LifeLock Junior Child Identity Theft Protection Review

LifeLock Junior review child identity theft protection
We have noted that LifeLock isn’t a scam, but it’s also something you really don’t need. The problem with all identity theft protection plans is they can’t actually protect your identity from being stolen. All they can do is help you resolve the damage once it has been done, so their name and what they purport to do is a bit misleading if you don’t do your research to find out exactly what you’re getting. On the other hand, there are steps that you can take on your own at no cost to greatly minimize the chance that your identity gets stolen. This is even more apparent in another service that the company promotes: their LifeLock Junior child identity theft service.

What LifeLock Says

The company claims that you need to protect your children from identity thieves, and should be worried about this happening, because identity thieves view children as a “gold mine” since their credit is clean and unmonitored. Even worse, this type of identity theft can go undetected for years.

In response, they offer the following benefits for the cost of $8.99 a month:

  • Identity threat alerts and detection
  • Verification of credit files
  • Surveillance of black market websites
  • Searches of file-sharing networks
  • 24/7/365 member service
  • $1 million in identity theft protection

Nothing Special

The Junior edition of their system seems to be nothing more than a marketing ploy. Although they market this protection specifically toward your child, closer inspection shows all they’re offering is the same service that they offer to adults as part of their regular identity theft protection. What they’re really doing is playing on parents’ fear and emotions of not being a good parent. In fact, there’s no actual LifeLock Junior plan for your child to sign-up for. It’s impossible to only choose to get identity theft protection for your child. The only way that you can receive it is as an addition to your protection if you join LifeLock as their parent, so that you would also need to pay $110 a year, which almost doubles your costs.

Not Likely to Happen

The truth is that it’s much less s likely for your child to get their identity stolen than an adult. This is because kids don’t have a lot of sensitive financial information about themselves floating around where it can be stolen. In fact, many children who have this happen to them have their identity stolen from a parent or close relative who have access to their social security number. That being said, it does happen.

You Can Do Better for a Lot Less

Here’s the thing. You can actually get better protection for your child for a lot less cost. All you have to do is put a credit freeze on your child’s credit with the three credit bureaus, and you’ll be doing more to protect your child’s identity than LifeLock can do. For those who haven’t had any identity theft take place, the cost ranges from no cost to $10 depending on the state to place a freeze on their social security number.

Your child shouldn’t be taking out any type of credit on their own before their teenage years. It’s as simple as that. LifeLock will alert you if someone applies to get loans with your child’s social security number, but this is notifying you after the fact. Placing a credit freeze on your child’s social security number with the three credit bureaus means that nobody can open any type of credit account without your permission, stopping them before they even have a chance to ruin your child’s credit.

Free Alternative

If you still feel the need for identity theft protection and insurance even after placing a credit freeze on your child’s social security number, you don’t have to pay LifeLock to get it. Credit Sesame now offers $300,000 in identity theft protection for free. The main difference is that Credit Sesame with have staff help walk you through restoring your child’s identity rather than doing it for you. You can also do this on your own using the step by step instructions given by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Final Thoughts

Does your child need identity theft protection? Probably not, but to be on the safe side, simply put a credit freeze on their social security number so that nobody can take out any type of credit without you knowing and your approval. This is truly the best way to protect them, and you do it at much less cost to yourself. When your child gets older, you can take off the credit freeze and they can begin to build their credit on their own without any surprise that someone had stolen their identity years before.

(Photo courtesy of thejbird)

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6 Responses to LifeLock Junior Child Identity Theft Protection Review

  1. Dale Penn says:

    Good info, but the last time I checked, credit freezes were not free. $10 per bureau, per freeze and per thaw. Varies by state.

  2. Jeffrey Strain says:

    Good catch — article updated

  3. ben says:

    This seems to be marketed a lot like child life insurance. It’s purely an emotional play and there’s no real reason for anyone to buy it.

  4. Scott says:

    It would be great if you knew what you were talking about. Lifelick’s coverage it’s inadequate, but some of your facts are off. Children are being affected in large numbers. When a thief creates new accounts in their name, someone is going to have to fix it, and it’s not as easy as you might think.
    You are correct that identity theft cannot be stopped. The idea that you could minimize your risk is laughable, although I do encourage avoiding freely sharing, especially your social if at all possible. Your info is in databases everywhere, the thieves probably already hacked it. Whether it’s being used yet is another question. Have you heard of warehousing of identities? The only service that makes sense is a full restoration plan, I only know of one, and it’s not Lifelock. Read up.

  5. Not if you put a credit freeze on the social security number…

  6. Tommy4 says:

    What you need is someone to actually clean up the problem once it’s happened, not someone to tell you about it.

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