The digital age is truly an amazing time to live in, but it can also be a frightening one. With the amount of cyber bullies and predators that exist on the web, keeping children safe on the internet is no doubt one of the biggest priorities.
So, how does one monitor kids online activity without becoming overly invasive?
Lucky for you, TechVise has taken the time to compile a list of great apps and devices that will help keep your kids safe online by tracking their online activity. These range from phone monitoring to geo fencing to social media monitoring.
All these monitor online activities and are geared for parents of underage children (less than 18 years). Hence, they comply with strict privacy guidelines and adhere to data privacy and protection laws for the country they sell in.
APPS & DEVICES TO MONITOR KIDS ONLINE ACTIVITY
Bark (iOS, Android, Amazon)
For the most comprehensive online monitoring experience, look no further than Bark. This is the end all, be all experience of monitoring your kids’ online activity.
Bark is the perfect monitoring app service if you want to protect your kids while also giving them their privacy. In essence, Bark will monitor everything your child (or children) is doing on interent, social media websites etc, and display it all in a simple overview. If there is suspicious activity, you can dig deeper and find specific details like texts and social media interactions.
This is great because the overview gives you a simple check up, without giving too many details about exactly what your child is doing. However, it also records all of this information if you ever want to look into it.
Bark will cost you $9/Month for the whole family or $99/Year.
Qustodio (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Kindle)
The paid version of Qustodio monitors social media activity, calls, text messages, apps, searches and internet browsing. It further keeps a tab on picture uploads, screen time usage and location tracking. Qustodio has managed to enhance their location tracking feature with geo fencing capabilities. This gives alerts when your kids leave and enter saved locations.
Your child can even activate panic button for alerts and you as a parent are in full control of setting up limits accessing records for 30 days. Qustodio is not just for family, but for schools and businesses as well.
Mobicip (Android, Windows, and iOS)
For those who a want simple way to monitor children’s online activity, Mobicip is a great option. In essence, Mobicip is a software that allows you to monitor internet activity, filter search settings, block content, and even see their app use. These features are available on the premium edition, which is only $39.99 a year.
If you aren’t looking to pay that, you can just as easily download the Mobicip app on your Android or iOS device for free. This app is meant to replace the current web browser and has easily manageable content blocking and filter settings. The best thing about this app is the sheer simplicity of it.
Watchover is an iOS exclusive, but it’s awesome safety measures certainly deserve a spot on this list. Basically, once you download Watchover’s configuration software on your PC or Mac, as well as the app on your iPhone; users will be able to monitor any and all activity on that device.
The app takes screenshots every minute and stores them for 48 hours so that they can be viewed at a later time. It also compiles all of your kids’ computer’s data in a report to show what programs were used and for how long. The best part is you can view everything right from your phone. There is no reason to get on the other computer.
Watchover costs $4.99 and is well worth the simplicity of this app.
NetGear Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router
This one is new and one of those great router devices that is aimed to be setup by parents. Hence, this one comes with a hassle free setup and where you need your child’s help with the setup.
So how is Netgear’s device different from others? NetGear is a powerful router which is compatible with Amazon Echo/Alexa – that will control your home network using voice commands. NetGear Nighthawk is compatible with Circle Smart Parental Controls for $4.99/mo. This is a special price for Netgear Nighthawk only.
Circle Home Plus
With Circle, parents can set limits such as: daily internet time for websites, apps, and more. Furthermore, it creates a filter, limits usage, controls pausing the broadcast time and schedules bedtime for kids as well.
You can also get Circle Home Plus directly for $129. Use our special link to get $20 off your purchase.
Circle is also available now as a standalone app subscription for $99/yr.
Gryphon Advanced Security and Parental Control Mesh WiFi Router
Another popular parental control device is from Gryphon. Besides the usual hardware and features available on advanced security devices, Gryphon has built-in dedicated parental control feaures. Content filtering, browsing history, view times, screen time, safe search, safe YouTube viewing are some of the features that are available via their smartphone app. You can also suspend internet access with it.
If you want to use Gryphon outside of the home network, then you can get the additional HomeBound Service for $4.99/mo. The first 3 months are free and you can use it for upto 5 devices.
That’s our list for now. All of these apps & devices are great because they give parents the peace of mind that their child is safe online. Most of them also offer the freedom that so many children desire. So choose according to your budget, requirement and number of devices.
Keep in mind that the trade off between a monitoring app and a filtering / parental control device is that the app monitors children’s internet activity on the device itself regardless of the network it is connected to. Whereas an internet filtering device can only monitor and protect your kids when they are in your home. If they’re using another network, they are out of any monitoring range.
Do you know of any other great online monitoring tools or phone monitoring apps? Let us know in the comments below.