The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that identity theft reports in the United States increased from 3.24 million to 4.72 million from 2019 to 2020, resulting in almost $3.3 billion in losses.
If you are looking to try to protect your identity against this growing threat, then an identity theft protection service can help you monitor your personal information. One of those services, Aura, uses a number of tools to give you the ability to spot oddities in the way your personally identifying information appears on the internet.
When you subscribe to Aura, you receive access to its identity monitoring tools. Several different identity theft protection services are available as competitors to Aura, so you may be wondering whether Aura is a good choice against those other options.
To help you decide, I ran an extensive test on Aura’s features.
Through my hands-on review of Aura, I tested all the features of the service using my own my personal information. My 2022 Aura review can help you decide whether Aura lives up to the promises it makes as an identity theft protection service. In my review, I’ll be answering some of the most common questions people have about Aura, including:
- Is Aura worth the money?
- Is Aura identity theft protection legitimate?
- Does Aura offer a free trial period?
- What is the difference between Identity Guard and Aura?
- Is Aura better than LifeLock?
Aura may not be the most well-known identity theft protection service, but it has quite a few customer-friendly features that its competitors are missing. With 24/7 customer service and two-factor authentication available, I appreciate the way Aura takes care of its subscribers and monitors their information. Additionally, Aura’s prices are really good, especially for an individual who’s looking for ID theft protection. Aura’s design could be better to help you find key features of the service more quickly, and it has no online help documents, which is odd. However, using Aura was a piece of cake, and its features were a pleasant surprise.
Summary of benefits: Aura
|Website||aura.com||Free trial||24/7 customer service||Identity theft insurance||Up to $1 million||Stolen funds reimbursement||As part of theft insurance||Discount with annual billing||First-year subscription discount||Credit card monitoring||Investment account alerts||Social media monitoring||Lock your credit||Home title monitoring||Phone takeover monitoring||USPS address change monitoring||Dark web monitoring||Crime in your name monitoring||Credit reports||Credit score|
|Best deal (per month)||$15.00|
Save up to 20% on individual plans
Aura: Hands-on review
Identity theft protection services all provide two important basic benefits. First, the service sends you alerts when it finds that your personal information appears in odd areas of the internet or is being used in a strange way. Second, should you suffer identity theft as a subscriber, you can receive reimbursement through an insurance policy.
Aura provides these basic services and much more to subscribers. It has a nice mix of basic features to help you monitor your personal information and advanced features to take steps to protect your personal information.
With Aura, you get highly competitive prices, especially if you are subscribing as an individual. You can try Aura during a 14-day free trial period. If you subscribe to an annual plan, you get a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Like its competitors, Aura carries a $1 million ID theft protection insurance policy to reimburse you for costs related to trying to recover your information and for any loss of funds from your accounts that you have related to identity theft. If you subscribe to a plan made for a family, you receive up to $1 million in insurance coverage for each adult on the plan (up to five people).
Although entering your personal information into Aura is a pretty easy process, the software’s design could be better. I’d like to see the home page design contain more of the most important features for using the software. Those features are in the software, but you have to hunt for them a little bit.
Aura delivers alerts whenever it finds oddities regarding the use of your personal information on the internet. You can receive alerts through the Aura interface in your web browser, or you can request text alerts on your smartphone. (You also can use Aura on your smartphone or tablet through an impressive mobile app.)
Aura has a professional-looking design in both its software interface and in the company webpages, which goes a long way toward convincing subscribers it is a trustworthy service.
Beyond the basic features you’d expect to receive in your identity theft protection service, Aura gives you stronger customer service options than the majority of its competitors, including 24/7 customer service availability. You can access a customer service team member any time of the day or night for general questions about the service and for concerns over potential identity theft.
Aura strongly suggests that its subscribers make use of two-factor authentication to protect their accounts and the information entered into Aura. It’s surprising how few ID theft protection services offer two-factor authentication or encourage their subscribers to use it, so I appreciated seeing Aura emphasize this aspect of the software.
I want to emphasize that I tested Aura myself, subscribing to the service and entering my personal information, just like you would do. I did not request a free test account or a demo account from Aura. Demo accounts can sometimes generate predetermined outcomes that may not occur in the real world, especially for ID theft protection services.
