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Identity Guard vs. LifeLock: Which Credit Monitoring Service Should You Choose?

Nadav Shemer
Identity Guard vs Lifelock
Cybercriminals are constantly developing new ways to steal other people’s personal information and exploit their credit histories for financial gain. Fortunately, a few innovative companies are managing to stay one step ahead of identity thieves. The two best examples are Identity Guard and LifeLock.

Identity Guard is powered by IBM Watson’s advanced artificial intelligence technology. It monitors literally billions of data points to help protect you and your family’s identity. Identity Guard highlights include:

  • Range of protection plans, including family plans
  • 24/7 protection and surveillance 
  • Stacks of additional tools to proactively protect your identity

LifeLock is owned and operated by Norton, one of the world’s leading antivirus software providers. It scans the Dark Web and monitors your accounts to protect you from cybercriminals. LifeLock highlights include:

  • Range of protection plans, from basic to strong
  • 24/7 protection and surveillance 
  • Wide range of instant alerts when your identity is compromised

Identity Guard vs. LifeLock: How They Compare

Identity Guard
Monthly membership prices
$7.55 - $29.17
$8.99 - $34.99
Free trial
30 days
60 days (money back guarantee)
3-bureau credit monitoring
Mid-priced and premium plans
Premium account only
Stolen funds reimbursement
Up to $1 million on all plans
Up to $1 million on premium, $25, 000 on basic
Priority 24/7 support
All plans
Premium plan only 


Both companies offer 3 plans with fairly similar pricing, although Identity Guard offers better opportunities to save on your membership. Each company offers a similar level of protection in each tier, making it easy to compare the two.

With Identity Guard, there are three plans:

  • Value: $8.99/m (or $7.55/m when billed annually)
  • Total: $19.99/m (or $16.67/m when billed annually)
  • Premier: $24.99/m (or $20.83/m)

LifeLock also offers three plans, but all are billed annually. There are no further opportunities for discounts.

  • Standard: $8.99/m for first year
  • Advantage: $17.99/m for first year
  • Ultimate Plus: $26.99/m for first year

Winner: Identity Guard. It is the cheaper of the two when billed annually.

Credit Monitoring

Credit monitoring is one of the main reasons to sign up for an identity theft company in the first place. True, anyone can access their credit file once per year upon request to the credit bureaus. But credit monitoring services actually allow you to monitor your credit files and get alerts regarding suspicious activity.

With Identity Guard, premium and mid-tier subscribers receive monthly credit score notifications and round-the-clock monitoring of 3-bureau (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) changes to their credit reports. Premium subscribers also get alerts related to credit reports. 

All LifeLock plans include credit monitoring, but there’s a catch: basic and mid-tier plans only include Equifax. For 3-bureau credit monitoring, you need to sign up to the premium plan.

Winner: LifeLock. While Identity Guard offers more features overall, only LifeLock offers some sort of credit monitoring with the basic plan.

Stolen Funds Reimbursement

Both companies offer identity theft insurance with stolen funds reimbursement. This means you get reimbursed if someone uses your identity to steal from you or open new accounts.

Identity Guard offers $1 million stolen funds reimbursement to all customers, from the cheapest plan to the most expensive. All coverage is underwritten by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. 

LifeLock only offers $1 million reimbursement to premium subscribers, reduced to $25,000 to $100,000 for more basic plans. Coverage is underwritten by United Specialty Insurance Company (or State National Insurance Company, Inc. for NY State members).

Winner: Identity Guard. It is the only one that offers guaranteed $1 million coverage with all plans.

Customer Support

Dedicated customer support is an essential part of credit monitoring, helping you to get all your affairs back in order when your identity is compromised. Identity Guard and LifeLock both offer 24/7 customer support, but with some differences.

Every Identity Guard member is assigned a dedicated case manager, no matter the subscription plan. If your credit report is compromised or if you are the victim of identity theft in any type of way, your dedicated case manager is there to instantly assist.

LifeLock offers 24/7 live member support to all members, but only premium subscribers get priority support from their own dedicated case manager.

Winner: Identity Guard, for offering priority support to all members.

Safe Browsing

Hackers don’t need to plant malware on your computer to steal your personal information. They can also hack into websites you share information with, such as online banks, lenders, or shopping accounts. Once a scammer has obtained your social security number or date of birth, it’s not too difficult for them to misuse your credit report for financial gain.

Identity Guard’s safe browsing extension is one of the features that elevates it above other credit monitoring companies. While LifeLock is perfect for getting instant alerts to you when your identity is compromised, only Identity Guard offers a proactive way to ward of would-be attackers. Its safe browsing extension for Chrome includes anti-phishing, HTTPS protection, a powerful ad blocker, and a privacy manager for social media. You must be an Identity Guard subscriber to activate the extension.

And the Winner Is… Identity Guard

It’s hard to split Identity Guard and LifeLock in the battle for number one identity theft protection and credit monitoring service. But if we have to pick one, then Identity Guard is best overall. While both companies offer 24/7 protection, dedicated customer support, and instant alerts, Identity Guard offers more features and generally better bang for your buck.

It’s the mid-priced plan that really makes Identity Guard stand out from the crowd. While Identity Guard Total plan only costs $1 less than LifeLock’s equivalent Advantage plan, Identity Guard’s Total plan actually offers the types of features you’d expect to get with a premium plan. The other thing that makes Identity Guard stand out is the additional protection tools. With a safe browsing extension, anti-phishing mobile app, and social insight reports, Identity Guard just goes above and beyond for an identity theft protection service. 

Nadav Shemer
Nadav Shemer specializes in business, tech, and energy, with a background in financial journalism, hi-tech and startups. He writes for top10.com where he discusses the latest innovations in financial services and products.