With every advantage comes a disadvantage. The digital age continues to provide numerous opportunities for kids to interact and acquire knowledge on a large scale. Younger children from the age of 2 and above are exposed to phones, tablets, and the internet, and this has equipped them with soft and digital skills needed to ace their careers. These skills include computational thinking, digital literacy, computer literacy, algorithmic thinking, and critical thinking, among others.
However, the internet is full of uncensored content which can endanger kids and expose them to adverse situations, which is why parents need to enforce protective measures to protect their kids and ensure family safety. Some of these parental control measures include setting screen time limits, location tracking, web filtering, tracking online activities, and many more.
This article provides answers to critical questions about monitoring a kid’s mobile device. It also highlights the best parental control apps and software for parents to use.
Truth is, we all need assistance with monitoring our kids’ phones and tablets. Kids are smart humans and it can be hard to manually keep tabs on their online presence. This is why every parent should endeavor to install one or more parental control software to monitor their kids' devices.
Phones, tablets, and other mobile devices can be addictive for kids, and parents need to set screen time limits to set a balance for their kids. Also, it is not news that the internet is full of scammers, cybercriminals, as well as other harmful content like pornography, dark webs, bullies, and predators, hence parents should endeavor to protect their kids against these schemes.
Asides from websites and gaming apps, kids are also active across social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Many of these platforms allow the exchange of nudes and adult-rated content that should be kept away from kids. You can set up parental control tools to limit their screen time and block specific content using keywords.
The best parental control software for mobile devices, however, are those that provide details of your kids' online activities on their mobile phones and tablets.
The essence of setting up parental control goes beyond web filtering, tracking calls and texts, setting screen time limits, and location tracking. It also involves educating your kids about the dangers of the internet and why it is necessary for you, as a parent, to keep track of these things. When a child understands the purpose of monitoring their mobile devices and online presence, they will be more receptive to your measures and set up more precautionary measures by themselves.
Setting screen time limits are also important to avoid your kids getting addicted to the screen. Although many schools employ the use of digital devices to give assignments and tests, you must set a daily screen time limit for them. Setting daily time limits helps to improve their efficiency, academics, mental health, and general performance.
It also helps in reducing their exposure to harmful sites which can result in obsessiveness, stress, depression, and adverse development, among others.
The best parental control software, as mentioned above, are those which effectively monitor your wards’ online activity, including their calls and texts, and locations, as well as blocking unwanted websites and apps from their mobile devices. Here is a list of the best parental control apps and software for parents.
Net Nanny currently remains one of the best and most highly-priced parental control apps for parents. It works efficiently across websites, apps, and even social media platforms. Net Nanny is the only software that can disable inappropriate content across social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc.
Parents can monitor their child's online activity and set daily screen time limits for them. It also filters and blocks harmful or inappropriate websites, and alerts parents of inappropriate activities.
Best for younger kids, Canopy parental control software helps your kids maintain a healthy online relationship with their mobile devices. The canopy software also performs web filtering and blocks whole websites' specific contents within sites, so kids can enjoy the perks of the website.
Other incredible features of the Canopy software include location tracking, app blocking, and maximum family safety. However, this software does not include calls and text monitoring.
Unlike most parental control software, Bark focuses largely on monitoring kids’ activities across social media platforms, including YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, emails, and many others. Kids can access the full benefits of social media through the protected lens of Bark software.
Parents can keep close tabs on their kids’ activities, including their calls, texts, locations, and general activities online. They will also get notified of suspicious activities by their kids. In addition, parents can also create daily custom schedules to create healthy and safe screen-time access for their kids.
Every family needs to have “family time” to maintain a healthy bond with one another. FamilyTime parental control software offers a wide range of opportunities for parents to monitor, guide, and keep their kids safe. Features of this software include setting screen time limits for phone calls and internet surfing, tracking locations, blocking social media apps and websites, and even freezing phone activities remotely.
It also includes bedtime features that keep kids focused and balance assignments, bedtime, and internet leisure.
Kids can be cunning, which is why parents need to take extra measures to monitor and control their online presence. OurPact lets you schedule screen time use and set limits to ensure kids do not use their phones outside designated hours.
Parents can also get a live view of their kids’ screens, which is super cool. However, we advise that you take permission from your kids before activating this feature.
Perfect for location tracking, Norton Family offers incredible web filters and monitoring on all Android and Windows devices. It offers an unlimited number of monitored devices and contains a comprehensive dashboard. This software, however, cannot block individual apps and games on PCs.
This is the best parental control app for parents to stay informed in their kids’ personal lives. It keeps a record of all chats and calls and saves them on the parent dashboard for parents to investigate. It stores chat automatically, so whether your kids delete them or not, you can always view it.
This is an amazing software for scanning text messages, chats, emails, etc., for harmful and offensive content. It also contains an additional feature for monitoring locations periodically. You can also filter websites against future use. MSpy parental control is affordable and simple to navigate.
It also allows location tracking and remote control of all your kids' activities, all in the background.
These parental control software have varying pricing across varying platforms. Canopy parental control software, for instance, is affordable and affordable across multiple platforms, but does not include text and call monitoring. So, if your sole aim is to monitor your kids’ texts and calls, then Canopy is not for you.
The pricing for each software differs, and we strongly advise parents to carefully research each subscription and package before subscribing. Our list of the best parental control software for parents cuts across different platforms and pricing.
Before setting up parental control software across your kids’ devices, there are certain topics you should discuss with them and other members of your family. They include the following
Kids have a right to be duly aware of your plans to set up restrictions and monitor their devices. Of course, it might not sit well with them, but you should carry them along.
This is a necessary topic for every family when installing parental control software. Kids should be duly aware of the purpose of their actions. You should explain the dangers of the digital space and why you must protect yourself from harmful content. The only way to protect your kids is if you have access to their online activities, hence, the need for monitoring.
As kids grow older, they need to learn the gimmicks of the digital world to protect themselves.
Frequently Asked Questions
Parents can monitor their children’s online activity by installing parental control software to act as pet nannies for them. These software can block specific websites, monitor their activities, keep track of their browsing histories, track their messages and calls, and even monitor their locations.
When you install parental control software on your child’s mobile device, you will be able to monitor all their activities and track their locations. MMGuardian parental control software is a great tool that allows you to see and control everything on your kid’s phone.
Final Thoughts On Monitoring Kids' Smartphones
Now, more than ever, monitoring your kids’ mobile devices has never been more urgent. Predators, cybercriminals, harmful content, etc., are scattered across the internet and social media platforms and the best way to protect your kids is to actively monitor and control what they see and do online.
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