Being able to actually use the service over a series of days gives me the best opportunity to truly test Aura and to give you the most accurate account of its pluses and minuses.
I subscribed to the Couple pricing tier of Aura at $22 per month. I automatically received a 14-day free trial with my subscription. (You must provide a credit card to receive the free trial, but Aura won’t charge you until the trial period ends.)
One final thing to mention: Aura Sub, LLC, is the parent company for the Aura identity theft protection service. Aura Sub, LLC, owns both Aura and Identity Guard, which I reviewed recently. Both have similar ID theft protection services, but Aura provides a few extra features, like antivirus software and a password manager, that aren’t available in Identity Guard.
Aura features and insurance
Aura offers a nice mixture of basic and advanced features to help you keep an eye on your personally identifying information. Here are the features available through Aura.
Insurance and compensation
For many subscribers to an identity theft protection service, having access to insurance that helps you financially if you suffer ID theft is an extremely important factor. Aura matches the industry standard for ID theft insurance by offering up to $1 million for costs related to trying to recover your identity and for losses from your accounts because of the identity theft. Specific items that the insurance may cover include:
- Lost wages from missing work as you tried to recover your identity
- Qualified stolen funds from accounts related to the ID theft
- Costs for an accountant
- Costs for a private investigator
- Costs for an attorney
- Costs for adult care or child care while you try to recover your identity
- Costs for traveling to track down or submit documents
For the latest information on what items the Aura insurance policy covers, read the Aura insurance summary of benefits document.
If Aura detects problems with the way your personal information appears on the internet, it generates an alert. You can see a list of the alerts by clicking the bell icon at the top of any page associated with your Aura account. You also can have Aura send you a text message whenever it generates an alert.
From the list, click on an alert to see more information about it. On the information screen for the alert, you’ll see an explanation of the alert and some advice on how you can correct it and prevent it from happening again in the future. (Aura does use this tips section to promote some of its other security products that you can purchase.)
An alert will continue to appear in your list of alerts until you choose to archive it. Click the Archive icon in the upper right corner of the alert information screen. Should you want to view the alerts you archived earlier, click the three vertical dots icon in the upper right corner of the screen that lists all of your alerts.
When I signed in to my Aura account the first time, I received notification of an alert related to an email breach. I knew about this breach from a few years ago, but it was good that Aura found it immediately.
Dark web monitoring
If the dark web sounds like a place you don’t want to visit, you may be right. When your personal information appears on the dark web, hackers and other criminals may be trading it in an effort to steal your identity.
The dark web uses shadow networks to block these websites and message boards from traditional search engines, making information from the dark web difficult to find. Aura specifically takes steps to monitor areas of the dark web for your personal information, generating alerts if it finds something that could indicate a problem.
To see whether Aura found any information related specifically to the dark web, click Features at the upper left corner and click Identity in the drop-down menu. Scroll down the page and click on Dark Web Sites to see any alerts.
Aura can only look for your information on the dark web that matches the information you entered in the software. As you enter more email addresses or bank accounts into Aura, you may find more dark web alerts appearing.
Free credit report and monitoring
Aura provides you with fraud alerts related to your credit reports. From the dashboard, scroll down until seeing the Credit section of the dashboard. Then click Verify Your Identity. Follow the prompts to verify your identity with the credit bureaus.
Once you verify your identity, you can click Features in the upper left corner of any screen and click on Credit in the drop-down menu to open the Credit page. (You will not see Credit in the drop-down menu until you verify your identity with the credit bureaus.)
To see your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax), click the Credit Report icon in the upper right corner of the Credit page. You then can verify that the information in each credit report is accurate. Click on the name of the credit bureau along the top of the screen to switch reports.
Credit score tracking
After you verify your identity with the credit bureaus, as I described in the previous section, you can see your credit score from Equifax at the top of the Credit page.
As you scroll down the Credit page in Aura, you can see your credit score’s historical movement. You can see tips on how to improve your credit score, based on information specific to your situation.
If you want to see your credit score at Experian and TransUnion, continue scrolling down the page. Click on the Experian or TransUnion buttons at the bottom of the page to see these scores.
