Is McAfee Identity Theft Protection Worth It? (NEW)

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Todd Jones

Product Manager at Aura

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    Can McAfee Keep You Safe From Identity Thieves?

    Overall cases of identity theft and fraud may have dropped in 2022 compared to their all-time high the year before, but losses from cybercrime have continued to skyrocket

    According to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) latest data [*]:

    Americans lost nearly $8.8 billion to identity theft and fraud in 2022 — a 35% increase from the year before.

    It’s the threat of losses like these that propel millions of Americans to look for identity theft protection options, including the latest tools from McAfee.

    But while McAfee is a household name when it comes to antivirus and digital security, it’s not as well known for its newer identity theft protection service

    In this guide, we’ll examine the company’s identity theft protection plan, “McAfee+ Total Protection” — including its features, pros and cons, pricing, and customer reviews.

    We’ll also compare McAfee+ to some of the best identity theft protection providers in 2023, so that you can make an informed decision about which product is best for you and your family.  

    🛡 Try award-winning identity theft protection — for free. Aura’s all-in-one intelligent safety solution is the #1 pick on, Forbes, USA Today,, and more. Try Aura free for 14 days and protect yourself and your loved ones from online threats.

    What Is McAfee ID Theft Protection? What Does It Include?

    McAfee has offered antivirus and digital security products for more than three decades — but the company made a massive shift in September 2021 when it moved into identity theft protection. 

    According to the company’s press release, the goal was to create “a single, intuitive solution that protects you and your families’ personal data and privacy, everywhere you go” [*].

    But what does that mean to you as a potential (or current) McAfee customer?

    McAfee is light on details about what’s included in its plans until you become a customer.

    Here’s a breakdown of what you get with McAfee:

    Identity monitoring (Dark Web only)

    McAfee says that it monitors up to 60 unique types of personal info, such as your Social Security number (SSN), address, phone number, passport number, etc. However, its identity monitoring service seems to only include the Dark Web. Dark Web monitoring is important, especially if your SSN or other sensitive information is leaked in a data breach.

    However, only monitoring the Dark Web misses all the other places where your data could appear (and warn you of identity fraud) — such as in public records or on social media.

    One- or three-bureau credit monitoring

    Credit monitoring alerts you to changes in your credit report or drops in your credit score — for example, if a criminal tries to open a new account in your name. Unfortunately, McAfee only offers one-bureau credit monitoring (TransUnion) on its Premium and Advanced plans. To get three-bureau credit monitoring (which also includes Experian and Equifax), you’ll have to pay for the much higher-priced McAfee+ Ultimate plan.

    We always recommend opting for three-bureau credit monitoring because you could miss early signs of fraud if you only monitor one bureau.

    Transaction monitoring

    McAfee allows you to view your transaction history on your linked bank accounts (debit, savings, credit card, etc.) to see if there’s any suspicious activity. It’s unclear from the company’s FAQs whether or not McAfee will send you alerts about suspicious transactions, or merely give you a list view of your latest purchases.

    Also, to see your investment and loan accounts, you’ll need to upgrade to the Ultimate plan.

    Personal data cleanup

    Data brokers collect and sell your personal information to marketers and scammers. McAfee scans up to 40 high-risk data broker sites for your personal information to let you know who has a file on you. If you want help removing your data from these broker lists, you’ll need to pay for the Advanced or Ultimate plans.

    Identity theft insurance

    McAfee offers up to $1 million in coverage for each adult on its Advanced and Ultimate plans. This is a standard amount for the industry, but lower than other solutions like Aura or LifeLock. Identity theft insurance covers lost funds and costs associated with restoring your identity. 

    Ransomware coverage

    Along with identity theft insurance, McAfee also offers up to $25,000 in protection against ransomware, a type of malware.

    Online safety tools

    McAfee is well known for its antivirus software. You’ll get access to a suite of online safety tools, including a password manager, VPN, Wi-Fi scan, and antivirus protection — all summarized with a Protection Score.

    It’s important to note that McAfee’s features and levels of protection differ, depending on the plan you choose.

