Is LifeLock or IDShield Better For ID Theft Protection?
Identity theft can impact nearly every aspect of your life — from your finances and ability to secure loans or mortgages to your reputation and even self-esteem. Unfortunately, the threat of identity theft is only getting worse.
By some estimates [*]:
Americans lost over $43 billion to identity theft and fraud in 2022 — even worse is that almost half of all identity theft victims are repeat victims.
As the threat of fraud grows, millions of Americans are turning to identity theft protection services to safeguard their personal information, finances, and assets. This search often leads to a comparison of two of the most well-known options: IDShield vs. LifeLock.
In this guide, we’ll compare IDShield and LifeLock, including their key features and differences, pricing, and real customer reviews. We’ll also present a third option for you to consider: Aura.
IDShield vs. LifeLock: Head-to-Head Comparison
With the threat of identity theft and financial fraud growing, identity theft protection is no longer a “nice-to-have” option.
While IDShield and Norton LifeLock are both on the list of best identity theft protection services, there are unique differences that you should be aware of when considering which provider is right for you:
- IDShield proactively monitors your identity, credit, and finances to keep you ahead of fraudsters. This platform is backed by licensed private investigators and offers full-service identity restoration, 24/7 support, and up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.
- LifeLock offers proactive protection through its integration with Norton 360. For a higher monthly fee, you can access advanced digital security tools, including antivirus software, a virtual private network (VPN), password manager, cloud backups, and parental controls.
Here’s a deeper dive into the similarities and differences between IDShield and LifeLock:
While these two services are leaders in digital security, there are others worth considering. Aura combines the best of both worlds, delivering comprehensive identity and financial protection along with advanced features — including the fastest fraud alerts in the industry.
With multiple providers to pick from, which is truly the best identity theft protection service?
💡 Related: The Top 10 LifeLock Alternatives (2023 Update) →
Why Aura Is a Better Option Than Both LifeLock and IDShield
Aura is an all-in-one digital security solution that safeguards the identities, finances, assets, and sensitive data of everyone in your family.
Aura’s platform combines award-winning identity theft protection, three-bureau credit monitoring, powerful digital security tools, and comprehensive fraud resolution support.
While Aura is a relatively new name in identity theft protection, it’s already been rated #1 by Forbes, Money.com, TechRadar, Security.org, and more.
Whereas many identity theft protection companies focus on fraud resolution and restoration services, Aura has a holistic approach — offering robust protection to prevent you from becoming a victim of identity theft while also providing unbeatable support if you do.
Below, you’ll find a deeper comparison between IDShield vs. Lifelock. But first, here are six reasons why Aura is a better option than Lifelock and IDShield:
- Stronger online security. In 2023, the rise of spam calls and texts now threatens everyone. Aura's AI-powered spam protection completes an unmatched suite of advanced digital security tools — including antivirus software, password manager, and military-grade VPN.
- Faster fraud alerts. With fraud, every second counts. Aura monitors your bank, credit, and investment accounts for signs of fraud. Based on a 2022 study, Aura detected the most credit inquiries and delivered credit alerts in minutes — up to 250x faster than the competition3.
- Better support (that’s available when you need it). All Aura plans include 24/7 access to White Glove Fraud Resolution Specialists who help you navigate issues with banks, vendors, and government agencies. Plus, every adult member is covered by $1 million in identity theft insurance (up to $5 million total for families). You’ll even get lost wallet assistance to help you cancel cards and protect your identity.
- More comprehensive family protection. Aura has a Family Plan that covers up to five adults and unlimited kids — even if you live in different households. This family protection is bolstered by award-winning parental controls powered by Circle.
- Generous free trial and guarantee. All Aura premium plans come with a 14-day free trial and a 60-day money-back guarantee. You can test out the premium features of the mobile app before committing to a paid subscription, or get a refund if you’re not happy after the first two months.
