The Best Cyber Safety Apps for Parents in 2021December 28, 2020
Kids use their internet enabled devices all the time. They use them for learning and entertainment, including social media. The need to keep our kids protected from unwanted influences is paramount. Ensuring their safety from external elements is one thing. We must also get an insight into their situations and mindsets so we can better support them. The way to do this is to get a glimpse into their online activities. Here is a look at some of the tools which enable parents to accomplish this.
Choosing the right Safety App
Keeping kids safe online is an ongoing struggle. It is more challenging than ensuring safety when we send money online. There are a range of parental control apps out there. Our task is to find the best one for our child’s devices. According to web analytics firm StatCounter, Android, Windows, and iOS hold a combined 87.77% of market share in cyber safety software.
Having too many monitoring apps can be overwhelming and unnecessarily expensive. Identifying the activity we want to track is a good start. Do we want to monitor cyber bullying, inappropriate content, or search queries from our kids’ devices? The right app can help us do what we aim to with cost and time efficiency. Here is a short selection.
Free version available. Annual subscription: Small $49.46, Medium $87.26, Large $124.16
Qustodio is a geofencing and notification tool that monitors and tracks kids’ online activities. It also blocks dangerous sites and protects kids from online bullying. It has a simple interface for setting generic preferences, managing other apps, and adjusting content filters. The free version offers basic functions to protect a single device. With the premium version parents can do more granular monitoring and exercise better control. That includes texting, location, social platforms, games, unwanted content filters, time limits, and so on. The premium version works on multiple devices simultaneously. Qustodio is available for Windows, iOS, Android, Nook, and Kindle. It works with phones, PCs, tablets, and Amazon Fire tabs. Qustodio has recorded 45,000 downloads from Google Play Store.
Free version available. Annual subscription: Standard $29.00, Professional $89.00
Kid Logger offers flexibility like no other parental control app. Parents can choose to monitor everything on kids’ devices or choose to give them some privacy. Kid Logger tracks screenshots, search history, voice notes on WhatsApp, Skype calls, and more. The free version of Kid Logger is ideal for one device. Parents who want features like Skype call monitoring and sound recording should opt for the premium version. Premium is also good for monitoring multiple devices. It gives better options for tracking teenage kids who are capable of more unpredictable activity. Kid Logger claims to have over 100,000 subscribers.
Net Nanny Parental Controls
Free version available. Annual subscription: $54.99
Also known as Zift, Net Nanny software is great for tracking location history and time-scheduling. It allows for selectively screening inappropriate content from search engine results and social media platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram. Parents can set each child’s profile to view, alert, or block. The latter setting blocks websites with harmful content such as gambling, suicidal themes, drugs and the like. The app allows kids to enjoy safe content on social media instead of denying them entirely. Net Nanny is available for phones, PCs, tabs that run Windows, Android, iOS, and Kindle Fire. A general limitation of Net Nanny is that it does not record messages or calls, unlike some of the competing apps. Net Nanny claims to have over a million users.
Open DNS Family Shield
Free version available. Annual subscription: $19.95
The free version of this app is one of the very best on the market. In addition to keeping Windows and iOS devices secure, Family Shield protects the entire home network. It uses router-level domain blocking, and protects all devices on the network from spyware and inappropriate content. It also offers a simple blacklisting system for easy content control. A major upside of Open DNS is that its tools are free. Also, the premium version is comparatively much affordable.
Free (time trial) available. Annual subscription: $49.99
Norton family lets parents monitor kids’ location, intercept harmful content, and set schedules for screen time. This can help kids focus when learning online with Norton’s School Time function. The app is available for Windows, Android, and iOS (but not macOS). On iOS it offers limited features. Parents cannot monitor texts, manage other apps, or schedule activity times. Norton Family comes as a free add-on when any of Norton’s 50 million subscribers worldwide buy a Norton Deluxe or Premium package.
About the author:
Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.