    For example, the Premium plan — which is its most basic offering — only includes basic identity monitoring, a password manager, and online security tools. 

    The bottom line: McAfee can offer a similar level of protection to other identity theft protection services — but at a higher cost. For the best protection, you’ll want to opt for the Ultimate plan, which starts at $199.99/year for individuals and renews at $279.99 after the first year. 

    🏆 Get award-winning security for as low as $6/month. Aura’s all-in-one identity theft protection solution has been rated #1 by, USA Today, Forbes, and others. For a limited time, get up to 60% off Aura when you sign up today.

    McAfee ID Theft Protection Pros and Cons

    Experts and users give mixed reviews about McAfee’s services and customer support, but many praise the company for its years of high-level device security.

    If you’re on the fence, here are some key pros and cons to consider:

    McAfee Pros
    McAfee Cons
    Well recognized antivirus software, with a mobile app available on both iOS and Android devices
    Auto-renewal is required to access many digital security features (VPN, password manager, etc.)
    Monitors up to 60 unique types of personal information — but only on the Dark Web
    Only checks 40 data broker sites
    Up to $1 million in identity theft insurance for each adult
    Three-bureau credit monitoring is only offered on the most expensive plan
    $25K ransomware coverage on the Ultimate plan
    Prices increase substantially for subscribers after the first year
    30-day money-back guarantee
    No free trial

    How Much Does McAfee Identity Theft Protection Cost?

    Identity theft protection costs vary greatly across companies and plans. McAfee offers three individual plans, as well as three tiers of family protection. Its least expensive plan offers basic identity monitoring and online safety tools, while its most expensive plan includes features more in line with competing identity theft protection providers.

    Here are McAfee’s individual plans as of May 2023:

    • McAfee Premium: $49.99/year, $149.99 after the first year
    • McAfee Advanced: $89.99/year, $199.99 after the first year
    • McAfee Ultimate: $199.99/year, $279.99 after the first year

    And, here are its family protection plans as of May 2023:

    • McAfee Premium: $69.99/year, $169.99 after the first year
    • McAfee Advanced: $119.99/year, $269.99 after the first year
    • McAfee Ultimate: $249.99/year, $424.99 after the first year

    McAfee’s renewal pricing system means you’ll receive a hefty discount in the first year that you sign up. But after your first year of service, the annual cost can increase anywhere from $80 to $175. This is a considerable increase that may greatly impact your budget.

    In addition, auto-renewal is a requirement to access many features. And, since you’re not given the option of paying monthly, signing up for McAfee entails a significant up-front investment.

    What Are Customers Saying About McAfee ID Theft Protection?

    As of May 2023, McAfee has an average rating of 1.3 stars on Trustpilot [*]. Before you consider purchasing the service, here are excerpts from real customer reviews:

    • Incompatible with many devices: “Despite having ‘Total Protection’ for 3 devices I could not install McAfee on my tablet because it is Android 7 — contrary to the information on the product packaging.”
    • Annoying pop-ups and slow virus scans: “Everytime I download a file a large pop-up window appears from McAfee saying it’s scanning my file, except it covers a chunk of my screen and freezes there, with no way to get rid of it.”
    • Buggy software that’s frustrating to use: “After using McAfee for a few years I have to say I am not happy with the recent changes to the application. The software now contains a self-clean system which keeps wiping session history from my applications despite me asking for it to be switched off on multiple occasions in the settings.”
    • Not-so-great customer service: “I’ve been trying to get into my account the past 3 days. At first the online chat tech put me through to a phone call which I could not understand, she then put me through to another technician. Day 2 I tried and the same thing happened, again I was over an hour trying to get through and was cut off.” 
    • Overly difficult to cancel: “I called to cancel the subscription and ask for a refund. It was almost impossible. She just kept arguing with me.”

    💡 Related: The 7 Best McAfee Alternatives in 2023

    Who Should Choose McAfee Identity Theft Protection?

    McAfee’s identity theft protection offers multiple features with flexible plans, depending on your needs. But that flexibility can also mean that you’ll be left unprotected or paying too much for services that you don’t need. 