Freeze your credit report
I appreciate that Aura allows you to lock your credit report with Experian directly from the Aura interface. Locking your credit report with a credit bureau means that no one can make an inquiry on your credit report, unless you unlock your report. (This includes you.)
Use the slider button in the top right corner of the Credit page to lock or unlock your Experian credit report.
To freeze your credit at all the major credit bureaus, click the Credit Lock and Freeze icon in the upper right corner of the Credit screen. On the Credit Lock and Freeze screen, you’ll find instructions for freezing your credit report.
Financial account monitoring
You can have Aura keep an eye on your bank accounts and credit card accounts by submitting your account information. From the Aura home page, click Protect Now in the Protect Your Finances column near the top of the page.
Follow the instructions in the popup window to link your financial accounts. Aura can track:
- Bank accounts
- Credit card accounts
- Retirement accounts
Primarily, Aura will monitor these accounts for unusually large transaction amounts or for transactions that surpass maximum amounts that you can set.
Aura will monitor up to three different physical addresses associated with you as part of its identity monitoring. Typically, these will be three addresses you lived at in the past several years (including your current address). However, if you see some strange information here, it could indicate someone is trying to assume your identity by gaining access to your past addresses.
Click Features in the upper left corner of the screen and Identity from the drop-down menu. Scroll down the page until you see the Addresses section. You should see your addresses listed here.
If you own your home, you also should see links to the tax assessment and home deed for the property. Check these items for any odd information that could indicate identity theft.
Public records monitoring
Aura tracks how your personal information appears in public records, such as in arrest records. If a criminal is attempting to steal your identity and suffers an arrest at the hands of police, the criminal may give law enforcement officials your information.
Aura generates alerts if it finds your personal information in areas of public records that seem out of the ordinary.
Social media monitoring
Aura does not offer specific monitoring for your social media accounts.
Should you believe that you suffered identity theft, you should contact Aura immediately. You can call the regular customer service phone number, which is displayed in the upper right corner of every screen.
You also can reach out directly to Aura’s identity theft insurance provider to start the process. To see this phone number, click Benefits in the upper left corner. Then click See Details in the $1M Identity Theft Insurance area of the screen. Scroll down on the page to see the steps you should take.
Aura provides 24/7 customer service for both general questions and for questions regarding potential identity theft, which is a great feature. Unfortunately, Aura is one of the few ID theft protection services that offers around-the-clock service.
I did not suffer any threat of identity theft while I was testing the Aura ID theft protection service, so I did not directly test the ID restoration capabilities of the Aura team.
Aura has a two-factor authentication (2FA) option, which is an important feature to protect the personal information you are entering into Aura. With 2FA, you enter your user name and password. Aura then sends you a text message with an authentication code to verify your identity.
This prevents someone from stealing your user name and password and gaining access to your account. To open your account, the hacker would have to have access to your phone as well. Considering the majority of us have our web browser preload user names and passwords for various websites, 2FA prevents someone who has access to your computer from jumping into your Aura account and stealing all your information.
The second time I logged in to the software, Aura asked me if I wanted to set up 2FA, which also is a great feature. I appreciate that Aura did not hide the 2FA feature in a submenu somewhere. It encourages users to activate 2FA. You can set up Aura’s 2FA using a text message or an email message as the verification option.
When you think about the type of personal information that you are storing in an ID theft protection service, 2FA should be a requirement for all these services. Unfortunately, Aura is one of the few that even offers 2FA.
Lost wallet protection
Aura provides help if you should ever lose your wallet while you are subscribing to the service. Click Benefits at the upper left corner of any screen. Then click See Details in the Lost Wallet Remediation section to learn how to make use of the lost wallet protection features.
On the Lost Wallet screen, you’ll see a customer service phone number you can call. Aura’s customer service team will actively help you attempt to cancel the cards in your wallet and to try to obtain new cards.
Scroll lower on the page to see the steps you can follow to try to fix the issues that your lost wallet is causing. You can also see tips to help you protect the information you keep in your wallet.
At the Aura home page for your account, you can gain access to a few extra features that you may want to use with the service. Just click on any of the services listed to activate it.
