Parents are facing a particularly unique challenge these days, one that didn't exist for previous generations. The past decade has seen a rapid encroachment of digital devices into our homes. Electronics like smartphones, tablets and laptops are far more common now than the much-feared televisions of the past. For everyone in the family, it has become next to impossible to live outside of the digital world.
For some, devices like the iPad have proven to be a useful distraction, working almost like an ‘electronic pacifier for kids’. Others have become paranoid with the emergence of cyber dangers like the momo suicide challenge game and disturbing cartoons on YouTube.
In a twist of irony, the very makers of these technologies are the first to keep their children away from these addictive devices.
With so much going on, it has become hard for parents to keep track of their children's online activities. Fear not! You can turn to technology, the very culprit, to find solutions and ‘fight fire with fire’.
We, at Daddy’s Digest, have curated a list of the top parental control apps that can help you monitor your child's digital activities. While nothing beats talking to your children and educating them first hand, these apps can provide much-needed safety in dangerous times. These parent focused apps can help monitor smartphone use, track your child’s location, see who they are communicating with, limit time spent and block questionable content.
Norton Family Premier
Once the darling of the anti-virus software world, Norton has expanded to the full suite of security and safety apps. Norton Family Premier is one of the most feature-rich solutions out there and can be used to monitor and supervise on both desktop and mobile devices.
Track and block websites being visited
Monitor what mobile apps are installed and used the most
Monitor social media use and prevent them from giving out sensitive information
Track the location of the mobile device
Set time limits for various devices
Lock devices remotely
Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS
Subscription based. Also included in the Norton Security Premium suite of apps.
Visit Norton Family Premier.
ESET Parental Control for Android
ESET Parental Control, an Android-based solution from another anti-virus provider, is a simple, easy-to-use app that comes at an affordable price with all the basic features covered.
Filter access to websites grouped by topics
Monitor websites visited without blocking
Enter the child’s age and automatically block unsuitable websites
Track location of child’s Android devices
Basic activity reporting
Freemium. Basic features are free and advanced features are paid.
Qustodio is known for its user-friendly admin controls and ability to cover a large number of devices. While it is relatively pricer than the other apps out there, it comes with a few unique and advanced features like a real-time filtering engine.
Advanced real-time filtering engine to block websites even in private browsing mode
Monitor activity on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp
Set time limits for internet allowance
Set time limits for specific games and apps
Track calls and messages and block selected contacts
Device location tracking and a panic button for children in case of an emergency
Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS, Kindle and Nook.
Freemium. Free with basic features for one device. Subscription based payment for multiple devices and advanced features.
Net Nanny is one of the oldest players in the game, renowned for its advanced pornography blocking solution that has been around since 1996. With such a long history, they have the best web content filtering solution out there that lets you block websites, images, profanity and send a warning without blocking.
Advanced website content filtering technology
Image and profanity blocker
Block content based on the context used (eg. medical vs pornographic terms)
Monitor and set time limits based on use case
Receive activity reports by email
Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS.
Annual subscription based on the number of devices required.
Visit Net Nanny.
Google Family Link for Parents
Google Family Link for Parents is a free solution from Google, specifically for children under 13, that links the parent’s and child’s phones allowing for greater control over time spent and apps used.
Monitor phone activity including time spent on apps
Approve or block apps that your child downloads
Track device location on a map
Set time limits and predefined bedtime
Remotely lock devices
Find teacher-recommended apps and directly add them to a device