- Better value and no price increases. Aura offers more features, robust protections, and comprehensive coverage and support — at a better price than comparable plans from IDShield and LifeLock. Also, you have peace of mind knowing Aura will not increase its price when it's time to renew your subscription.
No identity theft protection provider can completely remove the risk of having your identity stolen. A proactive strategy is the best way forward. Aura takes a more modern approach to protecting you and your family, and will be on hand to guide you through the fraud resolution process if you become a victim.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at the other contenders: IDShield vs. Lifelock.
IDShield Overview: What’s Included and Pros & Cons
IDShield is a well-established identity theft protection service that was founded in 1972. Initially a product of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., the company evolved to become LegalShield and developed IDShield in response to the growing privacy concerns of the digital age.
By combining its legal expertise and cutting-edge technology, IDShield has won many accolades, including Gold Winner status for Identity Theft Resolution Service, Fraud Prevention, and Social Media Security.
Here are some key features of IDShield:
- Threat monitoring. With 24/7 monitoring and timely fraud alerts, IDShield provides constant protection against identity theft.
- Defense partnership. In collaboration with Trend Micro, IDShield offers protection against malware, ransomware, and various cyber threats.
- Access to private investigators. IDShield’s unique offering is its team of licensed investigators who help restore your identity if you fall prey to fraud. (It’s questionable, though, how much value or justice you’ll receive by tracking down someone who scammed you).
- Online privacy guidance. IDShield builds a profile of your online presence and shows you how to adjust your security settings across 20+ major sites.
- ID specialist program and service guarantee. Another key feature is IDShield’s unlimited guidance to prevent identity theft, which includes comprehensive monitoring across all three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian).
Below, you can weigh the pros and cons of IDShield:
How much does IDShield cost?
IDShield offers plans for individuals and families, with options for one or three-bureau credit monitoring. Whereas Aura covers family members in multiple households, IDShield’s Family plans only cover two adults along with any under-18 dependents living with you.
Here are IDShield’s pricing and plans as of September 2023:
- Individual (one credit bureau monitoring — only TransUnion): $14.95/month
- Individual (three-bureau monitoring): $19.95/month
- Family (one credit bureau monitoring — only TransUnion): $29.95/month
- Family (three-bureau monitoring): $34.95/month
What do real customers say about IDShield?
IDShield has a 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot [*]. But while most customers are satisfied, some users have complaints about issues with the service and support:
- Worth the peace of mind: It's a great system! I have peace of mind, knowing things are being monitored. Getting a summary of where I am once a month keeps me informed and on track. I love it!
- Disappointed by the lack of agent support: I'm very disappointed with this Website; navigation is so confusing, lacks flow, and, of course, there's no LIVE support to help on weekends. You don't know that until you pay, even though they advertise 24/7 support multiple times. Waste of money!
- Not sure if it’s better than Lifelock: Was a little shocked when I called to check on an alert that I received that the agent did not see any of the data breaches that Credit Karma had notified me about. She said the only things she saw were late payments and over-my-limit alerts. I had switched from lifelock to IDShield because I thought it might be better, but I may have been wrong.
Who should choose IDShield?
IDShield offers robust identity theft protection with an unlimited service guarantee and access to licensed private investigators. However, it is more expensive than other services and lacks an annual plan. With that said, there are more budget-friendly options.
You should choose IDShield if:
- You want the help of a private investigator. If you’re the victim of a scam or identity theft, IDShield offers the unique feature of private investigators to help you recover from the impact of fraud.
- You only need to protect family members under the age of 18. IDShield's Family plan only covers dependent minors. If you also need to protect adult children or elderly family members, they must pay for their own IDShield Individual plans.
LifeLock Overview: What’s Included and Pros & Cons
LifeLock is a well-established identity theft protection provider that monitors personal information, financial accounts, and credit scores for signs of identity theft. Founded in 2005 by Robert J. Maynard and Todd Davis, LifeLock was acquired by Symantec (makers of Norton 360) in 2017.
