Aura Parental Controls Review 2024: Is It Worth Using?

Aura is a leader in identity theft protection. Now with its new Family plan, it is offering parental control monitoring features, but it may fall short.
4.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Aura Parental Controls's website

Aura Parental Controls
  • Blocks harmful content on mobile devices
  • Unlimited devices
  • Lots of key features missing
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If you’re considering the Aura Family plan for your identity theft protection software, the parental controls are definitely worth activating. But the service itself is more expensive than other parental control options and doesn’t offer as many features, so it may not be worth it to get Aura just for the parental controls.

Aura Parental Controls offers web filtering and time management options but no geo-fencing, text, or email monitoring. The only cyberbullying prevention options come with the Safe Gaming feature, so there’s no way to monitor for that within your child’s social media accounts, texts, or emails. What Aura does, it does well, but we did find a lot lacking with the features offered.

4.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Aura Parental Controls's website
Aura Parental Controls
  • Blocks harmful content on mobile devices
  • Unlimited devices
  • Lots of key features missing

In this article
Aura Parental Controls review at a glance
Aura Parental Controls prices and subscriptions
Aura Parental Controls features
Our experience testing Aura Parental Controls
Aura Parental Controls customer support
Does Aura Parental Controls collect your data?
Aura Parental Controls alternatives
Aura Parental Controls FAQs
Bottom line: Are Aura Parental Controls good?

Aura Parental Controls review at a glance

Price $37.00-$50.00/mo
Number of devices supported Unlimited
Website filtering Yes
Social media monitoring No
Text message monitoring No
Email monitoring No
Screen time management Yes
Supported devices Android, iPhone, iPad
Learn more Get Aura Parental Controls

Aura Parental Controls expert overview

Aura is excellent at protecting your identity. From financial fraud protection to a password manager for keeping important passwords safe, Aura has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, Aura’s Parental Controls weren’t as robust as we’d hoped. We found them lackluster and difficult to install and use.

Aura’s Parental Controls are only available on mobile devices but don’t offer any kind of text message monitoring. It also doesn’t monitor emails, allow you to block content within apps, or set alerts for cyberbullying and harassment outside of the Safe Gaming mode. We also couldn’t find any geo-fencing or location-tracking tools. Overall, we didn’t think this product was as robust as Aura’s other offerings.

The Aura identity theft dashboard onthe main page.

Aura Parental Controls pros and cons

Pros
  • Blocks harmful content on mobile devices
  • Auto settings for kids based on age
  • Unlimited devices
Cons
  • Kids can delete the app from their phone
  • Lots of key features missing

Aura Parental Controls prices and subscriptions

As far as parental controls are concerned, Aura offers only one plan. The Family plan includes identity theft protection for up to five adults and unlimited children.

Parental controls within Aura’s Family plan allow you to place age-appropriate blocks on internet searches and filter some app use. You’ll also be able to set time limits and view the amount of time your child spends online. The Safe Gaming feature helps prevent cyberbullying.

While Aura isn’t as all encompassing as you may be looking for with parental control software, it does come as a nice addition to the Family plan. We think of it more along the lines of a complementary feature than a truly robust parental control application. You’ll need to decide whether or not this is enough for you or if you want additional features like text monitoring and cyberbullying prevention within social media platforms.

Aura Parental Controls plan breakdown

Features Aura Family
Billed annually $37.00/mo
Billed monthly $50.00/mo
Number of devices Unlimited
Website filtering
Social media monitoring
Text message monitoring
Email monitoring
Internet search monitoring
Screen time management
Cyberbullying and online predator alerts Yes — only while gaming
Location tracking
Details View Plan

Aura’s Family plan can be cost-prohibitive if you’re using it exclusively for parental controls. Its monthly price is about half the yearly prices of some competitors like Bark and Qustodio, which also have more parental control features.

If you’re including it as part of an identity theft protection plan, however, it’s on par with competitors. Other identity theft protection services offer some parental controls, like Norton Family, which can be bundled into Norton 360 for similar monthly costs. While none of these tend to be as robust as services geared specifically toward parental controls, they’re all worth using if identity theft protection is your ultimate goal.

Aura Parental Controls features

If you’re looking for a way to monitor the amount of time your child spends online and to restrict what they can view, Aura definitely has you covered. There aren’t many standard parental control features, like email monitoring or geo-fencing, but Aura can help you teach your child about healthy internet usage.

