So, you couldn’t say no to your kid, and finally gave him his personal laptop or smartphone. Well, this is okay as long as you make sure that they stay safe online. Internet is a great platform for increasing knowledge, broadening mind’s capabilities and having fun, but it is also an ideal place for cyberbullying, watching porn, visiting adult websites and much more. Fortunately for parents, parental control software enables them to shield their kids from the dark side of the internet with utmost ease. But for that, you need to know which parental control tool to invest in. We have decided to lend you a hand in reaching a decision by sharing best parental control software reviews with you. However, before we get to that, it’s important to first understand what makes a great parental control.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
Top 9 Features that must be Present in Parental Control Software
Not every monitoring application is good, and it is also hard to find all features in one product, which is why we categorized different monitoring software on the basis of seven main features.
Monitor Browsing History
Parents should be aware of the online activities done by kids including the websites they visit and content they get access to.
Monitor Social Media Activities
Social media platforms are not safe for kids as they find themselves susceptible to cyberbullying, predators and various other threats on these sites. Parents must monitor the social media activities of kids in order to know what they are up to and keep them safe.
Not all applications are good for kids, but they do not understand this, which is why parents must block those applications that contain inappropriate content or are not good for kids.
Block Inappropriate Websites
Internet is full of porn and other explicit content. Since these things are just a click away from kids, parents better be careful.
With SMS/MMS logging feature, parents can read every text and view every multimedia file sent and received by the kid.
Has User-Friendly Interface
Majority of the parents have limited technical know-how, making it difficult for them to get maximum benefit from parental control software.
Manage Device Usage Time
With efficient parental control software, parents can limit the use of laptop and mobile phones not only during weekdays, but also on weekends.
Parents cannot accompany kids everywhere they go, but they can keep track of their location in order to help them in case of any emergency.
Good parental monitoring software not only supports Windows or Mac PCs and laptops, but also different mobile platforms like iOS and Android.
Over to the Testing Lab
After an in-depth research and careful analysis of almost all the monitoring software available online, we finally shortlisted five parental control software that provides maximum protection to kids while they are online. Check out the comparison table below to get a quick look at how these software measure against each other in terms of the seven features mentioned above.
Reviews of Best Parental Control Software
When it comes to monitoring kids, Qustodio is definitely the best option as it is equipped with all the features needed to keep kids safe in digital space. It blocks inappropriate content from internet, monitor kid’s activities on different social media platforms, tracks location of kids, monitor SMS, restricts the device usage time, and monitor as well as block calls and text messages. The availability of all these features in one package underscores Qustodio’s commitment to providing parents with a peace of mind in respect to their kids’ online safety.
SecureTeen is yet another powerful monitoring software that not only offers monitoring, but also provides blocking services. It monitors web history and major social networking sites, blocks inappropriate content from the internet, and does SMS/MMS logging but only on Android. Of course, the location tracking feature is also there to help parents remain aware of their kids’ whereabouts at all times. From a consumer’s perspective, one of the best things thing about this software is that it comes with a money-back guarantee, and parents can also try its free version before finally investing in it.
K9 Web Protection
Think of any online protect feature and it will be present in this smart parental control software. It offers category blocking, having more than 70 categories for blocking websites including pornography, malware, drugs, racism etc. Its safe search option ensures that kids do not come across any inappropriate website. One major setback of the software is that it lacks location tracking ability. Also, it does not support SMS/MMS logging.
McAfee Family Protection
This software does it all from monitoring and recording kid’s browsing history to blocking every single website that contain inappropriate or adult content. It also restricts the time spent on internet. With McAfee’s parental control solution, parents can distribute web content into white list and black list so that kids do not get exposed to any harmful content.
If you want to filter internet, block pornography websites, monitor social media activities of kids, and limit the use of internet on kids’ devices, then Net Nanny is just what you need. This software sends alerts and reports about your kids’ online activities via email. You can also visit the online dashboard to access the logged activities and review what your kids have been up to on their digital devices. Be care though, kids can disable or bypass Net Nanny by searching for instructions on the internet.