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A complete Guide to Parental Control Apps in 2021

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In current times, children worldwide are getting easy access to countless harmful and inappropriate content sources on the Internet, which need more than strong password protection. They can also use mobile phones when left unattended by their guardians or parents.

In times of social lockdowns during this pandemic, children resorted more than before to using mobiles and computers to connect with the world, coping with restrictions of going outside.

However, given the growing demand for internet use during COVID-19, parents need to ensure that they do not access content that promotes negative social values, participates in absurd trends, and are not victims of cyberbullying.

It is common knowledge that adults pretend to be kids on the Internet for their deviant sexual purposes. They engage real children in sexting which is a punishable criminal behaviour and falls under cyberbullying.

It is crucial that, in their first steps on the Internet, children are always accompanied and supervised by a mature guardian or parent who can communicate appropriate behaviours when browsing online.

Parental control apps, programs, extensions and add-ons specifically for adolescents are among the most valuable tools that encourage safe Internet usage for kids. There are different types of iPhone or android based parental control apps that help to adapt to the use of the Internet, based on the age and maturity of the child.

What Is Parental Control?

Parental controls work as filters that allow parents to establish multiple rules over their children’s online content consumption. They are a great way to help prevent kids from accessing inappropriate content online. There are mainly three types of parental controls that parents should be aware of:

Network Level Controls; are configured on the hub or router of your home or office, and it affects all devices connected to that hub or router.

Device-Level Controls; can be set on the device individually, like a laptop or tablet, will apply parental controls irrespective of how and where the device gets connected to the Internet.

Application Controls; are set on the program or the application that is active on any device. Instances of this would be the settings applied to Google or YouTube as a content source.

There are various types of options available, and they allow us to do several different things, such as:

  • Restrict and filter content like extreme violence and pornography
  • Limited access to share information externally
  • Set time limits on internet usage
  • Set a schedule when children are allowed to use the Internet
  • Set up dedicated profiles so that each family member has an age-appropriate access level

Why Is It Imperative to Control the Content Our Children Consume Online?

Safeguarding the wellbeing of our kids in this digital age is no longer an easy task. The rapid advancement in technology presents new and complex challenges for parents to keep up. Protecting our children from the dangers posed by digital technology and the Internet has become essential because the social behaviours of the kids are in question, especially after seeing various unsafe Tik-Tok trends.

Luckily, many valuable and advanced free parental control apps are available, including the apps that monitor children’s online behaviour, allowing parents to establish filters over their children’s Internet activity. With the ease of access, the Internet exposures children to many threats such as identity theft, cyberbullying, social media scams, and exposure to malicious content.

That is why parental control has become an essential requirement to protect our children worldwide.

Why You Need a Parental Control App for Your Kids’ Devices

Here are some reasons why parental control apps are essential for a child’s safety in this digital age.

  • Restrict inappropriate content

Parental supervision is the only natural way to manage your kids’ digital devices. With these controls, you can restrict access to your child’s device to restrict them from seeing unsuitable videos. Apart from this, some commonly used websites also have an age-based viewer restriction option; once enabled, it helps avoid suggesting and viewing adult content.

  • Block website or content categories

In numerous cases, parents or guardians cannot identify all the inappropriate websites for their children. Such websites remain under control by blocking several risky categories. Some of the best parental control apps allow us to restrict any harmful content category. For example, if we want to block access to all websites that contain adult content, we will only have to stop the ‘Adult’ category.

  • Fight cyberbullying

Mobile phones and the Internet have made children more vulnerable to bullying and online abuse through social media and text messages. Various iPhone and android parental control apps allow us to view the call history and messages via Viber, WhatsApp, or Tinder. This way, we know who is contacting our children and having any difficult conversations with their friends.

  • Preventive downloads to keep devices safe

Children can be easy targets due to their innocence, making them prime targets for cybercriminals and hackers. Children are more likely to download applications and programs that appear to be genuine but are malware and viruses. It can lead to dangerous results, and our data can leak and contain sensitive information such as passwords or bank account information. Parental control app for smartphones allows us to limit downloads from untrustworthy sources.

  • Increases awareness

One of the benefits of using parental control apps on smartphones is that it increases our awareness of new apps, websites, and devices. Sometimes we can find it challenging to use the apps and sites that our children use. Taking control of their devices through free parental control apps allows us to know what they are using and how much risk is associated with them.

When Is Parental Control Recommended?

The use of parental control is mainly for kids going to school, between 6 and 14 years of age. It is an appropriate age to introduce our children to the digital world, as they will likely have supervised digital learning in school. With this increased exposure to the Internet, it is vital to educate our children on appropriate online decorum and awareness about the various dangers of the Internet.

Our primary concern about our child online is being at risk of negative peer pressure. Even kids who wouldn’t do it in person sometimes feel more comfortable making harsh comments about others behind a computer screen. This type of behaviour can begin as soon as children get a mobile phone or social media account.

Paedophiles are another grave concern once children gain more access to the Internet. They often use social media to spy on children’s interests, addresses, where they study, and other personal information.

Best Parental Apps In 2021

We have nominated some of the best parental control apps for your consideration and did a trial ourselves, to offer you maximum convenience as soon as you finish reading this blog.

Norton Family parental control

Symantec’s Norton Family is straightforward to manage. There is no precise limit on the number of devices that can be included. It has a comprehensive dashboard, which offers detailed information about your child’s digital activities.

It is fully compatible as an iPhone parental control app; it still works well with Android devices. It helps restrict inappropriate websites while kids use the Internet. You can also see what sources they visit and set time limits for their time spent online, among other outstanding features. This app offers limited-time free access as well.

