Will it really protect you and your family? In one word: Yes. But, it's not for everyone….
Are you researching Aura identity protection because you or a loved one has been a victim of identity theft? Or maybe, you are a new parent looking to keep your kids safe online or stop your parents from falling victim to those relentless scam calls?
If so, you are not alone.
The FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network1 estimates that 1 American gets affected every 6 seconds.
That’s 5.7 million Americans every year1. And the numbers are increasing exponentially.
Source: Federal Trade Commission/Consumer Sentinel Network
Keep in mind that the FTC numbers are based on incidents actually reported to them. The real number is likely much higher. Some estimates think 47% of Americans were affected by identity theft in 20202.
In addition, 1 out of 5 Americans affected by imposter scams lost a median of $1000 in 2021.
These numbers are even more troubling if you break them down age-wise.
When seniors are a victim of identity theft crimes, they tend to have a much higher median loss1.
Young kids tend to be prime targets for identity thieves since the theft is unlikely to be noticed for years.
It doesn’t have to be this way though.
There are excellent identity protection options like Aura that constantly monitor the internet (including the dark web) for any sign that your identity might have been compromised.
They immediately alert you and give you the best steps to proceed along with expert guidance. Not to mention, if a hack happens, Aura even offers excellent insurance options for you and your family to help you recover from the loss as quickly as possible.
Now, you absolutely don’t have to use these services. You could easily daisy chain a bunch of different free tools, which could give you most of this information for free.
However, this takes time and discipline, kind of like knowing you should eat healthy vs actually eating healthy. And, if you are anything like me, you want something that gets you the actual results along with the peace of mind, without having to spend hours doing it yourself. Plus the knowledge that I have excellent insurance AND experts to guide me through the tough time makes it an easy choice for me.
Here’s my quick take on who should and shouldn’t get Aura, before we dive deeper into a more detailed analysis of Aura’s identity theft protection service.
Here’s who should get Aura:
If that sounds like you, you should get Aura here today at 50% OFF.
Here’s who should NOT get Aura:
If that’s you, you probably don’t need to read the rest of this article. You got this under control. Go check out this article instead.
For everyone else, let’s dive deep into our Aura review. We’ll look at everything it offers, comparing it against today’s top options, to see if it’s the right fit for you.
Aura Review: Is It Worth Getting?
In a word: Yes.
The three most important things we evaluate for every identity theft protection service are:
- Monitoring and alerts
- Threat resolution (including insurance)
And, in Aura’s case, it shines for all three.
|Criteria||Aura (9.5/10)||Editor’s Notes|
|Monitoring and Alerts||10/10||Insanely good monitoring system|
|Threat Resolution||9/10||24/7/365 access to their White Glove Concierge|
|Insurance||10/10||Up to $5M ID Theft Insurance ($1M per adult)|
|Cost||9/10||Very good value for what they offer|
|Ease of Use||7/10||Good, but alerts need to be more prominent|
|Additional Services||8/10||Decent VPN, antivirus & parental controls app included|
Aura is the new identity theft protection service from Identity Guard.
When it comes to identity theft protection3, Identity Guard is one of the “name brands”, the big names that most people think. So seeing that the people behind Identity Guard have made a new identity theft protection service is inherently a little exciting.
Still, it begs the question: how good is it really? Can it stand on its own, or is it just trading on the name of its predecessor?
That’s what we’re here to find out this time, answering the question “Is Aura worth it?” as definitively as we can, while trying our best not to compare Aura directly to Identity Guard except where it’s unavoidable.
Now, let’s dive into every feature they offer in more detail.
Ease of Use
This is the main area I think Aura fails, at least a little bit. I really don’t like the new website and dashboard design. It’s a little too form-over-function. Or maybe more accurately, it prominently displays a lot of the “new” and “exciting” features that Aura adds instead of the most useful ones.
This is the main Aura dashboard you see every time you log in. There’s a lot going on here and while it’s visually pleasing, we wish they had made the Alerts & Identity Monitoring more prominent.
