Because everyone is spending more time online, the number of threats increases as unscrupulous people try to take advantage.
Because of this, there are many threats to children from all angles. It can be social media, gaming or content that is unsuitable for their ages.
It can be challenging for parents to prevent much of this, yet there are many Parental Control apps you can use to stop these threats and see what your child is doing while online.
Here are some of the best parental control app options to weed out inappropriate content from social networks and countless websites.
You can find it is possible to keep track of their location while they are away from home; and set screen time limits. (Read Internet Safety for Kids)
Why Do You Need the Best Apps For Parental Controls?
One of the main things kids need about staying safe online is education; however, this parental control only goes so far. They may know of the dangers, yet they may still try to see for themselves. Besides, there are those individuals who use this to their advantage.
Lastly, many parents are not that tech-savvy, and it can be easy for them to become lost or not understand more than a parental control app, services, and websites of today.
Here are some of the reasons you need parental control software to keep your kids safe.
Mobile phones: With these, kids can now do anything they wish. They can make payments, fall victim to malware and worse. Another thing with parental controls is monitoring where your child is at any time of the day. Child phone monitoring free doesn’t often happen, and there is value on your child’s safety.
Online Streaming: No matter what the device, many can carry out online streaming if connected to the internet. As well as Smart TV’s, even mobile devices can be used to view violent, sexual, or disturbing material.
Online Gaming: Many games are made for mature audiences, yet children under age play a third of games rated as such. Online, these multiplayer games enforce ganging upon others. With chat interaction, it can be one area where children are receiving end or worse. They can be dishing out verbal abuse.
Social Media: Often the prime hunting ground for online sexual predators. Even these are supposed to be for children aged 13 and above, yet many more kids under this age have a social media account. It can be addictive and an area where abuse is rife. A parent control app can see precisely what is happening with your kids.
Cyberbullying: There are many cases of kid’s cyberbullying, where the ultimate has been the suicide of the bullied person. Regardless of platform, be it social media, gaming or text messaging. Cyberbullying is rife and harmful as it is public to a broader audience than name-calling at school used to be. (Read Is Whatsapp Safe To Use)
Best App for Parental Controls
Here you can find the best parental control app options you can see, which will keep your kids safe from the above and allowing you to set web filtering, location tracking, and screen times on a wide range of devices.
Qustodio is a very flexible web filtering tool, which helps you set healthy boundaries for your child and their digital life.
In use, you see Qustodio’s filtering technology will be enabled automatically, which makes it ideal for those who are unsure how to set up the app.
Because of this, protection is immediate, though it does let you go further. You can decide to block individual sites and have activity monitoring. You can include web and app activity, SMS, phone calls, online gaming, location, FB, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, and other social media.
This parental control app feature is more advanced than many other options of parental control apps. One unique part of this best parental control app is it will still work in incognito mode.
Besides, you can quickly establish screen time limits, which are suitable for your child, and you do so using set schedules, or you can set daily limits based on internet time.
The parental control app comes with an intuitive online dashboard, so you can monitor your child in real-time of their activity and using their devices appropriately.
When it comes to reports, you can have extended reporting if you opt for this. However, Qustodio emails you weekly or monthly reports. Here it breaks down the activity of your child for the previous 30 days.
Aside from checking on your child, there is an SOS panic button feature, although only available for Android. Your child can send a location alert, couple this with the family locator on both iOS & Android, and you can track the exact location of your child in real-time on a GPS map.
This location tracking can be vital for younger kids. The primary control package for Qustodio covers 5 devices on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Kindle, although you can extend up to 15 devices. There are a 3-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is risk-free.
Net Nanny is a top parental control app delivering serious safety features while being easy to use. The user-friendly family feed is among the top features to monitor the entire family’s online activity in one area.
The family feed shows your child’s app use and online searches. It also alerts you instantly if it detects and blocks your child when viewing pornography, violence, drugs, or other mature content.
You can customize websites, apps, and content you’d like to block your children from accessing, so you do have flexibility on the defaults. Adding to this, you can set internet use schedules for all your children, so they come to learn healthy screen limits.
Built-in is a GPS location tracking service, so you can immediately check your children’s locations in real-time and see where they have been on the Family Overview Map.
Net Nanny parental control lets you cover up to 20 devices and offers full refunds within 14 days of your purchase.
Kaspersky Safe Kids offers a range of parental tools in the free version of the parental control app. You find the free tools comprise online content filtering, app use control, and managing screen time.
You will find this version automatically blocks harmful, inappropriate content, although you do need to upgrade to set schedules and screen time limits. It will cover both internet and app use in the premium version.
Also, in the premium version, you have such tools as real-time tracking for GPS location and geo-fencing, low battery alert, and the ability to monitor inside social media. It cal also offer real-time notifications when your child tries to access malicious content or sites.
