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5 Best Parental Control Applications You Should Have By Now

5 Best Parental Control Applications You Should Have By Now

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Photo Credit: Bogdan I. Stanciu via Compfight cc

recent study by NPD Group for its Kids and CE: 2014, revealed that a huge number of children using mobile devices are accessing social media, videos, and playing games online. But, along with this increase in participation comes the fear of parents that they’ll stumble across content that isn’t suitable for their age. The good thing is that there are aids out there that protect children from sensitive content.

Some devices come with built-in child protection features that filter the kind of content they can view. Samsung Galaxy S6 and other Android smartphones running the latest Lollipop 5.0 are able to maximize various security features such as the Smart Lock, Knox device manager, and have a fingerprint lock system to protect children from purchasing apps and using NFC services. There are also apps that can provide additional protection to younger mobile users, which parents can maximize. Here are five of the best parental control apps today:

1. MamaBear (Android, iOS) (Free Open Beta)
This is an all-round mobile parental control app that has a social media monitor system, which can keep records and notify you about your child’s social media activity. It also has a location-tracking feature which can help you locate them through their smartphone. The app also provides arrival and departure alerts from locations such as school or home, and can track if your child has been driving over the speed limit. 

2. Net Nanny (Android, iOS) (Free trial, $4.99)
Some preschoolers are using their tablet to access information online, play games, and watch video clips. At some point it is inevitable that they may stumble upon content that isn’t meant for children their age. This app limits the access to unsuitable material on the web. With Android, it features 18 filtering categories and can be set to Block, Warn, or Allow notifications based on a certain category. Net Nanny also informs parents of their child’s installed apps by getting notifications when new apps are installed on their devices. They can even prevent new apps from running. Additionally, the iOS version has a straightforward 3-tier system of content filtering.

3. My Mobile Watchdog (Android, iOS) ($4.95/month)
Children now turn to their iPads and other tablets for communicating with friends and family. Thus, it is essential to install a powerful parental control app such as My Mobile Watchdog that allows you to view phone call logs, read their text messages, and set Web blocking and time blocking. This app also allows you to remotely block and grant access to other apps on their device, as well as locate them via GPS. The set of controls is pretty notable, but it comes with a $4.95 per month subscription fee.

4. ParentKit (iOS) (Free trial, $24.99/6 months)
If you’re the type of parent who’s anxious when it comes to your little one’s mobile device usage, ParentKit can provide necessary scheduling tools and remote control of their device. It allows you to schedule web access to Safari and other apps. There’s also an option to turn off features including prevention of new app installations, in-app purchases, Game Center access; and block content such as music- and video-based that do not pass its age ratings. This app is ideal for preventing all app access after lights out or bedtime due to its scheduling tool. The app is free to try for one month, with a subscription fee of $24.99 for 6 months.

5. Kids Place (Android)
Kids Place prohibits installations of new apps and prevents both in-app purchases and Google Play access. Like the other apps on this list, it also has a timer feature that allows you to set limits on children’s mobile usage. It allows you to customize the kind of application that they can only view and access.

To wrap it all up, proper parenting in this digital age is extremely vital. Although there are applications that allow you to control what your children are viewing or consuming online, it’s best to discuss with them the reason as to why you need to protect them. Do not make them feel that you’re secretly spying on them, otherwise, you’ll lose their trust. Discuss with them the effects of cyberbullying and why you need to protect them from it. What’s your best parenting tip for the modern parents?

Exclusively written for Falls City Public Schools
By Jennifer Birch