The internet is a highly resourceful tool for learners; if employed in the right manner for the right purpose, it can expand horizons by building up an individual’s personal database of diverse information. However, it comes with a challenge when you are a parent because regardless of the educational value of the internet, the dangers involved for your offspring cannot be neglected especially when children tend to spend hours on roaming around on the internet quite unaccompanied. With the arrival of the digital age and smartphones becoming as easily accessible to children, permitting kids complete freedom and unrestricted access comes with many a potential risk and multiple likely threats.
The word ‘perfect parenting’ does not exist for any number of reasons - all parents find themselves feeling continually hustled and overwhelmed as they try to keep up with the daunting task of parenting in a world fast revolutionizing at the hands of evolving technology. Many invest time and effort in learning new tools to keep a check on their children and strictly monitor the history of a child’s internet activities with or without the help of synced devices. Only because we are fully aware of the many changes children face of coming in direct contact with inappropriate content, and because we are also fully cognizant of the fact such interaction could make them fall prey to the sinister intentions of cybercriminals. Thus for parents stuck with the dilemma of allowing online freedom to their children while also making sure they stay safe and secure, the services provided by parental control apps come as a blessing – for these apps permit convenient monitoring and control of a child’s activities on all devices. Even though kids are smart and constantly find ways to escape the inquisitive eyes of their parents, the parental control apps let parents keep a set track of their child’s location – the child is therefore under the parent’s continuous observation.
My sister just moved to another state - she has one toddler and two school-going now. She wanted me to research and suggest apps that may assist her in coping with the threat of leaving her children unsupervised over the internet. Here, I am publicly sharing the list of apps that I discovered, so it can benefit more than just one parent:
This is on top of my list for the reason it is recommended by parents on almost all the forums I came across - most definitely due to the features it comes with. It is one of the best free parental control apps you can find online in order to closely monitor and keep track of your naïve or ultra-smart kids while they are hooked onto their devices. Despite the fact it is a free app, it comes with all those in-demand features that any advanced parental control app would show off. For instance:
- Setting time limits on the usage of a device
- Blocking pornography
- Restricting inappropriate websites
- Limiting access to certain apps and games
- Keeping a track of all their social media activities
- Tracking their location
Undoubtedly all that makes it one of the most admired free apps – and guess what – you also have the option to avail advanced features if you buy the premium version of Qustodio. So if you are looking for the best parental control app supported by Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, then Qustodio is for you!
With a super clean, user-friendly interface that lets you sign up for the free version of the software instantly, you get to manage the whole thing from the dashboard - social media observance; personal time limits for internet activity, online games, or various other apps; the ability to track texts and call logs etc. The internet filter is also able to detect pornography in real-time and ensure the whole lot is congested inclusive of secretive browsing approaches.
If as a parent, you are more concerned about being under-cover, Kidlogger would be the best available option for you – a preemptive measure of sorts. As an alternative for blocking websites, Kidlogger innately monitors keystrokes as well as web history and program usage, besides quite by design saving screenshots captured on the computer. If installed on a device, the app robotically logs any and all phone calls made - with numbers and contact names.
The free version of Kidlogger is helpful and quite reasonable –the premium versions, however, despite their enhanced oomph factor, offer features that are evidently intrusive. If you are looking to screen your child’s devices for chats and track all their conversations on WhatsApp, Kidlogger can do that for you. The downside is this app does not have built-in password protection and if your kid is ultra-smart, chances are, you may end up getting caught which would be quite ironic.
K9 Web Protection
One more to conclude my list is K9 Web Protection - it now has its own free parental control app for almost all major operating systems i.e. Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. It is made to robotically block terrifying and unsuitable websites as well as suspicious content in order to keep kids as safe as possible. This app also enables you to set time restrictions and block websites you would not want your kids to visit. Additionally, you get an in-depth report to better comprehend how your child is behaving over the Internet.
Before getting any parental control app, it is highly recommended you arrange for a stable and reliable phone and internet service. My personal recommendation would be Spectrum El Paso. Why? Because after you sync the monitoring app, usage of the internet would be doubled - the app would replicate everything on the server for you to track. And Spectrum Fremont would never disappoint you. Even if you do not find any suspicious activities – it is always better to be proactive than to regret later. Plus, don’t forget having a word with your child about online threats and risks is extremely essential - depending on the age of the child, serve as much as they can digest.
I have shared a couple of good examples of tried and tested monitoring apps for tracking your child’s activities on a device, which I believe every parent should know of. The list of such apps is quite never-ending and this was just the gist. The features mentioned in detail here do however give you an idea as to what you actually may want out of such apps.
Since the majority of Americans uses iPhones i.e. 83.8%, I am sharing some more rated among the best parental control apps for iOS:
- Spyzie Parental Control for iPhone
- Net Nanny
- Parental Control & Screen Time