Monitoring kids texts
This service's location-tracking, time-scheduling, and web-filtering and -monitoring capabilities work on both iOS and Android, but time allowances are for only Windows and Android. App management and text-message monitoring don't work on iOS at all. There's no geofencing on either platform.
At that price, getting Norton Family Premier along with Norton's excellent antivirus protection is a no-brainer. Read our full Norton Family Premier review. Kaspersky's location tracking and geofencing work in both iOS and Android, as do its web monitoring and device scheduling. But app management is limited on iOS, and the iOS app can't monitor calls or texts at all. Still, if you don't feel a need to read your kids' text messages, then Kaspersky Safe Kids is well worth considering. In March , Kaspersky Lab filed an antitrust complaint against Apple for allegedly forcing the removal of some features from Kaspersky Safe Kids.
Apple hinted in June that it might relax some of its tighter restrictions on iOS parental-control apps with iOS 13, but we haven't yet seen anything different and Kaspersky's complaint is ongoing. Read our full Kaspersky Safe Kids review. Qustodio has software for Macs, PCs. This service's limited location tracking works on both iOS and Android, although there's no geofencing option. However, a Family Locator feature that shows you where all your kids are at once was added in September You can manage only a few dozen apps on iOS, as opposed to all Android apps.
FamilyTime Text Messages Monitoring
Web filtering is more powerful on iOS, while monitoring texts and calls works on only Android. Read our full Qustodio review. Once the most powerful parental-control app for iPhones, OurPact was hobbled by an Apple rule change in late that nixed the service's geofencing, location tracking and time allowances on iOS. At its peak, OurPact was the only parental-control app we tested that could manage or block any iOS app.
It can still do so for Android devices. OurPact also gets kids involved in managing the daily allowance of screen time that you give them, and it does a good job of scheduling. Yet, its website filtering simply blocks porn, and it can't monitor calls or texts at all, even on Android. However, you can block messaging apps, and OurPact remains a joy to use. Read our full OurPact review.
It can also block individual apps — for example, it can prevent your child from accessing Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp and several other social media platforms. This lets you know exactly who they interact with and what they talk about. The program has filter categories that let you block your child from visiting websites with inappropriate content, including pornography, online gaming and drugs.
Further, you can choose to either shut down internet access or fully lock their cell phone once their time is up.
On both computers and mobile devices, Qustodio monitors conversations your child has through chat apps and via text messages. This lets your child quickly alert you if they are scared, in danger or lost.
However, Qustodio is missing several monitoring features. Norton Family is really easy to use, and we were impressed with how well it blocks apps. To block an app, you simply click on its icon on your end. After you do, your child will see a notice on their device if they try to use the app letting them know it is restricted.
This cell phone monitoring program is also good at blocking content that falls under categories like pornography and drugs, and it alerts you when your child tries to view something inappropriate. In addition, you can use Norton Family to set when and for how long your child can be online. When their time is up, you can choose for the program to either disable the internet or lockdown the entire device. During testing, we noticed devices with Norton Family installed ran much slower than when other monitoring apps were installed.
And you can block content, gaming apps and instant messaging programs. Surfie has a keyword and phrase alert, which is a great tool for stopping cyberbullies and other predators. This monitoring program includes time controls and provides very detailed reports about what your child does online. Reports include information about which websites your child visits, apps they use and words they search for as well as how long they spend in each application.
However, its cell phone monitoring program includes profanity masking. Not only does it deny your child access to X-rated websites, but it also checks the pictures and ads on safe sites. On top of physically testing these apps, we research news and organizations dedicated to educating children and parents about healthy technology habits.
Both have extensive guides for parents that are worth checking out. We also spoke with advocates and read advice on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC and National Suicide Prevention websites about how to recognize cyberbullying and how to talk to your kids about online dangers. Cell phone parental controls programs are subscription based, meaning you have to pay either a monthly or annual fee to continue using that program.
You often must also purchase this subscription for each device you wish to monitor, though there are a few apps that will give you multiple licenses for a decent price. Our favorite is Mobicip. There is no age requirement when it comes to owning a smartphone, unlike social media accounts that typically require a person to be 13 or older to sign up.
Best Parental Control Apps | Tom's Guide
Titania enjoys painting and building some pretty sweet LEGO cities with her family in her downtime. Currently the average age a child receives a smartphone is 10 years old despite the many distractions and dangers that comes with this technology. Never miss a Wait Until 8th blog. Sign up today. Why wait? Screens and Schools. Our Team. Take the Pledge. The benefits of monitoring Bark not only helps keep kids physically safe — it can also help keep them emotionally healthy.