Category: Parental Controls

Best Parental Control App 2021

best parental control app

You don’t have to be a computer savvy parent to begin making sure your child is searching the internet from a properly filtered safe search engine. We provide filtering of Google that blocks all bad content in your kids search results.  This works well for schools and it’s a good start for parents at home.  Still, a parental control app is still recommended to keep kids safe online.

Apart from Google search, even if using a strict internet filtering, kids searching the web without a parental control app installed will be able to go directly to any website that one of their friends may have told them about. There are also social media concerns, such as cyberbullying, online predators or inappropriate images.

And what about harmful texts, such as the sending of personal photos that are best kept private? What about the innocuous threats, including too much screen time and time spent online late at night while kid should be sleeping? There are a wide variety of threats online and a search engine cannot control all of these issues. It takes parental controls for complete safety online.

Parental Control App for iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire

In addition to iPhone and Android mobile devices, our recommended parental control app FamiSafe by Wondershare also works on Windows and Mac OS.  In fact, multiple devices within your home can be monitored and controlled.  Comprehensive solutions for complete online safety is software that Filters and Monitors all aspects of online activity for kids. It provides an easy to use app or access from and computer dashboard that gives parents peace of mind knowing their children are protected online.

FamiSafe lets parents control screen time, track real-time location and detect inappropriate content on kids’ devices.  This includes texts, messaging and app downloads.  It’s also teaches kids good digital habits. Created by the Trusted Brand: Wondershare.

Monitoring apps make it easier for parents to take control of their kid’s activities online, maintain their kid’s safety, manage their kid’s times on all devices, as well as manage their own time more effectively so that they can continue to do what they do best: Parent.

Effective Parental Controls include:

  • Web filtering including keyword and phrase filtering.
  • The latest in app blocking or the setting of specific restrictions on apps like Snapchat.
  • Monitor and manage users real-time activity.
  • Centralized management of multiple computers, lap tops and mobile devices, including iPhones, Android and Amazon (Kindle Fire).
  • Time management and daily scheduling.

Parental Control Software becomes the “bad guy” monitoring your kids’ activity. While it blocks bad content and controls usage, it also puts the onus on your child to be responsible for what they do online. Individual levels of freedom can set up according to age and times of day.

Parents and guardians will also enjoy a slew of product enhancements, including:

  • Chat filtering for texts and messaging apps.
  • Security options to block system changes on computer.
  • Alert notifications by email or text, such as when new apps are installed.
  • Invisible / stealth operation. (Works in the background so it doesn’t interfere with device performance)
  • Real-time tracking of users whereabouts and whether they are online or not.
Download our recommended Best Parental Control App

When it comes to maintaining the safety and innocence of children, the Internet isn’t just a search engine anymore. So many other elements are needed in an effort to keep kids safe online. Not to mention, the more time parents spend managing screen time restrictions, social media friends, texting and photos – the less time parents have to focus on building a stronger relationship with their child. 

Are there free parental control options?  Yes, there are basic settings every parents can set up on individual computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.  Explore free parental controls including instructions for video game consoles.

It’s not enough to simply turn on safe search.  A trusted parental control App is necessary to fully protect kids online, including filtered web search and monitoring of social media and app downloads. It not only ensures that kids stay safe, parental control software can help build character in kids to make the right decisions on the internet.

As a parent, you no longer have to play the “guessing game” as to what their kid searches for online, who their friends are, and whether they are actually studying for that history project or just killing time on TikTok or playing games.

Do you Know? (Internet Use by Kids)

Do you know what your kids are looking at online? 41% of U.S. teens say that their parents have no idea…

Do you know how often your kids frequent social networking sites? According to the Norton Online Living report, 76% of U.S. teens ages 13-17 are “constantly” or “frequently” visiting social networking sites.

Do you know if your child has been contacted online by a stranger? 16% of U.S. children have been approached online by a stranger. Is your child one of them?

