31 May 2023

Guide to Parental Control Apps: Keep Your Kids Safe Online

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         In today’s digital age, where children have easy access to the internet and various online platforms, ensuring their online safety has become a significant concern for parents. 

 

Fortunately, parental control apps have emerged as powerful tools to monitor and manage your child’s online activities.

 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the concept of parental control apps, their importance, how they work, key features to consider, and provide a comparative review of the top parental control apps available in 2023.

 

 

 

1/ What Are Parental Control Apps and Why Do You Need One?

 

 

As technology continues to advance, children are exposed to various online threats such as cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and online predators. 

 

Parental control apps are software applications designed to help parents protect their children from these risks by monitoring and regulating their online activities.

These apps enable parents to set restrictions, filter content, manage screen time, and track their child’s location, offering peace of mind and a safer online environment for children.

 

 

A) How Parental Control Apps Work

 

Parental control apps utilize a combination of monitoring and filtering techniques to safeguard children’s online experiences:

 

  • Monitoring features allow parents to keep track of their child’s online activities, including websites visited, search queries, social media interactions, and messaging apps. 

 

  • Filtering features, on the other hand, enable parents to block or limit access to age-inappropriate or potentially harmful content. The setup process typically involves installing the app on the child’s device and configuring the desired settings, which may vary depending on the app and platform.

 

 

 

 

B) Key Features to Look for in a Parental Control App

 

 

When selecting a parental control app, it is essential to consider the following key features:

 

  • Content filtering and blocking: Look for an app that offers robust content filtering capabilities, allowing you to block access to inappropriate websites, apps, and online content based on age restrictions or specific categories.

 

  • Screen time management: Choose an app that enables you to set limits on screen time, schedule device usage, and enforce bedtime restrictions. This feature promotes healthy device habits and ensures a balanced approach to digital engagement.

 

  • App and website monitoring: Opt for an app that provides insights into the apps and websites your child interacts with. This feature allows you to identify potentially harmful or time-consuming applications and websites.

 

  • Location tracking and geofencing: Consider an app that includes location tracking and geofencing features, enabling you to monitor your child’s whereabouts and receive notifications when they enter or leave designated areas.

 

 

 

2/ Top Parental Control Apps: A Comparative Review

 

To help you make an informed decision, here’s a comparative review of the top parental control apps:

 

 

 

Parental control apps

                                                      

 

 

Mr Arthur

 

Mr Arthur is a cutting-edge parental control app designed to assist parents in safeguarding their children’s online experience, and to transform unhealthy screen time into smart screen time.

With its advanced features and user-friendly interface, Mr Arthur provides parents with the tools they need to protect their children from inappropriate content, online dangers, and excessive screen time.

But more than that, Mr Arthur masters the incentive needed to help children perform better at school. The app helps kids to develop and consolidate skills in education. 

 

Key features:

 

  • Screen time management
  • Control filtering and Web/Apps monitoring
  • Catering of educational content

 

Pros:

 

  • Greatly enhances parents and child communication
  • Use a reward mechanic to engage children
  • Educational focus

 

Cons:

 

  • Not on Android yet (coming soon)

 

                                                          

Parental control apps

Bark

 

Bark is a parental control app designed to assist parents in monitoring their child’s online activities across various platforms. It offers a comprehensive set of features to ensure a safe digital environment for children. Bark uses advanced technology to detect potential risks, including cyberbullying, online predators, adult content, and mental health concerns.

 

Key features:

 

  • Monitoring social media activity
  • Monitoring text messages and e-mails
  • Tracking location

 

Pros:

 

  • Integration with more than 30 apps
  • Sends parents instant notifications when their children may be in danger online
  • Checks for indications of online bullying

 

Cons:

 

  • Pricey (+ 165$ annually)
  • Mobile devices only

 

 

 

 

Parental control apps

 

 

 

OurPact

 

OurPact is a feature-rich parental control app that provides parents with the tools to effectively manage and monitor their children’s device usage. With its user-friendly interface and robust functionality, OurPact stands out as a top choice among parental control apps.

 

Key Features:

 

  • App blocking and scheduling
  • Web filtering and browsing history tracking
  • Location tracking and geofencing

 

Pros:

 

  • Great design and navigation
  • Up to 20 child devices
  • IOS focused

 

Cons:

 

  • Lack of web filtering 
  • Lack of call or text monitoring
  • Laborious installation process

 

 

 

 

Parental control apps

 

 

 

 

Google Family Link

 

Google Family Link is a parental control app developed by Google. It allows parents to set digital ground rules for their children, manage their online activities, and monitor their device usage. This app is available for both Android and iOS devices, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

 

Key Features:

 

  • Screen time and apps management
  • Location tracking/ Remote device locking
  • Content filtering

 

Pros:

 

  • Budget friendly (free to use)
  • Seamless management
  • No limits to the linkage of devices 

 

Cons:

 

  • Not ad-free
  • Parental control limitations once the child turns 13

 

 

Parental control apps

 

 

Qustodio

 

Qustodio is a comprehensive parental control app that allows parents to monitor, manage, and protect their child’s online experience across various devices. With its user-friendly interface and advanced features, Qustodio empowers parents to have greater control and oversight over their child’s digital activities.