    Before you choose McAfee as your identity theft protection provider, make sure you fall into one of its key use cases:

    • You already know and trust McAfee’s antivirus or digital security tools. McAfee is known for its digital security tools — but users still have mixed reviews about how well these tools work and how easy they are to use. If you’ve been a long-time McAfee user and are happy with the service, McAfee+ could be a good choice for you.
    • You want protection against ransomware. McAfee is one of the only identity theft protection companies to offer insurance specifically against ransomware attacks. While hackers rarely target individuals with ransomware (they’re more interested in large companies with deep pockets and massive data reserves), this can still be a selling point for some customers. 
    • You have a large number of devices that need protection. McAfee offers “unlimited” device protection on every plan. If you have many connected devices and want to protect them all, McAfee could be a good choice for you.
    • You’re on a budget and only want basic identity monitoring. McAfee’s Premium plan starts at $49.99/year and offers just basic identity monitoring and digital security tools. But, be warned that this budget plan renews at $149.99/year after your first year of service. 

    McAfee vs. Aura Head-to-Head: Which Service Is Better?

    McAfee isn’t the only option available for identity theft protection. There’s a host of alternatives to consider, including Identity Guard, Wells Fargo, IdentityForce, Norton Lifelock, and others.

    Aura is another alternative that offers award-winning identity theft protection that’s rated #1 by,, Forbes, and more.

    If you’re not sure what to look for in an identity theft provider, it might seem like these two services offer the same features. While similar, there are some key differences that you should be aware of.

    McAfee is well known for online security and antivirus software. If you’re primarily concerned about protecting yourself from malware and other viruses, McAfee could be a good choice for you. That said, McAfee only began offering identity theft protection services in 2021, so its features aren’t as robust as more established competitors.

    Aura offers more protection when it comes to identity and credit monitoring. Aura was built from the ground up to deal with many of the issues that legacy companies like McAfee face when trying to protect consumers against identity theft. If you’re looking for identity theft protection for the whole family, Aura has you covered.

    Here’s a closer look at how the services compare:

    Identity monitoring
    Monitors for your sensitive personal information on the Dark Web
    Monitors for your sensitive personal information on the Dark Web, in public records (home title, criminal and sex offender registry, etc.), and online
    Credit monitoring and protection
    One-bureau credit monitoring with the Advanced plan:
    • Three-bureau monitoring is only available with the most expensive plan
    Three-bureau credit monitoring on all plans:
    • Aura’s credit fraud alert notifications are up to 250x faster than the competition
    Online safety
    Antivirus, VPN, and password manager, with limited identity and credit protection
    Antivirus, VPN, password manager, Anti-Track, email aliases, and Safe Browsing tools included in all plans:
    • Aura also offers an AI-powered call and text assistant to help block common phone scams
    Family protection
    Coverage for up to 2 adults and 4 children
    • No additional identity theft protection for children (only parental controls)
    Coverage for up to 5 adults and unlimited children
    • Parental controls include content filters and screen time limits
    • Safe Gaming features can warn parents of cyberbullies or online predators
    Identity theft insurance
    Up to $2 million
    • $1 million per adult on Advanced and Ultimate family plans
    Up to $5 million
    • $1 million per adult on family plans (up to 5 adults; can be in different households)
    Starts at $49.99/year for individual plans
    • Subscription price increases significantly in the second year
    Starts at $6/month for individual plans using this special offer
    • No price increase on subscription renewals
    Customer support
    24/7, but does not disclose location of support
    24/7 access to U.S.-based Fraud Resolution Specialists
    Free trial
    No free trial
    14-day free trial and 60-day money-back guarantee on all annual plans
    1.3 stars on Trustpilot [*]
    4.7 stars on Trustpilot [*]

    What Are Customers Saying About Aura?

    With an average rating of 4.7 stars on Trustpilot as of April 2023 [*], it’s clear that Aura’s identity theft protection is a solid product from a reputable company. 