Monitor Kids Texts

The latest development in the wide variety of parental control apps available is the the ability to monitor kids texts.  At first mention this seems to be a severe invasion of kids privacy.  To clarify, what is being monitored is the detection of suspicious texts your child may be receiving.  You won’t have to peer into every conversation your kids are involved in.  Just like the monitoring of websites and social media activity, you will be notified of potentially harmful texts when they happen.  Or, if you notice your child is acting unusually upset after checking social media or receiving a text, you can go into you parental control app dashboard a look at it.

It’s good practice for parents to give their kids the freedom they need online within safe boundaries a parental control app sets up.  Let them know you are not watching their every move but with parental controls in place you will be notified when a line as been crossed.  This helps your younger child or teen learn responsibility while interacting with others online.

What is YOUR Internet Monitoring Strategy?

You can rely on the search engines or safe search apps for filtering services, but they are not designed to include social media, app usage or screen time monitoring. It’s more than parental controls in the present, it’s about equipping kids to responsibly navigate the world wide web safely long after they grow up and leave home. 

Do More With the Power of Software

  • Discover how much easier it can be to have a parental control app controlling internet access for every user in your home according to their age.
  • Enjoy reduced stress no longer having to hunch over your child’s shoulder monitoring their online activity or asking for their phone to search for bad apps.
  • Parental focus and peace of mind can be restored knowing that full control is within your fingertips via an app or on any computer.

Get Started! Create Your Account for Free!


Read about our other endorsed Wondershare software, discounted for students and schools:  PDF Creator and Editor

How to Activate Free Parental Controls

Free Parental Control Software Apps Guide

When seeking parental controls to keep your family safe online, there is a lot of consider. We’ll start with a checklist of all the devices your child may be using that are connected to the Internet.   Then, we’ll explore free parental control software and app solutions to help you cover all the bases.  Many of these options parental control settings built in.

Lets first define the areas we are dealing with, which are contained in our free parental control guide.

Types of Parental Controls

  1. Installable software for computers and lap tops; PC’s with Windows, Mac desktops and lap tops.
  2. Downloadable Apps for mobile devices; iPhones, Andriods, iPads, Kindle Fire, tablets or any device that has an app store.
  3. Parental controls on game consoles or on Internet based video games, either directly online or via software.
  4. Free factory built-in parental controls that may be limited by still usually available on a particular device or a software program or app on that device.  These include Internet browsers, a social media account or app, YouTube.
  5. Parental controls that are controls by an account with a parental log in and password. (Microsoft, Google or Apple Account).

A typical family is facing these challenges:  One child may have a tablet and an iPhone.  Another child may be working on the family computer and use an Andriod.  You may have a Kindle Fire that all the kids share.  Teens will be playing video games, as well as have a lap top and an iPhone or Android phone. These are just the devices.

Places Kids Need Protection

  1. In their bedroom.
  2. At school.
  3. On the playground.
  4. At a friends house.
  5. On the school bus.

Whether at home on a desktop, or in multiple locations on a smart phone, parents need to individually look at each of device their kids are using and be aware of what they are doing on those devices. And whenever you kids leave your home with a lap top, tablet or mobile phone, the internet goes with them.  This greatly increases the need for parental controls.

Kids Internet Activity:  Key Points to Consider.

  • Are they searching the Internet through a browser?
  • Are they searching the Internet through a browser app?
  • Are they interacting on social media on a desktop or via an app?
  • Are they playing videos comes online through an Internet browser or software download?
  • Are they playing video games on a gaming console. Is that gaming console connect to the Internet and interacting with other kids?
  • Are they watching YouTube through their main website or via the new YouTube kids app?

Safe Search Kids has prepared a free parental control guide that covers all of your devices, as well as the various platforms your kids are using to access the internet.

Internet Filtering

Probably the most urgent parental control concern to address is Internet search.  How do you kids search the web?  Which browsers are they using?  Simplify things by guiding them to use only one browser so you only have to set up parental controls for that browser.  A safe search engine like Safe Search Kids is a resource that enhances Google’s filtering but you should still have the basic parental controls enabled for when kids may to go search Google.com.

