With the vastness of the internet comes the uncertainty of the content online. Especially for children, parents find it daunting to attain a balance between the information and entertainment amidst the inappropriate or harmful content.
Thereby, parental control apps can be a boon for parents in helping their children make the best use of the internet.
What Should A Parental Control App For Android Have?
Here is a rundown on the list to help you understand what the best parental control app should include.
Social Media Monitoring
Social media plays a significant role in a child’s well-being. As the age between 11 to 17 is vulnerable, parents should monitor kids’ content on social media to ensure safety. Here is how a social media monitoring function works in free parental control software.
- Advanced AI techniques and machine learning: Recognizes a ‘normal’ behavior on social media for children.
- Identify and report: The function can identify and report a potential problem without spying on your child.
Content Blocking And Filtering
With a parental control application, the primary function you opt for is content blocking and filtering. Essentially, the main purpose is to filter and block dangerous, distracting, or unsavory content. The function works by:
- Blocking sites or keywords: To restrict a particular type of content.
- Filtering: You can filter specific keywords and prevent any content associated with the words from appearing.
You want your children to explore their surroundings, go to school or classes by themselves, but you’re worried for their safety? Location tracker can help you ensure safety while allowing your children to go about places by themselves. Here’s what a location tracker function should include.
- Real-time location notification: You can know where your child is at any given point in time.
- Communicate: You can communicate with your child in the function and warn your child to steer clear of specific areas.
Text & Call Monitoring
The text and call monitoring largely depend on the parental control application you use. Some applications filter through the messages and flash only when there is danger. In contrast, other text and call monitoring functions by showing all the messages, including the deleted ones.
The primary duty of the parental control application is to pop real-time notifications on your device whenever your child is engaging in risky behavior. It alerts you if it spots an abnormal activity in any parameter or identifies a threat through scanning the texts.
Best Free Parental Control Apps For Android 2021
We have curated the best parental control app for Android 2021 to help you choose the right one for your child. The following are the best spy apps for Android.
NEXSPY allows its users to keep a close eye on their children without being nearby. In addition, NEXSPY is a great application to view social media messages and avoid any danger with the real-time locations.
Here’s a look at a few things you can do with NEXSPY:
- Real-time location: You can track the real-time location and check the location history of the target device.
- Get keyword alerts: When your child types, sends or receives an inappropriate message, you’ll immediately know about it.
- View social messages: WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, iMessage, Telegram, Skype, Tinder, Hangouts, Line, Kik, and Viber.
- See multimedia ﬁles.
- Set restricted zone: You can also set restricted zones and get alerts on your phone.
- Total stealth mode.
- Stable, high-quality tracking application with advanced features
- Excellent 24/7 customer support when you face a problem
- Easy to use, with a detailed online dashboard with secure access
- Free to try
- Jailbreak is required for the iOS version.
Kaspersky Safe Kids (Free & Paid version)
If you are looking for a multifunctional parental control application, Kaspersky is ideal for you. Enabled with numerous functions, Kaspersky has myriad advantages. Here are the features of Kaspersky Safe Kids.
- Online Content Filter: Filters inappropriate sites and prevents access.
- Safe search in YouTube: Blocks searches that are deemed harmful.
- Apps Usage Control: Monitors usage of apps – time and age restrictions.
- Screen Time Management: Limit your kid’s screen time with this feature.
- Child Locator: You can find out your child’s real-time location.
- Battery Tracker: A feature notifying you when your kid’s battery is low. Thereby, you can set a safe area for them.
- Youtube Search History: Keep a tab on the content your kid consumes and discover their interests.
- Real-Time Alerts: The app will notify you immediately when your child accesses restricted websites, leaves a safe area, or exceeds screen time.
- Efficient content blockers
- Geofencing for mobile devices
- Economical price
- Great for putting time limits on apps
- Limited features if you want to switch to an iOS device
mSpy is the best parental control app for iPhone as well as Android. It is equipped to be compatible with many types of devices.
- Monitor messages: Learn about the conversation on your child’s social media apps.
- Real-time Location: You can track your child’s location and set safe zones with geo-fencing.
- Monitor calls: Keep a tab on your child’s call log and be informed of any frequent and suspicious numbers.
- Keep a tab on photos and videos: You can view your kid’s photo library.
- Internet activity: Keeping a close eye on search results, bookmarks, and history.
- Compatible with jailbroken and non-jailbroken iPhones
- High-quality software with robust features
- Easy to use
- Available at an affordable price.
- One license for one device
Screen Time (Free & Paid version)
With a cell phone parental control app, your kid can feel like you’re spying on them. Moreover, this can affect your long-term relationship.
However, Screen Time does more than just ‘spying.’ This application encourages children to manage their homework and tasks simultaneously. It enforces good habits by enabling children to manage their time better.
Here are the features of the best parental control app for Android.
- Manage homework and task: This feature encourages positive habits and rewards children with extra screen time.
- Time Limits: Prevent children from using their devices excessively by setting time limits.
- Pause the device: You can pause your child’s device anytime. For example, if you want your child to finish their homework or come for dinner, you can pause their device.
- Free Plays: Screen Time overrides the settings, temporarily allowing free time.
- Allow access to the apps: You can approve the downloads of apps.
- Monitor app usage: Stay informed on the apps your child uses the most.
- Schedule: The schedule feature helps your kid to manage their time well.