- Data brokers: Aura will contact data broker services that are holding some of your personal information and ask them to remove your information. These brokers are not trying to steal your identity, but the information they sell could result in spam email messages and text messages.
- Password management: Aura has a Password Manager that saves your passwords securely, allowing you to access them whenever needed, rather than trying to remember complex passwords. The manager can import passwords you may have stored inside your web browser, too.
- VPN: Aura provides a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service app for web browsers, desktop computers, and mobile devices that you can download and use. A VPN attempts to make online activities more secure.
- Antivirus: Aura also offers an antivirus app for desktop computers, web browsers, and mobile devices. Antivirus software protects your devices from malicious software.
A few ID theft protection services offer sex offender registry monitoring, altering you if someone who is on the sex offender registry moves within a certain distance of your home. Aura does not offer this type of alert, however.
You can sign up for Aura by taking advantage of a 14-day free trial period. You will need to pick the pricing plan you want to use when you sign up for the free trial. You must provide a credit card number to receive the free trial, so if you forget to cancel the service within 14 days, Aura will automatically charge your credit card.
Click Start Free Trial at the Aura home page. On the next page, start the signup process by clicking Start Free Trial underneath the pricing plan you want to use.
When you sign up for the free trial, Aura automatically locks you into the annual pricing plan, which saves at least 46% over the pay-by-the-month plan. You cannot switch over to the pay-by-the-month plan yet, but you can do so toward the end of the signup process, if desired.
Move through each of the signup screens by clicking Continue after entering your information. You must provide your email address, name, mailing address, phone number, date of birth, and Social Security Number during signup.
On the final signup screen, you can decide whether you want to select the annual or monthly pricing plan. Toward the bottom of the screen, add your payment method. Finally, click Start Free Trial to complete the signup process.
On the next screen, create a password for your account. Aura will send a verification code to your phone, which is an appreciated extra level of protection for your personal information.
I like how Aura includes its customer service phone number throughout the signup process, just in case you have questions while providing your information. It only takes a few minutes to complete the signup.
Before Aura opens your dashboard, it provides a welcome screen that allows you to perform some setup features immediately. I recommend clicking Set Up Protection Later to jump to the dashboard, because all these setup features are duplicated on the dashboard.
Just click on the dashboard button for the feature you want to work on and follow the prompts.
Ease of use and design
Aura’s design makes it easy to see buttons and links on which you can click to gain access to certain features. It has a clean design, so you won’t be wondering how to navigate.
Although it is nice to have a clean design, it is a little difficult to find certain features. The Aura home page does not contain all the features offered. You need to click the Features menu at the top left corner of the screen to find submenus that have Aura’s various features related to identity theft protection.
Although it is easy to use the various functions once you find them, it can take a little while to track down the proper features. This is a disappointing aspect of Aura, especially when you want to take care of an issue quickly.
It’s also a little odd that Aura includes so much information in the dashboard about its VPN, its antivirus feature, and its other features that do not directly relate to the identity theft protection service. It would be better to have more ID theft protection service features displayed in the dashboard and on the home page, which would simplify navigating the service.
Should you ever run into any problems while using Aura, you can find the customer service phone number quickly, as it’s displayed on every screen.
Aura ran smoothly in my web browser with no noticeable lag or delay in accessing various pages.
Aura is pretty aggressive about locking you out of the service after several minutes of inactivity. The idea behind this feature is that if you are using Aura and step away from the computer without logging out, Aura automatically logs you out so someone cannot walk past your computer and access your Aura account.
You can see information about your account and pricing tier by clicking your initials in the upper right corner of any screen and selecting Membership from the drop-down menu. You can see your renewal date on this screen as well.
As mentioned in the previous section, the Aura dashboard isn’t all that helpful in finding specific features related to the identity theft protection services offered. It doesn’t contain much information about these features, either.
Rather than using the dashboard all that often, I primarily found myself clicking Features in the upper left corner of the main screen and selecting an option from the drop-down menu.
You can return to the home screen and dashboard at any time by clicking Aura in the upper left corner of nearly every screen.
