fbpx
Contact Us

Parental Control Software to Avoid vs What We Recommend

Go Back

Parental controls are a useful tool parents can use to not only ensure that our little ones don't see inappropriate content online, but also that the wrong people can't get access to them in messaging and social media chat rooms.

However, when it comes to actually choosing a parental control app / software it can be a mine field. Why? Some apps are incredibly invasive. They record and log every single tap and keystroke your child makes, undoubtedly invading their privacy. Using these types of parental controls apps tend to only be warranted in a handful of scenarios, e.g. when you know that a child's physical or mental health is in imminent danger.

For the vast majority of cases, parents will want to choose a parental control app that carefully straddles the boundary between providing parental oversight and invading the child's privacy. In this guide, we outline the apps to avoid and provide a couple of (independent) recommendations for the ones we like.

AVOID These Parental Control Apps

1. mSpy - the most commonly used phone tracking app, according to TopTrackingApps. It monitors who they call, what they text, which apps they use, the number of contacts, GPS location, etc. all without the child knowing.

2. Tiny Keylogger & Home Keylogger - records literally everything and anything that is typed out on the keyboard, therefore capturing all emails, texts, online messages, passwords, etc. that are typed.

3. Spyzie - allows you to;

  • View detailed call history
  • Monitor SMS text messages
  • Track locations and notify you when they leave or arrive certain areas on a map
  • Monitor popular social apps including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Line, etc.
  • Record Wifi history
  • Records keystrokes
  • Monitor multi-media files (photos and videos)
  • Block apps

4. Android007 - incredibly invasive app that allows you to; review call logs, read texts and e-mails, view pictures and videos, track location, read WhatsApp and check social media, check web browser history, view contacts, listen live to phone calls, record calls, remotely record using the phone microphone, take remote pictures, send fake text messages and get all passwords.

5. KidGuard - allows you to; view their location, track text messages, view apps, read all social media messages and posts, monitor call logs, check browser history and view all media such as photos and videos.

You get the idea...others to avoid include; KidLogger, SpyBunker, LogsKit, Mobile racker, Quester, SecureTeen and TeenSafe.

Parental Control Apps We RECOMMEND

Note: we have no affiliations whatsoever with the following recommendations. We think they're great parental controls choices based wholly on merit.

SafetoNet
SafetoNet is an alternative to parental controls. They recognise that whilst adults may often have the psychological resilience to deal with threats like cyber bullying, sextortion and internet trolls, many children do not.

It’s an app loaded onto the child’s device and then uses artificial intelligence to tackle key online threats such as cyberbullying, sextortion, grooming, abuse, and aggression. Here’s the clever bit…it does so in real-time.

It integrates with the keyboard and essentially identifies when something nasty, provactive, inappropriate or suspicious is being typed or received. It looks for signs of anxiety, stress, dark thoughts and bullying. Little guidance pop-ups appear when a potential threat is detected.

Here’s a quick illustration of it in action;

 

Why is this so great?

1. Timing – only appears when it is needed. Otherwise sits quietly in the background. Comes across as much less ‘creepy’ than the standard parental controls.

2. Educates Directly – where most parental controls could be compared to a ‘snitch’, SafetoNet’s focus is on educating the child as they use their device. The focus is not on ‘telling on them’ to their parents where they will inevitably get reprimanded, but to actually help them make the right choices in real time. Often kids will not listen to parents purely because it’s coming from the parent, so it can be especially helpful the guidance coming from ‘someone else’.

3. Encourages Positive Digital Citizenship – not only does it help protect the child themselves, it provides helpful guidance on being kind to others and learning how to be a good digital citizen.

4. Watches Out For Psychological Issues – with it’s machine learning capability, it learns what your child is like, what’s normal and what’s not normal. One of our favourite features is that it identifies when your child might be having dark thoughts or maybe getting a little down or depressed. In this way, it can help flag psychological issues early – something we think will be increasingly important in the years to come.

5. Transparency – the child is assigned a ‘safety indicator’ which is a dynamic measure of how safe your child is online. This isn’t reserved just for the parents, this is shared with both child and parent alike, setting a really good precedent for transparency and balance.

For all these reasons, we love the app and think you will too. It’s available on all major devices and only costs £2.99/month or £31.99/year. You can check it out here.

 

Other Options

Not take your fancy? Here’s another product that we rate, called ‘Qustodio’. It’s from more of the conventional parental control apps and for just £3 per month or £35.95 per year, it has considerable pedigree in the field of online safety.

 

Got Questions? Ask our experts in the member forum here!

Hacked Social Media Recovery Handbook!

Pop your email into the form below and we'll send you the link to your free handbook!

We hate spam and won't send you mindless marketing emails. We share some internet safety tips. You of course can unsubscribe at any time.

Free Protection Checklist!

Pop your email into the form below and we'll send you the link to your internet safety protection checklists!

We hate spam and won't send you mindless marketing emails. We share internet safety tips. You of course can unsubscribe at any time.

Free Cyber Bullying Handbook!

Pop your email into the form below and we'll send you the link to your free handbook!

We hate spam and won't send you mindless marketing emails. We share some internet safety tips occasionally. You of course can unsubscribe at any time.

Free I've Been Hacked Handbook!

Pop your email into the form below and we'll send you the link to your free handbook!

We hate spam and won't send you mindless marketing emails. We share internet safety tips. You of course can unsubscribe at any time.

Top