Smartphone Parental Controls

September 1, 2022

Smartphones have become an essential part of our daily life. We use them to plan our day, communicate, run our businesses, monitor our diet and exercise. For many people their smartphone is considered the most private object, and they are connected to it almost the entire day. We passed the stage when the phone was just used for calls and texts, now they are portable computers that can make most of our routines easier. Adults use smartphones also for work which explains whey we are locked in the little screens for so much time. However kids are a different story.

Kids and their smartphones

Kids use smartphones mainly for games and talking to their friends. Parents debate when is the right time and age to hand their kid the much desired first mobile phone and the fact is that at some point they are going to start using one and that’s when parents need to take action and limit their children’s exposure to the serious dangers that are all over the internet. Parents today use smartphone parental controls to monitor their activity and block dangerous apps and websites. Parental control apps use the phones GPS system to track children’s position and limit their internet access, so they are extremely useful for online safety.



How Do Parental Controls Work?

Smartphone parental controls apps on iphone or android are apps that you must install both on your phone and on the one your child uses. These apps help you monitor what your kids are doing and prevent them from being exposed to inappropriate content or individuals. These apps also stop kids from downloading strange apps, monitor their calls and texts, and keep them safe from being bullied online. Truth is they might get bullied but you as a parent will be able to know it very quickly and be able to prevent further abuse. Each app has specific features, and although none of them is perfect, they do help a lot. Read our app reviews to make sure you pick the right parental control app that can support you family if you have more then few users for example.

How Do We Rate Smartphone Parental Control Apps?

A smartphone with parental controls means fewer worries for the parent. But which app is better? They all have their strengths and weaknesses but ultimately the price is the deciding factor in many cases. A complex app can be expensive, and not all of them can be used on an unlimited number of devices so if you have two or three children costs will be even greater. They are definitely worth it, but it’s not always easy to fit them in the family budget.

Focus on Features

For the next step, you need to check the installation process and see how difficult it is to configure. You don’t want an app that will make you waste a lot of time and bring you extra stress. When evaluating parental controls apps for smartphone, you must make sure you do have the main features. The most important features are: filtering, location tracking, managing messages, and blocking dangerous downloads/websites. The best thing to do is make a list and check every important item so you can reach the best decision.

What Are Some of the Best Smartphone Parental Control Apps?

If you have decided you need to invest in your child’s online safety, you can start browsing the available offers. But if you don’t have the time or patience to go through all of them, here is a list of the best smartphone parental controls you should consider.

McAfee Safe Family is a great option both for Android and iOS. It has a simple installation process, blocks dangerous emails and apps. With McAfee you can keep a tight record of the time you kid has spent online, and the websites they have visited and sends you tracking notifications.

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.

Visit McAfee

Or read our McAfee Safe Family Review

Qustodio is available for multiple platforms, although you can manage fewer apps on iOS, and you can only monitor calls on Android. Other than that, it does pretty much everything you want and is easy to use. One of the best features is that you can receive a full 30 day breakdown of your child's activity directly in your inbox on a daily or weekly basis.

Visit Qustodio

Or read our Qustodio Review

Bark has all the main features you are looking for. It filters content, blocks threats, limits the time your child spends online, and even has the geofencing option. It’s very user-friendly and you can customize it to your specific needs.

Visit Bark

Or read our Bark Review

FamilyTime is a great option both for Android and iOS. It can definitely help you tailor your kid’s online experience to your demands. You can set up filters, track their movements, block apps, and watch over their contacts list. If that’s not enough, this parental control app even helps you decide when they should do their homework and go to bed. The final price depends on which features you choose.

ESET Parental Control is a decent app with one major disadvantage that it’s only available for Android smartphones. The app works on an unlimited number of devices and does a good job setting up web filters and locating your child.

Read our ESET Parental control review

Why Should You Consider Using Parental Control Apps?

It’s very simple. To you, a smartphone may be a device that helps you schedule your activities and go through your daily tasks efficiently. But to your child, it’s all about talking to friends, playing games and discovering new things. That last part is the most concerning one since the internet is filled with apparently innocent but actually very dangerous things. As a parent, you want to make sure they don’t spend hours looking at the screen instead of doing homework, resting, and playing outside.

For the best parental controls for iphone click here.

And if you have android make sure to check our best parental control apps for android article.

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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