Aura offers a high-quality mobile app for both Apple and Android mobile devices. The mobile app provides the same identity theft protection features that you find in the desktop version of Aura. It also gives you the ability to make use of Aura’s extra features, such as antivirus, password monitoring, and a VPN.
Aura does a good job of keeping you informed about your customer service options at all times and on all screens within the software. You can either call the customer service team, or you can email the team. There is no live chat option.
Click your initials in the upper right corner of the screen and click Account Details in the drop-down menu. Then click Help along the left side of the screen to see your options for reaching out to customer service.
When I tested the customer service responsiveness of Aura, I was pleased with the results. I was able to speak to a customer service team member within a few minutes every time I called. Email responses typically occurred within a timely manner as well.
Aura’s 24/7 customer service is something that I believe more identity theft protection services should offer, but the majority of them don’t. I was impressed with how Aura does customer service.
One area that some people will find annoying, however, is that Aura sends you a lot of email messages, starting as soon as you sign up for the service and continuing for days. Some of the emails relate to alerts about changes to the software’s settings or about concerns regarding your personal information. However, quite a few of the emails are unnecessary marketing emails that I’d prefer not to see.
Another oddity is that Aura offers almost no self-help documents. If you run into problems while using the software, it’ll be difficult for you to fix the issue yourself. A few features include brief explanations or FAQs, but it’s odd that Aura doesn’t provide extensive self-help options.
After you cancel the service, you will continue to receive email messages. Unfortunately, nearly every identity theft protection service sends marketing emails on a regular basis, both while you are a subscriber and after you choose to cancel.
|Website||aura.com||Subscription periods||Monthly or annually||Special offer||Discount for annual billing||Price per month||$15||Lowest annual price||$144||4-year pricing plan||$144||Lowest annual price (Family)||$444||Highest annual price (Family)||$444||Money back guarantee||60 days with annual plans|
|Best deal (per month)||$15.00|
Save up to 20% on individual plans
Aura does not offer complexity in its pricing plans, as it does not have different pricing tiers with different features in them. You can select among three pricing plans, all of which contain the same features and are made for a different number of people:
- Individual (for one person)
- Couple (for two people)’
- Family (for five adults and an unlimited number of kids)
You can either pay by the month or annually with any of the three pricing plans. You receive a discount over a 12-month period of between 20% and 26% when you select the annual plan, but you must pay for the whole year up front (after the trial period ends). Each pricing tier offers the same 14-day free trial period.
When you subscribe to an annual plan, you can receive your money back for up to 60 days after you sign up for the service. (There is no money back guarantee with the monthly plan.)
Aura’s pricing is highly competitive against other ID theft protection services, especially for an individual user. The price rises quickly when you subscribe to the Couple or Family tiers. You do receive the ability to track far more information in these upper tiers, but the Individual tier is easily the best value versus competitors.
Auto renewal options
Similar to other ID theft protection services, you must agree to an auto renewal when you sign up for Aura. The auto renewal means that Aura collects your payment information at the time of signup and charges you automatically at the time of renewal, whether that’s monthly or annually.
If you fail to cancel the service before the renewal date, you will have to pay for the following month or year, depending on the billing option you selected initially. Should you fail to cancel before the end of your 14-day free trial, Aura will automatically charge you for the next subscription period.
How do I cancel Aura?
You can cancel Aura either online through your web browser or through a call to customer service.
To cancel online, click on your initials in the upper right corner of any screen. Click Membership in the drop-down menu. Toward the bottom of the screen, click Cancel Membership.
You’ll see a popup window that provides the customer service phone number and a button you can click to continue the cancellation process online. Follow the remaining prompts to finish canceling Aura online.
When I canceled Aura after my testing period, I did not experience any problems with making the cancellation go through properly. However, some people do report having problems with canceling identity theft protection services, including having credit card charges continue after cancellation.
When you cancel the service, I would suggest taking screenshots of the cancellation verification message in Aura and saving any email messages you receive about the cancellation. Should a problem arise later, you then have these items available to show to customer service.
Keep an eye on your credit card statement for a few months after you cancel Aura to make sure you are not continuing to receive charges inadvertently.
