How to Monitor Your Child's Activity Online?

Esther Bailey, ParentalControlNow.org

Esther Bailey

February 1, 2024

How to Monitor Your Child's Activity Online? | Parental Control Now!

While it may seem intrusive, monitoring your child’s online activity is one of the best parenting hacks in this digital age. Some people may say that it is getting in the way of your kid’s privacy, but for most, this is a must to have peace of mind. From cyberbullying to sexual abuse, a lot of things can happen online, so it is best to be armed with the right weapon.

If you want to learn how to monitor your child's online activity, we got you covered. In this article, we’ll talk about the best things to do, as well as a few of the third-party apps that are worth checking out. Whether it is social media or instant messaging platforms, you need to be proactive to limit your child’s vulnerability in the online world.

Short on time? The best way to monitor kid’s online activity is to use one of these recommended parental control software/apps:

  1. Bark: Monitors 30+ different social platforms, text messages, YouTube, emails and more.
  2. Qustodio: User-friendly, limits screen time, games, social media activities, blocks inappropriate content.
  3. mSpy: Records all calls, incoming, outgoing, or deleted text messages, live GPS tracking, supports iPhone, iPad, or any Android device.
  4. Norton: Full online security suite, limits screen time, block and filter inappropriate content.

So, What Can You Do to Monitor What Your Kids Are Doing Online?

The best way to monitor your kid's online activity is to use third-party apps. More about this will be discussed in the next section of this guide. These apps are designed for online activity monitoring, such as time spent on the use of specific apps, as well as the specific content that kids post on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Some will even provide access to their chats, so you can know what they are talking about to their friends, even to strangers. You will have plenty of options when it comes to apps that will help monitor online activity. Not all of them can deliver the same benefits. Start by considering the price. Some offer a free trial, which is a great opportunity to see if they are worth the paid subscription. Also, don’t forget to read reviews to learn from the real-life experiences of other parents. Plus, look at what it can do besides monitoring online activity. Some apps can also be used for location tracking and call monitoring, among other things.

How to Monitor My Child's Internet Activities?

A subset of your child's online activity is surfing the internet. Most of the parental control apps allow parents to block access to certain websites. Another good option is to go into the browser history and see exactly what websites were lastly visited. You can do that by tapping on the drop down menu (3 dots on the top right of your chrome browser) and click on history. It will not work if your kid is using incognito widow to browse.

Another important way to monitor your child's internet activity is by monitoring the search queries which is also available with some of the parental control apps that we are reviewed on ParentalControlNow. Google Safe Search helps you filter explicit content from the search results.

Here are some step by step guides that will help you monitor better your child's online activity on leading online destinations:

What are the Best Parental Control Apps to Monitor Your Child’s Online Activity?

If you want to monitor child’s online activity, below are some of the top apps that should be on your radar:

Qustodio

Qustodio claims to be the internet’s best free parental control app. While you can get started with a free account, it is not enough to unlock the app’s full potential when monitoring online activities. It is better to sign up on one of their paid subscriptions. The Small Plan costs $49.46 per year. Meanwhile, the Medium Plan is $87.26 per year and the Large Plan is $124.16 per year.

Setting daily time limits on Qustodio
Setting daily time limits on Qustodio

Regardless of which you choose, there are multiple options to control online activities. For instance, you can block pornography, view social network activity, monitor YouTube, and control apps. It even has a built-in feature for location tracking.

Visit Qustodio
Or read our Qustodio Review

Bark

If there’s one thing that makes Bark a reputable online monitoring tool, it would be that it claims to have protected over 5.2 million children already. You get a one-week free trial after sign-up. After this, you can sign up for their paid subscriptions. Two plans are available – Bark Jr. ($5 monthly and $49 annually) and Bark ($14 monthly and $99 annually).

Social media app monitoring on Bark
Social media app monitoring on Bark

It can help in monitoring over 30 social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. It also has email monitoring. To add, you can set a variety of web filters to avoid accessing age-inappropriate content. There’s also an option to set limits on screen time.

Visit Bark
Or read our Bark Review

Norton Family Premier

With Norton Family, you will find it easier to promote a safe online experience for kids. The best thing is that you can try it out for six months before you need to subscribe to their paid plans. It has a variety of features to monitor the online activities of children.

Norton Family dashboard
Norton Family dashboard

For instance, you can supervise the time they spend online. You can also monitor what they are searching for, which is a great way to gain insights into their interests and behaviors. You can also monitor the videos they are watching, as well as the apps they are downloading.

Visit Norton Family Premier
Or read our Norton Family Premier Review

FamilyTime

Managing content and usage in all devices will be effortless when you have Family Time. One of the best features is the screen time limit app. You can limit their online activity at different times of the day, such as during bedtime or homework time.

FamilyTime content filters
FamilyTime content filters

It also has powerful internet filtering features, which will let you block age-inappropriate content, such as those related to pornography, drugs, and violence. You can also monitor all installed apps, including usage throughout the day. Aside from monitoring online activities, you can also track your child’s location and set-up emergency alerts.

Visit FamilyTime
Or read our FamilyTime Review

BEST DEALS:

  • Qustodio: Grab additional 10% discount for all the premium plans. Use coupon code: STAYATHOME
  • Bark: This parental control app 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.
  • mSpy: This parental control lets parents block access to websites, content, images, and videos. Get an EXTRA 20% off with coupon code PARENTALCONTROL.
  • McAfee Total Protection: Save $90 with McAfee which offering parental controls as well as part of the Household package 10 device protection for only $34.99. Grab it here.
  • Norton Family Premier: Save $50 with Norton 360 Deluxe which is offering parental controls as well as part of the 5 device protection package for only $49.99. Grab it here.

Main Tips to Monitor Your Child’s Online Activity

Curious about how to monitor your child's online activity cell phone? Here, we’ll list down some tips that can be useful and will provide you with peace of mind:

Tip 1: As much as possible, be next to them when they are online. Especially if they are too young, do not give them a gadget. If they already have one, stay next to your kids when they are online so that it will be easier to monitor what they are doing.

Tip 2: Know the social media accounts that they have and make sure that you are following them. This is one of the most effective ways to see what’s going on when they are online.

Tip 3: Ask for their password and use their gadgets. This way, you can see what’s on their online accounts. This is a straightforward way of monitoring their online behavior without installing an app that will let you spy on them.

Conclusion

Learning how to monitor online activity of children is a must in this digital era. This is the best way to stay abreast of what they are doing online when you are not looking. Especially with the advent of social media platforms, children are more prone to abuse when they are online and without proper guidance.

Consider the things mentioned above for your peace of mind. Click here for more easy tips for parental control that any parent can implement to make sure their kids are safe online.

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Parental control software is an app that is downloaded to a master phone (usually a parent’s phone), with other apps either secretly (or not so secretly) downloaded to the target (usually, your children’s) phones. The apps then track, monitor and even secretly screenshot or record the target phone’s, with a variety of features to ensure you're kept in the loop of what your children might be doing with their devices.

Because there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and you get what you pay for. To our knowledge, any parental control software that has a free plan either isn't worth the time, or will be so severely limited in what it can do that it becomes useless as a parental control tool.

It depends on the specific parental control software you use, but otherwise, yes. Most devices and operating systems are supported, including our remember parental control software for you, above.

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