The best parental control applications let you record and monitor who your child communicates with and what they talk about in said conversations. Keep in mind that this capability is almost exclusively limited to Android. The implementation of this feature varies from service to service, of course. FamilyTime Premium, for example, copies a child's entire SMS history and call log for parents to review.
Norton and Boomerang take a less invasive approach and let you specify which conversations to monitor and log. Still others, like Locategy, only display the phone's call log. The best parental control software also lets you manage your child's social media activity, though in most cases this is limited to Facebook.
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Net Nanny used to offer a service dedicated to tracking social media accounts, but it is no longer available at the time of this writing. One last feature worth mentioning is an SOS button. When a child presses this button, it sends out an alert to the parent and any other trusted contacts. The notification includes time and location information and will in some cases keep broadcasting said data until either the child deactivates the alarm or the parent disables it from their own account.
This works regardless of platform and even if a child has run out of their allotted time. Parents who are worried about always being reachable to their kids in case of emergencies should consider Qustodio and Locategy for this reason. Although the range of features that parental control software supports is impressive, no system is perfect.
If your children want to get around the limitations you impose, they will likely be able to do so either by using unmonitored devices or finding ways to wipe their devices clean of the controlling apps. Thus, it's worthwhile to take the time to talk with your child about why you have installed monitoring software in the first place. After all, digital safety and security are worthwhile topics for everyone. It's better to approach these conversations honestly, rather than have them find out on their own and stop trusting you.
Especially for older children, it's also important to listen to your child's specific privacy concerns, rather than just setting rules and restrictions that may otherwise be seen as arbitrary. Time scheduler for internet, device, and application usage. Location tracking. Cons: Expensive. Social monitoring only tracks Facebook.
Surfie is your best parental control software choice for One of Surfie's best features is it texts you alerts This isn't a common feature, which is why it is a good choice for monitoring your. Want to keep your safe your kids safe from all the online threats? These apps here will help keep track of your kid's messages, location and.
Dated web portal. Some iOS limitations.
Here are the best parental controls for managing apps, filtering websites and logging activities
Pros: Affordable. No limit on devices or child profiles. Flexible control of device and app usage. Robust web filtering. Extensive alert system. Cons: Several iOS limitations. Content filtering limited to specific browsers. Social monitoring only covers Facebook and VK. Sluggish web interface. Excellent web dashboard.
Settings apply across all devices. No limit on number of PC, phones, tablets, or children protected. Tracks child's location. Cons: Does not work on Macs. No Free version anymore. Web extension is easily disabled. Platform-dependent features. Lackluster social media tracking. Bottom Line: Norton Family's top-notch web interface and wealth of features make it easy for parents to track and manage their children's activity across their many devices, though it doesn't work on Macs. Pros: Supports Windows, Mac, Android. Web-based configuration and reporting. Powerful filtering.
Cross-platform internet time allowance. App control for Android. Cons: No new updates. No location tracking. Lacks advanced time management control. Limited iOS features. Pros: Good app and device usage controls. Useful web filters. Supports geofencing. Call and SMS supervision on Android. Some limitations on iOS. Must configure each device separately. Requires proprietary browser. It's mobile-only, though, so you can't use it to monitor Macs or PCs.
Pros: Excellent iOS app design. Accurate and well-implemented location tracking.
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App blocking and usage schedules. Free version available. Cons: No support for Macs and PCs. Lacks call and SMS blocking. No social media monitoring. Web filtering only works on specific browsers. Bottom Line: Locategy's parental control app for Android and iOS keeps track of your kid's activities and location, but some design elements could use a refresh and the web filtering capabilities only work with a few browsers. Pros: Easy install and setup. App Blocker.
Call and SMS logging on Android. Cannot monitor Macs or PCs.
Save Time, Build Trust Bark saves you from manually monitoring your child's activities, respecting your time and your child's privacy by only surfacing potential concerns. Price : Free. With a cell phone, they have access to limitless entertainment such as games, music and videos. I only get notifications if there are items of concern sex, depression, bullying, profanity, etc. Connect to 24 platforms to monitor text messages, emails, and social activity for signs of harmful interactions and content. Also, with social media at their tips, they are more prone to digital dangers like pornography, violent imagery and other harmful content.
No web content filtering. Easily uninstalled. Not all features work as expected. Inconsistent features across platforms. Bottom Line: FamilyTime Premium does a decent job of keeping track of your kids' locations on Android and iOS, but it's a mobile-only parental control solution, and its lack of web filtering and inconsistent performance are serious shortcomings. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Neowin. He spends his free time taking photos and reading b See Full Bio.
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5 of the Best Monitoring Apps for Concerned Parents
Symantec Norton Family Premier. Net Nanny. Quickly access text messages, contacts, call logs, block apps and websites, locate your child, and much more View call logs and set alerts to be instantly notified when your child is being contacted by people you are not comfortable with.
Set up an approved list of contacts. Be alerted on any unapproved communication. Learn More. Receive Alerts when your child attempts to access a blocked site. Your child will still be allowed to make calls to designated numbers.
4 Parental Control & Monitoring Apps for Smartphones
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The app is ostensibly intended for legal monitoring use, and there are certainly legitimate reasons to install the software. Companies, for instance, could inform their employees that they’re surveilling company phones for security purposes