10 Apps for Parents to Monitor Kids' Mobile Use

Posted on: 10.11.2016.

Author: Ana G

The Internet originally opened the world up to everyone, but not many of us were using it back in the early days. Today, you can't think of anyone NOT using the internet. Today, even mobile devices have the ability to browse the web. Imagine, having a whole world of information neatly tucked inside your pocket. Although our connected lifestyles have simplified many things, there are also dangers that lurk online.

 

Besting the Dangers of the Online World

The internet gives anyone who uses it freedom to explore, which isn't necessarily a good thing at times. The web is full of content that isn't appropriate for anyone, let alone children. This is why monitoring your children's online activity makes sense. By monitoring your kids’ online habits, you ensure they don't accidentally stumble upon content that could cause them harm. This way, you will also know whether your child is a victim of cyber bullying.

 

 Image courtesy of unsplash.com, licensed under CC0 1.0

 

For a while, it was easy to make sure your child doesn't have access to such content. All you had to do was install an appropriate program onto the computer and restrict access to content you didn't want your child to see. Nowadays, kids have mobile phones and tablets with online access, which makes things a bit more complicated. 

While parents can't control the Internet, with the right solution, they can keep watch on what their children are doing online by using apps that monitor activities and habits on a child's personal device.  In that regard, here are 10 great apps parents can use to track their child's mobile use.

 

1. Net Nanny Parental Control App

Net Nanny was engineered to let parents know what their children are downloading, if they're viewing inappropriate content, accessing malicious apps or spending too much time playing video games. The solution greatly enhances safe web browsing and management of apps, downloads and time.

Features:

  • The solution comes with 18 options for filtering web content.
  • Net Nanny lets parents set time limits and controls to ensure children don't spend too much time with their devices, especially if they have other responsibiities.
  • The software can block pornography, hate speech and mask profanity. It can also manage topics like gambling and alcohol.
  • Net Nanny is available for Windows, iOS, Mac and Android.

 

Pricing:

  • Protect five devices: average $74.99 a year
  • Protect 10 devices: average $119.99 a year
  • Protect 15 devices: average $171.41 a year

 

Learn more about it here.

 

2. Pumpic

Pumpic is a parental control software suite for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices. The software allows remote communication. It also tracks photos, videos, gaming, emailing and social connections. The app essentially lets parents see how their children are using their mobile devices.

 Image courtesy of pixabay.com, licensed under CC0 1.0

Features:

  • Pumpic tracks all inbound and outbound calls.
  • The location feature can pinpoint where your child is at any time.
  • Pumpic utilizes GPS to pull up a route history - know where your child was through the whole day.
  • Know who your kids are communicating with online: View sent and received messages in platforms like Skype, WhatsApp and Viber.
  • View every photo or video taken with your child's mobile device, including downloaded content.

 

Pumpic starts at $6.99 a month for both Apple and Android devices. In order to use some of the features, the devices might have to be rooted/jailbroken first. 

Learn more about it here.

 

3. DinnerTime Plus

ZeroPC's DinnerTime Plus is an intuitive application that lets parents keep in touch with children, remind them to study, go to sleep or hurry home. DinnerTime Plus lets you set up limits on how long your children can use their apps and devices, and you can also block app and device use during specific times such as exam week or during dinner.

Features:

  • Using the cloud, remotely monitor and manage your children's devices in real time.
  • Easily link devices by installing DinnerTime Plus on the device you wish to monitor and sending a text message to activate.
  • Set time limits and monitoring in real time.
  • Available for iOs, Windows and Kindle devices. The Apple version is for parents. The other versions are for parents and kids.

 

The basic DinnerTime Plus apps is free, while the one time premium upgrade costs $3.99 and unlocks powerful features such as an increased number of devices you can monitor, daily and weekly reports, custom warnings and 24 hour history.

Learn more about it here

 

4. FamilyTime Premium

FamilyTime is another parental control app that lets parents monitor anything their children are doing on their phones, and control certain aspects of phone usage as well. Knowing that children are naturally curious, the developers of the app have made sure parents have everything they need to keep the kids safe from innapropriate content. 

Features:

  • Block apps that are installed on the children's phones/tablets by blacklisting them.
  • Have access to their web and call history, as well as SMS and chat services.
  • Limit Screen Time: Control how much time your children can spend on their devices. 
  • View your children's contact list and add suspicious contacts onto a watchlist to get notified whenever these people contact your children.
  • Learn where your child is located with family map and check their location history.
  • Define speed limits for driving teens and set up alerts when they are driving too fast.
  • Panic Button - A single tap can let you know whether your kids are in danger. 

 

 Image courtesy of pixabay.com, licensed under CC0 1.0

 

FamilyTime Premium is available for Android, Apple and Kindle devices.

