for suspicious bank account activity that could indicate a takeover.
  • Equifax offers a plan for up to one spouse and four children. LifeLock lets you add as many as you want for $5.99 per month per person.
  • Experian offers a plan for a family of up to 6 at a fixed price. With LifeLock, you purchase a plan for each person in your household.
  • LifeLock lets you lock your Transunion credit file so no credit can be opened in your name unless you unlock it.
  • Experian provides a credit file locking feature, but it is a separately purchased plan.
  • If your name is used to commit a crime, LifeLock’s Ultimate Plus plan notifies you.
  • Your home’s title can be monitored when you choose Liflelock’s Ultimate Plus.

LifeLock

Coverage

LifeLock provides coverage per individual. For families, this means that each adult and child needs to have their own plans. It seems expensive to purchase this much coverage, but it ensures that all members of your family receive the same amount of coverage.

For example, if you and your partner’s identities are stolen, each one of you has $1 million in lawyer and expert fees instead of splitting the fees up. You are each covered for up to $1 million in stolen funds (under the Ultimate Plus package).

Funds Replacement, Insurance, Credit

Each person has their own plan. Each individual is eligible for stolen funds insurance between $25,000 and $1 million, depending on their package. To receive any amounts, you have to have sought reimbursement from your financial institution first.

LifeLock lets you choose 1 of the 3 credit bureaus to use to monitor your credit file and sends you alerts if there is activity on your file, which is where your credit scores come from. You can only check your credit score without affecting it once a month with the Ultimate Plus Package.

ID Theft, Recovery, and Monitoring

Your identity and Social Security number are monitored to receive a notification and take action when used. If your identity is stolen, LifeLock provides each US-based member with identity restoration experts that guide them through the process of restoring their identity.

Plans and Pricing

Standard

The Standard plan is very basic. You pay $11.99 per month and receive 1-bureau LifeLock credit monitoring and identity and Social Security number alerts.

Select

Under the Select plan, 2 additional features are added at the cost of $24.99. You’ll receive security for up to 5 devices such as phones, tablets, or computers and a subscription to a virtual private network (VPN) for those devices.

Advantage

The Advantage plan is where the most beneficial features are added, but they will cost you $34.99. LifeLock watches the bank account and credit card for action, and you’ll receive notifications when there are transactions made so that you’re aware of them.

4

Ultimate Plus

The Ultimate Plus gives you the most protection by adding more features: Unlimited devices, VPN, and antivirus security. You’ll be able to receive an annual 3-bureau credit report with your credit score and receive alerts if your investment accounts or home title are accessed.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Various accounts tailor plans to your changing needs as your life changes
  • Full coverage amounts for your family
  • Optional device monitoring with VPN for security and privacy
  • Automatic renewal of fraud alerts keeps your fraud alert from expiring in 90 days
  • The LifeLock app comes with every plan and gives you the functions purchased with your plan
  • Norton Antivirus is LifeLock’s security platform of choice, giving you established security on your devices
  • Add as many family members as you need to make sure everyone is covered
  • 24/7 customer support is available through the included app, which can be installed on all your devices

CONS

  • The top-tier package is costly and only offers additional notifications of different account activities
  • If you have a large family, your subscription can become expensive
  • LifeLock doesn’t prevent identity theft from occurring; it only gives you tools to help
  • You can do much of this yourself, and banks are very adept at dealing with theft
  • Your credit score can only be checked once a month with the most expensive package
  • Signing up after you become a victim of theft doesn’t give you any benefits
  • The most affordable plans don’t offer some of the necessary features, such as account monitoring

LifeLock Review  

Competitors: IDNotify vs LifeLock Compared to other providers


Equifax Features and Services

Coverage

Equifax has a comprehensive coverage plan. You can add one additional adult on the premier plan without a change of rates, and the Equifax Family Plan lets you add another adult and up to four children. A 6-person family is quite large by modern standards, and other identity monitoring providers charge much more for additional coverage needed by families.

Funds Replacement, Insurance, Credit

In all of their packages, Equifax covers up to $1 million in stolen funds. One caveat to this is that this amount is based on funds that are unrecovered by your financial institution. Equifax identity theft insurance covers out-of-pocket expenses such as a lawyer or expert consulting fees that arise from restoring your identity or dealing with the theft.

Your credit file from all 3 bureaus is monitored for activity, and your credit score from Equifax is as well. Any attempts to access your credit or score change results in an alert being sent to you.

ID Theft, Recovery, and Monitoring

If your identity is stolen while you have a subscription, Equifax provides ID restoration experts to help you recover your identity and assets. The internet and the dark web are scanned for your name, Social Security number, or other personally identifiable information. If your data is found anywhere, you receive notices so that you can take action.

Pricing and Plans

ID Patrol

This is the most basic of the Equifax packages but provides monitoring close to everything a single person might need to have monitored. This plan runs $16.95 per month and gives you identity theft insurance of up to $1 million for stolen funds and costs incurred to deal with a theft.

Premier

The middle of Equifax’s packages is the Premier plan, which is $19.95 per month and includes all of the family plan features except for adding a second adult or children. The included features make this one of the most attractive packages for singles.

Experian Family Plan

The Experian Family Plan costs $19.95 and adds the option of including an additional adult and up to four children.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Only 3 packages, which makes Equifax’s services less confusing to choose from
  • The Family Plan is the same as the middle plan; you can just add family members
  • Identity theft insurance amount is the same across all of the packages
  • The Equifax app, included with all packages, lets you lock and unlock your credit report
  • Internet scanning technology consists of scanning the dark web and the internet
  • 3-bureau credit file monitoring alerts you if anyone tries to access your credit
  • Automatic fraud alerts notify lenders to verify identity thoroughly before extending credit
  • You can check your Equifax credit score daily without affecting your score

CONS

  • No data breach notifications provided if your data is stolen from a business
  • Bank accounts and credit cards are monitored, but there is no option for investment monitoring
  • Many of these tasks can be initiated or conducted by consumers.
  • Families with more than four children can’t receive coverage for them in a single package
  • Credit scores from other credit bureaus can only be checked annually
  • Daily Equifax credit scores are not monitored in the lowest tier package
  • Equifax credit score can only be checked daily by those who have one of the upper-tier plans
  • There are no criminal records monitored for a crime committed in your name.

Conclusion

Identity theft protection services do not stop identity theft from occurring. The most important function these services provide is an alert when any monitored accounts or information are found to have suspicious activity. The services you pay for allow you to investigate and take quick action when you receive an alert.

It is nearly impossible to monitor all of your information and accounts by yourself. This is the service that LifeLock provides — one that looks out for you when you’re shopping online and using paperless banking services. Unless you are a computer expert, it is nearly impossible to know where to search on the dark web for your stolen information. LifeLock does it for you to give you and your loved one’s peace of mind.

Of these two providers, LifeLock has taken more steps to ensure that your information and accounts receive the most scrutiny. Their services provide you with the most comprehensive identity monitoring assistance between the two companies.

While LifeLock is more expensive than Equifax, the assistance you receive is well worth the additional cost. You don’t have to split benefits between family members, and you can add as many as you want to your plan.

If you’re looking for identity theft protection and assistance services, LifeLock identity theft protection helps you keep your family safe.

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About the Author

Calvin Fellows is a former military security agent and police detective who headed security administration. Calvin is experienced and knowledgeable in all avenues of personal and corporate security, and is dedicated to educating people on how to preempt any physical or cyber security attacks before they happen.


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