The internet can either make kids smart or spoil them. The things that the kids learn on the internet depends on what she/he does with the internet connection. Although the Play Store and iTunes display the “content rating” of the application, there’s no guarantee that the age of the person who has downloaded the application is genuine. Thus, if you share your phone with your teenager, he/she might use an application that is not appropriate for his age. You may have saved an important document or a private photo on your device? What if your kid finds this file and deletes it?
To prevent kids from downloading games, using certain apps or accessing certain folders on your phone, use one of the applications I’ve shared below.
Best parental control apps for Android and iPhone
Google Family Link
Family Link is a free app from Google that lets you control what your son/daughter does with his/her mobile device. To use Family Link, you must install the application on your device as well as your child’s phone. GFK makes you aware of the duration for which your kid has used a certain app. It can block kids from opening apps blacklisted by parents and lock the phone after a certain time period. It keeps a track of the location history of your child and allows you to see the same. To set up Family Link, the parents and kids must have a Google account.
YouTube doesn’t display adult videos in its popular/trending section or on the home page but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t host them. YouTube’s search utility can reveal various types of videos it is currently hosting. Kaspersky SafeKids blocks the requests of kids to access videos whose titles contain inappropriate words. KS lets you configure the days on which your child/teenager can use the mobile device. It also lets you set a time interval for which he/she can use the mobile. SafeKids displays a history of what your child is doing when he/she is online or the applications he/she is using when the phone is not connected to the internet. It has a location and Facebook activity tracker utility.
The Norton Family parental control application provides similar features as Kaspersky SafeKids but its user interface is different. In addition to the features supported by other applications, NF prevents teenagers/kids from wasting time in sharing the same thing on the internet. It also enables parents to lock the phones of their children from their mobile device.
Apps like Norton Family, Kaspersky SafeKids, Google Family Link
Kids Place is similar to Google Family Link but it offers extra features. Setting up Kids Place is easy. The application prompts you to set up a 4 digit pin when you run it. When you set a pin, Kids Place asks you to create a “Kiddoware” website account. You can skip this step. In the next step, you’ll be asked to create a recovery PIN and a hint to recover it.
KP lets users blacklist and whitelist apps. It also allows you to block access to some websites. This feature works only with the Kids Place browser app. KP can also block the playback of videos of certain formats. You should install the Kids Place video player to enjoy this feature. Kids Place can block your children from buying applications on the Play Store.
Screen Time from Ez Life doesn’t require account registration nor does it asks you to log in. It doesn’t prompt you to set up the “child” and “parent” accounts. Although Screen Time has basic features, it is a great application for parents that want to make their children use some apps/applications belonging to a certain category for a fixed time.
Screen Time lets you whitelist apps. It enables you to set the time for which the user of the phone can use a specific app. ST also lets users increase the time limit when the limit expires. Screen Time requires “usage access” permission to work. When you enable this permission, it will display a nice graph that displays the time for which you have been using apps. Screen Time is the smallest parental control application on our list.
Also see: Best firewall apps for Android
ESET Parental Control
ESET Parental Control prompts you to choose a language and accept terms and conditions when you run it on your device. Then, you’d be asked to create an ESET account. To create an account, you must enter your name, email, password and then you should choose your country.
When your account is ready, ESET will ask you to select your role – Parent or Child. After choosing the role, you should install the ESET Control on your child’s device and set up rules.
ESET Parental Control offers the following features:
App/website blocking: ESET parental control lets you disable apps and prevent children from opening inappropriate websites.
Monitoring mode: This function of ESET Parental Control removes restrictions on apps and monitors the activity of your child. If you trust your kid, you can enable this mode.
ESET also offers the utilities that you’ll find in other applications we’ve shared above.
Note: Most of the top-rated parental control applications have similar features but their interface is different.