The best parental control software make it easy and simple to keep your family safe from unwanted material and security threats. As it becomes more common for kids to be able to use the internet, especially through their phones, many parents will worry that their kids will see incorrect things. This is especially true when children don’t have to look for it. For example, bots often use popular social media sites to spam users with ads for adult content in private conversations.
This is where the best parental control apps come in. They give parents peace of mind and allow their kids to explore the internet without running into inappropriate material. Below, we have mentioned the best parental control software.
What is parental control software?
Parental control software is a type of program or app that helps parents and guardians keep an eye on and control how their kids use the internet and their devices. Its main goal is to make the Internet a better and more controlled place for kids and teens. Usually, parental control software has a number of functions that let parents:
Benefits of using parental control software
Content Filtering: With parental control software, you can filter and block websites and content that aren’t proper for your child’s age or could be harmful to them. This helps keep them from seeing things that are too sexual, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate.
Internet Usage Monitoring: You can keep track of your child’s online actions and see what websites they visit, how much time they spend online, and what apps they use. This can help you figure out how they use technology and deal with any problems.
Time Management: With parental control tools, you can limit the amount of time your child can spend online. You can stop them from using the internet at certain times, like before bed or when they are doing homework, to make sure they have a good balance between screen time and other things to do.
App and Game Control: Some parental control tools let you stop or limit your child’s access to certain apps and games. This helps you keep track of what your child sees and does online.
Best Parental Control Software Comparison Table
Parental control software is a great way for parents to keep their kids safe on the Internet. It lets them keep an eye on and limit how much they use the internet, block inappropriate information, and keep track of what they do online. These tools help make the internet a better place and help parents find a balance between giving their kids freedom and keeping them safe in the digital age.
|Feature||Norton Family||Qustodio||Net Nanny||OurPact||Bark|
|Platform Support||Windows, macOS,||Windows, macOS,||Windows, macOS,||iOS, Android||iOS, Android|
|iOS, Android||iOS, Android||iOS, Android|
- Website filtering and monitoring
- Time management and screen time tracking
- Social media supervision
- Search term monitoring
- Location tracking
- App usage reporting
- Alerts and notifications
Norton Family tells parents that it’s better to talk to their kids about internet safety than to just watch what they do online. Norton Family can keep an eye on an unlimited number of devices, and a parent choice in the mobile app or on the web lets you keep track of everything your kids do. We love how cheap the program is, how easy it is to set up, and how useful the geofencing tools are.
- User-friendly interface.
- Provides real-time location tracking.
- Offers web filtering and time management features.
- Limited free version features.
- May not block certain apps or content on iOS devices.
- Screen time management
- Website blocking and content filtering
- Social media monitoring
- Real-time activity tracking
- App usage controls
- Location tracking
- Panic button for emergencies
Qustodio is a great choice for parents who don’t know much about technology but want to make sure their kids’ online actions are safe. But keep in mind that the basic plan only has a few features. The premium plan, on the other hand, lets parents watch calls and messages as well as filter the web and block websites and apps. The best thing about the premium plan is that it gives you individual help over the phone to answer your questions.
- Cross-platform support (Windows, macOS, iOS, Android).
- Robust web filtering and app blocking.
- Detailed activity reports.
- Free version has limitations.
- Can be pricey for full-featured plans.
- Web filtering and blocking inappropriate content
- Time limits for internet and app usage
- Social media monitoring
- Profanity masking
- Remote management from a parent’s device
- Alerts for suspicious online activity
- Reports on online searches and browsing
Net Nanny’s focus on social media and the customization choices it gives, especially for the functions that track screen time, make it stand out. Net Nanny’s smart content filtering, which doesn’t just use blocklists or blocking by type, may be its best feature. Instead, Net Nanny uses real-time content analysis to flag any problems with the sites your child is trying to access.
- Strong web filtering and content blocking.
- Provides time management features.
- Social media monitoring.
- Limited features on iOS devices.
- May require some technical knowledge to set up.
- Screen time scheduling and management
- App and website blocking
- Location tracking
- Geofencing and location-based controls
- Family locator for tracking family members
- App usage reports
- Cross-platform support
Apple took OurPact out of the App Store for a short time and changed some of the things it could do. But, just like on Android, it can still handle or block any iOS app. OurPact also gives kids a say in how much time they can spend in front of a screen each day, and it does a good job of organizing. Its Premium Plus plan lets you take screenshots from the child’s device, even if it’s an iOS one, and you can stop messaging and texting apps even if you can’t read the messages themselves.
- Easy to use for screen time management.
- Geofencing and location tracking.
- Offers both free and paid versions.
- Less comprehensive web filtering.
- Not as feature-rich as some competitors.
- Social media monitoring for signs of cyberbullying, self-harm, and more
- Text message and email monitoring
- Screen time tracking
- Alerts for concerning online behavior
- Integration with popular social media platforms
- Parental alerts and reports
- Support for multiple devices and platforms
Bark is a bit different from the other apps I’ve tried to keep my kids safe. Its main purpose is to keep an eye on social media. It works with more than 30 of the most popular social networks and can keep an eye on the activities, chats, pictures, and posts for each account. This means that it doesn’t really matter if the kids are talking on the computer, phone, or tablet. Bark will be able to figure out what’s going on thanks to smart AI that can understand keywords, emojis, and slang.
- Monitors social media, texts, and emails.
- Alerts for potentially harmful content.
- Supports various platforms.
- Subscription-based service.
- Some false positive alerts may occur.
How to choose the right parental control software for you
Choosing the right parental control software for your needs is important if you want to keep your child safe online and keep track of what they do online. Here’s a step-by-step plan to help you make an informed choice:
Compatibility: Make sure the parental control software works with the devices your child uses, such as Windows PCs, Macs, Android, iOS, game consoles, and other smart devices.
layout: Look for software with a layout that is easy to understand and use. You don’t want to fight with choices and configurations that are hard to understand.
material Filtering: Check to see if the software can filter material well. It should let you block websites, apps, or types of material that you think are too young for your child.
Screen Time Management: Check if the program lets you set limits and schedules for how long you can be on the screen. It should let you tell your kids when they can use their devices and for how long.
In general, it’s not against the law to keep an eye on what your child does online, unless the country or state you live in considers them an adult. Check the rules where you live to be sure. In the US, it is against the law to use a parental control app on an adult’s phone without their permission. This is almost as bad as wiretapping.
Google Family Link is a free, first-choice app for parents to keep track of their kids. It has a lot of useful tools that work well with the Android operating system. Some of its benefits include the ability to track and manage apps, find your phone, see how you use it, and lock it.