The internet can be accessed almost anywhere at any time, and that leaves your children exposed to questionable material. It’s important to know what is going on when it comes to your children’s internet activity. That’s why we took the time to research different apps and services that have made it their mission to give parents the tools to help keep their children safe. These are our 12 favorite.
Not only does AppLock+ let you share your phone while keeping calls, messages, photos, and financials private, but the parental controls let you lock apps at certain times and in specific locations. According to Andrei Petrus, Product Manager for Avira:
AppLock+ enables parents to set healthy limits on smartphone usage without being intrusive. Game apps can be blocked at the school door with geo-lock restrictions or after-school time limits set for social media with the premium version.
DinnerTime fosters more quality time by reminding kids to put their phones away throughout the day. If they need a little extra “encouragement,” advanced features can set time limits on usage and block apps. Co-Founder, Richard Sah, explains what inspired the app:
We created DinnerTime Plus to tackle the problem of technology addiction head on, as I noticed that my children were playing games or watching videos when they should be enjoying quality family time.
K9 Web Protection
Keeping kids safe on the Internet can be a hard task, but K9 Web Protection helps keep an eye on your child’s online activities by blocking websites, enabling safe search, and setting time restrictions. According to a company spokesperson:
K9 Web Protection is a free Internet filter and parental control software for your home Windows or Mac computer and iOS or Android device. K9 will block web sites in more than 70 categories.
Mobicip can be set up on smartphones and computers to track browsing history and app usage, set time limits, and block content. Filtering levels for strict, moderate, and mature internet access give kids just the right amount of freedom. According to a Mobicip spokesperson:
It provides sophisticated & dynamic filtering with just-in-time-analysis, constantly evolving with the changing internet…Mobicip empowers parents to strike a balance between discipline and recreation online!
MamaBear offers a variety of services to let you know where your kids are, monitor their social media accounts, and read any incoming and outgoing text messages. It also protects your children on the road by alerting you if they go above a certain speed limit. Robyn Spoto, MamaBear co-founder, says:
MamaBear creates peace of mind parenting with a safety and awareness tool that offers parents a unique set of social media and text message monitoring features, location notifications, family mapping and driving speed alerts.
My Mobile Watchdog
From the app’s dashboard, access your child’s text messages, call logs, and location. My Mobile Watchdog lets you remove or block apps, allow or delete contacts, and be alerted of any unapproved communication. According to CEO Robert Lotter:
Knowing WHO your children are talking to is now the number one concern among parents who have given their children smart phones. My Mobile Watchdog provides the peace of mind parents need while enhancing family communication and understanding.
Pumpic tracks text messages, calls, contacts, photos, and websites. It even provides control over Skype and WhatsApp communication. You can also monitor some content from the cloud and avoid downloading anything to your child’s physical device. According to Pumpic PR Manager, Alex Stevenson:
Pumpic’s iCloud Solution allows monitoring activities on iOS devices without jailbreak. The app also features the advanced online Control Panel and the Control Panel app for Android.
Qustodio’s monitoring features for social networking, games and apps, text messages, and calls help manage your child’s internet experience. Location tracking and a panic button for emergencies offer an extra level of protection. Josh Gable, COO, explains the app this way:
It gives you free filtering of inappropriate content, the ability to set time limits…You’ll also get unparalleled visibility of your child’s activities in real time on a web-based family dashboard.
When left unmonitored, kids can spend hours online. Screen Time sets time limits or restricts access to apps during school or bedtime. From your phone, you can also pause your child’s device or grant bonus time. According to founder and coder Steve Vangasse:
Screen Time helps parents manage the time their kids spend on smartphones and tablets. It lets you set time limits on when, and for how long your kids use their apps.
Designed to help supervise your teen, this service lets you view sent, received, and even deleted text messages. Basic features like location tracking are coupled with the ability to view your teen’s activity on apps like Instagram, Kik, and WhatsApp. Co-Founder Scott Walker recognizes the need for keeping your teen safe:
TeenSafe empowers parents with the technology needed to raise the first generation of digital natives.
Kiddoware has created a variety of apps to childproof your phone. The Parental Control Suite can filter web content and set up daily screen time limitations. Paresh Joshi, responsible for Android apps development at Kiddoware summarizes the benefits:
Kiddoware Parental Control Suite protects parent’s personal data and restricts kids to apps and sites you approve…kids get fun time and parents can get some much needed peace and free time.
Net Nanny helps you control your child’s internet usage with filtering options, social media monitoring, and time management features. With remote admin access, you can receive reports or change profile settings as long as you have an internet connection. Senior Director of Technology, Clayton Ostler describes the service:
Net Nanny is designed for Windows, OS X and Android platforms, and is an effective and easy-to-manage-tool to safeguard the technology that families use each day, every time they go online.
All of these options will help protect your children and support healthy internet usage. However, it’s important to teach your children how to stay safe online as well. Make sure to communicate and talk to your children about how to avoid potential danger.