Our free parental control guide goes through these various options.   Keep in mind that the browser on their lap top will have different settings than the browser app on a mobile device.  It’s also important to note that filtering options on a browser are very limited.

Social Media Monitoring

Without software or a parental control app, parents must monitor a child’s social media manually.  However, there is away to restrict app downloads within the app store.  Our guide reviews these options to that kids can’t download apps you do not approve of.  This option doesn’t not work with all devices.  Beyond that, get to know the apps your kids are using.  What social media programs are they using.  SnapchatTikTok?  Facebook?  Discuss which platforms you will allow according to their age.

Privacy Settings

Look at all your devices, apps and accounts your kids are using and ensure all privacy settings are set accordingly.  While parental controls are all about keeping your kids from accessing harmful material online, let’s not forget about protecting them from those who will want to reach them.  This will also help protect your kids from online predators,  as well as malware, viruses and online scams.

Video Games Consoles

If you decide to use a parental control software program or an app that fully monitors your kids activity online, you’re still somewhat on your own when it comes to gaming.  Software solutions will help if the video game is online, but this is not usually the case for gamers in your family that use consoles such as PlayStation and xBox. This issue includes hand held devices like Nintendo Switch.  Fortunately, our free guide includes parental control instructions for 20 different gaming consoles.  These protections come with each game from the factory.

Free Parental Controls vs Paid Subscription Models

Setting up parental controls on each device and each individual website platform or application on that device can be a daunting task.  It takes research and time.  Our parental control guide reveals these free ways to do it without fully automated parental control software, according to each area of concern.  In some cases, such as with privacy settings, setting things manually do the job.  In other cases, such as internet filtering and app usage, you will only achieve the basic levels of protection provided from pre-existing limits that come with the browser.

For social media monitoring and internet blocking of the darkest places on the web, you may want to consider paid parental control options.  These also including monitoring of suspicious texts, Internet searches and geo tracking for when kids are away from home.  If in doubt, start with free options.  This is the reason we created our free parental control guide. At the very least, every parents should have the available basic protection settings in place.  This is a process you can include your kids in, so they are aware of their boundaries when free parental controls are not enough.

Download the Free Guide to setting up Free Parental Controls on your various devices. It also shows you free software and free parental control app downloads to help you explore more automated solutions.

Internet Filtering for Schools and Homes

internet safety for families

At Safe Search for Kids, we welcome the use of our internet filtering tools to ensure that safe browsing on Google is always set to the most secure level of search filtering. This needs to be the case whether Google Safe Search is being used at home or on every computer in school.

To ensure the ultimate in internet safety for kids at home, we also encourage the use of internet filtering software to give parental control over how kids access the internet. This is not to be confused with Internet Security Software that protects your computer against viruses.

Before we speak to the various options online for filtering and security, here is what Safe Search Kids offers.  It’s easy access to internet filtering tools without software, just go to the top right corner of our website.

Bookmark this page for easy access or save as a home screen on mobile phones.

On the top right you’ll see 4 tabs. The first one is for searching Google. It provides the same results as Google, but with strict internet filtering. In essence, as long as you are searching from our website and the results page that follows your initial search, all bad content is filtered. Subsequently, the other tabs do the same for Safe Images – Wiki for Kids – and Safe Videos.

Internet Filtering Software?  Clearing Up the Confusion

There are four areas of online security that people need to be aware of. These are not presented as options, rather – they each offer a different level of security and serve different purposes.

1. Anti-Virus Software: This is essential basic software that filters your email to protect your computer from becoming infected with a virus. No computer should be without this standard software. Many operating systems come with enough security to screen your email, such as on a Mac computer or Windows 10. Get added protection from programs like McAfee.

2. Anti-Malware: Includes the removal and full protection from malware infecting your computer. It blocks a variety of viruses and subversive malware from infecting your computer due to a cyber attack or in the event you accidentally visit an infected website. Malware Protection is an important addition to any anti-virus program you may choose to install and includes protection against Ransomware.

3. Parental Control Software: If you are concerned about protecting your kids from harmful online content, you need proper internet filtering that blocks access to the internet according to the age of each child in your home. Read about the specific benefits of Parental Control Software.

