The internet is host to a plethora of things which is not for the faint-hearted young adults and, all the more, not for children. As to how parents can protect their kids when online, a parental control app is a game-changer. Though most kids have gadgets like smartphones and tablets for educational purposes, online it can be a little scary what they can do without supervision.
Committed to making purchases a breeze for you, we collated important variables you should think of when choosing a parental control app, while also cherry-picking the best parental app available for your convenience and your kids' safety.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
Table of Contents
If you want to keep tabs on what your kids do with their time online, this app is truly a heaven-sent. Once you have set your heart on which parental app to settle on, it should be installed in both your end and your kids'. However, most of these apps are practically useless when not hooked to the internet.
What is encouraged is that families practice a more comprehensive approach to media health, such as having a heart-to-heart talk with kids on what they should and shouldn't do online, and explaining the consequences of breaking house rules and rules on using the internet on several of their gadgets.
Thousands of parental control apps are just a click away for you own judgment to weigh as to usefulness and efficiency. In this regard, we will help cherry-pick the control apps to maximize the purchase.
Free reign as to which sites to block and contents to tag inappropriate should be given to parents. From here they should be able to enlist sites as blocked. Also, some apps have suggestions on which site to block, as per their definition of inappropriate content.
Apps should be able to block access to selected website categories and alert you if your kids have entered another site not listed under 'blocked'. You also can never be sure which people your child is interacting with the on the internet.
Kids may be sneaking their phones and tablet under their covers well into their sleeping time without you even knowing it! Look for apps that set limits on certain apps or games, and provides a review of the activities timelining where your kids have been on for their entire time online.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter are just some of the thousands of other online platforms that are maybe consuming you child's sleep time. Automatic shutdown and time-out features will go a long way in helping your kids value healthy routines which they should nourish are they are growing up.
With this in mind, always settle for apps that allow you greater monitoring and tracking of apps and sites which children appear so hooked up to. Even if these sites which objectively is harmless, it can be used to harmful ends.
By coverage, we mean across multiple devices and platforms. Parents need one device to control everything else, say his or her smartphone to keep tabs on the family desktop and kids' phones and tablets meant originally for school-related stuff.
This way, you can always make sure no devices have been left out and made host to everything you have been protecting your child from. You need not manually install the app on every device you have so long as all of them are internet-connected.
Coverage also connotes offline activities. A number of apps available today can also be used to track your child's location, even without an internet connection. The tracking feature can come in the form of a GPS locator made available to advance your child's safety outside the comforts of your home.
Again, ease of use should be your concern. But this should not in any way be too easy that your child can intelligently find loopholes with which they may take advantage. Choose ones with a dashboard of all things you want and need to know about your child's online footprints.
Don't just settle for ones that chart your child's time into a pie detailing the percentage of time spent per website or social media sites. Again, timestamps. They could be sneaking their phones or tablets while doing school work, so vigilance on your end is key.
For parents who are new to these apps, you might want to test the waters by downloading parental control apps in their freemium version. Freemiums offer app features in its bare minimum, without precluding you from in-app purchases should you finalize the add-ons to help profile your kids.
Most features which may be useful to your needs, for instance a GPS locator or call-and-text logs, can only be accessed through in-app purchase. You can tailor your add-ons to your specific needs so you hardly have to think of not maximizing the utility of the app.
However, this is not our way of saying the pricier ones are more effective. This is only one of the set of variables which must be put in mind when deciding which parental apps to download. iPhone and other Apple products have pre-installed parental apps for the peace of mind of their users and their user's children. But not everyone can afford these amenities.
Click to purchase
Zift Software LLC
Net Nanny Parental Control App
Earning the Respect of Parents Since the 90s
National Education Technologies Inc.
Boomerang Parental Control
Helping Kids Build Healthy Routines
Safe Family: Screen Time App
Making the Digital World a Safer Safe for Children
Pervasive Group Inc.
MMGuardian Parental Control
A True Guardian for Your Child's Welfare Online
Getting You Closer to Your Kids One Day at a Time
Kaspersky Safe Kids
Protecting Your Child in the Online and the Real World
ESET Parental Control
Trusted By Millions of Families Around the World
Sealing Its Commitment to Child Protection
Kids App Qustodio
Protects Your Kids On the Go
Iridium Dust Limited
Making Your Kid's Childhood Memorable Proper Management Tools
Perhaps the fond memories of our very own nannies are what this parental control app is trying to replicate – calling itself nanny and acting like the homiest of all apps on the list. The filtering on this app is so solid it blocks social media sites, including TikTok and YouTube!
While not new to the parental-control-software solutions, Net Nanny has been perfecting their digital-parenting across the world since 1995 and has been competing with others of its kind. Although the premium version leans toward a pricier path, its freemium version can be availed of through both Android and iOS.
The best feature it has is the 30-days worth review of the location, online search, web history, and screen-time usage. Sounds pretty ideal for pre-teens and teenagers who already know how to clear their history logs.
Aimed at helping teens to maintain a routine of their activities online and offline, Boomerang will reinforce scheduled to-dos as it programs shutdown times to give parents the peace of mind that kids are not sneaking their phones under the bed covers. Its freemium allows full support but only for as much as 14 days.
With a mission to teach children on how to prioritize their phone time, this app allocates time limits across devices, automatically shutting down the phone with the parents' authority but remaining accessible only for emergencies. If you are weaning your kid from unhealthy gadgets and phone use, Boomerang is the app for you.
Reward your 10-year old with time extensions for phone use to recognize their good deeds, and time-out their screen time when they did wrong! Engineered with an Encouraged Apps feature, it makes available education, reading, or podcasts for a longer time, while cutting downtime for those not 'encouraged' apps.