While knowing your credit score and having access to your VPN, antivirus, and password manager features is nice…it’s not the kind of stuff that really belongs on the dashboard. With the exception of the credit score, all of these are things you’ll activate once and then never need to touch again.
Transaction alerts, Credit score and Passwords all have been featured more prominently than Monitoring.
Identity Monitoring is the most important, but kinda gets lost in the other services.
That means that after the first time setup, a grand total of five of the seven buttons that make up the dashboard are completely useless. The dashboard almost may as well be empty for all it gives you.
The alerts, strangely, are tucked into the right-hand corner notification bell. This is standard practice for a lot of services when it comes to first time alerts, but there really should be a better way to navigate directly to your primary alerts page any time you log in. After all, that’s a page you’re going to be visiting often. Even when there aren’t new alerts, you’re going to want to check in on old ones.
This may seem like a lot of nitpicky little gripes, especially when there aren’t any major technical issues to speak of; all the pages load quickly and the dropdown box of options is easy enough to navigate.
However, it does make the experience of using Aura a lot more annoying than it really needs to be.
Monitoring and Alerts
Thankfully, here is where my complaints come to a complete stop, for good.
Aura has an insanely good monitoring system. While not the fastest on the market, as it took somewhere between a half hour and an hour to populate the list of alerts completely, it’s plenty fast enough to avoid points being docked.
|Brand||Total Dark Web Alerts||Unique Dark Web Alerts|
And the sheer breadth of monitoring is nearly unmatched on the market.
We’re looking at:
These are all of the basic types of monitoring, plus all the more advanced features homeowners and people planning for retirement need to keep their assets safe.
The alerts page itself is laid out nicely and gives a good bit of detail on the type of breach and what account it’s associated with if you drop down the boxes.
Aura Alerts & Notifications
The main Alerts page shows you notifications any time a new credit inquiry is made or your identity is breached online.
Weirdly, as you can see, it posts the site that was breached in the overview if it’s an email address breach, but keeps the details for other types of accounts that could just as easily be summarized the same way hidden under the dropdown. This isn’t bad, per se, but it is strange.
Still, there’s absolutely nothing of substance for me to complain about here. The service is fast, accurate, and sweeps the web thoroughly for perfect results. It’s the gold standard for identity theft monitoring that very few other companies like Identity Guard I’ve reviewed meet.
Aura Automatically Sends Opt-Out & Removal Requests to Data Brokers
Aura really doesn’t advertise this feature enough and to be honest, we didn’t even know about it till we tested it out. Aura automatically sends data opt-out requests on your behalf to all the major data brokers out there. While it remains to be seen how effective this ultimately is, it sure is nice to have this done for you automatically.
Hopefully, this is the end of all those pesky calls and junk mail.
Dark Web Site Monitoring
As you can see, Aura found multiple instances of our identity and login info that had been breached and spread on the dark web. In our testing, Aura was able to find the highest number of data breaches on the dark web. Time comparison as well.
You can easily click on any alert to get more information on the data breach. For example, here’s one where our password was found. In a case like that, it’s pretty easy to just change the password for the offending site and move on, as long as you are practicing good password hygiene.
The key thing here though is, unless you are using a service like Aura to alert you, you could easily go years without knowing your password had been compromised. This could be disastrous, if you use the same login info for multiple sites, including banks and other financial institutions.
Aura’s Account Records Monitoring
Aura continuously monitors to see if new accounts are being created using your identity. This is a great feature to have, and although you could probably use a free solution like Credit Karma to do this for you, we like having it monitored via Aura.
When we tested this, no alerts were shown on our information, but it’s something we continue to monitor.
Aura’s Public Records Monitoring – Home Title Lock
If you are a home owner, having Aura monitor your home title can be a useful thing to have, especially given the elaborately creative home title scams that are rampant in the US these days4.
During our testing, we did not get any public record alerts.
Similarly, they meet the gold standard here.
