LifeLock vs ProtectMyID: Which is Best for You?

by Calvin Fellows

Topic:  ID Theft

> 3 min read

Lifelock is an all-inclusive identity theft and device security service. This is the most comprehensive service offered by the 2 providers.

  • Protects the credit of your spouse or domestic partner, and your children’s as well
  • Secure all of your devices
  • Monitor financial accounts with 24-hour customer service support
protectmy ID

ProtectMyID is an excellent choice for AAA members who want to monitor their credit files and score. It’s a good choice for people on a budget or someone looking for basic protection.

  • Monitor the credit of your domestic partner and children
  • Lock your credit with the app
  • Fraud resolution support and monitor old credit cards for activity

If someone obtains your credit card or bank account information, they can wreak havoc on your finances and creditworthiness. Someone could take a huge loan in your name, leaving you with a hefty debt burden. According to Javelin, identity fraud cases cost $16.9 billion in 2019. That's why people are turning to identity protection tools to safeguard their personal and financial information.

In this LifeLock vs. ProtectMyID review, we’ll walk you through the products’ ID security capabilities to help you pick the option that fits your situation. Our assessment focuses on cybersecurity, credit monitoring, personal information surveillance, and identity fraud restoration services.

LifeLock vs. ProtectMyID: Comparison

WHAT YOU GET

LIFELOCK

PROTECTMYID

Pricing

Coverage

  • Open to all
  • Experian’s ID protection option for AAA members

Personal Information Monitoring

  • Social media
  • Dark web
  • Address change
  • Court/criminal records
  • Social Security Number
  • Sex offender registry
  • Payday loan
  • Financial account takeover
  • Child identity protection
  • Home title
  • Investment account/401(k) plan
  • ID verification
  • Instant identity alerts
  • Synthetic identity monitoring
  • Savings/checking account activity
  • Social media
  • Dark web
  • Address change
  • Court/criminal records
  • Social Security Number
  • Sex offender registry
  • Payday loan
  • Financial account takeover
  • Child identity protection
    Financial account takeover
  • Real-time identity alerts
  • Bank account activity

Credit Monitoring

  • 3-bureau credit report/score
  • TransUnion Identity Lock
  • Monthly Equifax
  • VantageScore updates
  • Credit activity alerts
  • 3-bureau credit report/score
  • Experian CreditLock
  • Monthly Experian
  • VantageScore updates
  • VantageScore Tracker
  • Credit activity alerts
  • Dormant credit card monitoring

Fraud Resolution

  • Stolen wallet protection
  • 24/7 specialist support
  • Fraud insurance of up to $1M
  • Lost wallet protection
  • 24/7 specialist support
  • Fraud insurance of up to $1M


Cybersecurity/Privacy tools

  • Norton 360 antivirus
  • Privacy monitor
  • Parental control
  • VPN
  • Anonymous browsing
  • Ad-tracker blocker
  • SafeCam
  • Cloud backup
  • N/A

QUICK FACE-OFF

Similarities

  • Child monitoring checks for any fraudulent use of your child’s name and SSN
  • Sex offender registry tracking informs you of any offender living in your neighborhood
  • Court records monitoring lets you know of crimes committed in your name
  • Protects your personal information with timely alerts to any illegal rerouting of your USPS address
  • Social media monitoring to protect your reputation and privacy on platforms like Facebook or Twitter
  • Dark web scanning to flag any unlawful buying or selling of your personal information online
  • Financial account activity tracking to report fraudulent transactions in your name
  • SSN monitoring provides you with any names or aliases associated with your name
  • Creditworthiness assessment with monthly 1-bureau
  • VantageScore and annual 3-bureau VantageScore updates
  • Stolen wallet recovery when you lose your credit or debit card
  • 1-bureau credit file freeze to prevent ID fraudsters from opening credit lines in your name
  • Up to $1M identity fraud insurance option to cover lost funds, attorney fees, etc.
  • Fraud resolution support, including 24/7 US-based customer service and specialist guidance
  • Instant fraud alerts to minimize any negative impact from the misuse of your data
  • Financial account takeover alerts to stop unauthorized acquisitions of your bank account or credit card