It also allows you to filter the internet with age-appropriate restrictions so your kid isn’t accidentally stumbling into something you don’t want them to see.

Content monitoring

Aura’s content monitoring is kind of basic. In our testing, we found that the only real content filtering options were centered around age.

When you enter your child’s birthday into the service, it applies an age-appropriate template that filters out content that doesn’t meet that age. You can adjust it a little within the app. Since Aura doesn’t monitor within apps, this is restricted to online content and what’s searched on the web.

Social media and phone apps

Aura doesn’t offer a lot of robust app management. It has dedicated services for YouTube monitoring, but everything else is basically monitoring how much time your child spends on the various other apps. You do have the ability to block certain apps, but it varies greatly and can’t be condensed into a single list.

Aura's safe search features for search engines and YouTube restricted mode.

Text messages

Aura states that it doesn’t monitor text messages. There isn’t much elaboration on that end, and we’re not sure if it’s because of the technology or Aura not wanting to include the feature.

Email

Aura also doesn’t offer email monitoring. On mobile devices, there’s no way to set it up to track emails coming in or going out or see the content included in those emails.

We understand that this could be due to the nature of the mobile devices where it’s installed, but we wish there was some way to include this technology with Aura, as competitors do offer it.

Web browsers

This is really where the bulk of Aura’s content filtering services shine. Aura curates an idea of what is age appropriate for your child based on your child’s birthday and its own filtering system.

When we tested it out, we tried the most adult sites we could find, and it blocked us without hesitation. We were able to access the majority of the general, everyday web, although we didn’t try to get into anything weird.

Screen time management

Screen time management is the most comprehensive feature you’re going to get with Aura. It allows you to set time limits, see how much time your child is spending online, and even dole out bonus time as a reward for chores or other activities completed. Aura even allows you to set app and category time limits.

The screen time management feature allows you to have a little more control over how your kids access applications. Given the lack of app monitoring, this is a way around it. As long as you know what apps your child has on their mobile device, you can set individual limits to help you moderate app usage.

Aura Parental Controls' screen time management feature with settings for online activity, online history, content filtering, time limits, safe search, and devices.

Location tracking and geo-fencing

Sadly, there are no tracking or geo-fencing features included with Aura. The majority of what Aura offers is monitoring online activity, filtering content, setting time limits, and child identity theft protection.

Activity reports

The activity reports are available in the main dashboard. You can see the activity for each child by clicking on their profile. You’ll have an overview in front of you and then a comprehensive report of each category you can expand. You’ll be able to talk with your kids about responsible internet usage and app time limits by viewing their current activity.

Aura Parental Controls' activity report with time online, online history, and online activity.

Our experience testing Aura Parental Controls

We had a difficult time with Aura, to be honest. It started with trying to access the portal, which wouldn’t work on our Safari browser. Then we couldn’t get the service to accept our credentials on our iPad. Finally, we didn’t think the support options were robust enough for people living on the West Coast.

We ended up having to switch to Chrome, which was fine but not something that was noted anywhere. We would like to point out that Aura’s site and payment options worked just fine on Safari, it was only when we actually went to use the product that it was difficult.

Aura Parental Controls setup

We put Aura on our own phone and then tried to install it on our iPad. Aura kept rejecting our credentials on the iPad app and wouldn’t allow us to sign in. We weren’t able to set any of the controls outside of what came by default.

We noticed that the child version on our iPhone showed a running total of screen time minutes. When we went and tried out the restrictions and monitoring features, we thought it would register as screen time on the app. It didn’t. We weren’t sure if this was because we were unable to set up the parent portal or if it was a glitch. Aura doesn’t allow you to activate the parental controls on the web portal without having them set up on a mobile device first.

We did reach out to customer support via chat on the side. Unfortunately, we’re on the West Coast, and support closes at 6 p.m. EST. Aura did offer a 24/7 support number, but we wouldn’t have been able to get screenshots for you, so we decided to wait until the next day.

Aura Parental Controls' form for adding a child.

Aura Parental Controls monitoring in action

We were able to get Aura up and running on our iPad the next day after talking with support. It took deleting and reinstalling the app twice for it to work, but once it was up and running, we didn’t have an issue. We were able to test out all of Aura’s features without issue, which we found to be very useful.

One of the problems we did run into was that we were able to delete the app from our phone without any blocks or stops. This means older kids and teens would easily be able to do so as well.