McAfee is known to have aced children protection online through the Safe Family Parental Control App built to guard children against harm. Its freemium version allows support for as much as 30 days.
What separates Safe Family from other apps of its kind is its personal approach when displaying the list of activities and online alerts corresponding to all of your kid's profile – but in a form of a letter detailing the kid's whereabouts. You can view your kid's device activity from applications and website access to current locations and checked-in places.
It also allows for rule setting and time limits for apps and websites with every profile tailored religiously to your child's real-life persona, age, and needs. Though the app is mainly made for kids, ultimately, it guides young parents on getting to know their mini-mes.
With a 14 day freemium use, MMGuardian will show you a taste of firm discipline on your child's phone use and screen time. A parental control app powered by an AI, not only does it filter and block social media sites which take up most of your child's homeschooling time, but it also monitors text exchanges.
So whenever your kid disconnects from the wifi and turns to SMS to contact strangers, you'll surely be the first one to know. To further protect your child from other harmful elements, it also alerts you for inappropriate pictures, messages bordering on violence, drugs, cyberbullying - perfect for children whose curiosity of what the internet has to give never ends.
This app has an overflow of good reviews from parents whose children suffer from depression and anxiety. Highly rated among its users, MMGuardian shall be your child's keeper and will serve as an extra-eye in your parenting duties.
Supervising your kids' online activities and setting limits to what they do online is the service Norton Family proffers families whose young ones shall grow up to be known as belonging to Gen Z.
Norton believes that kids today should be accorded what technology can offer, with utmost and deliberate choices, however, of parents who only want what is best for their kids. It is Norton's way of knowing what interests your kids so as to aid you as well on how to approach the young ones on things that matters to them.
Norton can be the easy choice for parents whose children are in their tweens and/or teenage years where they are open to exploring the world out there through a smart gadget. As of this writing, Norton is offering a 6-month free trial with no financial commitment required.
Installable across all gadgets, Kaspersky Safe Kids has been regulating children's activities for a solid number of years now. Parents are shown reports and enabled to customize settings through My Kaspersky accounts on the parents' end.
Besides the typical coverage a parental control app has over phones and other gadgets, Kaspersky also reports on your kids' public Facebook activity, including their posts and newly added friends. To top it all off, it also shares expert advice and tips from child psychologists on online topics. The freemium could only give you 7 days of full system support.
Helping protect your precious little ones in the real world, this parental control app uses a GPS tracker so you can locate their whereabouts on a real-time online map. To make sure your teenage kids did go to sleepovers and shopping with friends, this app is for you.
Showcasing an array of limitations to the content, screen time, and app usage, to name a few, ESET is downloadable at a 30 day free trial period which you can purchase in the premium version should it successfully satisfy your needs as a family.
By logging into your parental account, you will be able to manage all associated devices and add multiple child devices or profiles at the same time. With a premium account, it also affords the parents a Web Guard and Safe Search, wherein only allowed web content will be displayed.
This will be ideal for a family who seldom spends time together, now that each of the members is so occupied with work and the like. With 30 years of innovations to back its claims, ESET has made a name for itself through the trust of its 110 million users worldwide.
Labeled as the most comprehensive parental control app and family locator, OurPact will be perfect for any family size. With an eye-candy dashboard for your kid's profile and corresponding activities, parents will breeze through navigating the app and easily input controls on their kid's phones and gadgets.
You can schedule a screen time to limits app access automatically for recurring activities like school or bedtime. Blocking and granting access to the internet and apps on your child's device at any time are also encouraged to be manually done, anywhere both of you may be.
These, however, are not available in the freemium version which supports only one device and allows one schedule. Designed to reinforce good behavior and negate bad ones for elementary school-aged children, OurPact will aid you in your parenting duties across all devices, internet providers, and cellular networks.
With real-time monitoring of your children's online activities and a web-based Family Portal dashboard for ease of access and report viewing, Qustodio has lived up to its vision of protecting children on the go.
Besides its capability to monitor calls and SMS, it has now been enabled for locating your child so you'll know where they are at the moment. Not actually blocking social media sites, it's ideal for your teenagers whose day is never complete without talking with friends, to a reasonable time – or a time set by you. Most features are not available in the freemium version, however.
Harmful contents are right away hidden from your child even before it pops out of nowhere to scare your kids. Though this is a bit on the pricier side, this allows you and your kids to manage their time online and spend the greater hours of the day as a bonding session.
With over 2 million downloads and 20k 5-star reviews, Screen Time has been helping parents ensure their kids are discovering the wonders of childhood online and offline. It has been providing parents with simple monitoring and management tools to achieve a happy balance across various homes and schools.
Screen Time knows that the time spent by children on their smartphones and other gadgets should be deliberately lowered by parents and other helpful apps so as to channel their energy to fond social activities with family and friends.
This app will be a welcomed installed app the moment you gift your tweens a phone or gadgets as they journey to responsible teenage years. Labeled as the most downloaded freemium parental app, you can always take your chance with Screen Time.
In their formative years, you are your child's best friend and playmate in one! Make your kid's childhood a memorable experience down the road with these purchases both you and your kids can enjoy.
Author: A. Ugay
No. 1: Zift Software LLC | Net Nanny Parental Control App
No. 2: National Education Technologies Inc. | Boomerang Parental Control
No. 3: McAfee, LLC. | Safe Family: Screen Time App
No. 4: Pervasive Group Inc. | MMGuardian Parental Control
No. 5: Symantec | Norton Family
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