How to Monitor Your Child’s Computer Remotely

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We know why you're here, to find the best technology to help you monitor your children's' computer online activity remotely.
We've tested over 50 of the most popular apps currently on the market to find which ones actually work (for us, concerned parents).

Short on time?

Here are the best Parental Control apps for Monitoring Your Child’s Computer Remotely:

     1. Mspy– Records all calls, incoming, outgoing, or deleted text messages, GPS tracking, supports all devices.

     2. Bark – Affordable, monitors 30+ different social platforms, text messages, YouTube, emails and more.

     3. Qustodio User Friendly, web filtering, limit apps, games and screen time.

     4. Norton – Complete online security suite, limits screen time, block and filter inappropriate content.

Let's start from the end, we believe that parents not only have the right to monitor their child's devices but are actually obligated to do so in order to keep their kids safe and healthy. No parent wants to see their children spend countless hours in front of the computer. We all aim for that ideal daily schedule for our kids and of course we want them to spend the right amount of time resting, indulging, playing with friends etc. The problem is that we, as parents, are not always near them, we work while they are with their friends at school. Even young children know how to adjust their schedule according to their preferences (we also did that when we were kids). And as soon as kids are old enough to discover the computer/phone, it just sucks them in as there is always something to do, watch, chat or play. Monitoring what your child is doing online is one of the best ways for parents now days to safeguard their children and to be on top of what their kids are doing, who are they playing with etc.

It is well known that teens are spending half of their awake time on screens, which is about 7.5 hours! Younger kids usually use the computer to play games and watch countless hours of Youtube videos as well as talk to their friends. Unfortunately, the internet is full of many dangers that are just waiting for an innocent child to come online and start exploring. Kids may not even be aware of the ill intentions directed towards them by others as they are still naïve and innocent, however, their parents are painfully aware of all of these online threats. So, parents must look for ways to impose limits on their kids’ online activity and the sooner the better. Monitoring your child’s computer and mobile devices remotely is an increasingly popular solution with parents and there are many different available apps and software that help parents do that. You can read our detailed reviews for each app or check out our best parental control apps section to see how they all compare. Some apps only control mobile devices so if you are looking to monitor a laptop or desktop we recommend you check out the best parental control software section. Finally if you are looking into spying/monitoring apps you can find them here.

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  • BARK – Allows you to track over 24 social networks including Facebook of course and is very affordable at $14 a month.

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  • QUSTODIO – Get an additional 10% discount for all plans. Use coupon code: PARENTAL10

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  • NORTON – Save $50 with Norton's 360 Deluxe 5 device protection package for only $49.99/y.

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Why Do You Need to Monitor your Child’s Computer Remotely?

If you start looking into the dangers your child may be facing online you will panic, probably more than you have imagined possible. So many lives have been seriously affected and even destroyed by something that started as online fun.

The internet is highly addictive by itself. Even an innocent online activity can be harmful if it has no limit. Too much time spent in front of the computer is bad for your health and even worse for a growing child. They need fresh air, sports, and healthy forms of socializing. Unfortunately, this is actually the least dangerous consequence of spending time on the internet.

The digital age is full of serious dangers that make parents monitor their child’s computer remotely. Bullies are especially aggressive online and can do serious damage on a shy and impressive child. There are so many types of inappropriate and sensitive content online, from pornography to violent images and offensive texts. It’s the favorite playground for pedophiles and con men. Your loved ones can be contacted by strange people with bad intentions, and they won’t know how to defend themselves.  A child is not psychologically equipped to face these things, and a teenager can be easily fooled into very dangerous situations.

For more tips on smart parental control read our 9 Tips for Parental Control and our guide on How to Monitor Your Child's Activity Online

What Are Some of the Best Software for Monitoring your Child’s Computer Remotely?

People have been worrying about online safety for years, and the software market has adapted to their needs. That means you now have the advantage of many available options. So, if you’re thinking ‘I don’t know how to monitor my child’s computer remotely,’ take a look at this list of popular apps that can help with monitoring and read about what makes them special.

1. mSpy

As the name suggests, mSpy is a leading parental monitoring software/app and the best choice for monitoring your child's devices without them knowing. mSpy lets you to view the activities of your kid's devices through your personal smartphone or computer. These activities include text messages, live and past locations, calls , social platforms like Instagram, Tiktok and many others.

* Grab an additional 20% discount with coupon code: PARENTALCONTROL

Try mSpy For Free!