Aura will alert you in the dashboard that there’s no communication with the device. This is how you know if it’s been removed. We wish there was a way to block the app from being removed from the phone. If you have an open dialog with your children, however, you can discuss why the app is there and why they need to leave it.

Aura Parental Controls confirmed that a device has been linked.

iPhone pop-up confirming that the user wants to remove Aura.

Aura Parental Controls customer support

Support type Aura Parental Controls
Email or live chat Yes — live chat on the website
Phone
Online guides or forums

Aura’s customer support options are fine. If you require any assistance with your identity being stolen, there’s a phone number and remediation specialists.

If you need support, the chat is available 24/7 with the automated assistant. If you need to talk with a live support specialist, you’ll have to go through the live chat options first and then call the support team. Live specialist chat support is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.

Does Aura Parental Controls collect your data?

Yes, because of the nature of Aura’s service, it will collect your data. Aura is very forthcoming in what it collects and how it’s used.

We did notice that Aura mentions it will use your data “​​To promote, operate or improve our services and advance our or a third party’s legitimate interests.”[1] We really wish companies would stop sharing data with third parties.

Aura Parental Controls security

We didn’t find any two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) options on Aura outside of what your phone naturally provides. Aura at least encrypts any data stored on its servers.

In a perfect world, Aura would encrypt your data and have 2FA or MFA available as an extra layer of security so someone couldn’t catch you with a phishing attempt and access your account with stolen credentials.

Aura Parental Controls alternatives

Aura has great identity theft protection, but if the parental controls aren’t robust enough for you or don’t include the features you need, then it’s time to try one of these other products. The best parental controls should have features that fit your unique situation. If Aura isn’t for you, one of these may work instead.

  • Bark: Bark is comprehensive and offers parental controls that range from apps to a Bark-enabled phone. We like how much Bark covers and how much you can customize with the service.

    Get Bark | Read Bark Review

  • Norton Family: Norton Family comes from the Norton antivirus company. We like the geo-fencing features so you can see where your children are at any given time. If you’re looking to bundle your antivirus software, identity theft protection, parental controls, and other features like a VPN, Norton is worth checking out.

    Get Norton Family | Read Norton Family Review

  • Qustodio: Qustodio is another great option for parental control software. We really liked how user friendly it is and its real-time alerts. Qustodio has great pricing and has two plans with a variety of features that allow you to choose how much monitoring you need.

    Read Qustodio Review

Aura Parental Controls FAQs


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How do Aura Parental Controls work?

Aura Parental Controls are accessible through an app that’s downloaded onto your child’s device. You have the option to install Aura on a mobile and the Safe Gaming feature on a Windows device. You’ll then install the app on your mobile device and sign in as a parent. You won’t be able to access Aura’s Parental Controls from a web browser until you’ve activated them on your mobile device, which we found annoying.


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Does Aura monitor text messages?

No, Aura doesn’t monitor text messages or emails, and there’s no in-app monitoring. Aura does monitor how much time your child spends online and on their device. It also gives you the ability to filter the internet but doesn’t monitor all internet activity or the sites your child may try to access.


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Which is better, Aura or Bark?

If you’re looking for geo-location tools, heavier monitoring, or even a parental control-enabled phone, Bark is the better option. If you want robust identity theft protection with some parental monitoring, then Aura is probably the best choice. Aura monitors some of a child's online activity but doesn't offer tracking capabilities. Many of Bark’s online security tools aren't available with Aura.


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Does Aura monitor Snapchat?

No, Aura doesn’t monitor Snapchat or any other apps on kids’ devices. You have the ability to limit access to apps like Snapchat, but you won’t actually be able to see what’s going on within the app itself.

Bottom line: Are Aura Parental Controls good?

Yes, Aura is a fantastic company that provides quality services that are secure. The Parental Controls app leaves something to be desired, but the quality of what you get is very good.

We do think it’s a little expensive for the amount of features offered, but remember that it’s coupled with identity theft protection for your entire family. If you’re looking for robust tools, you might want to consider a different product like Bark. If you’re looking for a way to keep your kids safe online, Aura will give you the basics of what you need.

4.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Aura Parental Controls's website
Aura Parental Controls
  • Blocks harmful content on mobile devices
  • Unlimited devices
  • Lots of key features missing
Author Details
Mary lives in Los Angeles and has been a cybersecurity writer for over five years. With a B.S. in Liberal Arts from Clarion University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, her career in online security began in sales and content creation for a private cybersecurity firm.

Citations

[1] Aura Privacy Policy