Protect your children this COVID-19 season with these parental monitoring apps

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, kids are undoubtedly spending more time online.  Here are five apps parents can use to help keep the Internet PG for their children.

The novel coronavirus has disrupted people’s way of life. As governments enforce lockdowns and stay-at-home protocols to contain the spread of the virus, more people are turning to the Internet to continue their work, schooling, and just for personal entertainment. This, however, also includes children

The pandemic has made the Internet more dangerous as cyber-attacks become more frequent than ever, and children are the most vulnerable targets. In fact, Singapore had to ban teachers from using the Zoom video-conferencing app after hackers infiltrated an online class, posted obscene images, and made lewd comments. 

Because of the risks that now come with using the Internet, it is all the more important for parents to keep a close eye on what their kids are browsing online. Thankfully, there are apps that can help ensure their safety. The apps featured below do not come in any particular order. 

Net Nanny

Many consider Net Nanny as the best parental control app out there. Not only does its features work well with both Android and iOS, but it also has a modern and also comes in a great design that is both modern and intuitive. 

What makes these apps great, however, is its web-filtering and tracking technology. While the app itself cannot monitor the calls and messages that come and go from their kids’ phones, it is able to track location and record the locations the children had been to. The Net Nanny app can allow parents to block certain (iOS) and all (Android) apps that they deem unsuitable or when a child spends too much time on them. 

It also sets time allowances on children’s phones. 

Such features, unfortunately, come with a rather less affordable price. The software alone costs around $55 to cover mobile phones, PC and Mac for an entire year for families that make use of five devices. 

Luckily, the app is now offering 30% off on their services. 

Kaspersky Safe Kids

Parents going for affordable monitoring apps would definitely love Kaspersky Safe Kids. For only $15 per year, parents would be able to access loads of free features that would otherwise cost much on other platforms. 

Kaspersky Safe Kids allows parents to monitor their children’s activities on PC and Mac apart from their smartphones. Its web monitoring, location tracking, device scheduling, and geofencing work well in both Android and iOS devices. The app also has features that let parents block certain searches on YouTube as well as reviewing their children’s search history for premium users. 

Calls and texts can be monitored on Android devices. Restrictions made by Apple on Kaspersky’s features have sadly made such features unavailable on iOS. 

Bark

Bark is another good app parents can use to protect their children. It provides great monitoring features which allow parents to monitor texts and emails as well as over 30 of the most popular apps and social media platforms and look for questionable content their kids could be searching or browsing. 

Moreover, the app is able to detect if a child is at risk of cyber-bullying, online predators, adult-rated content, and even from people that prey on the young. Bark doesn’t seem all that affordable at $99 per year, but it has an entry-level app called Bark Jr., which only for $49 per year would give parents web filtering, screen time management, and location-tracking features. 

Norton Family

Families that use Android devices would definitely benefit from the Norton Family app. In fact, it is considered as one of the best parental monitoring apps out there, especially for the Android, and offers every feature parents could possibly dream of when it comes to their children’s safety. 

Norton Family’s services include time-scheduling, web-filtering, monitoring, and location-tracking on both Android and iOS devices. However, like many other apps, Norton Family’s features are a little bit restricted when it comes to iOS devices. It won’t have the same time allowance, app management, and monitoring features that Android enjoys. 

Premium features for the service would cost around $50 per year. However, parents that buy the Norton 360 Delux antivirus suite, the Norton Family, would come as a freebie. 

OurPact

OurPact used to be the best parental control app. However, a rule change made by Apple in 2018 had limited the features of the app on the iOS taking away location-tracking, time allowances, and geofencing from its service. 

OurPact is able to block any Android app, and it used to be able to do the same for the iOS apps. All of its features are still available on Android, which is great for parents that use the device. The app is also interactive, with the children playing a part in managing their daily screen time allowance. 

The web filtering features, however, are somewhat limited, with the app only able to block porn sites. It also does not offer call and text monitoring. However, it is quite affordable, being only around $7 per month. 

 

Image courtesy of Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

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