Technology is everywhere. Every day you hear the news of inventions of new devices or new features for current devices. By the time, your kids are growing too. So, it’s quite challenging to keep your kids out of new technologies. But you must limit their usage as they might get mischief willingly or by accident in which the internet has the biggest influence on the mind of the child.
That’s because they might be spending too much time on the screen or browsing inappropriate websites and apps that should not be accessible to kids or under-aged people. If you intend to monitor your children’s technological tracks, here are some ideas you can imply both in your kid’s smartphone or desktop.
How to Monitor Your Kids’ Mobile Devices
There are many ways you can monitor your kid’s devices, such as web content filtering, app blocking, time management, and location tracking etc. These apps will allow you to know what kinds of sites your kids are surfing, how much time they’re using it, or what kinds of things they’re sharing with their friends. But remember, not every app is compatible with all sorts of OS.
Most parental control services work in a similar way. You install a monitoring app on your kid’s device and manage settings and restrictions from your own.
Since Apple restricts app permissions and device access, most of the parental control apps are more compatible with android devices. But if you install a mobile device management system in your iOS, you’re good to use any other apps.
For monitoring Apple devices, consider using Apple’s Screen Time tools, which is Apple’s built-in free solution and also account-based, which means that it keeps track of data across all of a child’s Apple devices. You can find some good app-blocking and web-filtering options within the Restrictions section too.
Check out the list of Apps you can use on both the iOS and Android platforms to monitor your child’s online activity.
1) FamiSafe Child Tracker
FamiSafe is one of the most famous child tracker apps among parents. It’s compatible with Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows operating systems. Different OS platforms have different ways to download this app. Find it on Play store, Apple store or whichever app store your operating system has to offer.
One of the most important features FamiSafe ensures is to keep your child away from violent and explicit contents. If any unwanted content appears on your kid’s device, it will immediately notify you on your remote device.
You can keep your kid from wrong words as well. It is very good at detecting these. Also, you can add your own word restrictions as slangs change over time. Just use ‘Add Suspicious words’ tool from the app.
You can get instant updates on the kid’s activities, supports multiple devices, no need for rooting or jailbreaking, also easy control on kid’s device remotely. Interestingly, it is really inexpensive compared to other spying apps.
But sometimes the web filtering and suspicious features function doesn’t work properly.
Considering its usage and efficiency, we can rate it 8.5 out of 10.
2) Kaspersky Safe Kids
When it comes to restricting your child’s watch time, searches and accessibility to adult contents, Kaspersky can be a very safe app to use easily.
Kids today are getting to know every kind of technology and staying active on all sorts of devices and platforms, which can eventually cause a problem to parents who want to keep an eye on their online records. Kaspersky Safe Kids works well on Android, iOS, Macs, and PCs. You can install it on as many devices as you want. It helps you in every kind of monitoring, including app blocking, location monitoring, web filtering, and time management as well. Well, Kaspersky doesn’t offer as much control over some of these areas as other apps like lacking browser-independent web-filtering.
While Kaspersky Safe Kids is an excellent service, we can rate it 8 out of 10.
3) Find My Kids- Child Locator
To know where your kid has been after school or what apps they’re into, Find My Kids can be the best way to find out. A few of its main features are location tracking with history, geofencing, App usage data, attention signal, emergency SOS button, and last but not least, live listening.
The app is available both for Android and iOS platforms. Besides, Find My Kids can also be coupled with GPS smartwatches.
We can mark it 7.8 out of 10.
4) Verizon Family Locator
Verizon’s Family Locator is a great location tracking app with safety features and directions to family members’ current locations as standard.
This app helps you know exactly where your family members are at any moment you want to know, and how best to help them in the case of any emergency. The app also provides an average speed checker to keep track of teens who may not be many experiences in the traffic.
It will cost you $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial but can cover up to 10 phones. The app is also not yet available through Apple App Store or Google Play, rather through Verizon’s own website, which makes it a little inconvenient.
Verizon is also offering some handy features for the parents. If you’re particularly worried about the younger kids, Verizon may be best, and for keeping in touch with family members instead of restricting them into using apps, Verizon is probably the option you’ll appreciate most.
It stands out for 8.5 out of 10.
5) Norton Family parental control
There’s a wide range of behavior among parental control and monitoring apps. Installing a monitoring app just to spy on your kids is just not cool. Norton Family, on the other hand, encourages parents to engage with their children, have proper conversations to make them aware of exactly how should they use any given device.
