Parental control applications monitor children both online and offline, and they may assist you in determining what they are doing on their tablets and smartphones. The applications can track your children’s actual whereabouts, set screen time restrictions, monitor app usage and phone, prevent them from seeing and using specific apps and websites, and show you who they’re talking with online.
What Are Parental Control Apps?
To keep track of your children’s gadget activity in the current day, you’ll need a parental control workable solution on mobile platforms and desktops. Kids may get into all kinds of trouble with their smartphones (or tablets), whether on purpose or by mistake. Maybe they spend all day looking at a screen every day or utilizing age-inappropriate websites and applications. In any event, a proper parental control tool may help you regain control and keep an eye out for anything that might damage them.
Maintain open and continuous talks with your kids about the significance of responsible technology usage so they don’t instantly plot to uninstall whichever app you download or devise some ingenious workarounds.
Best features of cell phone parental control apps
The best parental control apps may assist you in several ways in maintaining control. Internet content filtering, app banning, location tracking, and time management are the most prevalent monitoring forms. We go through these top features in further detail below. Please remember that some of the tools we feature are only available for mobile devices, which means they cannot supervise your child’s actions on Macs or PCs.
Features of Parental Control Apps:
Social Media Monitoring
Social media has numerous positive effects on education, as mentioned:
- Improved communication
- Sharing material and details
- Learning and upgrading skills
- Digitally sharing ideas
However, the same has inevitable negative consequences, such as:
- Identity fraud
- Social isolation, etc.
However, when it comes to youngsters, social media usage has caused a slew of issues. And things have become worse in recent years.
We picked NEXSPY as the best software for social media surveillance because it performed the best of all the applications we evaluated. NEXSPY’s expertise is social media monitoring, which tackles one of today’s most pressing issues for parents.
A mobile parental control software should track a child’s present location and some past location data. To prevent overwhelming the parent with irrelevant data, they should also provide discretion over alerts and the periodicity of location reporting. These capabilities are available in both NEXSPY and Norton Family.
The capacity of any parental control tool to prevent children from visiting unsuitable or harmful websites is its defining feature. Many apps have a custom browser to monitor, track, and regulate browsing behavior more efficiently, as this is preferable to attempting to reverse engineering support for every imaginable mobile browser. So, most of these applications urge you to ban all other browsers or prevent your child from downloading any additional apps.
Some parental control software does not need your child to utilize a proprietary browser. Instead, they use VPN technology to enable content screening by routing web access through a local app. When such a program is running, you’ll notice the VPN icon. The appearance of this symbol does not imply that the child’s connection is protected by a full-fledged virtual private network or even that the device’s IP address is hidden.
Some applications, such as NEXSPY, allow you to build a unique web-filtering category. The great majority will enable you to set custom rules for custom domains. Others can disable Safe Search and prohibit profanity. The quality of online history reporting differs per provider as well.
Monitoring of Apps, Messaging, and Time Limits
Most mobile parental control systems excel at preventing children from using specific applications. It is helpful for parents who want to restrict their children from utilizing social networking applications, difficult-to-monitor messaging services, or browsers that bypass the set web filters. Even so, keeping track of every new app which your youngster installs might be challenging.
On iOS, app banning works differently. If you choose, you may restrict access to system programs like Safari, Camera, and Siri. You may also turn off the iTunes Shop and App Store, as well as prohibit in-app purchases. Some parental control applications may eliminate app icons from the home screen, ensuring that your child cannot access them.
Most parental control applications will not allow you to monitor calls, SMS, MMS, or encrypted messaging. You can restrict the use of encrypted messaging applications.
The only tool we tested that helps in monitoring call data and SMS messages is NEXSPY.
Top 8 best parental control apps
The most paid or free parental control apps for Android and iOs can frequently tell you exactly where your child is. They can also notify you if your child is anywhere they should not be, such as absent from college during school hours.
These applications may also detect who your children are communicating with online, allow you to set internet access schedules and limitations, and block websites that you disapprove of. Some can also track phone calls and texts, and a few can display the contents of texts and instant chats.
Here’s a look at some of the things you can do with NEXSPY:
You can track the real-time location and check the location history of the target device.
Get keyword alerts and notifications. When an inappropriate message is typed, sent, or received on your child’s device, you’ll immediately know about it.
View social messages. That includes Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Skype, iMessage, Hangouts, Telegram, Line, Tinder, Kik, Viber, Kik, and Instagram.
Watch multimedia files.
You may also establish prohibited zones and be informed when they are violated.
Complete stealth mode.
- You may contact customer service 24/7 when you have an issue.
- Stable, high-quality tracking application with advanced features.
- Free to try
- Simple to use, with a comprehensive online dashboard and secure access.
- Jailbreak required for iOS versions
Qustodio software is available for PCs, Macs, iOS and Android smartphones, Amazon Fire tablets, and Chromebooks beginning in February 2021. It also allows you to establish time limitations for particular apps and devices.
This company’s limited location monitoring is available on Android and IOS, and Qustodio eventually introduced geofencing in the fall of 2019. In September 2019, a Family Locator function was implemented that displays you where all of your children are at the same time.
- Comprehensive feature set
- Supports Macs, PCs, Chromebooks, and Amazon Fire tablets
- Effective call and text tracking on Android
- Outdated web portal
mSpy is among the complete surveillance programs available, built for parents who wish to monitor child’s phone. mSpy goes well beyond standard GPS location tracking, with a slew of innovative features that make tracking a breeze.