Aura makes the cancellation process easier than with many other ID theft protection services, which is appreciated. However, I would still keep a copy of any records related to your cancellation to ensure you are covered in case of problems.
I always recommend using a credit card to sign up for any identity theft protection service. Your credit card company is going to be far more willing to help you with any disputed charges than your bank will be if you use a debit card or an automatic bank account withdrawal.
Pros and cons of Aura
- Highly competitive price point
- Uses 2FA to protect your account’s integrity
- Offers credit scores and credit reports for all three credit bureaus
- Annual pricing discount is at least 20%
- New annual subscribers have a 60-day money back guarantee
- Customer service phone number is displayed on every screen
- Only takes a few minutes to create an account
- Offers $1 million in ID theft protection insurance
- Can select how you receive alerts
- Offers several extra features, like antivirus protection
- Has a 14-day free trial period
- Delivers 24/7 customer service
- Home page design could be better
- Aura’s overall design has some oddities
- Price goes up quickly for Couple and Family plans
- No direct social media account monitoring
- Extra features receive better home page positioning than the ID theft features
- No live chat option
- No self-help documents
- Expect to receive a lot of marketing emails
Aura: Our final verdict
After completing several hands-on reviews of identity theft protection services, Aura ranks as one of the best services I’ve found. It delivers the basics you want from an ID theft protection service, including an insurance policy with up to $1 million in coverage against ID theft losses. It also has plenty of advanced features, all at a strong price.
In fact, Aura’s price for an individual is one of the best values you’ll find, especially considering the level of features you receive. Unlike a well-known and strong ID theft protection service like LifeLock, Aura’s price doesn’t increase in year two and beyond, either.
Additionally, Aura doesn’t have a bare-bones pricing tier that leaves you without important features. Aura includes all of its primary features in each pricing tier. The only difference between pricing tiers is the number of adults the subscription covers.
Although Aura’s on-screen design is a little odd, making it tougher to find the primary coverage features, all those features are part of the software. You just have to dig through a couple of menus to access them. Once you find the features, Aura makes it easy to use them.
Aura delivers a professional-looking interface, and it doesn’t try to trick you into subscribing to something you don’t want, which enhances its trustworthiness. (A few other ID theft protection services fall far short in this area.)
The service’s mobile app is well-designed and provides all the features available in the desktop version of the software. It also includes support for 2FA, which I believe is a feature that all ID theft protection services should have to help you protect your personal information. (Unfortunately, a lot of them don’t.)
Customer service is responsive, and the customer service phone number appears on nearly every screen. Aura has 24/7 customer service access, so you can always gain the help you need when you need it.
Bottom line: After making use of Aura during my testing process, it joined the short list of my favorite ID theft protection services. Its design could use an upgrade, it oddly doesn’t offer self-help documents, and it places a little more emphasis on its extra features than on its identity theft protection services. Still, Aura delivers the basic services you need to keep an eye on your personally identifying information and to receive insurance protection against identity theft. It also outperforms many of its competitors in areas like offering round-the-clock customer service and account protection through 2FA. Its price is outstanding for a single user.
Our testing methodology for identity theft protection
When testing identity theft protection services, I know the importance of performing hands-on reviews. My methodology for reviewing the best identity theft protection services involves subscribing to and paying for each service myself, as well as adding my own personal information, just like you would do. This methodology allows me to measure the things it does well and the areas where it struggles.
I would not feel comfortable making recommendations on ID theft protection services without testing them myself. Reading marketing materials is not enough.
When performing my reviews, I do not request a demonstration account or fake information to use with the ID theft protection service. Using my own data is the best way to ensure my testing process of the service is as realistic as it can be.
During my testing procedures, I also contact customer service a few times to see how responsive the service team is.
Finally, by using my own data and my own credit card, I can give you advice on how to cancel the service in the future, if you decide to do so.
Through my testing, my primary aim is to make sure that these services live up to promises they make to subscribers. The only way to properly come to that conclusion is through a review that includes a deep dive into the service’s features. This information can hopefully help you decide, first, whether to pay for identity theft protection and, second, whether you want to use Aura or another service.
Is Aura worth the money?