However, the company’s reputation took some hits recently, as hackers compromised thousands of customer accounts in January 2023 [*]. Another concern is that Norton previously installed crypto mining software — which they claim users must keep enabled to meet system requirements. Many users have reported it is difficult to remove, fueling the controversy [*].
Here are some key features of LifeLock:
- AARP discount. If you are a member of AARP, you can get a discount of up to 25% if you get LifeLock in a Norton360 bundle, which includes a VPN, antivirus software, and password manager.
- Antivirus software. The Norton 360 add-on includes antivirus software that guards your devices against malware and other forms of hacking. Norton 360 also includes a VPN to protect you when using public Wi-Fi.
- Dark Web monitoring. Cybercriminals buy and sell stolen personal information on the Dark Web. Like Aura and IDShield, LifeLock monitors the underbelly of the internet to scan illicit forums and marketplaces and alert you if any of your personal information is at risk, including your passwords, SSN, or driver’s license.
- Monitoring for three credit bureaus. LifeLock will warn you of most changes to your credit report, which can reflect some of the earliest signs of fraud. But, beware that LifeLock Ultimate Plus is the only plan that monitors your credit reports at all three major credit bureaus.
- Phone takeover monitoring. This is a useful feature in the mobile age, which helps protect your smartphone and linked financial accounts if someone attempts a SIM swap scam.
Below, you can consider the pros and cons of LifeLock:
How much does LifeLock cost?
LifeLock has a range of plans — including a family plan that covers two adults and up to five children. You can also add an additional adult to your plan.
While LifeLock offers a generous discount for the first year, the subscription price increases when you renew. This increase makes LifeLock a more expensive option in the long run.
Here are LifeLock’s pricing plans as of September 2023:
- LifeLock Standard plan (Individual): $11.99 per month (renews at $124.99 per year)
- LifeLock Advantage plan (Individual): $22.99 per month (renews at $239.99 per year)
- LifeLock Ultimate Plus plan (Individual): $34.99 per month (renews at $339.99 per year)
What do real customers say about LifeLock?
LifeLock currently has a 4-star rating on Trustpilot from 1,700 reviews. However, many users complain about poor customer support, buggy software, and missing fraud alerts [*].
Here are a few LifeLock reviews from real customers:
- Daily updates helped: I love the daily updates concerning my credit and transactions. Because of this system, I was able to prevent theft from a hacker who bought two airline tickets with one of my credit cards.
- Issues adding a second adult to my plan: Tried numerous times to enroll a second adult to account but were unsuccessful. One customer service rep said we were good, but the account info still could not be updated. Final call was a hang-up on Norton's end.
- Had Lifelock for several years: At one point, it would not stay connected to one of my banks. I tried calling to figure out why, and that was a waste of time. They have very poor service and I can't talk to anyone. The only way I could cancel was to take the credit card they had stored for renewal off their website. There has to be a better choice than Lifelock.
Who should choose LifeLock?
LifeLock offers comprehensive identity theft protection plans that include antivirus software, phone monitoring, stolen wallet protection, and TransUnion credit lock. But the caveat is that the most affordable plans have limited features, such as lower insurance coverage and monitoring for only one credit bureau.
You should choose LifeLock if:
- You don’t have the time to monitor your credit and accounts. As a comprehensive provider that includes Dark Web monitoring, LifeLock helps you detect and respond to suspicious activity without having to do everything manually.
- You are at higher risk of identity theft. If you’ve already been a victim, or you’re a vulnerable target — like a wealthy older person — it’s good to have a reliable service protecting you.
10 Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
You and your family could be targeted by hackers or scammers every time you go online, on any device, at any time. There's a real risk of fraud for those who don’t exercise proper precautions and best practices around internet use.
Here are 10 steps everyone can take to protect themselves from identity theft:
1. Freeze your credit with all three bureaus
You can prevent scammers from taking out payday loans and opening new accounts in your name by freezing your credit. This security measure is easy to put in place by contacting each of the three credit bureaus individually via the details below:
Remember: When you want to apply for a loan or credit card later, you’ll need to contact each of the three reporting bureaus to “thaw” the credit freeze.