- Monitor web history: Know your kid is surfing safe by monitoring their web history.
- Web Filtering: Filter the inappropriate sites and ensure your child’s safety and well-being.
- Track location: Instantly know where your kid is.
- Geo-trips: With this feature, you will stay informed of the route your child takes to commute to school or anywhere else.
- Geo-fencing: Set a safe zone and learn when your child leaves or enters a specific location.
The Free version includes – App Usage, Daily Reports, Web History (Android only), Social Media monitoring (Android only), See YouTube videos watched (Android only), 1 Device per child.
- Encourages children to adopt healthy habits
- Encourages learning
- Multiple features
- It can make the child dependent on the application to manage time or screen time limit
Read more: Should Parents Monitor Their Child’s Phone?
Google Family Link (Free)
Google Family Link helps children use their screen time wisely by urging and encouraging them to make healthy decisions. Here are the features of Google Family Link.
- Navigator: Know your child’s location when they are on the go.
- Locking devices: When it’s time to take a break from the screen, lock the device for your children.
- Setting screen time limits: Set a screen time limit to encourage your child to complete the homework and other tasks on time.
- Teacher-recommended apps: Feed their curiosity and allow them to learn smartly with the teacher’s recommended applications.
- Manage apps: You can approve or deny an app your child may want to download.
- Easy to use
- You can schedule app and phone availability
- The lock feature makes sure children do their tasks on time.
- Not supporting specific devices, such as tablets
Qustodio (Free to try)
A unique feature in Qustodio is it separates the age group of children to provide the special attention needed at each age. Below are the features included in Qustodio.
- Filter content and apps: You can filter the content and apps and block those you want to restrict.
- Setting time limits: Set screen time to help children balance time.
- Tracking call logs and messages: Stay informed of any suspicious threats or messages.
- Location monitoring: Monitor your child’s whereabouts and ensure safety.
- SOS, Reports, and Alerts: If your child tries to access a blocked website, receive a dangerous message, or leaves the safe zone, the app will notify you.
- Cross-platform compatibility
- Easy to use interface
- Blocks apps and websites on both desktops and mobile devices
- Not budget-friendly
Bark (Free to try)
Bark has worked closely with child psychologists, youth advisors, digital media experts, and law enforcement professionals to create an efficient parental control application.
- Social Media Monitoring: You can keep a tab on the social media activities of your child.
- Text & Email Monitoring: Monitor your child’s texts and emails.
- Screen Time: Assist your kid in managing their screen time.
- Web Filtering: Filter and block any inappropriate content on the web.
- 24/7 Detection: Bark can detect any unusual behavior and prevent cyberbullying, drug use, suicides, etc.
- Alerts: Teamed with child psychologists, Bark will alert you when any potential issue is detected.
- Connect to 30+ platforms to monitor text messages
- Monitor under the expert guidance
- Many irrelevant alerts
FamiSafe is available on both iOS and Android devices.
- Activity Report: Get an activity report to monitor all the activities on the device.
- App usage: Keep a check on the downloads and the usage of apps on your kid’s device.
- App Blocker: Block any app that may seem inappropriate or harmful.
- Screen Time monitoring: Closely monitor your kid’s screen time with FamiSafe.
- Block inappropriate content: Filter and block any content deemed inappropriate.
- Location Monitor: Track your kid’s real-time location.
- Alerts: Get notified if any unusual or suspicious activity is detected.
- Notifies battery percentage
- Get real-time locations as well as location history
- Does not monitor call or message logs
As the name suggests, the application plays the role of a nanny that ensures your child’s safety in your presence and absence.
- Filtering online accessibility: Restrict sites and apps that may seem dangerous or inappropriate.
- Block apps: You can block apps on your kid’s phone.
- Set screen time limits: Encourage efficient time management.
- Block pornography: Adult content can be harmful. Hence, you can block pornography on kid’s devices.
- Block website: Websites that may seem spammy, misguiding, or suspicious can be restricted.
- Simple user interface
- Diverse accessibility
- Impressive website blocking feature
The Mobicip parental control service is a cloud-based service. It is available on all devices. Here’s the rundown of its features.
- Review access: You can allow or deny access to download the apps.
- All family devices: You can view and manage your entire family’s device.
- Monitor browsing history: Keep a tab on the browsing history.
- Block websites: Restrict any inappropriate or harmful websites.
- Manage apps: You can restrict the apps that may be used most by your kid.
- Set screen time: Daily screen time allows your kids to manage their schedules well.
- Track location: Know your kid’s real-time location.
- Monitor videos and media: Keep a tab on the photo library on your child’s device.
- Advanced internet filtering: Filter harmful content on the web.
- Help your child manage their time efficiently
- It has an added feature of monitoring videos and media
- Does not track call logs or texts
How Do We Rate Parental Control Apps For Android?
To understand what makes parental control apps for Android efficient and most-favored by parents, we have listed the factors we use to rate them.
- Functionality: The more, the better! More the number of functions, the better the app.
- Ease of Use: Even if there are numerous functions on an app, it should be user-friendly.
- Device Compatibility: The application should be compatible with multiple devices.
- Customer Support: In case a user faces difficulty with the app, they should be able to contact the company with ease. Responsive customer support makes the app better.
Price: An app that features a range of functionality at an affordable price is a steal-deal!