There are several subscription plans to choose from:

  • MyFamily plan costs $27 annualy
  • MyFamily2 plan costs $35 annualy
  • MyFamily5 Plan costs $69 annualy

 

Learn more about it here.

 

5. uKnowKids Premier

uKnowKids Premier is a social media monitoring app. By knowing your child's email accounts, user names and online handles, the platform locates social media accounts that may belong to your child and keeps track of all communication on your child's phone and social accounts.

There are no features for controlling activity, making uKnowKids Premier more an informational resource.

Features:

  • Set up the app to send you email notifications whenever certain words show up in messages, including slang.
  • The software will track what the child is doing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • If you want to track location via iPhone, you will need the separate uKnowMobile app and link it to uKnowKids Premier.
  • uKnowKids Premier is for iOS smartphones with iCloud.

 

Pricing

uKnowKids Premier is on the expensive end with a $100 per year subscription. Luckily, there's a one week free trial. You can opt for a monthly fee of $10, or you can save money and get a lifetime subscription for $180. For Apple device users, there's also a one-time $60 fee that gives you access to the iOS support team and features. You will have to supply a valid credit card to take advantage of the trial.

Learn more about it here.

 

6.TrueMotion Family Safety

If a family member is behind the wheel of a vehicle, TrueMotion Family Safety will tell you where they are and whether they're driving safely. The software grades driving, giving you insight into their driving habits: you will know whether they are driving responsibly or speeding, tailgating, texting or engaging in other risky behavior.

Features:

  • Track how family members are driving.
  • Car trips are graded on a 100 point scale, looking at speeding, distractions like texting and other factors.
  • Zoom in on any individual family member, finding where they are and reviewing their trip history.
  • TrueMotion is available for iOs, Windows and Android devices.

 

TrueMotion Family Safety is a free app.

Learn more about it here.

 

7. Qustodio

Qustodio tracks children online activity across a range of devices. It has powerful social media monitoring tools, strong configuration and reporting capabilities, and a time scheduler for Internet, devices and app usage.

 Image courtesy of pixabay.com, licensed under CC0 1.0
 

Features:

  • Set up Qustodio to block the top 10 undesirable website categories or fine tune restrictions with filters.
  • You can manage parental control and monitoring remotely.
  • There are no gaming controls.
  • Notifications are only available by email.
  • Available for the PC, Mac, iOS, Android and Kindle.
  • The iOS version of Qustodio has limited features.

 

Subscriptions are $44.95 per year for five devices and profiles.

Learn more about it here.

 

8. Mobicip 

With Mobicip in place, parents can remotely manage computers and mobile devices. They will be able to track and control settings, and monitor app and Internet usage. Mobicip has a web-based and user friendly dashboard.

Features:

  • Mobicip is ready for a wide range of devices, including the iWatch.
  • Access detailed reports of online browsing history via the app's monitor or have them emailed to you on a scheduled basis.
  • Children can request a review of blocked content, motivating communication between parent and child about online behavior.
  • There is no call blocking, tracking or text blocking.
  • Mobicip has platforms for iOS, Windows, Android, Mac and Chromebook.

 

The basic version of Mobicip is free. The Premium package protects five devices for $39.99 a year. For the Enterprise package, which covers 20 or more devices, you will have to contact the vendor.

Learn more about it here.

 

9. Norton Family Parental Control

Norton Family Parental Control has a comprehensive array of parental monitoring and control features. Much like many of the security giant's products and services, Norton Family minimizes risk by letting parents see and help identify behavior and issues before they become dangers.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com, licensed under CC0 1.0

Features:

  • Use the platform to manage and limit device usage, establishing healthy and responsible online behavior.
  • Norton Security Premium has a greater range of features, including 25 GB of cloud storage, automated backups, and malware and virus protection.
  • The software includes tools that enable location mapping of devices you are following.
  • Norton Family Parental Control is available for iOs, Android, Windows and Google devices.

 

While a standalone app, Norton Family Parental Control is fully featured with a subscription. For Norton Security Premium, you can subscribe for one year at $89.99 or get a two year subscription for $179.99.

Learn more about it here.

 

10. Kids Space Launcher

Kids Space Launcher is a sturdy app that turns devices into safe spaces while kids explore and learn. It has reliable parental controls and blocks all the ways someone might try to leave the safe space. You can stop certain persons from calling your children, can stop click-throughs on ads and sending SMS messages. Platform is optimized for working quickly even with devices that have hundreds of applications.

Features:

  • You can lock a device when kids should be elsewhere, including at the dinner table or studying.
  • Small children who do not fully understand operations can have games and apps automatically restart.
  • The invisibility feature allows monitoring without the other party knowing.
  • Kids Space Launcher was engineered for Android devices.

 

Kids Space Launcher is a free application.

Learn more about it here.