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You hear a lot about identity theft these days (there was even that hilarious movie Identity Thief), but many of us like to blithely skip through life thinking it’s something that only happens to “other people.”
Unfortunately, just like many things that happen to “other people,” identity theft is much more likely to happen to you than you think. In 2012, 12.6 million people became victims of identity fraud in the U.S. And if you really think about it, it’s somewhat surprising that the numbers aren’t higher – since most of us use the internet for work, banking, entertainment, and socializing, our information is all over the internet, free for the grabbing. Even if you’re relatively careful, identity thieves can often still find your sensitive information without too much trouble.
Unless, of course, you use LifeLock – which gets us to the main question:
What Is LifeLock?
In basic terms, LifeLock is an identity and credit monitoring service. They keep track of your credit card history and personal information, and can quickly alert you and fix the situation in the event of suspicious activity. If you fall victim to identity theft, LifeLock will help you recover your identity. LifeLock uses a 5-point system to keep your identity secure:
1. Identity Monitoring – LifeLock monitors any activity involving your identity, including credit scores, credit card activity, public records, and court records.
2. Threat Scanning – Good identity theft protection means stopping problems before they start. LifeLock monitors known criminal sites to make sure your identity isn’t being sold, as well as monitor for suspicious credit applications and address changes.
3. Response – Anytime there is suspicious activity with your identity, LifeLock will contact you so that you can either confirm that it was you, or take action to reclaim your identity. They also offer help with lost or stolen wallets.
4. Guarantee – As a LifeLock member, you’re entitled to up to $1 million to hire lawyers, consultants, investigators, and experts to remedy the situation should your identity be stolen.
5. Credit Tracking – LifeLock also tracks your credit score and gives you 24/7 online access to reports, so you can catch any changes as they happen.
Why It’s Important
LifeLock is important in much the same way medical insurance or car insurance is important – to protect against the off-chance that you have a catastrophe. While you might not feel it’s very likely that you’ll fall gravely ill or get into a car accident, you’ll probably still take out an insurance policy just in case.
The same is true of LifeLock. Without protection, not only is it harder to stop identity theft before it starts, but if you do become a victim it can be very difficult to recover your identity on your own. In fact, according to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, about one-third of people who have their identity used for fraudulent purposes spend more than a month trying to resolve the problem.
Services like LifeLock are important because they can help you stop identity theft before it begins. If it does happen, they have the resources and expertise to recover your identity more quickly and with less headache than if you had to do it on your own. In our digital age, people’s identities are more vulnerable than ever. Better safe than sorry!
What People Say
Alright, so LifeLock sounds like a smart service to subscribe to. But what are people actually saying about it? After reading some LifeLock reviews, one question many people seem to have is: Is LifeLock a scam? G.E. Miller of TwentySomethingFinance.com concludes that it’s not a scam. In the end it’s worth the small monthly fee – which you can shrink even smaller with a coupon code – in order to avoid the hassle of doing yourself what LifeLock does automatically.
One LifeLock review pointed out that “fraud alerts complicate the credit approval process,” which means that if you have LifeLock it could take longer for you to be approved for credit. Still, at TopTenReviews.com, LifeLock comes in with a 9.5 out of 10. Overall, people seem to agree that LifeLock is worth the small fee for peace of mind.