Horror stories of identity theft and its associated expenses and hassles run rampant on the internet. Consumers are well aware of their vulnerability in this area. If you re looking for added protection from identity theft, you ll find several comprehensive services available to help you. Keeping an eye on your credit reports, companies like LifeLock and Identity Guard help you spot identity theft as soon as it happens.

LifeLock Pros

LifeLock monitors your personal information for identity theft in several ways. The service monitors your credit applications, credit report and financial accounts for suspicious activity. It also checks black market websites for your information. You ll receive an alert anytime your personal information is used, so you can determine whether it s legitimate or a sign of identity theft.

If your identity is stolen, LifeLock offers a $1 million total service guarantee, stating that the company will spend up to $1 million to help you recover your money. If you lose your wallet, the service will help you cancel and replace the contents and offers up to $2,000 for document replacement costs.

Identity Guard Pros

Identity Guard monitors your credit applications, credit files and publicly available information. Like LifeLock, the service keeps an eye on the black market for your information. Identity Guard offers a $1 million identity theft insurance plan. One of its standout identity theft protection features comes with your stolen wallet protection. In addition to helping you cancel and replace the contents, Identity Guard will give you up to $2,000 in emergency cash to help you through that lean period where you re trying to regain access to your credit and cash.

LifeLock Cons

Many of the features that LifeLock promotes are activities you can do yourself for free, such as getting access to your credit report and opting out of credit card offers. LifeLock monitors a broad range of information sources but does not include medical insurance. It also lacks the computer security suite available from many competitors. Though less comprehensive plans begin at $9.99 a month, at $29.99 a month, LifeLock Ultimate Plus is a significant investment.

Identity Guard Cons

One of Identity Guard s weakest points is its lack of 24/7 customer service. Consumers also report that the email service is slow. When you believe your personal information is compromised, you generally want an immediate response and Identity Guard doesn t offer that. Identity Guard s comprehensive monitoring does include the medical insurance that LifeLock leaves out. However, it does not provide a sex offender registry as LifeLock and many other services do.

Identity Guard s coverage plans aren t as easy to navigate as LifeLock. Total Protection is $19.99 a month, but the free trial option rolls over into a plan priced at $14.99 a month. Where LifeLock offers a side-by-side comparison of its options, the features of Identity Guard plans are more difficult to understand.

If you re going to pay extra for professional identity protection services, it s important to choose the plan that best suits your needs. Thanks to diverse choices like Identity Guard or LifeLock, you can zero in on the suite of services that covers your biggest concerns.

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