Aura’s pricing tiers are highly competitive versus other ID theft protection services, especially for a single user. Aura does not split up its prices by offering limited features in a basic tier. It splits its pricing tiers based on the number of adult users, meaning it offers the same extensive list of features at every tier. Aura’s price point is one of its biggest advantages.
Is Aura identity theft protection legitimate?
During my testing of Aura, I did not find any red flags that would indicate it is not a trustworthy service. Everything related to Aura comes off as professional. Additionally, it offers 24/7 customer service and plenty of account security features that highlight its legitimacy.
Does Aura offer a free trial period?
Yes, Aura has a 14-day free trial period for each of its pricing tiers. However, you do need to provide a credit card before you can use the trial period. Should you fail to cancel within the 14 days, Aura will automatically charge your credit card.
What is the difference between Identity Guard and Aura?
Identity Guard and Aura share the same ownership group. Otherwise, these two ID theft protection services operate as separate entities. Aura focuses on ID theft protection and other security features, like antivirus, VPN, and password management. Identity Guard only focuses on identity theft protection.
Is Aura better than LifeLock?
Both Aura and LifeLock offer similar identity theft protection features that deliver the basics at a high level. I like LifeLock versus most competitors, as shown in my LifeLock review that I wrote recently. However, because of a far lower price, I think Aura outperforms LifeLock.
Should I get ID theft protection?
Deciding whether you should purchase an identity theft protection service subscription really depends on your personal circumstances. I do not feel comfortable providing a blanket statement on whether you need ID theft protection.
One of the biggest misconceptions about identity theft protection services is that you pay for the subscription, the service protects you, and you never have to think about identity theft again. This is not how these services work.
Instead, these services monitor your personal information. When the service discovers oddities, it sends you an alert about what it found. You then can decide whether to take actions designed to protect your information. The service may provide advice about what you should do, but performing the actions is up to you.
Sometimes, you will receive false alarms regarding risks to your identity. It can be frustrating for some people to have to deal with these false alarms.
You may even be able to duplicate many of the services that an identity theft protection company provides for you. If you can keep a close eye on your credit reports and account statements, you may find evidence of potential identity theft quickly enough to try to fix it, matching what the ID theft protection service does for you through alerts.
Simply subscribing to an ID theft protection service is not a guarantee that you will never be the victim of identity theft. The service’s alert may come too late to allow you to protect your identity.
That’s where the services’ insurance policies enter the picture. As a subscriber, should you have losses and expenses related to trying to restore your identity, you can seek to receive reimbursement for these costs. The ID theft protection service company is not going to just hand you $1 million if you suffer a loss, though. As long as you have proof of actual losses, you can receive reimbursement of up to $1 million.
That brings up another misconception regarding identity theft protection services. Should you suffer ID theft, the process of restoring your identity falls on you, not the service. Again, the service provides advice. It likely will even assign a restoration specialist to your case, giving you a significant amount of help.
However, you must take the steps to hire an attorney, a private investigator, a CPA, and perhaps other experts to try to fix the problems with your identity. You may need to miss time at work to deal with these issues.
Clearly, identity theft protection services are not perfect. However, people who have a greater chance of suffering identity theft may still receive a solid value from these services.
For example, senior citizens and children have very little reason to check their credit reports on a regular basis. Having the ID theft protection service monitor your information continuously can be well worth it for these kinds of people.
Someone who suffered identity theft in the past has a greater chance of suffering it again in the future. Such people may appreciate the peace of mind of knowing that an identity theft protection service is on the lookout at all times. People who simply are too busy to closely monitor their own credit reports also may appreciate the benefits of an ID theft protection service.
If you don’t want the expense of an ID theft protection service, one of the best things you can do is to freeze or lock your credit at each of the main credit bureaus. This prevents someone from opening a new line of credit in your name, even if they manage to steal your identity. Some ID theft protection services, like Aura, even can walk you through the steps to lock or freeze your credit.
If you decide to subscribe to an identity theft protection service, it’s important to think realistically about what these services can and cannot do. As long as you understand how these services work, you can make the best possible selection for your particular needs. Pay less attention to the marketing materials these services provide and more to the actual features they will deliver for you.