Or read our mSpy Review

2. Bark

This is probably the most affordable solution you will find to monitor your child’s computer remotely. While bark is a great solution for all mobile devices and all social networks, it only has a chrome extension to monitor web activates on a PC or laptop. It charges only $5 a month (for the junior app) and after a simple installation process you will be able to monitor iOS, Android, and Amazon mobile devices. With Bark’s easy to use dashboard you will be able to closely watch and monitor texts messages, emails, videos and different social networks that your child uses.

Try Bark For Free!

Or read our Bark Review

3. Qustodio

Qustodio is a top-quality app that does pretty much everything a parental control app should do. It is our top choice for monitoring your child’s computer. It has great web filters and does a good job controlling the apps and games your child uses. You can decide how much time you allow them to spend online using the screen time feature. The app ןד affordable, especially if you only need it for one computer, in that case you can get a more basic version that only covers one device and costs less.

Try Qustodio For Free!

Or read our Qustodio Review

4. Norton Family Premier

Norton is the #1 brand in the market when in comes to online security and it also does a great job monitoring your child's computer activity remotely. Norton Family Premier works both on Mac and PC. First, you will need to create a Norton Account and then download ‘Norton Safety Minder’ on your child’s computer. Then you can see what they are looking for online, block inappropriate content, and even set up a curfew for their time using the computer.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Norton 360 Deluxe is offering parental controls as well as part of the 5 device protection package for only $39.99. Grab it here.

Try Norton For Free!

Or read our Norton Family Premier Review

5. McAfee Safe Family

McAfee Safe Family: This is one of the most robust parental control software out there, utilizing on the years of experience McAfee has from its anti virus products and other protection tools. The software offers monitoring tools for email, social networks and browsers. Parents can block content online for up to 35 different categories and also prevent the children from inserting sexually suggestive content or words into a search engine or a chat box. McAfee also has good time limits and location tracking if needed. McAfee offers a good way not only to monitor your child’s computer remotely but also to get immediate alerts and notifications on almost everything your kids do online.

Try Mcafee For Free!

Or read our McAfee Review

IMPORTANT NOTE: 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.

6. Windows Life Family Safety

Windows Life Family Safety comes with the Windows Essential Package. All you have to do to monitor your child’s computer is install it on the computer they use, and you will have full access to their online activity. Just make sure you have Windows 8 or a newer version so that it can work properly. You will be using an online interface where you can see all their searches and block whatever you want, apps, games, messages.  On the downside, this software uses levels of filtering instead of categories.

What Do these Applications Help you Block?

It all depends on the software you use, but most of them share the same main features. They monitor the child’s searches, block dangerous sites, keep an eye on the conversations they have on messenger, and prevent them from downloading inappropriate apps. You can even decide to block the computer completely if you don’t want them to use it at all.

How Do You Choose the Right Software for Monitoring your Child’s Computer?

When you are reading about different apps for parental control, you need to take a close look at the features they offer. Consider the activities you know your child likes to do at the computer but also do a bit of foreseeing and try to prevent them from trying new and dangerous ones. So, choose a software that helps you monitor your child’s computer the way you need so you can worry less while you are away. But once you have covered the features, also take a look at the price, it can be a very strong deciding factor.

Conclusion

It doesn’t take much research to realize how dangerous the internet can be for a child, so monitoring your child’s computer remotely becomes an important issue and even a necessity. While you may worry about invading or disrespecting your child’s privacy, you will eventually most likely to come to the conclusion that a monitoring system is extremely useful and is required. By using one, you won’t drive yourself crazy thinking about what your kids are doing on their computer, while your kids can freely explore and discover the safe and fun side of the internet. It may be a good idea to talk to them about it before you start snooping around, this way they can feel included in the decision and accept it easier.

     1. Mspy– Records all calls, incoming, outgoing, or deleted text messages, GPS tracking, supports all devices.

     2. Bark – Affordable, monitors 30+ different social platforms, text messages, YouTube, emails and more.

     3. Qustodio User Friendly, web filtering, limit apps, games and screen time.

     4. Norton – Complete online security suite, limits screen time, block and filter inappropriate content.

What was covered on this page?

Mark Harris

Mark Harris

A concerned 46 year old father of 3, ages 16, 12 & 9, Computer scientist "As part of my parenting quest to keep my children safe in the online world, I've researched and tested many parental control apps. I take great pride in contributing to other parents quests by sharing my reviews on Parental Control Now.

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