2. Update your passwords
If you've been scammed or believe you’re at risk, it’s wise to change all of your online account passwords. You can reduce the chance of account takeover fraud by creating complex, unique login credentials that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. For added safety, store your passwords in Aura’s secure password manager.
3. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)
With 2FA enabled on all of your accounts, it’s much harder for hackers to gain access. Even if someone has your password, it’s unlikely they will get past the second level of security — especially if it’s a fingerprint scan.
4. Regularly check your bank statements and credit reports
You can order free annual credit reports from the three bureaus and carefully inspect them for suspicious activities, like a new account or loan you don't recognize. Another crucial habit is to review your monthly bank statements for any unfamiliar transactions so that you can catch early warning signs of fraud.
5. Don't ignore software or operating system updates
Software updates often contain essential patches, fixes, and enhancements that address known vulnerabilities. If you ignore these updates, you're leaving the door open for hackers to exploit weaknesses in your computer system. Whether it's an Android phone, gaming console, or home Wi-Fi router, you shouldn't risk using outdated software.
6. Scan your devices for malware and other viruses
Regular scans help you combat hackers who try to steal your passwords and data. You can use a trusted antivirus software, like the one included with every Aura plan, to scan your devices for malicious programs — such as trojans, keyloggers, and spyware.
7. Keep your sensitive documents and IDs safe
Not all identity theft happens online — someone could remove sensitive information from your home or mailbox. You can protect important documents, like passports, SSN cards, loan letters, and birth certificates, by keeping them in a locked safe. Also, make sure you shred old bank statements, medical records, and credit card offers to avoid falling prey to dumpster divers.
8. Learn to spot the warning signs of a phishing scam
Spam emails and text messages are expected to cost the global economy $50 billion in 2023 [*]. Beware of any unsolicited contact in which someone asks for your personal information or financial details. Sure signs of phishing include suspicious links and a sense of urgency — as scammers try to pressure victims into acting without thinking.
9. Scan the Dark Web to see if your data has been compromised
We don’t recommend accessing the Dark Web unless you know what you're doing because you could expose more of your information. Aura provides a free Dark Web scanner that checks your email address to see if any of your passwords are at risk — giving you the chance to take action before it’s too late.
10. Consider signing up for an identity monitoring and protection provider
These services help keep track of suspicious activities involving your personal information — including your credit score, bank accounts, and Social Security number (SSN). They also provide alerts in cases of potential identity theft.
Our Final Recommendation: Choose Aura for Peace of Mind
Identity thieves are only getting bolder and more advanced with their scams.
Today, hackers can evade cybersecurity defenses and trick people with artificial intelligence (AI). This combination of technology and social engineering allows fraudsters to clone people's voices, run high-volume credential-stuffing attacks, and easily target thousands of people with scams daily.
All it takes is one phone call or visit to the wrong website, and your family's identity and savings could be at risk. Many users compare IDShield vs. Lifelock; but the best way to protect your entire family is by signing up for Aura.
Here’s how Aura keeps you safe:
- Award-winning identity theft protection that includes Social Security number monitoring, as well as protection for your personal data, bank accounts, home title, and more.
- 24/7 three-bureau credit monitoring with rapid fraud alerts up to 250x faster than other digital security providers along with monthly credit scores.
- Dark Web monitoring scans the internet in real-time and alerts you if any of your personal data is circulating on the Dark Web.
- Digital security tools including a secure password manager, parental controls, and email aliases to protect your family across all of your devices.
- VPN and antivirus software to secure your devices against e-skimming and malware, spyware, and ransomware threats.
- $1,000,000 insurance policy for each adult on your plan to cover eligible losses due to identity theft, such as stolen money, credit cards, and passports.
- White Glove Fraud Resolution Specialists who provide U.S.-based 24/7 support to help you navigate challenges with banks, creditors, and government agencies.