For better or worse, children now have access to a phone, sometimes their own phone, earlier than ever before. This is because so much of our lives, and now our children’s lives, involve the internet. For example, a lot of our children’s education now requires them to log on to submit homework.
Giving a child access to everything a mobile device entails can be scary to think about. Maybe your child is just starting school and needs a mobile to communicate with you and their friends, or your toddler has taken a fancy to the family tablet, whatever the case may be, it’s important to supervise their activity.
There can be many reasons for supervising your child’s phone activity. The many issues children experience while growing up and going to school include bullying and depression, to name a few. Mix that with the amount of inappropriate content online, and you will understand why supervising your child’s mobile activity is so important.
On the other hand, there can be a fine line between ensuring your child’s protection and invading their privacy when allowing them to have some independence online.
Luckily, there are numerous mobile apps that make it easy to supervise your children on their phone.
This app is available on all mobile devices as well as Windows and Mac. Considered one of the best parental control apps, Qustodio has a free and paid version packed full of all the necessary features. The free version gives you the ability to monitor your child’s website browsing, track social media account logins and enable timing controls. The premium version includes all of these features as well as the ability to monitor location, texts and calls while blocking desired apps.
Kaspersky Safe Kids
This application is also available on all platforms including IOS, Android, Mac and PC. Kaspersky kindly lets you install it on as many devices as you want, which can’t be said about other parental supervision applications. It gives you all the control you need to, well, feel in control about how your child uses their phone. You can block certain apps, track location, block search results and manage time on their device. While it does offer all the features you would want, it lacks some extra features, such as an emergency calling button and some web filtering options. Therefore, Qustodio edges slightly ahead in our opinion.
This application has a very positive ethos, which is to let kids be kids. They encourage the use of their tools to get kids out and about interacting with the physical environment instead of the virtual one. Screen Time allows parents to track and control the length of time children spend using their device. You also have the ability to set time limits on a daily and weekly basis as well as inputting tasks. You can also check which apps are most popular with your child and act accordingly. A unique feature of Screen Time is the ability to freeze their device instantly.
Screen Time is targeting a niche rather than trying to be an all-round supervision application. If you are concerned about the amount of time your child is spending on the phone over other aspects, then this is the application for you.
If you’re looking to supervise your child’s mobile device but don’t want to limit their privacy, the above apps are a great choice. They have a multitude of features that you can use to give your child the freedom on the device while feeling confident that they are safe. Choosing which app to go with depends on what features are most important to you. Do you want to limit screen time, block certain apps, or monitor their social media usage?