Most kids these days are pretty tech-savvy, and even your younger kids may be completely clued up on the more intricate details of how to operate a cellphone – whether it’s yours or theirs. Because of that, you may want to consider using some parental control software on phones in the house, even if it is your personal phone that your kids sometimes have access to (e.g. to play games or surf the internet while you’re at a shop).
Parental control software isn’t just for teens! Sure, you can use them to monitor what your teenagers are looking at, restrict their access to porn or make sure they aren’t sending inappropriate texts, but they serve useful purposes for younger children too. If your under 12’s have a phone of their own, parental controls can prevent them from accidentally accessing something that might scare or upset them.
What can parental control software do?
- Monitor texts sent and received
- Manage downloads
- View websites visited
- Location tracking
- Blocking individual apps
- Limiting time spent on a website, app, or the device as a whole
On top of the inbuilt parental control softwares that are found on both Android and iOS which enable parents the ability to approve or decline any apps or downloaded content, there are a number of parental control software options for both Android and iPhone. Some of these are free and some are paid services. Reputable companies such as Norton have their own software, and you also have the well-known options such as Phone Sherrif and Mobile Spy. You can read some comparisons of the various software here, and see what features each of these offers and what would work best for you.
What are the shortfalls of Parental Control Software?
It’s worth noting that there is no real way to monitor your kids’ social media activity without having their username and password, as none of the available software has that capability yet. It’s also quite well known that for parents who want to monitor kids’ activity or even limit the time their kids spend on their cellphones, Android is a better choice. The iPhone parental control software options available tend to provide you with fewer options than Android, so this is worth keeping in mind if you’re in the market to buy your kids a phone and you want to monitor their usage!