Risks Involved With Using Free Parental Control Apps: What Providers May Not Tell You
No one works for free, especially when you need to build a system with a complicated algorithm and the capabilities required to monitor online activities on computers and mobile devices.
Therefore, you should immediately be concerned when you see a company offering a completely free app that will monitor your childs activity. Once the app is installed on the device, and you go through and agree to all the access permission requests, the company has unrestricted access to your childs photos, contact lists, which social media sites theyre using, where they go, and the list can go on forever.
Putting the creepiness aside for a minute, they can use this data either to target your kids with advertising or outright sell the data to their partners or third-party marketers. This is one of the main reasons its always safer to pay a small price per month for a product knowing that no one will use your child as a product.
Screen Time Parental Control
ScreenTime is one of the apps that limit screen time for Android and iOS that lets you manage the time your kids spend on their tablets and smartphones.
Parents can encourage positive habits by setting your children tasks to complete and reward additional screen time. Parents love this instant pause feature that will instantly pause your childs device which is perfect for getting them to the dinner table or out the door for school.
You can also invite your partner, parents or other carers to manage your childs screen time settings. Just manage your familys screen time with one account and track all devices, parents too if you like.
Like all other parental control apps, you can monitor just how much time your kids are spending on their smart devices, you can also see which specific apps are being used and for how long, receive a notification when your kids try and install a new app and see which websites have been surfed from your kids device.
ScreenTime parental control app allows you to block certain apps at certain times of the day and also restrict activity during school hours.
Devices: iOS, Android
Qustodio Review: Bottom Line
Qustodio has a very extensive feature set and broad platform support, but its web filtering doesn’t live up to expectations and it has too many limitations in iOS. Because of this Qustodio doesn’t manage to compete with the top options on the market.
If you are covering five or fewer Android devices, want call/text management and are looking more for monitoring than blocking, then Qustodio might be right for you. But that’s a lot of caveats, and most parents would be better served byNet Nanny, or if you are looking for something more affordable,Kaspersky Safe Kids.
A self-professed “wearer of wearables,” Sean Riley is a Senior Writer for Laptop Mag who has been covering tech for more than a decade. He specializes in covering phones and, of course, wearable tech, but has also written about tablets, VR, laptops, and smart home devices, to name but a few. His articles have also appeared in Tom’s Guide, TechTarget, Phandroid, and more.
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Block Apps Using Famisafe
Blocking certain apps of your Kids mobile device is super easy.
Step 1: From the navigation menu, select Screen time. By doing so, you’ll be prompted to a new page. Just click the ‘Add screen time’ button.
Step 2: On the new page, select ‘Instant Block’ to block all apps on the device. However, to block only certain apps, just choose App Limit .
Step 3: A list of the applications on the device will be displayed on the screen. Just hit the Toggle to turn on the block option for certain apps. Easy as ABC!
Why Do You Need A Parental Control Application
Over 92% of teens are in touch with technology and the internet. As a parent, it’s only appropriate to know what your kids do online and teach them what they should do online. The Internet, as they say, is not a bad place, but it does have its dark sides. And all you have to do is restrict them from visiting those naughty places. You can think of a parental control application as your right-hand man, an extra pair of eyes that keep a watchful eye on your kid’s activities and inform you in real-time. In this article, we hand pick a reliable parental control app- Famisafe today and will teach you how to block websites on iPhone and Android phones with it.
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Year Olds With Smartphones
Smartphones have opened up a new world in how our kids communicate kids do not carry quarters to make calls at the local payphone anymore! Expressing themselves via text, images and video also opens up challenges where cyberbullying and self harm can be amplified. We have the basics covered: text message logging, location tracking and control who can call parents are always allowed.
Our Call and Text monitoring features are only available for Android smartphones and can be .
Text Messages. Monitoring the important words
Android only. Get detailed text logs from your childs Android phone. Get notified when inappropriate words or unknown numbers are detected. Optionally, enable the collection of all text message content. Available here.
You choose who calls and can be called.
Android only. Allow calls only from their saved contacts. All other numbers get blocked instantly and sent to voicemail, including those marketing calls. Parents can also review their childs Android phone logs anytime from their Android or iOS device via our Parent Mode reports.
24/7 location tracking.
Your childs device travels with them. You depend on it for communication. So why not leverage it to get alerts and updates on your childs whereabouts via their mobile device. Set to report in automatically but you can make it faster or ask for a manual refresh. An active internet connection is required.
Easy to setup. Use your email. Pair your child devices.
