Smartphones keep us connected and entertained, while also allowing parents and children to feel safe knowing they have so much information right in their pockets.
While smart devices come with a lot of benefits, unmonitored usage of these devices can cause problems, from eye irritation to being distracted from schoolwork. Monitoring and limiting a child’s activity on smart devices could help curb these negative effects.
Here are five apps to keep an eye on your kid’s phone usage.
GOOGLE FAMILY LINK
With this app, parents with Android devices can limit a child’s screen time and customize SafeSearch filters to block inappropriate content from appearing in search results.
Family Link also allows parents to block certain apps from being installed on a child’s Android device. If your child tries to turn off the supervision, the device is locked until unlocked by you.
Norton Family gives the option to receive browser history reports, YouTube watch history, and insights on what keywords they search.
It also allows you to remotely lock your child’s smart device and has a feature called “School Time” to help them stay focused while they tackle any homework online.
This service is compatible across a majority of devices and their software. It costs about $50 per year.
Life360 is a service that is centered around location sharing. With features like Place Alerts and Crash Detection, you can be alerted when any of your kids leave or arrive somewhere or if they may have been in a car crash.
The app also offers the option to dispatch local emergency services in the event of an emergency when the “SOS” feature is triggered. Life360 also has data breach alerts and theft protection available.
All these features are paywalled with a subscription varying from $15 to $25 a month.
Working in the same fashion as the Netflix Kids profile, Amazon Kids offers an experience tailored to kids of the selected age.
Amazon Kids also allows parents to set goals for kids to complete certain tasks in a set amount of time and restrict access to certain web pages. It also blocks in-app purchases.
Amazon Kids works best on Amazon’s own Fire Tablets but the app is available for download on Android and iOS devices too.
Like Norton Family, Qustodio offers reports on your child’s device activity, but what sets Qustodio apart is the option to view texts and calls on your child’s phone.
Having boundaries with your children and respecting their privacy is very important when maintaining your relationship with them, so this isn’t recommended to use as a first option or to test out. But if you find yourself in a certain situation where you feel taking advantage of this feature is necessary, it’s helpful to have on hand.
Qustodio is compatible across the majority of mobile platforms, and subscriptions can cost up to $138 a year.
–Via New York Family