In this digital era, technology has a significant impact on our lives, either in a good way or in a bad way. Internet – connecting the whole world in a single loop – is the backbone of this prime technology which is powerful, captivating, interesting, and terrifying. It has radically shaped our culture, media, commerce, and many other sectors. But, there are plenteous dangers that also come with these benefits, including scary apps, websites, and pedophiles. Every single parent needs to be aware of how the misuse of technology can also be a perilous place, especially for kids.
Either on purpose or by accident, kids can easily get into all sorts of mischief on their smartphones. The alarming technology concerns for parents include smartphone addiction, communication with pedophiles, health hazards, and many others. In any case, having an open and ongoing discussion with your kids about the responsible device usage is the first and the most significant step.
Even if you have discussed with your kids and set some ground rules about screen time limitations and responsible online behavior, managing their online activities is still tough when you are not around them. Banning technology altogether is not the solution to the problem, but rather to develop a healthy environment in which your kid can maximize the value of the device while controlling its downsides and misuse.
The foremost and tranquil solution to this problem is parental control apps!
Parental control apps can help you restore your sense of control. These apps merely control and monitor the online activities of your kids, from the amount of time they spend online to filtering the content they see when you are not around them. As there are plenteous apps available in the market, choosing the best parental control app has become a hectic task. But, here we have provided you a brief guide to all the top-rated parental control apps and how you can use them to ensure the safety of your kids. Our evaluation criterion is based on some basic factors, including pricing, ease of usage, functionality, compatibility, and customer support services.
Most parental control apps offer a variety of functionality, including:
Most parental control apps for Android and iOS offer their services by charging monthly or annual subscription fee ranging from $10 to more than $100. Most commonly, these apps work by installing the app onto the child's devices. Parents are provided a secure online web portal to monitor and control all the digital activities of their kids. Offered features may vary from platform to platform, so make sure you choose the best app that can work on your child's device and provide you with every possible information you need.
Xnspy is an all-in-one monitoring solution that enables you to keep track of the digital activities of your kids, even when you are not around them. Its user-friendly controls and advanced functionality make this app one of the best parental control apps. Xnspy lets you filter inappropriate content including pornography or adult content by simply blocking sites or apps remotely, without letting your kids know. Xnspy lets you set virtual boundaries for your kids to make this world a safer place for them.
Android: Compatible with all Android devices running between Android 4.0 and 11.0.
iOS: Compatible with all iOS devices running between iOS 6.0 and 14.6
Xnspy offers bounteous powerful and unique features, including:
Xnspy provides 24/7 online customer support service.
If your kids are always glued to their devices, and you want to teach them how to balance their online time, Unglue is the best parental control app you need. Unglue enables you to set screentime restrictions and internet schedules for your children. You can get an instant alert if your kid's screentime limit is consumed. You can teach your kids how to manage their entertainment time as kids can view their own screentime, check their usage schedules, earn more time by doing chores, and even add up their unused minutes for next day or any particular day of their choice.
iOS version: UnGlue supports iOS devices with operating systems version 9.0 and up
Android: It works with Android devices running Android 4.4 and upwards.
Unglue doesn’t provide customer support service. You can only get assistance from the online support articles available on their website.
mSpy is one of the popular parental control apps that makes your digital monitoring task easy. Its hustle-free installation, easy functionality, and advanced parental controls have made it popular among parents. It enables you to track the whereabouts of your kids, anytime and anywhere. With the help of this monitoring app, you can reach out to your kid timely if they need help.
Android version: Compatible with Android device running OS 4.0 and above
iOS version: Compatible with iOS devices running iOS 7–8.4; 9.0–9.1
mSpy offers 24/7 customer support service through live chat.
WebWatcher is another widely-used child tracking app that lets you monitor location, calls, and messages of your kids. It allows you to control the online activities of your kids in stealth mode. You can become a responsible digital parent by protecting your kids against different kinds of online and offline dangers. WebWatcher is a multi-featured app that covers as many parts of your kid’s life as possible. By letting parents monitor their children’s phone details, including contacts, photos, messages, bookmarks, and others, WebWatcher ensures that your kids are safe from the digital perils.
