Protect what's important

Choosing a parental control app that works for you

Most kids today have tech devices like a tablet or smartphone. These devices can be useful as educational or safety tools, but it can be scary to know your kid has access to the internet. That’s where parental control apps come in handy.  

Read on to learn about parental control apps—and how to choose the right one for your family.  

What is a parental control app? 

You can download a parental control app on your kids’ phones, laptops, and game consoles. It helps enforce what online content your kids see and when they see it. It monitors your kids as they browse the internet or play games.  

There are other ways to control your kids’ online activity. Some websites, like Netflix and YouTube, include parental control settings. Some routers offer them, too. However, the controls usually apply to everyone who uses your Wi-Fi.  

Parental control apps are a flexible and easy option. They’re a popular choice for controlling a child’s online activity. 

What can a parental control app do? 

Parental control apps differ depending on the provider. However, they usually offer similar features.  

Parental control apps can: 

  • Filter content. Content filters are a popular feature. You can choose which apps, games, and websites your kids should not access. You can also set age limits to require download approval. 
  • Enforce screen time limits. Kids are on their devices more often, but it’s hard to track exactly how long their eyes are on those screens. With a parental control app, you can set screen time limits. Your app will automatically cut off the device once screen time is over.  
  • Monitor activity. You might need to know how your kids spend time on their devices and with whom they’re communicating. In this case, you’ll want a parental control app that monitors all activity. These apps provide logs of internet activities. They can even record their conversations.   
  • Block contacts. In some cases, you’ll need to block certain contacts. Parental control apps sometimes offer contact blocking for this purpose.  
  • Create activity reports. If you ever feel like your kids are spending too much time on their devices, there’s one great way to find out if they are: check the data. Some parental control apps offer activity reports, so you can see how often kids have screen time.  

Why would I want a parental control app? 

Devices can help your kids learn, providing them with fun lessons. They can improve your kids’ safety, allowing them to contact you if they need help. But they also allow your kids’ free access to the internet. And the internet can be a scary place.  

Educating your kids can help them safely use the internet. But restrictions can help guide them, too. With a parental control app, you can: 

  • Protect your kids from unfit content 
  • Help kids manage their time better 
  • Provide an extra layer of emergency protection 

Today, 52 percent of parents report using parental controls. These benefits explain why parental control apps are so popular. 

What should I look for in a parental control app?  

Not all parental control apps are made the same. Some are developed by established software companies, while others are created by newer, unknown startups. 

When choosing your parental control app, consider: 

  • Privacy and security. You want an app that you can trust. Review each option’s privacy and security policies. It should state that it will not share or sell sensitive data. It should also offer ample security protocols so that you are the only person who can set controls for your kids. 
  • Flexibility. You need an app that will fit your family’s needs. Ensure your choice offers flexible parental controls. You should be able to set specific rules for each device, website, and usage time.  
  • Ease of use. As a busy parent, you don’t have time to research how to use an app. Ensure that your parental control app is easy to use. If there are a few advanced features that you need to look up, that’s okay. Most features, however, should be intuitive.  

Choosing a parental control app  

A parental control app helps you guide and protect your kids while they’re online. With an app that’s secure, flexible, and easy to use, you’ll find that parental controls are a game-changer. They allow you to let your kids use their devices without worry.  

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Everyday Tips and Ideas is meant for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. Links and mentions are not endorsements.