Tech addiction is a serious concern for adults as well as kids. This is the internet age where all kinds of content can be accessed through your smartphone. Internet availability means kids can access many things through their mobile devices. This can either be on purpose or by accident. It is important for parents who have kids with smartphones to track what they do with these devices.
Many parents decide to not allow their kids to use mobile devices. This may not be the best measure to take. Whether kids have their own mobile devices or not is not the problem. Your child can always watch pornography on their friend’s mobile devices. They can use any device to go online without your knowledge. Allowing your children to use a mobile device has a lot of benefits. One of them is that you can use it to track their activities online. You should consider having an efficient parental control app on your device. As a parent or guardian, this is a significant step in the right direction.
You are not always with your kids so you can’t imagine what they do on their own. Peer pressure is real and negative influence on your kid can cause a life-time of damage. Parental control apps help you keep an eye on your child wherever they may be. You can easily know what they are up to and the kind of interactions they have online. These apps will help you know your child better. Through their activities online you can come to understand your kid better.
What Makes A Good Parental Control App?
A good parental app should have certain basic features. These features will make monitoring your kid’s activities seamless and comprehensive. A good parental app helps you track your child’s activities in a variety of ways. These features range from web filtering to location tracking. You should look out for the features discussed below when choosing a parental app for your child.
Web filtering is being able to block kids from accessing inappropriate websites. This is one of the most important things any guardian will want to be able to do with a parental control app.
Web filtering is an important feature any parental control app must have. Many of these apps bundle a proprietary browser. Rather than trying to reverse engineer support for every mobile browser you can think of. This makes it easy for these services to track, manage, and control browsing activity. As a result of this, most apps direct you to block any other browser. You can also prevent your kid from installing any apps other than the ones you permit.
Some other parental control apps leverage VPN technology instead. They run Internet connections through a local app to enable content filtering. Rather than forcing your kid to use a proprietary browser on iOS devices, the VPN icon will show when such utility is on. This doesn’t imply that a comprehensive virtual private network secures your kid’s connection. It also doesn’t imply that the device’s IP address is hidden.
Many of these browser types operate the same way. They restrict access to webpages that are under the banned category. These pages should include all the biggest offenders. This includes file sharing, gambling, pornography, and violence. The quality of web history reporting also differs from one service to another.
App Blocking And Time Restrictions
Parental control apps should prevent kids from being able to access selected apps. This feature comes in handy for parents looking to block kids access to certain apps. These apps can be social media apps and messaging services, which are difficult to track. They can also block browsers that can find their way around the defined web filters.
App blocking takes a different dimension on iOS. Parents can block access to system apps such as safari, camera, and Siri if they wish. Parents can also disable the iTunes store and App store. They can even ban in-app purchases. The advanced parental control can help you delete some app icons from the home screen. You can be sure your kids have no chance of accessing them.
Time restriction is another critical feature of an excellent parental control app. Some providers such as Norton and Family Time allow users make specifications. You can specify how many hours in total per day your child can spend on any devices. You can also specify a schedule to say when it is okay for the child to use it.
Tracking Your Kids’ Locations
A good parental control app should be able to keep track of your ‘kid’s current location. It should also keep track of some other location history data as well. Parental control apps need to offer some level of control over the notifications and frequency of location reporting. This will help to avoid bombarding you as a parent with extra data.
With location tracker you can always know where your kid is at all times. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to remain focused wherever you are.
Useful parental control apps help parents track who their kids communicate with. They also track what they are talking about in every conversation. But, this feature is almost exclusive to Android operating systems only. The implementation also varies from service to service.
Nowadays, children spend more time on social media than anywhere else. So, monitoring social media activities should be a key feature of any parenting app. Parental control apps should allow parents to check and manage their kid’s social activity. In several cases, this service is restricted to Facebook only.
The “SOS button” is a necessary feature under the communications category. When a child punches this button, it issues an alert to the child’s parent, and other registered trusted contacts. The notification often includes time and location information. In some cases, it keeps broadcasting the said data. This is until either your child deactivated the alarm or you as the parent disable it from your account.
This feature works regardless of the platform. It’s also regardless of whether your child has exceeded the time limit you set. If you want to be able to reach your kids in case of an emergency, you should consider apps with this feature.
What Are The Best Parental Control Apps?
There are a lot of apps out there that claim to offer parental control. The apps listed below are selected based on the following criteria:
A good parental control app should be easy to install on major devices.
Device compatibility is a huge one. As many users spend time differently on different gadgets. Parental control apps should be easy to use both on mobile phones as well as personal computers.
Good parental control apps should have reliable filter lists. Especially to keep kids away from inappropriate content.
kids often use text messaging. To be able to track these messages means you are aware of everything that is going on. A good parental control app should be able to help you block contacts and prevent bullying.
The price of a good parental control app should be reasonable and affordable.
Let’s consider the Best Parental Control Apps based on the identified criteria above.
iOS Compatible Parental Control Apps
Pumpic is a very useful app to watch your child’s iPhone or iPad. Pumpic lets you track incoming and outgoing calls as well as see sent and received messages. Pumpic allows you to view contact information. It also allows you to view other multimedia data on any target iPhone. Pumpic is a great app for monitoring your child’s online activity. It helps you track the time and activity of your child online.
