You can control and monitor what they see
There are two types of parental control app. The simpler type lets you monitor your kids’ activities but doesn’t give you any control over what they’re seeing. The more sophisticated type of app lets you monitor what your kids are seeing and set filters on what they can access.
What should I look for in a Parental Control app?
- Is it easy to install?
Since you'll have to set up the app on each device your kids use, the easier it is, the better for you.
- Does it let me manage phone apps?
Chances are, your kids spend more time using an app than their web browser. So you'll want to be able to see, and control access to, all the apps installed on their smartphone.
- What can you filter?
Different Parental Controls have different strengths. Check what filtering controls are available and how much each is able to restrict access to inappropriate content.
- Does it cover texting?
Can you see what texts your child is sending and receiving? Can you block a contact or get an alert for new contacts? Are you able to completely block messaging apps?
- Can you set time limits?
Does it let you set limits on your child's online activities, schedule specific times for access, or limit times for individual apps?
- Can I see where they are?
Will it keep a log of your kids location and movements? If there’s an emergency, will it help you locate your child?
- What operating systems does it work with?
Make sure you get the right app for your child's smartphone - Android, iOS or Windows 10.
Good to know
iOS sets limits on what Parental Control apps can actually control, especially in older versions of the operating system. For example, you may not be able to set time limits or monitor texts and contacts.
- How many devices can I install it on?
The number will usually vary from three devices to an unlimited number, depending on the Parental Control application.
Which one is the best value?
The simplest way to gauge this is to line up your shortlist and compare:
- the annual fee,
- the number of devices covered and
- the features you want.
Good to know
Some monitoring-only apps also have a stealth mode, which means your kids won't actually know you're remotely supervising them. However Parental Control works best as part of an open dialogue with your child. Honest communication and mutual agreement are the strongest foundations for your kid's protection.