Start Managing Screen Time On Mobile Devices
From social media to gaming, you can start managing your kids digital habits today! Customize what apps and websites are right for each kid and keep the whole family safe online. Set healthy screen time limits and use web filtering, across every mobile device, from one simple app.
Circle Parental Controls App
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Best Overall: Norton 360 Deluxe
If we were purely judging based on the number of features each product offered, then Norton 360 Deluxe would win handily. But we went quite a bit deeper than that, and what is particularly impressive is that Norton has not only the most features, but, in nearly every case, also the best-implemented and easiest-to-use version of each feature.
Your first step is to log in to the Norton Family web portal and add your kid to the account. You need to add only a name and a birth year to get started. But you can also add sensitive personal information such as a child’s phone number, Social Security number and email address.
Norton will block the transmission of that information if it is shared with a website that does not use HTTPS encryption, as indicated by a lock symbol in the browser address bar.
The next step is to assign devices to each child. Parents can also install the Android app on their own mobile devices and use the app to track activity and change settings.
The web portal and the Android app are well-designed, displaying each protected child with a tab for his or her activity and a separate tab that displays the House Rules for that child.
Within each tab, you see eight categories, covering web supervision, time supervision, search supervision, social network supervision, video supervision, location supervision, mobile app supervision and text message supervision.
Read our full Norton 360 Deluxe review.
The Most Unique Flexible Screen Time Features Period
Set weekday and weekend schedules limiting access on your childs phone from your phone Its simple and it matters!
Establish healthy sleep habits for your children. Schedule shutdown times to give you peace of mind that your child is getting uninterrupted sleep.
Time Limits. Any Day and Per App.
Allocate time limits on your Android device so as to teach children how to prioritize free time on their phones. Apps will shut down under your authority. Phone remains accessible for emergencies.
Encourage Good Apps. Anytime.
Encouraged Apps feature allows apps to not count down time when they are used by your child. For education, reading, or podcasts, as the parent, you can make these available with no shutoff time.
Time-Outs and Time Extensions.
Our Parent Mode provides an easy Time-Out setting. When needed, parents can pause a childs device use or even extend access time. Its FREE!
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Is Your Child Protected Online
With a parental control app for iOS devices, you can protect your kids while they use their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. If you struggle with monitoring your childrens online activity and worry about keeping them safe online, then a parental control app can help your family. Net Nanny® for iOS is a revolutionary solution to allow safe web browsing and provides parents with the protection your family deserves.
If your children browse the Internet using their Apple device, you can keep them safe with Net Nanny® for iOS. Protect your family with Net Nanny® the most trusted parental control software available on the market.
Why Choose Cocospy Parental Control App
- Every purchase of Cocospy is backed by their 60 day long money back guarantee, allowing you to ask for a refund if youre not satisfied with the product.
- Cocospy is completely secure and reliable app. All the retrieved data is stored using cutting-edge encryption technologies.
- The app is already used by over a million people spread over 190+ countries
- The company offers excellent customer support, reachable 24 x 7, 365 days a year.
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What Are The Best Parental Control Apps
No parental-control app is perfect, but Net Nanny consistently delivered the best mix of web filtering, location tracking and app management on both Android and iOS devices. It also works on Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, Windows, Macs and Chromebooks that support Google Play.
Kaspersky Safe Kids was a close runner-up, offering full-featured support on an unlimited number of Android and iOS devices, plus Macs and PCs. Its free tier includes web monitoring, time limits and app management, and its full-featured paid plan is just $15 per year.
Norton Family offers almost all the features a parent could want, including recently added geofencing, although its app-management abilities don’t work on iOS. Along with smartphone and tablets, it also monitors Windows PCs but not Macs.
Many antivirus products, including some from Norton and Kaspersky, have parental controls built in. To see how well those stack up against the stand-alone services, please see our overview of the best antivirus software for parents.
All these parental-control apps can see and do more on Android than on iOS, due to Apple’s tighter app restrictions and system control. If you’re really serious about keeping tabs on what your kids do online, get them Android phones.
Just be wary of any Android parental control app that you need to “sideload” on your own. There’s usually a good reason that app isn’t in the official Google Play store.
How To Monitor Your Kids’ Mobile Devices
Parental control apps can help you maintain control in a variety of ways. Some of the most common types of monitoring include web content filtering, app blocking, time management, and location tracking. We dive into more detail about these top features below. Keep in mind some of the products we highlight are mobile-only solutions, meaning they cannot monitor your child’s activities on Macs or PCs. If these platforms are your greatest concern, make sure to check out our roundup of the best parental control software.