- mSpy was one of the first phone spy app accessible a decade ago when smartphones were not even a thing.
- mSpy is dependable and cheap. The app is also available in basic and premium subscriptions
- mSpy also works on desktop computers, giving you a complete mobile spying experience.
- You can also buy the mSpy Mobile Family Kit, which includes three premium mSpy subscriptions.
- Customer service is available 24/7, but it is not excellent.
- mSpy is costly. The help crew has poor product expertise and typically relies on prewritten communications. The full-year premium subscription to XNSPY costs $149, while mSpy costs $199.
- You can’t use mSpy to snoop on Instagram or Kik.
Bark – Parental Control Monitoring App
The bark is a parental control application that monitors emails and PC-based internet activity, limiting the number of methods for children to circumvent the program.
We believe Bark has one tiny flaw: “screen time management” is more akin to “internet management.” The remote time-out function merely disables the phone’s internet connection. If your child is a texter, they may be hooked to the device even when they are on a break.
- Computer monitoring
- Email monitoring
- Social media monitoring
- Text message tracking
- Text and email notifications
- No location monitoring or geofencing
- Expensive option for only one child
- Fairly short trial period
- Remote time-out does not turn off texting
It is a service that filters and monitors devices. They just released a slew of new features, including a simple parent app dashboard.
- Manage and monitor all household devices using a single parent app or online dashboard.
- Set daily/weekly screen time restrictions for each family device.
- Instantly lock all family devices
- Track your child’s whereabouts (for Android and iOS child devices only)
- Real-time content screening on the Internet
- There is no live customer assistance.
- The longer it will take you to navigate their site, the busier it is.
- There is no surveillance of social networks.
- Only pre-defined filtering options are available in the free edition.
- There are no genuine parental notifications.
Free Parental control software, such as FamilyTime, assists parents in keeping their children away from unsuitable Internet content.
FamilyTime Parental Controls aims to operate as a filter, enabling access to benign content while banning potentially dangerous sites.
- Limit Time On-Screen App
- Internet Filtering to keep the web under control
- Mobile Location Tracking and Geo-fencing.
- A control center that is functional both for non-tech and innovative parents and children is pretty simple to use.
- FamilyTime Parental Control works well with many Android and iOS device versions.
- It is not compatible with Windows.
- It is an expensive item.
- There is no web content screening
- Not all functions function as intended.
Norton is a well-known name in anti-virus applications, and Norton Family Premier is a program for controlling and monitoring your children’s internet activities.
Family Premier provides a range of capabilities to parents and makes it simple to handle all of those options owing to its simple interface. One of the most prominent aspects of Family Premier is its robust online monitoring, enabling you to ban sites altogether or keep track of places visited.
- You can monitor and control your child’s activities across Windows, Android, and iOS devices.
- There is no particular limit to the number of devices that you may track
- Adjustable content blocking filtering based on requirements
- Also assists you in monitoring videos on YouTube and Hulu
- Monitors contacts and SMS on Android
- Allows you to track your child’s whereabouts using mobile devices
- Incompatibility with Mac
- Limited iOS support
- Social media tracking should improve.
Kaspersky Safe Kids
Kaspersky offers a lot at a reasonable cost. You can secure up to 500 devices with all of Kaspersky’s premium features for approximately $15. We believe that most individuals do not require that level of security, but we appreciate that Kaspersky makes it simple for families of any size to obtain parental control protection.
- Geofencing and location tracking
- Screen-time management
- Web and app filtering
- YouTube search monitoring
- No email tracking
- No uninstall protection
- No social media tracking
- iOS functions are limited
Reason to consider using parental control apps
Parental control may help in tracking your children’s whereabouts. GPS applications can assist your family in monitoring each other’s locations. These indicate that your children are secure and where they should be and help you locate them in an emergency.
For the locating feature or GPS tracking on your phone to work, you must switch on the phone. It is a great thing to discuss safety precautions with your children. Ask them to refrain from tagging or broadcast their location on social media if outsiders gain access to the information, and assist them in setting up privacy settings.
Parental controls aid in the development of healthy internet safety practices
Cybercrime is worth billions of dollars in industry, and thieves profit from people’s harmful online habits.
The kid’s brain is continuously evolving and discovering new skills. In their eagerness to learn more, kids may unwittingly participate in dangerous online activities, such as exposing too much personal information, like their institute of education or birth date, that may imply risking their own and others’ safety.
You can establish screen time limitations via parental controls.
Screen time can be addicting as It holds the power to hypnotize an adult to spend hours and be hooked to a gadget while psychologically disconnecting from their surroundings. A child will have more difficulty breaking apart from their favorite TV show or video game than an adult.
Excessive screen time in youngsters might result in poor vision, poor posture, lack of physical exercise, and insufficient sleep. Parents want to consider enforcing a healthy lifestyle on themselves and their kids by restricting screen time.
Parental controls can help set the boundaries by limiting the media children can watch and how much time they can watch it. Set aside time for media-free activities like walking, bicycling around, or playing the game.
Talk to your children.
Sometimes all a child needs are some sound counsel, and nothing beats the participation of a parent. Teach your children about the hazards of the Internet, what else to do if they are cyberbullied, and where they should and should not go. One day, your children will be old enough that you will no longer be able to supervise their activities. They must be ready for that day. Monitoring is especially beneficial for younger children, but as they grow older and you have more trust in them, consider easing off on the monitoring. Don’t undervalue the importance of an active parent. A child can only learn much about the world in school.