The Internet is a wonderful source of entertainment and information for both parents and kids. For moms and dads who want to monitor their child's Internet usage more carefully, however, there are several user-friendly options to do so. The services below can help kids develop safer habits online and give parents more opportunities to keep track of what their kids are up to. Although this may seem like an invasion of privacy, when it comes to younger children, sometimes these services can come in handy. Keep reading to see which services fit your family's need for safer online browsing.
This monitoring service allows parents of teens to remotely monitor an iPhone or Android phone's usage.
How it works: A seven-day free trial will let parents track their children's social media activities, like what they're posting on Facebook or Instagram. The service also gives parents access to their child's web browsing and search history, phone calls, texts, and messages sent through WhatsApp and Kik Messenger. In addition, parents can view their child's smartphone location.
2. My Mobile Watchdog
Parents can monitor their child's mobile activities from either a computer or through an iPhone or Android.
How it works: My Mobile Watchdog automatically keeps all your child's contacts synced so you can see who they're communicating with. You can also block certain apps from working on their phones and block any websites you feel aren't appropriate.
3. Kids Place
The comprehensive parental-control app lets parents restrict what apps their children can use on their smartphones.
How it works: The free app can easily be installed on your computer. Once installed, you can customize your child's home screen to show only approved apps and specify a schedule for when they can use the smartphone.
The app allows parents to monitor app usage, view call logs, and check whether the device is online or not.
How it works: The free Abeona app also comes with a complementary app called Device Monitor. It has to be installed on your child's device so that parents can receive reports of device usage and location.
5. Screen Time Parental Control
This free app will help limit how much screen time your little ones get.
How it works: Once installed, parents can choose when they want to block the apps and also set a daily time limit on apps they want to restrict access to.
6. K9 Web Protection Browser
For iPhone users, this parental-control app will block inappropriate or potentially harmful sites.
How it works: Pornography and malicious sites will be automatically blocked once you install the app, which is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
7. Kid-Safe YouTube Lite
This free app will let parents filter YouTube videos.
How it works: Kid-Safe lets parents have more control over what their children watch. The app automatically blocks adult-related content, and you can also create a parent-approved collection of content for children.
8. McGruff SafeGuard
The parental-control service filters the web to ensure child-safe browsing for iPhones and iPads.
How it works: With a 30-day free trial, parents can block certain sites by age or category. They can also receive daily summaries of a child's online activity via email.
For Verizon users, FamilyBase is a safety service that lets parents monitor their kids' social networks and who they're calling and texting.
How it works: To monitor a child's mobile activity, parents can use the Parent app by logging into My Verizon and set up daily alerts or summaries. The analyses will let parents know who their kids talk to the most, and parents can also block certain numbers from calling their kids' mobiles.
10. Net Nanny
The software protects families from pornography, online predators, and cyberbullying.
How it works: For $40 a year, the software offers features to protect the whole family, not just kids. Parents can set the total number of Internet hours their kids can use in addition to monitoring their social media use.