Parents can track their kids’ iPhone browsing history. They can also block websites that they consider harmful to the child. Parents can check their kid’s social media activities on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Whatsapp and Snapchat messages can also be monitored.
Another fantastic thing about this parental control app is the tracking feature. If your child’s iPhone is either lost or stolen, you can easily find it. All you need do is follow your child’s GPS location history, which reveals the entire route.
This app takes only about three minutes to install and be ready for use on the target iPhone. After purchasing the app, a follow-up email will be sent. Follow the instructions, and then you are good to go.
This is a useful monitoring application. You will need to purchase a version to complete the installation. It is up to you to decide if $23.99 to access the basic package is too expensive compared to your child’s safety. The preferred option is the premium version, which costs $33.99. This also comes with a ten-day refund policy in the case that you are not satisfied with this service.
This is for parents looking to check their children’s online activities. Ourpact is a brilliant iPhone parental control app which can answer to such needs. The app helps parents track their children’s iPhone and internet usage. It also offers a great browser for safari. This enables parents to track children’s iPad and iPhone. It is also easy to install. Parents can download from the relevant store by searching for “OurPact.”
Select OurPact safe browser and click the free button. This will allow you to install the app. You can select limitations for the target iPhone. Go to the settings then to general and find restrictions. You can choose a 4-digit code that you can remember to change the settings.
Under the settings options. Parents can select the type of content (website, movies, and TV shows, etc.) that they want their child to access or use. The user of the target iOS device can disagree with the restricted content and request to override. Parents can review the content and allow or reject this request from their end.
Parents should note that taking control of their children’s devices may not be an easy task. OurPact offers a free version. But the premium version allows parents to access request. It also comes with a lot of other helpful features as well.
This app is for parents that think their children text, browse, or play too much. Phonesheriff is an excellent parental control app to consider. It gives parents many features to explore. This app can select the times when the child’s iPhone works the most. You can also select when the phone should be restricted or even blocked. With this, all your worries can be forgotten.
Like the previously discussed apps. Phonesheriff helps parents track calls and messages. You can even see which apps children are installing on their devices. Parental control is more accessible with Phonesheriff. This is because parents can set up panic alert for wrong pin alert as well as profanity alerts.
When you purchase this monitoring app, you will get a receipt that comes with it. It also contains a registration code and a link to install the app. Then you will get the instructions to follow to adjust the settings on the target device.
For account registration, parents can visit the registration page. Enter user identification and a password that comprise four to ten characters each. Then paste the code generated in the receipt. Parents also have the option of subscribing to updates by entering their email.
Android Compatible Parental Control Apps
ESET is best known for its antivirus features. But parental control is also a great feature in this app.
ESET can be very useful. Especially to parents who wish to track and control the amount of time their children spend online. ESET makes it easy for parents to track their child’s every movement. The compass point on the map that signifies the child’s location is accurate and updated in real time.
Parents can also manage and track their children’s social network activity. All the parent needs do is set ESET options the right way. All the social networks accounts will be blocked according to your specifications.
ESET also offers flexible and detailed reporting about almost every action. This includes actions that the target person carries out on the mobile device. This is only while the device is under your comprehensive control.
ESET is a functional and responsive parental control app. It is guaranteed to meet the needs of every parent using android devices. Parents can buy this app in its exclusive multi-device security pack for only $69 per year.
Qustodio is a good parental control app. It may not be as powerful as the parental control apps discussed above. Qustodio still deals with a significant number of features at a reasonable price. It is an excellent alternative to consider as a parent. If you need a subtle phone tracking force and want it to be budget friendly, consider Qustodio.
Qustodio can be purchased for $50 a year, and it can help you deal with all the usual tracking needs. With Qustodio, parents can track up to five devices. They are not limited to Android operating systems alone. It includes Macbooks and Windows personal computers.
Net Nanny is a strong parental control app. It comes with tough filters that can block inappropriate content and websites. Net Nanny may be ranked in the same category as ESET. Net Nanny can restrict adult and violent images immediately. It restricts videos and sources as well. There is no way your kid can successfully turn it off.
Net Nanny is a great choice. Parents can set time limits for certain applications or websites. All social networks are also very easy to manage with the help of Net Nanny.
Net Nanny has a free trial version, which lasts for up to fourteen days. The annual subscription is only $13. The price is affordable and reasonable considering the app’s advantages and features.
Let Your Kids See Reason
There is no perfect system anywhere. If your child is serious about getting around the limitations you impose, they will find a way at some point. They can do this by using unmonitored devices. They could also come up with a way to wipe out whatever controlling software you may have installed.
So, it is vital to take time to educate your children on the importance of online safety. Consider discussing why you decided to install monitoring software as well. After all, safety and security online and offline are issues that concern everyone. It is always productive to approach conversations like this with honesty and openness. You most likely don’t want them to find out and lose trust in you, especially for more mature children. You as a parent need to listen to each child’s privacy needs. Instead of setting arbitrary restrictions that they may not agree with.
You should always stay open. Speak with kids about the importance of responsible device usage with a calm tone. This will help to ensure they do not sabotage your safety efforts. Especially by getting rid of whatever app you install or by finding a way around it. You can’t always force things on your kids. Persuasion is better than force.