Top 20 Mobile Apps to Monitor Your Kids Online Activities
In today’s time and age with technology continuously progressing, it is considered backward to possess a sheer utter lack of knowledge in Internet usage. In these modern digital times where smart is no longer a description we give to witty people but to powerful mobile phones as well, it is only inevitable that kids as young as three years old would learn how to access the internet. And let’s face it, when unmonitored, a place as vast and as big as the Internet is as dangerous as leaving your kids with a stranger handing out free candy (Every parents’ worst nightmare). But while mobile phones may be considered smart, do not let them outsmart you.
The Internet may be littered with pages upon pages of unfiltered and inappropriate content that your children may access, but you can always prevent this from happening. Additionally, various applications are offered, paid and free alike specifically for concerned parents who want to monitor their kids’ online activities. Furthermore, these applications do not only focus on filtering web content, but some would limit your kids’ activities on websites that hardly have anything to do with school. With these applications, parents are better equipped against inappropriate content their kids might access and are at least a step ahead when it comes to their children’s Internet related activities.
This article aims to show you the top twenty mobile apps (listed in no particular order) in monitoring your kids’ online activities:
Having this application is akin to installing a parole officer right into your child’s mobile device. It might be a bit pricey for some ($89 a year but $49.95 with a coupon code: SAVE40) but it gives you your money’s worth however as it gives you extensive controls particularly for app management, text monitoring and location tracking. This makes this a great choice for parents who want some control over their kid’s mobile activity. Apart from this, the app provides you with various tools you need in order to manage how your child uses up to three mobile devices while logging a wealth of information about what your kid is doing on that particular phone. This is an effective app to monitor all age groups and the features are especially handy when it comes to preteens.
This by far, is the best paid app offered that functions across various devices. This is especially useful when you are a household than utilizes more than one kind of device. It will cost you $45 a year and it lets you monitor up to five devices (Macs and PCs included). It is rather simple to set up and managing filters for multiple users is accomplished in a snap. Additionally, its mobile panel allows you to block texters and callers directly from the screen where you can review text and call logs. Location tracking features might be a bit limited but overall, it’s a great alternative for when you cannot get Phonesheriff.
3. Net Nanny
This is arguably the best application out there for filtering Web content. It effectively masks profanity and expletives, blocks inappropriate sites and images and gives you the option of issuing a warning to your child regarding a site’s content rather than blocking it entirely. Though it does not offer you much insight into your child’s texting habits (monitoring social media activity comes at an extra price of $60 a year), getting this app is considered a bargain if you take into account the browsing and app-management features this app offers.
4. My Mobile Watchdog
This app is priced at $45 a year and it offers some appealing capabilities and would allow you to manage up to five devices. It allows you to temporarily block an approve app in case a child is gaming rather than doing homework. Other features include blocking newly installed apps until you have approved them and would alert you when unauthorized contact sends you child a text or if your child receives a text image. This may prove to be a bit cumbersome but otherwise useful.
5. Mobile Spy
This app allows you to log up to three devices for $100 a year. Its most prominent features focus on logging your child’s activity. Additionally, this app allows you to block apps however, you cannot set time limits and your control over social media only works on a rooted device.
If you have a child who is more attached to his/her phone than her homework then this might just be the app for you. This app is useful in letting children be more aware of their smartphone obsession. This is a free app that keeps a tally of the number of times a user has checked his or her phone.
7. Mobsafety Ranger Browser
This app is particularly useful in setting time limits on Internet use and web browsing safety. It allows you to see your child’s browsing history and set basic filters. Furthermore, you can also limit Internet access at intervals or times you want it accessible. Above all, it is offered for free.
This limits your children’s device use during dinner time, bed time and study time. It allows you to instantly lock and unlock your child’s device remotely from your own device so your child will be more focused on other activities rather than being glued to their mobile phones. The parent’s device can be anything (Android or iPhone/iPad) but the child’s device must be an Android. You can choose from three modes: Dinner Time which would pause the activity up to two hours, Take a Break which would pause any activity for up to 24 hours and Bed Time which pauses any activity at any chose start and end time while leaving the alarm clock accessible.
This is the perfect app for child proofing the apps you share with your little ones. It comes with several apps available t help you create a “sandbox” of kid safe apps and games on your device. It is offered for free and may be used as an optional child lock. It automatically sorts existing apps to show only family-friendly and parent approved apps to your child. It effectively blocks clickable ads, Internet access, calls and text messaging while your kid is using the device.
This is an app that filters YouTube videos and would only show kid-friendly ones. Additionally it effectively blocks ads and links (so you would not have to worry about inappropriate “related” videos). This app costs $4.99 for IOS phones, and it allows you to create lists of videos that are safe for your child to watch plus it filters out ads and links to inappropriate content.
If you have a teen that drives, this app is extremely useful. This free app is designed to stop distracted driving by sending parents notifications in real time when your teen is engaging in risky behavior such as letting you know when your child is using the phone while driving, driving over the speed limit that you set and etc.
12. Ignore No More
This is an app that effectively sends a message to your child should he/she chooses to ignore your calls. It locks out their favorite activities such as text messaging, games, surfing the web and Facebook until they call Mom and Dad for a four-digit password. This app is offered at $5.99 per phone.
Worried about cyber bullying and suspicious social media contacts? Concerned about your child’s reputation online? Then Avira is for you. It will cost you $10 a month but it will effectively allow you to monitor your child’s use of social media which includes Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Formspring. Cooperation from the child is needed to install this app on his/her device so it is not a secretive spying tool. This app sends you notifications, updates and warnings about four areas of concern that would include: friend related safety, safety related words in posts (mentioning of drugs, suicide and etc.) reputation related words in posts (inappropriate language) and photo related reputation.
14. Kids Place
This app is a comprehensive parental control app with attributes that include a customized home screen showing only approved apps, the ability of preventing your child from downloading or buying new apps as well as a time feature to specify a schedule for using the smartphone.
This app helps you tailor your Android device into a device that is suitable for your child. This app gives you the ability to select the applications you want to appear for use on the home screen while disabling access to all other applications. Additionally, it allows you to set a schedule for the usage of apps and Internet on the smartphone.
This app comes with a complementary app called Device Monitor. This app allows parents to monitor the mobile apps usage of their child, view call logs and check whether the device of the child is online or offline among other things.
17. SecureTeen Parental Control
This app prevents your teen from being exposed to mature and adult content online. It filters most if not all adult content as well as monitor your children’s online activities, app downloads and their location. If your child downloaded an app that you do not like, this app allows you to shut it down even while installed.
18. Screen Time Parental Control
This app would help parents regulate and manage how much “screen time” your kids will get by blocking various apps according to the time. It also allows you to set a daily time limit on the apps you want to restrict access to.
19. Kids Zone Parental Controls
This is another handy parental control app. The chore mode sets a time limit that determines when the child can use the smartphone. Other features include relocking the device after rebooting, blocking phone calls and text messages as well as Internet access.
20. Norton Family Parental Control
This app allows to you see which websites were accessed by your child as well as give you the option to restrict access to pornographic and inappropriate websites. You can also setup email alerts that notify you whenever your child attempts to access something that he/she should not.