Android version: Works with Android OS devices running OS between 2.2 and 6.0.1
iOS version: Works with iOS devices running iOS between 6.0 and 11.2
WebWatcher offers customer support service, but it is based on the ticketing system.
FamilyTime offers a variety of comprehensive monitoring features. You can track and control the time your kids spend on their devices. FamilyTime is easy to install and set up. It is a flexible screen time parental control app that prevents kids from wasting time on the internet, apps, and games.
Compatible with all Android and iOS devices
FamilyTime offers 24/7 customer support service.
Flexispy is a powerful monitoring tool that is easily installed on any Android or iOS device. It can be used to ensure your kids digital and real-life safety. Once installed, Flexispy takes control of the device and enables you to keep tabs on all the communication and activities from any computer with a web browser. No matter where you are, you can know everything that is happening on your kid’s device.
Android OS – Compatible with all Android OS versions from 4.0.3 to 9
Apple iOS – Compatible with all iOS versions up to 9.1; iOS 9.2 – 11.4.1 supports tethered mode only
Yes, Flexispy also offers online customer support service.
Norton Family Premier enables you to keep track of your kids’ activities and their whereabouts by providing you an impressive range of parental control and monitoring features. It lets you make the web safer for your kids; helps your kids balance their online time; provides insights into the search terms; flags unsafe behavior, and provides summary reports on their online activities. Norton Family Premier enables you to monitor social network activities so you can talk to your kids about smart social media habits.
Android OS – requires Android OS 4 or later
Apple iOS – requires iOS 9 or later
First-year subscription for $49.99 (plus Tax)
Renewal price depends on the features you opt.
Norton Family Premier does not offer an online customer support service.
SecureTeen is another commonly used monitoring application, developed especially for parents. It assists parents to know where their kids are and what they are doing. With this powerful app, parents can know everything about their kids’ SMS messages, GPS location, web searches, and activities on social media. With the help of this software, parents can protect their children from bad stuff on the web, including pornography, violence, gambling, etc.
Android – works with all the devices running Android OS 2.2 and above
Apple – works with all the devices running iOS 5 and above
SecureTeen offers online customer support service.
Qustodio is another extensively-used parental monitoring software mostly preferred by Android users. It enables you to regulate your kid’s online activities by staying patient and friendly. Nowadays, kids spend more time connected than ever before. Qustodio lets you schedule their screen time to help them refocus on other activities.
Android – works on all smartphones and tablets running Android 4.0 and up
Apple - works on all iPhones, iPads, and iPods running iOS 9.0 and up.
Qustodio doesn’t offer customer support service.
Net Nanny makes your parenting task easy by providing you an overview of all your family’s online activities at the tip of your fingers. This information assists you in making informed decisions about your child’s phone usage and keeps them safe and protected online. With the rising concerns of cyberbullying, sexting, and suicide among teens, parents can monitor their children’s Internet use and filter out inappropriate content to ensure their digital safety.
Android – supports Android 5.1 and higher
Apple iOS – supports iOS 11 and higher
Net Nanny doesn't offer online customer support service. It offers a ticketing system. You can enter your query details, and the help desk will contact you based on the ticket.
Due to the dynamic nature of most of these apps, we have had a pretty hard time making a decision as to who should get the number 1 spot on our list. But if you could look from our perspective, you will also see why Xnspy is better.
If you didn’t notice, most of the apps discussed above are aiming at controlling the screentime of your children, not realizing that both Android and iOS have their own built-in parental controls. Therefore, Xnspy doesn’t focus on providing the same or tweaked version of something that parents could already use and that too for free. Xnspy helps parents look into a different side of children safety. It helps you look for signs that could tell if your child is depressed, if he had been making bad friends, or visiting dangerous places. And Xnspy gets you all this information in time with its email notifications. Xnspy also gives parents a certain level of control over their children’s smartphones, like when to lock their phones.
Our suggestion: If you need a screentime app, use the built-in parental controls; if you need something more than that, then try Xnspy! It’s affordable and works great all the time.
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