In addition to all of the side benefits you’d expect, like a wallet restoration service that helps expedite canceling and re-ordering credit cards, driver’s licenses, and so on if your wallet is lost or stolen, the core of Aura’s threat resolution boils down to the most simple and effective thing it can be: 24/7/365 customer support access.
I always love when I see this, and it’s as good as threat resolution gets without factoring in highly specialized side benefits that some Aura alternatives offer in exchange.
All Aura plans also get White Glove concierge service, which includes 24/7 support available to all customers.
As an added bonus, Aura has a built-in stable of experienced, friendly customer support representatives to draw on from Identity Guard, so any growing pains in that regard should be kept to a minimum.
I tested their 24/7 customer service by calling at midnight on a Saturday. It took only about 1-2 minutes before I was able to chat with a US-based representative, who was very knowledgeable and answered all my questions right away.
That’s a far cry from some other options like LifeLock, which make it very hard to find a phone number to call, and when you finally get connected, it’s typically with someone based in Asia.
Aura Identity Theft Protection goes above and beyond for insurance, in a plan I’ve never seen before.
At a baseline it’s pretty standard stuff. $1 million in coverage for all their customers that covers both stolen funds and expenses separately; lawyer’s fees and daycare costs aren’t going to cut into the up to $1 million you could get back in funds siphoned from accounts or invalid debts incurred.
This is exactly what I expect from a top of the line service, and where it usually ends.
Aura goes one step further though. It covers up to $5 million in lost funds…and that is $1M for each individual adult on the plan. So if you have a spouse on your family plan, both of you are covered for up to $1 million in lost funds, each.
A bit overkill for most people, but I don’t think anyone’s ever complained about getting too much insurance for a good price.
Aura Family Plan Review
If you have a family…it’s worth considering that you’re no longer the only person you need to watch out for. Your spouse might have their own assets that need protecting, and even if they don’t have anything of note, ensuring they have good credit and aren’t being taken advantage of is important.
It’s even more important for children. It might be surprising to hear, but kids are actually more at risk from identity theft than adults are. You might think “But they don’t have anything to steal!”…and you’d be correct.
This is what makes them such perfect targets for identity thieves. A child’s credit score is a blank slate, meaning they can do pretty much anything with it. And since people don’t expect children to need identity monitoring…they don’t look into it.
This means identity theft events not only happen to children…they fester. These untended wounds on the child’s credit lay unseen until the child hits adulthood, and starts getting their credit checked for the first time. Their first car, first apartment, student loan applications…they all turn up with disturbing black marks on their credit, and often the applications then get rejected.
Getting these problems solved years after the fact is an exercise in frustration, and sometimes completely futile; only even more time can fix it. Their life could be ruined, or put on hold at least, before it even has a chance to really kick off.
This is why Aura family plan options are important, and why an otherwise good service might not be the right choice for someone who needs coverage for their whole family.
For the most part, Aura’s family plans offer the same benefits. There are no specific features that are unique to a family plan, though one specific one is modified: insurance.
This is the first of a couple of things Aura does very differently. Each individual is covered by their own insurance plan, right down to the boost to $1 million in lost funds reimbursement.
Each adult I should say, and this is the other place that Aura wildly differs from other good alternatives and how they handle family plan deals.
The general rule is that buying a family plan gives you coverage for two adults, and a variable number of children. Some plans cover no children, but most commonly you’ll find coverage for 5 children or 10 children alongside the two adults. Some offer child protection separately, but that’s fairly rare.
Instead, Aura covers up to 10 individuals. Adults and children in any combination. Two adults and 8 children? 5 adults and 5 children? 10 adults? It’s all valid under this plan.
The only real restriction is that to add a child account the account owner needs to be their parent or legal guardian, and the child has to live at the same address. Everything else is fair game.
The added adult members essentially have their own fully featured accounts. While the primary account owner is the one in charge of payment, other adult members get their own account page (kept private from the primary account owner for privacy) and the full suite of features available to the plan.