Most parental control services work similarly. You install a monitoring app on every device you want to keep tabs on and manage settings and restrictions from either a web desktop or a parent-focused mobile app. Changes you make on any devices take effect immediately. We appreciate those services that offer flexible device management.
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Best Parental Control Apps For Android
1. FamiSafe Parental Control for Android
FamiSafe is the best Parental Control and Monitoring software that you can use to monitor the activities of their kids on their Android devices. FamiSafe is the best alternative for any free parental control apps that may be available due to its bunch of features like –
- Track Real-time GPS location of kids to know kidâs location
- Get Geofences for the dangerous
- Schedule time limit and device usage restrictions remotely.
- Block distracting apps and games to make kids focus on their studies.
- Restrict web usage and the content they get access to.
Price: – $9.99/month
Supported OS: – Android 4.0 and higher
2. Parental Control Board
Parental control Board is one of the best apps for parental control for Android devices. It has many advanced parental control features that allow parents to keep their kids safe from the dangers of excessive smartphone usage.
Supported OS: – Android 5.0 and later
The family is a good parental control app for parents to protect their kids from dangerous of the online world. This app for parental control for Android helps parents get a firm insight into the phone usage of their kids and counter addiction.
- Set daily time limit and schedule restrictions.
- Track apps and app usage of kids.
- Set Geofences and track locations.
- Panic and SOS alerts for emergency situations.
Price: – $27/year
Supported OS: – Android 4.2 and up
4. Screen Time
How Much Does Net Nanny For Ios Cost
Net Nanny® for iOS is only available with the purchase of a 5 or 20 device Family Protection Pass. If your family is looking for parental controls for multiple devices including iOS, consider purchasing a Family Protection Pass for either 5 or 20 device licenses. You can bundle your iOS devices along with your PC, Kindle Fire or Android device with a Family Protection Pass that covers your choice of 5 or 20 devices for as little as $5 a year per device!
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Norton Family Premier Solid Performance But Lacking In Features
- user interface not very intuitive
Norton Family Features
The Norton Family Premier parental control app is not the most comprehensive mobile device monitoring software, but it does have a solid set of features and is probably the least expensive parental control app out there, especially if you have a large family or want to monitor several devices.
This app covers some of the basics usually found in monitoring apps like location tracking, some app monitoring, and the ability to read text messages. Notably, it does not offer any kind of call logging or blocking, and there is no way to read messages your child may receive through an app.
This software doesnt provide an app blocker option, so while you can see when an app is downloaded, there is no way to block apps from being placed on the mobile device to begin with.
Where Norton Family Premier does excel, though, is in their online content filtering and ability to set time restrains and enforce time limits when it comes to your kids being on the internet.
The online content filtering is set up to give you as much or as little parental control as you would like.
When you first enable the software, there will be some pre-set functions that will recommend filter subjects and levels based on your childs age.
However, it isnt compatible with Huawei devices, Amazon devices , or Chromebooks.
Norton Family Premier Pricing
Our Pick For Ios: Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
Screen Time has plenty of room to improve. One of the chief complaints from users is the difficulty of setting it up, which isnt as intuitive as it should beother parental controls, for instance, simply require you to download an app on the childs phone and sign into your account. Geoffrey A. Fowler, a columnist for The Washington Post, complained that this was just one of too many decisions that a parent must make with this new feature of iOS 12. On the one hand, it allows parents to customize Screen Time for their child, but at the same time, Apple treats parents like IT administrators for their kids, saddled with a zillion choices to make and knobs to adjust, he writes in his review.
Although apps like Qustodio provide guidance during installation, with Screen Time, you have to look up any kind of instruction. I seemingly went about it backward: I created my childs new Apple ID before I set up Family Sharing, and was confused about how to connect our phones it is easier if Family Sharing is already turned on in your phone.
Finding certain informationlike how specific apps are categorizedinvolves too many clicks. You must tap on the report of daily screen time use, scroll down to Most used, and click on Show apps & websites if its set to Show categories. Its also not obvious how to set time limits by individual app, but, as described above, parents can do that by looking at individual app usage in the daily screen time report.
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Nintendo Switch Parental Controls
Nintendo Switch Parental Controls is a free app that allows you to monitor the time your kid is spending playing games and can even suspend playing when the time limit is reached.
The app works with the Nintendo console to help you monitor the games played by your kid, so you can see what interests them the most.
If youre worried about your kid playing violent games, you can restrict access to them and other console features.
You can also activate a warning feature to notify your kid before the game is suspended, so they can have time to save the last played game. However, the PIN is displayed, so kids can still change it to gain access to forbidden features.
Also, it does not offer the screen time control feature.
Check it out here: Nintendo Switch Parental Controls