Children today grow up in an online environment and are exposed to even more risks than ever before. There are more and more ways for them to get into trouble, whether it’s by clicking on the wrong link, connecting with someone they don’t know or visiting unsavoury websites.
However, completely banning online content is also impossible in today’s age given that so much of our activities and learning take place online. Parents may thus find themselves in a dilemma: to limit device usage or not?
Thankfully, there are parental control apps available in Singapore that can help you monitor the types of content your children are consuming, so that parents can allow their children to consumer onlin content safely. Here are 10 from the most affordable to the priciest.
Google Family Link
Have you ever wondered what kind of things your child is doing on their mobile phones? The Google Family Link is an app that lets you easily manage your child’s Android device and keep them safe online.
You can set limits on screen time, manage or lock down their apps if needed, and also monitor their device activity.
Family Link also lets you create a Google Account for your child under 13, which can be linked to yours so you can keep an eye on their Internet surfing habits. It’s also handy if you need to locate them when they’re out as you can find their location.
Getting the (free!) parental control app is easy as it’s available for both iOS and Android phones. All you need is a Google Account.
While YouTube has been a blessing as an entertainment platform for busy parents, there are a worrying number of videos on the platform with some questionable content.
What’s more, they’re disguised as children’s content. There are a ton of YouTube videos based on popular cartoon characters but they’re parodies with often disturbing themes.
The YouTube Kids app is one just for the young ones with age-appropropriate, child-friendly cartoons, music, educational videos, learning tutorials and more to keep your kid entertained.
Of course, you don’t want your kid to be glued to the screen the whole day and the app also has a timer feature that limits their screen time.
Kidgy – Parental control app
Worried that your kids may go gallivanting off after school instead of coming home? The Kidgy parental control app lets you keep an eye on your child’s whereabouts through GPS on their mobile phones.
You can also set designated safe zones where your child is allowed to be and should they enter or leave it, you’ll be notified.
Kidgy also gives you a bird eye view of your kid’s internet usage habits so you can set limits on their screen time, see who they chat with, view their texts, and even guide them to complete their homework tasks and watch your kid do so remotely via the app!
The app is free to download for Apple and Android although you’ll need to pay (from $13.98) for a subscription and if you want to link more devices.
Kaspersky Safe Kids
Another antivirus software firm, Kaspersky has its own parental control program too. With this software, you can safeguard your kids by blocking inappropriate content, set screen time limits per child on multiple devices (both PC and mobile), and at the same time, teach them some self control.
Kaspersky Safe Kids also comes with GPS tracking to ensure you can keep an eye on your kids via its digital map in the mobile app. It also allows you to demarcate a designated area for your kids and you’ll get notified if they venture outside it.
The Free version comes with blocking filters, safe search on YouTube and app and screen management, while the Premium version comes with all these and more features which allow you greater control such as access to their YouTube search history, GPS locator, real-time alerts if kids access inappropriate sites. Subscription starts from $15/year.
Norton parental control software
Antivirus software maker Norton has a parental control program that not only protects your kids from unsuitable websites, it also regulates their time spent on devices.
Parents can stay in the loop on how much time their kids spend on their device, what apps they’ve downloaded on their phones, the search terms they use and what they access on YouTube.
What’s more, the Norton parental control program can be installed on your child’s laptop and mobile phone (through Norton’s mobile app), giving you access to your kid’s activities across devices.
While it’s not free — it costs S$29.99/year for a subscription — it does have a 30-day free trial for you to test it out.
M1 – Cyber Guardian Internet Parental Control
Promo: Get 6 months Cyber Guardian FREE (worth $2.70/month) for first time subscribers!
It allows you to monitor your child’s online activities, limit their usage, and block harmful online content. As it is a network based solution, there is no app installation, and your child won’t be able to uninstall parental control!
You can customize content in three ways: Lite, Teens, or Child. The Lite version only blocks adult content and content that contains hate and intolerance, while the Teens and Child versions block more categories. ‘Teens’ mode allows the device to play online games and look at social media, but ‘Child’ mode is stricter, understandably, to protect young impressionable minds.
M1 SIM-only plan is also one of the more value-for-money plans out there, with current promotions offering 100GB of data for $19.95 per month or 80GB for $17.95 per month, for 12 months.
This award-winning app from Wondershare Technology, a China-headquartered company, has won praise from multiple tech publications.
Available on Apple, Android and Microsoft devices, FamiSafe keeps your kids safe by filtering out inappropriate websites, monitors social media sites for suspicious words, detects nude photos on the device and alerts you, limiting app and device usage,
Perhaps its most useful feature is that it also can check what your kids are browsing on TikTok — which has been known to spawn dangerous challenges that influence kids into trying them — and keep them safe from such rubbish.
It also has a location feature so that you can check where your kids have gone to, set designated zones and receive alerts if they leave them.
The app is available for both Apple and Android phones although you’ll need to pay (from $13.48 for 1 month) to subscribe.
So there you have it! Protecting your children from online vices is easier than ever.