It runs on Windows, macOS and Android, where Kaspersky Safe Kids Premium covers one device. It is possible to purchase more licenses separately and makes it suitable for smaller families. You do have a chance to use a 7-day free trial for the premium version and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Bark protects kids from a range of online threats efficiently. A great parental control app covers text, email, and the chance for social media monitoring. The range of platforms it can cover is extensive—all the major ones such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat and many more.
Unlike other parental control apps, which can only monitor app use, Bark lets you keep track of actual content from conversations on social media platforms.
It can also do the same for SMS and email and see the photos they send or receive.
With 24/7 detection, Bark sends automatic alerts when the app’s algorithm identifies potential risks, like cyberbullying, predator grooming, or others. Signs or searches for suicide are immediately highlighted.
Bark offers easy-to-read activity reports on the intuitive dashboard, which is great when you’re a busy parent looking for a convenient way to check that your child is staying safe online.
You can find apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Tablet, Chrome browser, and a 7-day free trial.
One thing that makes it unique is that you can connect unlimited numbers of devices, making it great for large families.
SurfBlocker is unfortunately only available for Windows, though it does deserve a place on the list. For monitoring and content filtering, it still has plenty to offer.
However, it still has a lot to offer with excellent content filtering and comprehensive monitoring tools.
It may not have the flashy appeal of other parental control apps, yet this works to its advantage. It’s lightweight and comes with a basic interface, and the app, being simple to get up and running. Low resource use makes it ideal for older computers.
By default, the SurfBlocker app prevents children from accessing harmful and inappropriate content. Besides, you have options to add or whitelist certain websites manually. Thus, you can tailor it to what you need.
Internet access can even be password protected for particular times of the day. You don’t see this in the larger control apps.
The app is excellent for reducing distractions in the time to do homework because you can customize the internet scheduling and set daily limits for screen time.
SurfBlocker offers a 7-day free trial to test and provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Using a VPN Service
A VPN may not offer all the bells and whistles of the above, yet you need to consider things.
Many children understand they can use a VPN to bypass parental controls. It happens when the IP address is checked, and a VPN changes this when in use. It does then make sense to use these to protect your children while online.
If you set too many restrictions, they will get around it, but a VPN can keep their location and data safe thanks to military-grade encryption. Nobody can see what your kids are sending or receiving.
Besides, a VPN will mask their location when using public Wi-Fi hotspots, so no online predator can see where a child is located. While not many offer a free version, you will usually get a 30-day money-back guarantee to see how effective they are.
Best VPNs for Parental Control
Here’s a quick rundown of the best two VPN services you can use for the best parental control.
ExpressVPN is the top choice for online protection. It delivers the best military-grade encryption to stop anyone from accessing your child’s data or seeing what they are doing while online.
Such encryption is so good; even your ISP won’t see what they are doing on their devices. You will find this VPN runs on more devices than most others, and you can have 5 simultaneous connections.
ExpressVPN makes an excellent tool for web filtering and being able to block access from many online threats. Dangerous ads can’t work, as they don’t know the IP where to send them.
You can also find that ExpressVPN has little effect on performance on iOS, desktops and Android devices. It is effortless to use and does stop any location tracking that can happen with online predators.
ExpressVPN offers an industry-leading 30-day money-back guarantee, and by the end, your kids may be thanking you for trusting them more and enhancing their online experience. (Read ExpressVPN Review)
Nord VPN comes with AES-256 encryption and support for OpenVPN along with and IKEv2/IPSec protocols to keep your child’s traffic secure and hidden.
NordVPN offers the CyberSec suite that comes with ad blocking and malware protection.
You can use the obfuscated servers to bypass country restrictions such as China. With NordVPN, there is no need to worry about leaks, as there are two kill switches and other features to prevent leaking.
The NordVPN network has over 5300 servers and offers support for P2P and torrenting and streaming with the SmartPlay feature.
You can choose a double VPN and a dedicated IP address for more security. While the desktop app isn’t as easy to use as mobile devices, it can still deliver great speeds in most areas.
Like the other premium VPN here, your child can be secure and safe on Wi-Fi in public places, and there is not much impact on their devices when it is in use. (Read NordVPN Review)
How can I monitor my child’s apps?
To monitor your child’s apps, you need one of the best parental control apps that allows you to see inside and not just blocking the app from working.
How can I block certain apps on my child’s phone?
One of the easiest ways you can do this is to download the Family Link app from Google. You can set all the ground rules you wish. It lest you manage apps as well as see what they are doing.
How can I monitor my child’s phone without them knowing?
While there are many apps to protect children, one of the best phone tracking apps you can use without them knowing is mSpy. You can see who they call, who they text and the apps in use, the number of contacts, and more.
It can be hard to Keep track of what children do while they are online. Even if they have a good understanding, they can slip on occasions, and the threats manage to work their way past your child’s defences.
While all the above parental control app options are geared toward internet safety for children, they don’t stop these threats until they reach the device.
VPN’s operate on a very different level, and it is the job of the servers to keep threats away before they find their way to your child’s connection and pose any danger.