 

Key Features:

 

  • Content filtering, Web and social media monitoring
  • Screen time management
  • Location tracking and geofencing

 

Pros:

 

  • Compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Chromebook, and Kindle
  • Up to 15 devices
  • Developed for parental supervision and observing online safety

 

Cons:

 

  • Unreliable web filtering
  • Can be pricey

 

 

 

 

Parental control apps

 

 

 

 

Net Nanny

 

Net Nanny is a powerful parental control software that allows parents to monitor, filter, and control their child’s online activities across various devices. With its advanced features and customizable settings, Net Nanny provides parents with the tools they need to protect their children from inappropriate content, online predators, cyberbullying, and more.

 

Key Features:

 

  • Content filtering, Web and social media monitoring
  • Screen time management
  • Location tracking and geofencing

 

Pros:

 

  • Customization options
  • Adapts well to different social media networks
  • Excellent web-filtering technology

 

Cons:

 

  • Lacks features on IOS
  • Can be a bit pricey depending on the plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parental control apps

 

 

 

 

Kaspersky Safe Kids

 

Kaspersky Safe Kids is a powerful parental control software developed by the renowned cybersecurity company Kaspersky. It enables parents to monitor and manage their child’s online activities across various devices, helping to protect them from online threats, inappropriate content, and cyberbullying.

 

Key features:

 

  • Safe Search and YouTube filtering
  • Content filtering, Web and social media monitoring
  • GPS tracking and geofencing

 

Pros:

 

  • Very affordable
  • Pc and Mac monitoring
  • Encourages communication between parents and children

 

Cons:

 

  • Not so great on mobile devices

 

 

 

 

parental control apps

 

 

Norton Family Premier

 

Norton Family Premier is a powerful parental control software developed by Norton, a trusted name in cybersecurity. It offers a range of tools and features that allow parents to monitor, supervise, and protect their child’s online activities across multiple devices.

 

Key features:

 

  • Content Filtering and real time Web supervision
  • Search monitoring
  • App Supervision and Usage Control

 

Pros:

 

  • Works on windows
  • Unlimited children and devices
  • Great web filters and monitoring

 

Cons:

 

  • Doesn’t work on Mac

 

 

3/ Factors to Consider When Choosing a Parental Control App

 

 

While evaluating different parental control apps, keep the following factors in mind:

 

  • Compatibility with devices and operating systems: Ensure that the app you choose is compatible with your child’s device and the operating system it runs on.

 

  • User-friendly interface and customization options: Look for an app that offers an intuitive interface, easy setup process, and customization options to suit your family’s specific needs.

 

  • Price and subscription plans: Consider the cost of the app, including any subscription fees or additional features that may require a premium subscription. Evaluate the value provided by the app compared to its price.

 

  • Customer support and reliability: Check reviews and ratings to determine the reliability of the app and the quality of customer support provided by the developer. Prompt assistance can be crucial in case of technical issues or concerns.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

            In conclusion, parental control apps play a vital role in ensuring the online safety of children in today’s digital world.

By understanding the concept of parental control apps, their functionalities, and the key features to consider, you can make an informed decision when selecting the best app for your family. 

 

Remember to evaluate factors such as compatibility, user-friendliness, pricing, and customer support to choose the app that best meets your requirements.

By implementing a reliable parental control app, you can provide a safer online environment for your children, granting them the freedom to explore the digital world while staying protected.

 

Click here for an article on youtube parental control.

 

 

FAQ’s

 

 

Q1: Are parental control apps invasive of children’s privacy?

 

A1: Parental control apps are designed to balance safety with privacy. While these apps provide monitoring features, it is crucial to use them responsibly and respect your child’s privacy. Open communication and explaining the purpose of the app can help build trust between parents and children.

 

Q2: Can parental control apps be bypassed by tech-savvy kids?

 

A2: While no system is entirely foolproof, reputable parental control apps employ sophisticated techniques to prevent bypassing. However, it is essential to stay informed about the latest digital trends and engage in open conversations with your children about online safety.

 

Q3: Can parental control apps affect device performance?

 

A3: Most parental control apps are designed to have minimal impact on device performance. However, it’s recommended to choose well-established apps and regularly update them to ensure optimal performance.

 

Q4: Are there free parental control apps available?

 

A4: Yes, there are free parental control apps available, but they may come with limitations on features or require upgrading to a premium version for full functionality. Assess your requirements and consider the value provided by both free and paid options.

 

Q5: Can I monitor multiple devices with a single app?

 

A5: Many parental control apps offer multi-device support, allowing you to monitor and manage multiple devices from a single parent dashboard. Check the app’s specifications and features to ensure it supports the number of devices you need to monitor.

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