Differences

  • LifeLock is available to all, while only AAA members may join ProtectMyID
  • Experian, a credit reporting firm, manages ProtectMyID, while Norton, a cybersecurity leader, owns LifeLock
  • LifeLock’s monthly VantageScore updates are from
  • Equifax, while ProtectMyID’s are Experian
  • ProtectMyID has a free plan for AAA members that offers essential identity protection services
  • LifeLock offers TransUnion credit freezes, while ProtectMyID provides Experian credit locks.
  • LifeLock’s plans and pricing structure are more flexible (4 premium plans) than ProtectMyID’s (2 premium plans)
  • LifeLock plans are more expensive than ProtectMyID offerings
  • LifeLock includes the Norton antivirus solution (device security) to thwart malware like keyloggers and spyware
    LifeLock includes cloud-based backup for when you lose your data
  • Utilizes webcam protection to guard your privacy on Windows PCs
  • Offers browsing privacy tools, including a VPN and an ad-tracker blocker
  • LifeLock includes parental control to protect your kids from unsafe, predatory websites
  • The LifeLock mobile app is convenient on-the-go, while ProtectMyID only has a web-based app portal 
  • Tracks 401(k) plans and investment accounts for signs of identity fraud
  • Includes identity verification alerts to sniff out fraud
    Monitors home titles to flag any authorized use, such as collateral against loans


LifeLock Features and Services

Personal Information Monitoring

LifeLock identity theft protection service tracks a trillion data points daily, checking actual and illegal databases for any fraudulent use of your personal information, including name, SSN, birthdate, and address. The service scans court records to alert you in case somebody committed a crime in your name. With child protection, you’ll receive timely SMS, email, or phone alerts when somebody commits fraud using your child’s name.

Credit Monitoring

LifeLock credit monitoring minimizes potential financial damage when somebody uses your identity to access bank loans. The service includes instant alerts in case of a fraudulent credit line opening in your name. With their monthly and annual VantageScore updates, you can assess your creditworthiness and spot any suspicious hikes or drops in your credit score. 

Fraud Resolution

After discovering any illegal use of your name by a third-party to commit a crime, create a bank account, or take out a loan, LifeLock helps minimize damage and reclaim your identity. Here, your options include activating a LifeLock Identity Lock to prevent further abuse of your name. LifeLock also helps with replacing your lost or stolen debit or credit card, and a company agent guides you through ID fraud resolution.

Plans and Pricing

LifeLock Standard

Standard is the cheapest of all LifeLock plans, costing $8.33/month (paid annually) or $9.99/month (paid monthly).

Select

The second-tier plan costs the same as the Standard option the first year--8.33/month (paid annually) or $9.99/month (paid monthly). But it includes Norton 360 security, and its renewal cost is higher than that of the lowest-tier plan.

Advantage

This plan costs $16.67/month (paid annually) or $19.99 per month (paid monthly). It includes Norton 360 services.

4

Ultimate Plus

This plan has all the others’ ID protection features plus home title monitoring, 3-bureau credit reports/scores, and more device protection services. It costs $25.00 per month (annual billing) and $29.99 per month (monthly subscription).

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Comprehensive personal information surveillance, scrutinizing a trillion data points daily for ID fraud signals
  • Norton antivirus can stop ID theft by sniffing out malware like keyloggers and spyware
  • Cloud-based restore point for any lost or stolen personal data
  • Tracks monthly Equifax VantageScore for any irregular credit score fluctuations
  • Flexible pricing structure giving you 4 plans with monthly and annually payment options
  • Anonymous browsing protects your privacy and lets you access geo-restricted online content
  • Ad-tracker blocking prevents third-parties from tracking the sites you visit and what you do online
  • Sniffs out over 7 million threats each day
  • Sends you instant ID fraud alerts by email, phone call, SMS, or push notifications
  • Identity restoration support with insurance coverage worth up to $1 million for damages and losses
  • 3-bureau credit monitoring for highest-tier subscriptions
  • LifeLock app for tracking credit score and fraud alerts on-the-go 

CONS

  • Lifelock is an expensive identity monitoring product, with its highest-tier plan costing about $300 annually
  • Subscriptions don’t include a LifeLock family plan
  • You need a Lifelock Junior subscription at an additional $5.99/month to get child protection
  • The Standard plan doesn’t include antivirus protection and bank account/credit card activity alerts
  • All Lifelock plans, except Ultimate Plus, offer one-bureau credit monitoring
  • LifeLock costs go up after the first year
  • Norton security may be unnecessary if you have or prefer a different cybersecurity tool
  • Some premium features like cloud backup and SafeCam only benefit Windows PC users
  • Home title and investment account protection are only available to LifeLock Ultimate Plus members

ProtectMyID Features and Services

Personal Information Monitoring

AAA has partnered with Experian to add you to its internet scouring platform that continually scans the internet and dark web for your personal information such as your birthday, Social Security number, and address. If the software finds your data being used or exchanged, you’ll receive alerts from the ProtectMyID app and be able to take action.

