A smartphone is a necessity and not a luxury these days, especially now with Covid 19 virus around us. We spend more and more time with these screens, Vodafone, British telecom company, reported a recent 50% rise in internet usage across the EU as more people work from home. Kids also spend time at home and increase the usage of their phones to talk to friends, do class meetups and homework, play games and chat with the world out side their quarantine. More and more parents are looking for ways to control their kids phone usage and limit screen time in general and especially during Covid 19. In this article i will go over few good solutions for parental controls on phones and computers.
This is also a very challenging era for parents who find themselves in a strange situation and unfamiliar territory. Parents today need to find the time to keep their day jobs, keep the house chores functioning, manage their kids schedule and help them with home schooling. It does get tougher and tougher as the age goes down for example small kids demand help with every activity.
The older the kids the better they manage their stuff alone and need less help from their parents. All this means that probably your kids, just as mine, spend more and more time on their phone while we as parents try to juggle all these tasks to stay a float. It does not matter if your kids use iOS devices or Android phones there are parental control apps available for parents to better monitor what they kids do online and how they spend their time. In this article we will go over few parental control apps that can help parents monitor and understand how their kids spend their time on their phones.
My kids spend many hours on their phones and to say the truth some of it is put into good use, but just for my peace of mind, i did put parental controls on a phone. There are two ways to go around it, the first one is to do it discreetly and monitoring your kids phone without them knowing and there is the other option of discussing the need for parental control on the phone at this time. These parental control apps and software can help you monitor calls, texts, social media interactions, emails, images sent and much more. In the next section we will review few apps that can help you monitor your kids phones.
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Bark parental control allows you to track over 24 social networks including Facebook of course and is very affordable at $14 a month. To start your free trial click here.
Norton 360 Deluxe is offering parental controls and Facebook monitoring as well as part of the 5 device protection package for only $39.99. Grab it here.
McAfee Total Protection is offering parental controls as well as part of the Family package 10 device protection for only $34.99. Grab it here.
What are Some of the Best Software for Parental Controls on a Phone?
When putting parental controls on a phone, the first thing to do is to look for the right software. If you have no idea what to choose, below are the top options that should make it on your list.
Bark: This smart and award-winning platform has already protected 5.1 million children globally. It boasts of an extensive coverage when it comes to what it can monitor, which includes text messages, calls, social media activities, emails, and website history, among others. If you are unsure, there is a risk-free trial for seven days. Their paid plans, on the other hand, are $9 monthly and $99 annually. This is cheap considering the features and the rave reviews from many of its users.
Or read our Bark Review
Qustodio: Qustodio is one of the best parental control apps available. Their app provides parents with many essential features. For example, monitor incoming calls and sms's, block age-inappropriate content and block games and apps. It is free to get started but to enjoy its full features, you need to opt for one of their paid subscriptions. The cheapest is $54.95 annually, which is good for monitoring up to five devices. The most expensive is $137.95 annually, which is good for up to 15 devices. Aside from family, they also have plans available for businesses and schools.
Or read our Qustodio Review
Norton Family Premier: The name itself is already a compelling reason to choose this parental control software. For only $49.99 per year, you can enjoy this feature-packed software and make the online world safer for your kids. You can supervise their web activities, including social media, email, and search. There is also a feature for location supervision. You can view your child’s location history for the past 30 days. Another good feature is the ability to lock the device remotely.
Or read our Norton Review
McAfee Safe Family: McAfee is one of the most popular companies for online security products. You can be confident that this parental control software will be based on their vast experience with anti virus software. McAfee has an intuitive platform that will let you see what your kids have been up to. One of the best features of McAfee is that your kids can send requests to add additional screen time or unblock access to app/game. The price is $7.99 monthly and $49.99 annually. McAfee safe Family is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows PC, although, not all features are accessible in all platforms.
Or read our McAfee Review
Kaspersky Safe Kids: This advanced parental control app is available for as low as $14.99. There is a 7-day free trial available. Free version available, but the features are limited compared to what you will get in the premium version. It has a wide variety of monitoring features, including tracking location, seeing battery level, and blocking age-inappropriate search requests. Screen time management also available if you need to make that your kids are within limits.
Why Should You Consider Putting Parental Controls on Phone?
There are many compelling reasons to put parental controls on a phone, here are few that are critical for me as a parent.
- Manage Screen Time: With parental control, you can restrict the screen time of kids. I like to make sure that they don’t spend their entire day on their phones.
- Prevent Cyberbullying: Detect early signs of cyberbullying and intervene before the problem becomes worse.
- Protect Confidential Information: This can help prevent kids from disclosing personal information that can compromise them.
- Block Age-Inappropriate Content: Using parental control software is an effective way to restrict websites with age-inappropriate themes, such as pornography, drugs, and violence.
- Track Location: Most Parent control apps have geo location and fencing feature that enables real-time location tracking. In some cases, you can set up alerts for immediate notifications when your kid crosses a predetermined unsafe zone.
How Do You Install Parental Controls on a Phone?
Phone parental controls are easy to install. You will need physical access to your kid’s phone, once you have that, download your choice of parental control software. In some instances, rooting and jailbreaking might be necessary. Some of the apps require you to work through their VPN so they can monitor the activity. Once you decide which one you like, follow the instruction and connect the app or software to the one that is installed on your phone and configure the settings.
Before you decide on the app you need, read our Blocking apps on iPhone guide to make sure your kids do not install inappropriate apps on their phone. If you want to block inappropriate on websites your kids phone follow this article.
With all the craziness around us and the increased usage of phones it is essential for parents to be in control on what their kids are doing with their phone. Installing parental controls on phone is one thing that you need to make sure you know if you want to have some peace of mind. Read our detailed parental control reviews to chose the right parental control software that covers what you need and it will make it much easier to manage the online activities of your child.