Long gone are the days when children didn’t have access to the internet or smartphones. We cannot imagine a world without the internet anymore. High-speed internet like 5G and affordable internet packages like the Spectrum mobile plans have made it more accessible than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic and worldwide lockdowns also had a lot to do with increased internet usage. Under the current circumstances, it can be impossible to reduce your child’s screen time.
However, the internet can be a dark and disturbing place for teens and children. As a parent you may be afraid of cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and social media addiction. Cutting your kids off from the internet is no longer an option. But you can control how much access they have online. Here are some of the best parental control apps that can allow you to put precautions and necessary restrictions in place.
mSpy has been on the market for over a decade and is one of the most discreet child-monitoring apps. It can be ideal for you if you want to monitor your child’s social media activity, messages, and online clicks while camouflaging in the background. Your child will never find out they’re being watched and you can maintain their privacy curtain as well. Parents can even monitor their child’s location through the built-in GPS. You can mark safe zones such as your home, school, and grandparent’s home and get alerts when your child leaves the premises.
mSpy works completely in the background and can scan text messages and social media that your child uses frequently. You can set up alerts for inappropriate words, phrases, or pictures for the app to look out for. The app is very easy to install and navigate and non-tech-savvy parents can also work their way around it. It refreshes every five minutes to ensure round-the-clock monitoring.
Qustodio comes with a basic free plan and a paid subscription. It is one of the best apps if your main concern is social media usage, inappropriate games, and search engine results. The free version of the app is available for Windows, Mac, Kindle, Android, and iOS devices. You can track social media logins, set up time controls to reduce screen time, and set up alerts for inappropriate keyword searches. The paid premium version improves the experience and you can block games, track calls, and text messages, and also tell your child’s location.
Even though they have a paid version of the app, you can do so much with the free version too. It is one of the best free parental control apps to get. Moreover, it is super discreet and even the nosiest teen won’t find out that they’re being watched.
MamaBear is a great app and improves what content you can block by offering a restricted word list. For example, you can block all pornographic and explicit websites by curating a list of all relevant keywords to such websites. Webpages that have even one of those keywords on them will not show up in their search results. This allows parents peace of mind like no other because all you have to do is block keywords to block entire websites.
There are many other useful features as well that make MamaBear a top choice for parental controls. You can monitor their social media and find out when they’re posting pictures or who they are interacting with. The keyword blocking features works on social media as well. And the app can make you aware of any inappropriate words or cyberbullying posts on your kid’s profile.
If you have multiple children in different age groups, this Family Pass can be the best option for you. The software can be installed on iOS, Mac, Androids, and Windows. However, there are different versions compatible with the different operating systems. You can set up different restrictions for each child’s profile. The web filters are different for each age group such as child, pre-teen, teen, and adult.
You can set the same software up for up to ten different devices and set up as many profiles as you want. One of the most interesting features is the profanity masking on filtered or blocked websites. If your child needs one-off access to such a website for a school project you can use this feature to mask any profanity or inappropriate words. As a result, your child will read the good part only.
All parents have different parenting styles and no two kids are the same as well. The most these apps can do is help you implement your own parenting style in a better way. You can still decide what content you think is age-appropriate for your child. The apps are only an accessory to help you guide your boat through the rough waters of the online world.