A device-enabled culture comes with lots of perks. Kids today are more connected to the entire world than ever before, and that means they know more about the cultures and people all around them. At the same time, all this connectivity can put children and teens at risk.
Parents must decide for themselves how to best protect kids in a digital world, but parental control monitoring apps can be a helpful way to keep tabs on them. First, it’s important for parents to educate themselves about the technology and the danger. Children are receiving smartphones at an average age of about 12 now, but many younger children still have access to, and use, devices. Only about 61 percent of teens say they set privacy settings when using social media, and 87 percent of kids have witnessed cyber bullying.
If you want to be more involved in how your children interact with digital media, you can try a monitoring app to check on and safeguard your children. Here are five of the best monitoring apps you may want to review:
Net Nanny helps parents get control of what kids do and see across multiple devices. It’s backed by more than two decades of experience, and parents can select plans to protect one PC or Mac or multiple devices. Once Net Nanny is implemented, parents can filter internet content to protected devices, monitor social media use, block pornography, and administer control remotely (so it doesn’t matter where kids and devices are).
PhoneSheriff puts parents in control of children’s phones, from texts and internet use to calls. They can block numbers, set time restrictions on phone use or individual apps, monitor texts and set custom alerts. PhoneSheriff also comes with real-time location tracking capabilities, so you can know where your children are all times (as long as they have their phone with them), and it’s available for Android devices.
Norton Family Premier
Norton Family Premier is a comprehensive solution that protects the entire family. Parents can set and control privacy settings across web platforms, work with their children to create balanced rules for managing time online, view reports about where and how kids use the internet, and monitor and protect multiple devices with a single solution. This is a great solution for families that need to cover a lot of digital ground or have kids of various ages on different devices.
TeenSafe lets parents monitor activity on Android or iPhone devices. They’ll see who kids are communicating with and what they are saying—TeenSafe even lets parents access deleted messages, so teens can’t easily hide conversations. The app also includes functions for reviewing web history and tracking the location of the phone, among other functions and safeguards.
SecureTeen lets parents guard kids of all ages from online dangers by blocking inappropriate content, blocking apps they don’t want teens using, viewing reports of internet activity and all chat and SMS messages, and tracking a teen’s location via GPS on his or her phone. The chat and SMS message function on this app is great, because it means parents can see communications via various platforms, making it harder for teens to hide information.
Whether or not parents install and use these apps, it’s still a good idea to consider the dangers associated with the internet and how that impacts children and teens. And even if you decide against this type of active monitoring, you should still communicate regularly with your children about how to safely navigate the internet and what teens and younger children do regularly online.