The 7 Best Parental Control Apps Worth Using

girl viewing a laptop screen with parental control

The 7 Best Parental Control Apps Worth Using

Key Points

  • Parental control apps help safeguard kids from inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and internet threats while managing screen time.
  • Essential features to look for in a parental control app include content monitoring, screen time management, location tracking, app blocking, and social media monitoring.
  • Top parental control apps include Qustodio, Norton Family, Bark, Kaspersky Safe Kids, OurPact, Google Family Link, and Life360.

As a parent, ensuring your child’s safety in the digital world is a top priority. It’s more challenging than ever to monitor your child’s online behavior and protect them from potential danger. That’s where parental control apps come into play, offering a range of features to help you navigate this challenging task.

Many options are available, but we’ve narrowed the list to the seven best parental control apps in 2023. These apps cater to various age groups and parental concerns, such as screen time management, location tracking, and content filtering. So, whether you have young kids just exploring the online realm or teenagers seeking more freedom, you’ll find the right app for your family’s needs.

Investing in a reliable parental control app is essential to ensure your child’s online safety while preserving their freedom to explore and learn. Let’s look at the top parental control apps and their key features.

Why Use Parental Control Apps?

parental controls

YouTube is filled with entertaining and enlightening videos, but not all content is age-appropriate on the viral video service.

As a parent, you might be concerned about your child’s online safety when using smartphones, tablets, or computers. Parental control apps have become essential for protecting your kids’ online usage and ensuring their well-being.

One reason to use parental control apps is to monitor your child’s online activities. These apps help safeguard your kids from inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and Internet threats. Features such as content filtering and blocking help create a safe online environment for your child.

Parental control apps are also handy in managing your child’s screen time. Excessive screen time has been linked to adverse health effects like sleep deprivation, obesity, and impaired cognitive development. Limiting the time spent using devices and specific applications fosters healthy digital habits for your children.

In addition to these features, some apps provide location sharing and tracking and monitor social media accounts, messages, and emails. This allows parents to monitor their child’s interactions and intervene when necessary.

Finally, parental control apps can also help teach your child about digital responsibility, instilling essential values like balancing screen time with offline activities, understanding online privacy, and practicing appropriate digital communication.

What to Look for in a Parental Control App

When searching for the best parental control app to protect and supervise your child’s Internet and device usage, keep these five features in mind.

Content Monitoring and Filtering

A primary concern for many parents is the type of content their children view or access online. Look for a parental control app with content monitoring and filtering capabilities. This will allow you to monitor what your kids are browsing and block inappropriate websites.

Screen Time Management

Managing your child’s screen time is crucial for their overall well-being. A good parental control app should provide screen time management features so you can set daily limits and create schedules to help your child build healthy habits.

Location Tracking and Geofencing

Opt for an app with location tracking and geofencing features to ensure your child’s safety. These allow you to monitor your child’s whereabouts in real-time and set up virtual boundaries, notifying you when they enter or leave specified areas.

App Blocking and Management

An essential part of monitoring your child’s online activities is managing their apps. Look for software solutions with app blocking and management capabilities. This will help you control what apps your child installs and restrict access to age-inappropriate ones.

Social Media Monitoring

Social media is a significant part of kids’ lives, so consider an app that includes social media monitoring features. This will help you keep track of their conversations, shared media, and any potential cyberbullying or inappropriate interactions.

Activity Monitoring and Reporting

Finally, find a parental control app that offers comprehensive activity monitoring and reporting. This includes tracking features such as history logs, search queries, and time spent on specific apps or websites. A detailed report will give you a clear understanding of your child’s online activity, allowing you to address any concerns and make informed decisions about their digital use.

The 7 Best Parental Control Apps

As a parent, you want to ensure your child stays safe online. That’s where the best parental control apps come in. We’ve compiled a list of the seven best apps worth using to help you protect your children from the digital world.

1. Qustodio

Qustodio is one of the best parental control apps available for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and even Kindle devices. With comprehensive features like content monitoring, screen time management, and location tracking, Qustodio helps you stay informed about your child’s online activities. The app’s powerful geofencing and app-blocking capabilities ensure your child stays safe online.

