The Best Parental Control Apps
If you want to keep your kids safe online, you need a parental control solution that monitors all of their devices, including phones and tablets.
A good parental control app can restore your sense of control and help you keep a cautious eye out for anything that can harm them. Be sure to have open and ongoing conversations with your children about the importance of responsible device usage, so they don’t immediately scheme to get rid of whatever app you install or find some clever workarounds.
Parental control apps can help you maintain control in a variety of ways. Some of the most common types of monitoring include web content filtering, app blocking, time management, and location tracking.
Keep in mind that some of the products we highlight are mobile-only solutions, meaning that they cannot monitor your child’s activities on Macs or PCs.
These apps are the top cross-platform performers in our testing.
AppLock by IvyMobile
An app lock is an excellent way to keep kids out of apps on your phone. This is mostly for parents with younger kids who use the parent’s phone to watch YouTube Kids or play kids games. An app lock puts a password on your other apps. Thus, if your kids get back to the home screen and start clicking on sensitive stuff like your Facebook app or your banking app, they can’t get any further. We have a whole list of these, but IvyMobile’s is free and relatively simple to use. This should keep kids away from the sensitive stuff until they’re old enough to know better.
Find My Kids
Find My Kids is a lighter touch on parental control apps. This one keeps track of your child’s location at all times. You can see where they are, where they go, and where they’ve been. We like how simple this app is. You open it and can immediately see where all of your kids are. Some other features include notifications if your child’s phone is having trouble sending a location and you can see what apps they use. There are also some security controls, a battery monitor for your child’s device, and a family chat so you can ask them where they are. It’s surprisingly inexpensive compared to most of its competitors like Life360.
Google Family Link
Google Family Link is our first choice for parental control. Your kids get the freedom of using their phone and you get satisfaction of seeing everything. We recommend Family Link first because it has so many features and it also integrates directly into the Android OS itself, a feature none of these other apps have. Some of the features include the ability to see all the apps your kids use, see their location, see their usage habits, and you can lock the device if you want them to chill out on the phone for a while. The only downside is the set up process.
Safe Lagoon is kind of a lighter version of Google Family Link, but can do some different stuff. You can view things like apps and games your kids use. Additionally, you can find their location, control time limits in certain apps and games, and lock the phone if need be. However, you can also do things like monitor instant messages, set up locations they can’t go, and do some other neat stuff. The app says it’s for cyberbullying, but you can use it for other stuff as well. It’s relatively simple to set up and it’s a good alternative to Google Family Link.
If i missed any great parental control apps or other methods, I’d be happy to hear more about it in the comment section.
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