There are many safety apps, also called safe kids apps, parental control apps, or child protection apps developed for the purpose of assisting you in monitoring your child. In this article, we’re reviewing some of the top safety kids apps to consider must-haves.
The Role Of Safety Apps In Child Safety
Before we delve into the safety app must-haves, let’s talk about what safety apps are and how they can help you keep your children safe.
A safety app is an application you can download that is designed to help track your child’s location, monitor their text messages and calls, block certain content by using kid-safe search engines and set time limits on their mobile device usage. These apps are sometimes available only for computer, some are available on both Android and iOS, and some can be used on both computers and mobile devices.
The features offered by safe kids apps allow parents to catch potential threats before they become a reality. By monitoring text messages and calls, parents can be watchful for signs of sexual predators, identity theft, cyberbullying, and other things that may present danger for their children. Being able to block certain websites gives parental control of the content their children are being exposed to. The ability to set time-limits on mobile device usage gives parents the assurance their children’s focus is on school work and the people around them.
The Top 5 Safe Kids Apps
FamilyTime Premium could easily be called a one-stop-shop for parental controls. While you may be able to find other apps that handle each function individually, FamilyTime Premium’s advantage is that it allows parents to do it all from one user-friendly app, even if you have a different device type than your child. While it works well for children of any age, it’s been said the app is relatively easy for a child to uninstall.
FamilyTime offers a 3-day free trial of Premium followed by an annual subscription that depends on how many devices your family needs to monitor (parent devices are unlimited). Annual prices range anywhere from $27 for 1 child device to $69 for 5 child devices. FamilyTime also offers a free version that comes with fewer features. Learn more on the FamilyTime website.
FamilyTime Premium Features:
- GPS enabled location tracking – see your kid’s location on a map at any time
- Geofencing – set location parameters and be notified if they leave that location
- Text message monitoring – monitor incoming and outgoing messages
- Call monitoring – see contact lists, call records and set blacklist options
- Internet monitoring – view internet history and block websites, images or videos
- Screen time monitoring – set schedules for allowed screen time
Another top contender, Net Nanny is known for its intuitive design and close parity between Android and iOS. Whether you have an iOS device and your child’s devices are Androids, or vice versa, Net Nanny will still work properly. Also, unlike many other safety apps, Net Nanny also works with Kindle Fire devices. They are A+ rated on BBB. Users report their satisfaction with the powerful filtering tools offered but desire geofencing options, ability to report chat contents and ability to block communication from specified individuals and accounts.
Net Nanny offers 3 annual subscription options, ranging from $39.99 to $89.99 depending on the type and number of devices needing protection. They also offer a free version that comes with fewer features. Learn more on the Net Nanny website.
Net Nanny Features:
- GPS enabled location tracking – see your kid’s location in real-time, view past locations, view locations on Net Nanny’s Family Overview Map.
- Internet monitoring – filter content in real-time, block websites, set alerts of activity
- Screen time monitoring – set device curfew, block internet entirely
- Alerts – set up custom alerts per device for online searches
- Family Feed – overview of kids’ online activity at a glance, available any time
- Parent dashboard – user-friendly dashboard to control all settings
While Kaspersky Safe Kids Premium isn’t necessarily a one-stop-shop for parental controls, it offers a strong feature set at a lesser price than some of its competitors. It even offers some unique features that we did not see promoted on other safe kid apps, like battery tracking. While the app works on both iOS and Android, users report limited functionality on iOS devices.
Kaspersky’s Safe Kids offers a subscription fee per device pricing model, starting at $14.99 for 1 user account. They also offer a free plan with limited functionality. Learn more on the Kaspersky’s Safe Kids website.
Kaspersky Safe Kids Premium Features:
- GPS enabled location tracking – see child’s location in real-time
- Geofencing – set safe area parameters
- Battery Tracking – set notification alerts for when the child device battery is low
- Internet monitoring – set filters to block certain websites and content
- Screen time monitoring – set screen time schedules for the child device
- Social network monitoring – monitor kids Facebook activity
- Alerts – set up real-time alerts
Bark’s website touts it as having the most coverage of any monitoring tool because it covers such a variety of websites and apps. Its unique algorithms analyze words on your kid’s device to detect threats before they occur, like cyberbullying, drug use, sexting or suicidal thoughts. Bark covers things like email monitoring, that are not covered by many of their competitors. However, like some of its competitors, Bark offers parents a central hub for comprehensive monitoring. Users report the desire for the app to offer location services, filtering, and scheduling.
Bark has a budget-friendly price model for unlimited child devices, unlimited apps, and unlimited activity for only $9 per month (or $99 per year) after the 7-day free trial, with absolutely no commitment. They also offer their platform called Bark for Schools to school systems. Learn more on the Bark website.
- Text message and email monitoring – monitor incoming and outgoing messages
- Social network monitoring – tracks the activity on 24 social networks
- Internet monitoring – analyzes sites visited
- Alerts – analyzes all activity and sends parental alerts
- Check-in requests – allows parents to request child location at any time
The Safety for Kids app isn’t a parental control or monitoring app at all. So why did it make it on our Top 5 list? While active monitoring and parental controls are important, we think it is also important to teach children what to do and what not to do to keep themselves safe.
Users get 3 games for free and then each chapter is $1 to unlock. Here’s a link to Safety for Kids in the Google Play Store. It’s not available for iOS devices, but for Apple products, we recommend Keep Spriggy Safe, available in the App Store.
Safety for Kids Features:
- 12 chapters
- Complete activities in various simulated emergency situations
- Teaches children how to avoid or remove threats