    Here’s what customers are saying about using Aura:

    • Exceptional customer service: “Service is over and beyond what I expected. With one phone call, my Aura rep called each creditor and checked my credit reports and offered great follow-up advice. If you want peace of mind, you need Aura.”
    • Helpful representatives that walk with you step-by-step: “They got the credit card company on the line and assisted me to shut down a fraudulent cash advance credit card application filed under my credentials. Afterwards they stayed on the line to help me take more steps to protect me from future fraud attempts.”
    • Fraud alerts that are fast and reliable: “I received a message from Aura first thing this morning about a new credit inquiry that I knew was not me. My Aura rep went above and beyond and contacted the bank where the inquiry was made. She verified my identity and stayed on the line with me while the bank took care of the fraud report.”
    🥇 Try Aura’s award-winning protection — for free. Get access to every Aura feature, including 24/7 Fraud Resolution Specialists, free for 14 days to see if Aura is right for you.

    Is Aura a Better Option Than McAfee ID Theft Protection?

    Deciding on the best identity theft protection service for you and your family comes down to your needs and personal preferences. But whatever your situation, Aura is a strong contender to consider.

    Here are a few reasons we think Aura outshines McAfee:

    • Three-bureau credit monitoring with faster fraud alerts. Every Aura plan includes credit monitoring with all three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). McAfee only includes this level of protection on its highest-priced plan. An independent study also found that Aura provides faster and more reliable fraud alerts than other providers.
    • Higher-rated (and more comprehensive) identity monitoring. Aura was built specifically to address issues and provide stronger protection than its competitors, while McAfee has only been offering identity monitoring since 2021. That’s why Aura is rated #1 by the teams at Forbes, Tech Radar,,, and more.
    • Simple pricing with no sky-high renewal rates. With Aura, you know exactly what you’re getting with each plan, and you don’t have to worry about renewal increases because pricing stays the same in the first year and beyond.
    • Better protection for families. If you’re looking for a solution for the whole family, Aura covers up to five adults and an unlimited number of children on its plans. McAfee’s plans only offer coverage for up to two adults and four children. Aura’s family plans also come with parental controls, Safe Gaming tools, and child identity theft protection. 
    • Full suite of digital security tools included. Along with robust identity and credit monitoring, Aura offers a suite of tools that help you proactively protect yourself from hackers. This includes online safety features such as a VPN, password manager, malware and antivirus protection, and Safe Browsing tools.
    • Better customer support and fraud resolution. While both McAfee and Aura offer 24/7 customer support, Aura representatives are all U.S.-based. McAfee doesn’t disclose the location of its support team.
    • Empathetic U.S.-based representatives. Aura customers frequently report feeling like their representatives truly care about helping them navigate each step of their identity restoration cases.
    • Free trial and 60-day money-back guarantee. Aura’s 14-day free trial (plus 60-day money-back guarantee) beats McAfee, which only offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with no free trial.
    • Up to $5 million in identity theft insurance. With Aura, each adult is covered by up to $1 million, with a total of up to $5 million on family plans. This is a $3 million increase from McAfee’s $2 million insurance coverage.
    • Higher ratings from users and critics. If you’re still on the fence, the reviews speak for themselves. Aura has a 4.7-star rating on Trustpilot compared to McAfee with just 1.3 stars.
    The bottom line: When compared to McAfee, Aura provides more features, stronger protection, faster fraud alerts, and more ways to keep your entire family safe. Try Aura free for 14 days and secure yourself and your family against scammers.

    Our Final Recommendation: Choose Aura for Peace of Mind

    Identity theft is on the rise, but investing in a provider like McAfee or Aura can help shield you and your loved ones.

    While McAfee is more expensive and lacks features in some areas, Aura offers award-winning, comprehensive coverage. With 24/7 Dark Web monitoring, online safety tools, and three-bureau credit monitoring, you can rest assured that your data, devices, and finances are safe.

    In the event that you do become a victim of identity theft, you’ll be well taken care of by Aura’s empathetic Fraud Resolution Specialists and $1 million insurance policy.

    McAfee can’t keep up. Try Aura free for 14 days

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