Applications for monitoring and controlling kids' phone and Internet usage

Applications for monitoring and controlling kids' phone and Internet usage

The Internet can be unforgiving, especially to kids. As a result, you need to monitor what they do on the Internet and with their phones in general.

Trusting your kids with their mobile devices is a daunting task. Whether your toddler just developed an insatiable interest in the family tablet or your teen got a new smartphone, you are just not sure of what they will do on these devices.

Whereas you cannot be around your kids all the time to regulate their activities, there are a couple of applications you can depend on to accomplish this task. Here is a review of some of the leading apps that may protect your kids from cyberbullying as well as from spending too much time on the screen.

1.  Respond ASAP

Do you freak out when your child ignores your calls? As a parent, the need to communicate with your kids any time is unbound. Not that you want to deny them the freedom to spend quality time with their friends, but you want the peace of mind knowing they are safe.

RespondASAP ensures that your kids never ignore your calls. The application freezes their phone screen and sounds an alarm. The only way to unlock the phone is to call you back. While frozen, they still have access to the emergency dial feature.

This is a better option than retrieving the phone entirely from them. Only Android users can use the app for now, but there are plans to also create an iOS version.

2.  MamaBear

For those parents whose children are ardent users of social media, the desire to keep them safe on these giant platforms is crucial. Social media monitoring is a powerful way to ensure they are safeguarded from bullies as well as getting enrolled in some dubious groups. You've probably heard of stories of children being recruited into terrorist groups via social media.

MamaBear gives you an opportunity to keep tabs of your kids' activities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Some of the things that you can watch out for include new photo upload, check-ins, tags, among others. The app also notified you of inappropriate language usage or suspected bullying cases. All that you need to do is identify a set of words and mark them as restricted.

3.  Qustodio

Designed to maintain safety on social media and general browsing, Qustodio seamlessly works on Android, iOS, Mac, PC, and Kindle devices. It has one of the most elegant user interfaces that provide real-time information on what your children are up to.

Qustodio has both premium and free version. While on free mode, you can view things such as Twitter and Facebook logins as well as implement time controls. Among the premium features accessible include blocking apps and games, tracking location, keeping tabs of calls and messages, and more.

4.  Dinner Time

Dinner time is family time. This is a precious moment when you all want to catch up on your day's activities and tell stories that cement the family bond. Unfortunately, most teens are too addicted to their smartphones or tablets that they bring them on the dining table.

DinnerTime is a free app that gives you control over what your children do at dinner time, bedtime, or even study time. When you want them to pay attention to what you are doing, look at their devices from your own. The app is currently designed for Android users only.

If you have more devices that you need to lock remotely, you can subscribe to DinnerTime Plus that works on up to 5 devices. Besides just locking, it can also generate reports on the frequency at which devices are used as well as their most-used apps. This helps you better understand what is keeping them distracted.

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3 comments
  • PA
    Pavel

    Parents consider ensuring their children’s online safety as a vital responsibility. Nevertheless, relying on monitoring apps to keep track of their online activities might result in conflicts and disputes within the family since children could feel like they are being controlled. The “Respond ASAP” feature, which freezes a child’s phone to enforce a prompt response, might not be an effective strategy. Instead, the most useful function of such apps is monitoring a child’s social media activity and location. Although I discovered some new apps from this article, I am skeptical about their effectiveness in achieving their intended purpose.

  • AN
    Ana Rys

    Monitoring your kid’s activity in the internet can be very useful, however, I believe that it’s better to install filters than constantly monitor what your child watches. Another thing I think will be more useful than apps for controlling your child is apps tracking their location. In addition, as the author stated, there is such a problem as internet bullying and it’s highly unlikely that your kid will admit that. Such apps as MamaBear can come in handy in this case. Nonetheless, I think that you can use them only if your kid is in preteen years. Teenagers always take all privacy matters to heart and you will just cause numerous scandals. Issues of trust are the biggest problems that apps such these can cause. So in my opinion, the best way would be to install family filters and apps for tracking location.

  • ST
    Stacy Haze

    Monitoring your kids’ activities on the Internet is no doubt important thing for parents. However, I think that such apps may cause conflicts and arguments in your family, because children will probably feel controlled. Especially Respond ASAP – freezing your child’s phone doesn’t sound a good idea to make them answer. I believe that the most useful thing such apps is keeping tabs on your kid’s activity in social media and being able to track their location. So even though I learnt about some new apps from this article, I’m afraid the selection isn’t the best.

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