Norton offers supervision across an unlimited number of devices and lets you monitor all of your kids’ activity from the well-designed mobile applications. It had some issues with Family Premier’s web filtering features which has been fixed. But it still can’t monitor Macs, and some features could be a bit more robust. The cons are, it does not work on Macs, has no geofencing, time restrictions apply per device and Lackluster social media tracking.
I am concluding with the rate of 7.8 out of 10.
6) Screen Time
Screen Time is a is a famous app among other parental monitoring apps. The app is available on both Android and iOS, with monitoring features are available for free but needed to subscribe to unlock true parental controls.
While most apps have diminished controls on iOS, Screen Time offers certain features solely for iOS, including app management and web restrictions.
From the name of the app, we can guess that Screen Time is mainly focused on managing the time spent on devices and apps. It does an excellent job in usage restriction, but the rest of the feature set falls short based on the cost and makes Screen Time a tough sell at its price.
With Screen Time’s free solution, you can only monitor the child’s device, not having any control. Also, this app is limited to a single device per child. The Android app is slightly more thorough than the iOS one, as monitoring with search and web history is included, but you still cannot restrict access based on time or content.
It gets a rating of 8 out of 10.
Qustodio covered most of our parents’ basic monitoring requirements. It helps you monitoring browser history and time spent on various applications and sites. It also filters out most inappropriate, violent or adult contents based on specific control adjustments.
Qustodio also offers safety settings for any device. It’s Family Locator helps parents to find their child on a map and track their whereabouts or locations. You can add an SOS Panic Button that allows your kids to share their location with all users listed as trusted if they feel they’re in danger or face any accidents.
Apart from that, the app didn’t receive positive feedback from all users.
That leaves us with a rating of 7.8 out of 10.
OurPact is a parental control app for kids aged 3 – 13. The objective was to help parents to teach their kid’s safe mobile phone usage and how to balance tech time and playtime. It works with both iOS and Android devices. The app includes a master app for parents and OurPact Jr. for use on kids’ phones.
This app allows you to limit the amount of screen time that your child has for each day and receive a warning on your phone that their time is done for the day. This helps them to choose what they want to do with that time based on your time limit. And there is a countdown timer by the app to let your child realize how much time they have left for the day.
And most importantly, the Web Filter allows you to block adult content, or block and allow specific websites.
Its benefits bring it an eight out of 10.
SecureTeen is an app designed for spying on another person’s device without letting them know. The app is compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems.
This amazing app offers various supervising functions that help parents stay updated about their kids’ online activities. SecureTeen allows limiting access to age-inappropriate games and apps, determining smartphone use schedule, and monitoring instant messengers. With SecureTeen, you can easily prevent your child from spending an excessive amount of time on mobile apps. Simply by restricting their access to any unwanted websites by activating a feature on your user dashboard.
If you want to keep your kids away from mature or violent content, this app is right for you—secureTeen shows all your child’s browsing or search history, including visited websites and played any video. SecureTeen helps prevent kids from being cyberbullied in text messages. It allows you to view their incoming and outgoing messages and to avoid sexting and other dangers of chatting with strangers. You can find out who your child communicates with on WhatsApp, Snapchat, Viber, Skype, and Facebook.
What’s more, you can discover how much time your child spends on social apps and limit access to them. Teen Secure tracks incoming and outgoing calls made from a target phone. The app also allows viewing phone numbers of those who call and receive calls. You can monitor your kid’s location in real-time, even if GPS is not active. You’ll know everything about their whereabouts anytime you need.
SecureTeen can record keystrokes on the target device. It means that you can see everything that your child types on their phone or PC, including text messages, search queries, and passwords. SecureTeen gives you remote access to your child’s messages, details about sender and recipient, date and time stamps, and email history.
With so many benefits, we’ll rate it 8.9 out of 10.
If you are a parent of a school going kid, you could use it to watch the trail of your children, every step of their way. Using glympse, you could find your friend if you are lost in an unknown place. If you are going to a new place or running late for something, you could send a text to everyone using glympse who needs to know your location and time of arrival in a group so that you don’t have to inform them all in separate messages. You could even use this app as a personal safety app by sharing your location with your friends or emergency response services. This is a versatile app, which can be used in as many ways as its users can think of. All they need to do is take a battery pack along.
Still, it’s not receiving more than 7.8 out of 10.
Before you start to stalk and limit your children’s screens, make sure to talk to them about all those side effects and the importance of reasonable device usage. So, they don’t immediately want to get rid of whatever app you install or find some creative workarounds.
Also, don’t forget their right to have some privacy. Because as they are growing mature, if you try to restrict them from most of the things, they might get mad at you for that. That could result in serious trust issues in them.