Through Experian, AAA offers 3 different packages, each of which has different ProtectMyID identity theft monitoring levels. The Platinum package is more comprehensive than the Deluxe or Essential packages, while each focuses on your credit files, scores, and reports.

Credit Monitoring

All 3 packages offer comprehensive ProtectMyID credit monitoring and alerts. The only difference between the Premium package provides 3-bureau credit monitoring, where the Plus plan only includes tracking your credit file with Experian.

A unique feature ProtectMyID has for all three packages is the Credit Lock. Its web-based application allows you to lock your credit file, which keeps anyone from opening accounts or initiating loans in your name. If you need a new account or loan, you simply unlock your file until you’re done, then lock it back up again.

Fraud Resolution

It can be difficult and time-consuming to resolve the problems that follow identity theft. AAA uses Experian’s U.S.-based specialists to guide you through the process of recovering from a theft.

Pricing and Plans

Essential

ProtectMyID Essential is the basic package. Free to AAA members, the Essential package covers internet and dark web surveillance, ID theft insurance, and lost wallet assistance. 

Deluxe

If you subscribe to AAA, you'll receive everything in the Essential package, plus monitoring for your financial and social media accounts for $10.95 per month. Additionally, if your information is entered into court records or used for payday lending, you’ll be notified via the app.

With Deluxe, you’ll be able to place a fraud alert on your credit file that will signal lenders that extra identity verification measures need to be taken. You can add children to your plan for an additional $3.95 per month.

Platinum

The Platinum plan will cost AAA members $15.95 per month. The plan includes all the lower tier plans’ features but adds monitoring of payday lenders, sex-offender records, and credit limit and usage alerts.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Automatically monitors your credit and accounts, so you don’t have to
  • Alerts are sent automatically through the web-based application
  • You can view your Experian FICO score monthly
  • The plan gives you dormant credit card and account monitoring
  • Theft insurance covers up to $1 million per policy per period for certain expenses
  • 3-bureau credit monitoring with the Platinum and Deluxe plans
  • Positive credit score changes are sent as alerts
  • Identify restoration assistance makes recovering much easier
  • Credit file locking helps you secure your credit file, score, and your identity
  • Comprehensive coverage makes the plans very convenient for people short on time

CONS

  • Consumers can accomplish much of the Platinum and Deluxe features themselves
  • ProtectMyID family plans included in higher-tiered packages, but the pricing rises significantly
  • No antivirus protection is included in any package
  • Financial account activity monitoring does not include any investments or retirement plans
  • Fraud alerts on credit files require you to trust that lenders will thoroughly verify identity
  • You’ll need to purchase the additional insurance if you have significant assets that can be stolen with your identity
  • There are only credit monitoring packages to choose from, which limits your options
  • Customer service is not available 24 hours a day
  • AAA uses Experian, which is a credit bureau, so its plans are focused on credit score and credit reports

Learn more on our article ProtectMyID Reviews.

Conclusion

Protecting your identity and those of your family members is an essential part of modern life. There is so much to monitor and track that it can become challenging to stay on top of it. As your life changes or your family grows, it becomes even more so.

Lifelock has put together a very comprehensive identity protection package. Its plans might be more expensive, but it offers you more security and peace of mind than the AAA ProtectMyID plans when the benefits are combined.

Lifelock lets you monitor all your accounts and all your family members’ identities in one convenient app while securing your devices at the same time. Children and teenagers are particularly vulnerable to identity theft because of the ease with which thieves can attract them through malware and social media account deceit.

Both providers offer notification services for credit file and credit score changes. Ultimately, this can be done by consumers themselves; however, the ability to secure all of your family’s devices while protecting their identities and provide 24-hour support were the deciding factors in this comparison.

Lifelock gives you and your family the identity theft protection and monitoring it needs in an era where our lives and identities are tied to our devices and the internet. Thieves are relentless in pursuing your identity— Lifelock allows you to be just as determined in defending yourself.


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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