Qustodio Parental Control
  • Filter content and apps
  • Monitor kid's digital activity
  • See device use in real-time
  • Customize online experience for kids
  • Works on PC and mobile devices  
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/23/2024 07:01 pm GMT

2. Norton Family

Norton Family offers robust parental controls for Android and Windows devices. With content monitoring features, you can track your child’s browsing history and block inappropriate content. Its screen time management and geofencing tools keep you in the loop about your child’s device usage and whereabouts. Norton Family also offers YouTube monitoring to keep an eye on the videos your child watches.

3. Bark

Bark specializes in detecting cyberbullying and issues related to mental health, making it an excellent choice for online safety. It monitors your child’s social media activity and sends you alerts if it detects bullying or other potential problems. Available for both iOS and Android devices, Bark also offers screen time management, content monitoring, and location tracking.

Bark Home — Parental Controls for Wi-Fi
  •  Set school and bedtime
  • Block potentially harmful apps
  • Filter kid's websites
  • Works with phones, tablets, gaming consoles
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/23/2024 07:01 pm GMT

4. Kaspersky Safe Kids

Kaspersky Safe Kids is a reliable parental control app for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac devices. It offers screen time management, content monitoring, and location tracking. With the added benefit of app blocking, Kaspersky Safe Kids helps you control which apps and websites your child can access.

5. OurPact

OurPact is a user-friendly app available on both iOS and Android devices. It offers screen time management, app blocking, and location tracking. Moreover, OurPact helps you schedule automatic screen time allowances, giving your child more freedom while ensuring they don’t overuse their device.

6. Google Family Link

With Google Family Link, you can access essential parental control features for managing your child’s Android devices. The app helps you monitor your child’s screen time, set content restrictions, and approve or block apps. Google Family Link also provides a location tracking feature to keep track of your child’s whereabouts.

7. Life360

Life360 is not only a parental control app but also a family locator. It excels in location tracking and geofencing, ensuring you always know where your family members are. While it doesn’t offer content monitoring or app-blocking features, it’s ideal for families looking for location tracking and safety tools.

Safety Tips to Protect Your Children Online

In addition to using a parental control app, you can implement several other safety measures to help protect your family online. Incorporating best practices, setting up safe search filters, and utilizing web filters can go a long way in ensuring online safety for your loved ones.

First, teach your children the importance of not sharing personal information online and the potential dangers of interacting with strangers. Establish boundaries and guidelines to help them make wise decisions online.

Second, enable safe search settings on search engines such as Google to prevent explicit results from appearing in your child’s searches. Some parental control apps can offer real-time monitoring and alerts for dangerous online activities.

Third, you can set up web filters in your browser or use a parental control app with this feature to block access to inappropriate websites and content. This is especially useful for younger children who might inadvertently stumble upon unsuitable material.

Fourth, keep track of your loved ones’ whereabouts using a family locator feature available in many parental control apps. This is especially helpful for parents with older kids who are out on their own more often.

Finally, install a reputable antivirus program to protect against viruses, malware, and other cyber threats. Ensure you regularly update the software to ensure the highest level of security.

By implementing these additional safety tips and combining them with a reliable parental control app, you can confidently provide your family with a safe online experience.

Wrap Up

After exploring and testing various parental control apps, it’s evident there are several excellent options available for keeping an eye on your child’s online activities. Each app offers different features and caters to other age groups. So, evaluating which one best suits your family’s needs is essential.

Remember that while technology can be a helpful tool in ensuring your child’s safety online, it’s also essential to establish an open and honest dialogue with them about the risks and responsibilities of using the Internet. This, along with the support of a reliable parental control app, will provide you with peace of mind and confidence as a parent in the digital age.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are parental control apps compatible with all types of devices?

Most parental control apps work across multiple platforms and devices, but features can vary depending on the device’s operating system. Most of the options above work across nearly all desktop and mobile devices.

Can children easily bypass parental control apps?

Bypassing parental control apps depends on the child’s tech proficiency and the app’s security features. No app is completely tamper-proof.

Are parental control apps legal and ethical to use?

Parental control apps are legal, but should be used ethically, with transparency and the child’s understanding to maintain trust. They shouldn’t be used as a way to spy on your kids, but instead a way to keep them safe and healthy online.

What are the key features to look for in a parental control app?

Look for features like content filtering, screen time management, location tracking, app control, call and message monitoring, safe search enforcement, and regular reports/alerts.

What are the potential downsides of using parental control apps?

While parental control apps help filter content and set usage limits, they may end up blocking useful resources and can’t filter all harmful content. Also, their use may affect a child’s trust, if their use isn’t communicated up front.

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