Children have a more limited version of the plan, as usual, and only the account holder can view their info. A child identity protection account doesn’t need to be as fully featured, since anything unexpected popping up should be a cause for concern.
Additional Services – Aura’s VPN, Antivirus & Password Manager
Here we have what I’m pretty sure is why Aura protection was made in the first place.
Identity Guard was many things. It had excellent monitoring breadth, speed, and accuracy. Good, though just short of great threat resolution features. An excellent website layout, stellar insurance, and a great price to boot.
But one thing it lacked? Extras.
Extra features are what have become the main seller of several identity theft protection services on the market, and Identity Guard lacked any to really speak of.
Aura shores up that gap by providing a wide variety of additional services that help to elevate the service into being more than just identity theft protection. It’s a total online health package.
…At least in theory.
In practice, I think a lot of these features are very basic.
Their “VPN”, sometimes billed as “Wifi Security” is really just an IP masker. It doesn’t have any of the other benefits you’d expect from a VPN service worth the name, and is not going to replace your Nord VPN or whatever subscription you have any time soon.
A similar note goes for their antivirus plan, which is likewise basic. It’s primarily a program that you can use to scan stuff before you download it. This is nice, but limited.
The password manager is an excellent tool, and you should take advantage of it.
Circle Parental Controls
Another nifty extra is the Circle parental controls app that is available on the Family plan, which allows you to limit the screen time and types of websites your kids can access.
This bundle of relatively mediocre things adds up to more than the sum of its parts though. If you’ve heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…this is your ounce. A pound of prevention would be better, and it’s something you should consider investing in regardless, but don’t turn up your nose at these features if you aren’t already paying for something better.
If you are already paying for something better…yeah, it’s probably best to keep doing that. But if you’re looking to save a bit of money, these services can tide you over for a while.
Aura Pricing & Cost
You would expect all of these services to come at an insanely high price. You would be wrong, mostly. You will need to invest the time in finding a discount or promo code, but luckily we did that work for you.. As a result, those are the prices we’ll be discussing rather than the ones listed on the website, which are a bit higher.
These prices are…not shabby, to put it lightly. The Aura plan costs about the same as most services that offer a whole lot less than Aura brings to the table. The family plans in particular are a great deal, giving you coverage for up to 10 people.
Note there I said “people”. This is unusual in itself, and I did a bit of a double-take when I saw it, and had to look deeper in.
But yes, Aura means what it says. The Aura family plan covers up to 5 people. Adults or children in any combination. Not 2 adults and up to 3 children, you could have 5 adults on the plan, or 1 adult and 4 children (as long as you’re their legal guardian).
This is a really flexible plan, you can try and the Aura free trial for 14 days here.
Each adult gets their own $1M insurance plan as well, giving you an insane amount of insurance coverage across all your family members. It’s an absolute steal for the price.
So, Should You Get Aura?
Aura is one of the best identity theft protection services I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing. It stands alone very well, but in the context of the larger picture it’s even more impressive.
Identity Guard was already the service I judged all other services against, and generally found them wanting. Aura takes every complaint I ever had about Identity Guard, like how rigid and limiting its family plan was compared to other services, the limited customer service hours, and so on…and fixed them.
Saying Aura is “perfect” isn’t accurate, of course. I had my gripes with its website layout (and hopefully they’ll spruce it up at some point), and there’s always room for improvement in other areas. Providing a live text chat support to use in addition to their phone line would be amazing for more casual inquiries instead of having to go through the effort of talking on the phone. The VPN and antivirus service could also stand to be a lot more robust; I’d be willing to pay a bit extra for that service if so.
But Aura protection is currently as close to perfect as I’ve seen. There’s very little I can think of that would improve the service in any measurable capacity, and even less of it is in the realm of “fixing mistakes” rather than just adding more useful features that aren’t strictly necessary.
Aura set out to surpass and replace the best service on the market, and it succeeded in spades.
Aura’s Performance vs the other top brands
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