NetNanny

Being among the most interesting parental control app, it proposes various options and has an excellent reputation in the android parental control apps. Nevertheless, its setup is a bit tough and costs a bit more than other options available. You can buy NetNanny for iPhone as well if you want to protect your child’s mobile internet consumption.

It also offers the Family Protection Pass, which allows you to protect twenty devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Once NetNanny is installed on a device, it’s effortless to stop access to specific websites and applications, and the remote time-out feature is a great function. Nonetheless, it’s also easy to get around NetNanny’s website filter, so we recommend it for younger users who may be less knowledgeable about its settings.

Bark

Bark is the simplest parental control app that we have tested; it offers excellent security. It uses a unique algorithm for warning signs in social media posts, emails, text messages, and photos.

That level of oversight sounds intrusive, but Bark only alerts you to posts or photos that it notes as potentially unsafe. It provides the opportunity to stay on top of what is happening with your kid without having them turn over their phone for your manual inspection. Since you receive specialized alerts for specific warning signs, you can address each issue with your child in the best manner suitable.

Bark is among the most comprehensive parental control apps we’ve tried. But it offers a one-week free trial only, and you get access to control an unlimited number of devices.

Famisafe

Famisafe easily makes the list of our best parental control apps under review for your convenience. The app offers beneficial features like monitoring the location of your children at any given time and place. The app also provides real-time updates regarding any inappropriate content coming in on the device of your kids.

Famisafe is available in various budget-friendly plans based on monthly, quarterly, and yearly subscriptions. Users of this app can quickly provide a safe online environment to children starting from the age of three years and over.

Mobicip

Mobicip can be the perfect option for parents who want to test these fantastic apps; it’s a free parental control app for a limited trial basis. Once you get how the app works and experience its effectiveness, you can quickly get the most desired subscription package based on your needs.

Mobicip is compatible with all types of tablets and smartphones, including personal computers and laptops when connected. It also offers a wide-ranging list of features even in the free trial version, so we will reassure you to give it a go and see it for yourself.

Google Family Link

Family Link is a Google-enabled tool that can be installed on both Android and IOS platforms on the supervising device, while it only works like an android parental control app on tablets or smartphones. You can control the applications your child can use as you approve or block the ones they want to download from the Google Play Store or manage their connectivity time.

Find My Kids

Find My Kids is an excellent parental control app for smartphones; it offers a location history of the places your child is going and where they currently might be staying. The app provides an option that allows you to listen to everything happening around your child. Features like these can quickly help you keep a check on your kid’s activities, even if you’re not near them physically.

Find My Kids app also features the SOS call from your children if they feel unsafe for any reason or situation. Another great feature is that the app offers usage statistics of all the child’s apps. We recommend this app if you have young children that need your supervision at all times.

eyeZy

As per our findings, eyeZy is another excellent parental control app that offers almost all the needed features to monitor your child’s activities online and if they are at risk of any cyber threat. You can also watch the private chats and see if your child is getting in the wrong company.

The app itself is very easy to use. All you need to do is get registered with your favoured membership plan and start supervising your child’s digital wellbeing.

Conclusion

After the recent pandemic, the concept of ‘New Normal’ has activated the need to get digital at an unreal pace. Professionals around the world can now do all their work-related tasks remotely, with the help of the Internet. Similarly, the entertainment and gaming industry also fastened their content production pace, evidently increasing the content consumption by everyone.

Naturally, children and adolescents are also getting digital quicker than ever before. They are already facing exposure to unlimited digital content that may not be considered safe for their consumption. The rapid inclusion of young users in the digital world poses a grave threat to their digital wellbeing and privacy, creating the vital need for parental control apps.

As mentioned earlier, we have shown you several useful parental control apps that assist us in our efforts to get safer Internet experiences for children, allowing them to be more productive while having fun. Children’s safety measures work best when we include them in those measures, informing them of being under supervision with all honesty and not becoming a spy to them.

All the parental control apps discussed above offer great value based on their costs, and these apps are the most useful ones based on the number of satisfied users. So, please don’t wait to reinforce your child’s digital protection and wellbeing and start controlling their risky online presence.

FAQs:

What Are Parental Control Apps?

Parental control app for smartphones or any other device offers parents and guardians the authority to supervise and restrict children’s access to Internet exposure, from harmful content sources and cyberbullying or crimes.

There are many free and paid parental control apps available in the app store or the play store. Apart from this, numerous independent tech companies also offer premium parental control apps that can keep your children safe while they learn and entertain themselves online.

How Do Parental Control Apps Work?

Some of the best parental control apps offer effortless features since they are programmed to undertake certain internet-based activities on the identified devices. As a user, you can keep an eye on the user activity of your kids in several ways.

Access to applications is another feature, and with this option, you can prevent your children from accessing specific applications, such as social networks or instant messaging platforms. Access to Google Play or App Store can also be under your control so that minors cannot make online purchases without your consent.

Call blocking can be activated if you want your children to stop making calls or receive them from certain phones; you can restrict them. It is also possible to configure alarms on your child’s mobile to notify them of anything particular.

Tools like time restraints also allow you to keep track of the time your child uses specific applications on the Internet, such as games or browsers. By activating the Geolocation feature in the parental control apps, you can know where your child is in real-time.

A panic button allows you to receive a warning in the event of a dangerous situation your child might be facing. Web control, for example, is the main characteristic of a parental control app as it limits the web pages that children can access.

How Much Do Parental Control Apps Cost?

There are some free parental control apps online that offer pretty much the basic features. However, there are paid apps that provide many customized features, which can help you better protect your child from online threats. Different mainstream parental control apps have differing costs, and it depends on which app you’re choosing and which plan you will be opting for as you pay for a particular app.

If you choose to go for the basic features and want to control only one or two devices, it can cost you around $10 for an annual subscription but based on the features and increased number of devices, the cost can rise to hundreds of dollars.

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