Parental-control apps for smartphones can help kids understand the concept of limits that should not be crossed, for their safety, in this digital world. That is, these security apps could help educate and prevent children from taking certain actions and accessing improper contents, such as texting with strangers or viewing adult contents, respectively, while at the same time, respecting their privacy. If a parent intends to monitor a child/children’s device for harmful activities in this modern age, then a parental control application that works well on mobile platforms, in addition to the desktop is needed. This post will discuss 4 of these apps that could help every parent keep their kids safe online from the dangers of society. But first, in general, what do these apps comprise?
The best parental control apps offer ways to limit time spent on a device, filter for harmful words, image and videos, monitor online behavior, protect kids privacy, track usage and location, and block other apps or games as necessary. So without further waste of time, let’s take a look at the following 4 apps, which offer these features, every parent should consider:
Qustodio is user-friendly, efficient, and excellent for busy parents. The dashboard shows a child’s recent mobile activity for any connected device, including time spent on specific websites like Instagram or Twitter. The dashboard also offers options to set time limits spent on a website, track texts, filter out racy sites, and set time limits for any game or app. It’s relatively not invasive, but still effective – a great control app to use when managing devices for kids of multiple ages. It also works on Kindle, if one is interested in protecting kids on Amazon devices.
Norton Family Premier
Norton Family Premier packs just about any feature a parent could ask for into its mobile-device-management service, giving a parent control over multiple features on multiple devices. A parent may not be able to monitor every aspect of how kids use their Android phones, but with the web-filtering, app-monitoring, and location-tracking features, parents are sure to have enough control to remind kids to responsibly use their mobile devices.
The Norton app, just like Qustodio app, can help parents monitor multiple devices and multiple children. It’s easy to set up age-appropriate profiles on the Norton Family Premier, and even easier to port them across multiple devices.
SafeToNet is a cyber safety company that safeguards children from bullying, sex extortion, and abuse on social networks. It is also a messaging app. The SafeToNetapp is built on an AI environment that can textualize the messages that kids receive, figure out what’s harmful, and filter it before the damage is done. It’s a deep tech, a multi-faceted solution that goes way beyond AI behavioral analytics. It analyses changes in child’s behavior and notifies parents of any suspicious change.
“SafeToNet’s award-winning software safeguards children and youngsters from online risk such as bullying, sex extortion, abuse, and aggression. It protects kids from making mistakes and prevents harmful messages from being sent to social networks and messaging apps.” ~ SafeToNet
SafeToNet’s systems are fully automated and do not require human interventions to review content. Parents never get to see what their kid(s) sends and receives. This means that a kid’s right to data privacy are fully maintained and respected.
Once the SafeToNet app is installed on a child’s device, and linked with their parents’ SafeToNet account, the software scans for any inappropriate image on the child’s device(s). If such an image is found, it will quarantine it, and blur the image so it no longer presents a sharing risk.
Bark, a mobile safety app for kid online, created by a startup founded by Twitter alumni, is hoping to blaze a new trail in a child’s online safety. The software employs machine learning to detect signs of negative behavior on a teen’s phone, including cyberbullying, sexting, depression, and suicidal thoguhts and informs parents and school administrator of such threat.
The machine learning algorithm does all the work, operating in the background mining for red flags. It also works with most social platforms, such as Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, YouTube, and kik, among others.
Bark, unlike the traditional “parental control” software or net nanny-type watchdog applications, strikes the right balance between respecting a child’s right to privacy and protecting them from online predators and cyberbullying, while also looking out for issues like sexting or mental health concerns. And in that regards, it has been stated to have the potential of alleviating school shootings.
The Bark app doesn’t give parents or school administrator full access to their child/children’s social activity, but it monitors for potential issues and identifies language that may be of concern. Codes like “CD9” or “9” – which stands for “parents are nearby,” or “53X” for “sex” are examples of what the software tags in its search.
Any of these 4 apps can be effective at providing online security for kids, but it is, however, recommended that every parent use at least 2 of these apps for a more effective protection of their child/children when they are online.