4. Safe Search for Kids: The filtering tool on our website is powered by Google to ensure safe search results for all keywords entered. It is a FREE solution when searching Google. While it will block search results for inappropriate search terms entered, it does not block access to other areas of the internet when kids leave our site. This is where internet filtering software should be explored.

5. VPN:  Short for Virtual Private Network, VPNs are not common to most families.  However, the security features of using a VPN are well worth exploring.  It protected against swatting for gamers as well as hackers who may want to invade your privacy, whether at home or when accessing the Internet in public.

Got a Gamer in the House?  They may complain about a slower gaming experience due to anti-virus software that bogs down their computer. A possible solution may be Game Security Software that includes increased performance for gamer with added security online.

The most popular option our users are most interested in are parental controls and it’s relation to internet filtering.

Parental Control Software Includes:

  • Content Controls – Flexible content control allows you to select the types of websites that are appropriate according to age.
  • Program Controls – Control Instant Messengers, P2P File Sharing, control of what apps can be downloaded.
  • Time Controls – Control the amount of time spent online, and the times when the internet is available for each child.
  • Usage Logging – Create and review logs of websites visited, programs used on the Internet.
  • Usage Alerts – Be notified instantly via email or text message when someone visits inappropriate websites.
  • All of these monitoring resources can be accessed via a parental control app or on your desktop computer.

As mentioned, internet filtering is not the same as protecting your computer against viruses. To fully protect against viruses and online threats (such as malware on websites) you may also want to consider anti-malware as noted above for virus scanning and malware protection.

Choosing stand-alone filtering software greatly improves your kids internet safety and allows parents the ability to set the safety controls for each child according to their age and responsibility. Deleting search history won’t be enough for users to hide their activity.

Additional Solutions: Teaching Good Online Habits:

Software that features both accountability and internet filtering. What is the difference?

Web Filtering: This feature of the software filters the internet and blocks potentially harmful content. Parental controls like the FamiSafe App allow you to set internet filtering according to user age, as well as put timelines on how long a user can surfing the internet, as well as restrict hours of use. This software can also be applied to applications and phones.

Accountability: When software is installed on any or all computers in your home, you will receive a report emailed to you weekly to show high risk website that were visited. This feature does not block content. It is meant for older kids and adults who know that the report will be viewed, and therefore builds good web browsing habits. The accountability report can be further generated to easily show sites according to various ratings, such as Teen, Mature Teen and Mature.

So what about our website – Safe Search Kids? How do we  fit into the mix of providing internet safety for kids? For one, our site only restricts potentially harmful websites on Google while using our internet filtering tools. Our website simply allows for added security for those who are not installing software filtering.

Safe Search Kids is ideal for schools who want to implement safe search filtering instantly without having to painstakingly turn on safe search within the settings of each computer. This is done by bookmarking our home page.

Parental control software programs enable you to block internet access in the following ways that Google Safe Search on our website cannot.

  • Software programs filter all access the internet regardless of device or search engine being used.
  • It gives parents control of social media use and app downloads according to custom account settings.
  • Provides reports for searches, instant messages, keywords entered and controls screen time.

Should I Use Additional Safe Search Filtering Software?

It is important to note that Google safe search is not perfect. We strive to provide a healthy balance between screening out illicit material and providing quality search results. For this reason, the ultimate in security can only be achieved with the use of parental control software. This is difficult and costly in a school setting where you have hundreds of computers, which is why Safe Search Kids is a good step towards a safer online environment on a broader level.

When you have control over 1 or 2 computers in your home, it becomes a viable option to consider filtering software options to protect kids, as well as your computer from viruses. The cost is minimal and gives the user much more control over what keywords are filtered out.

The important thing is to do your research and compare all the pros and cons, including costs, before proceeding.  Of course, no search filter can replace parental supervision when it comes to children on the internet – even when safe search is turned on – but every little bit helps.

More About Our Website:  Safe Search Kids Article Categories

Social Media SafetyOnline Safety for Kids | BullyingEducation
Parenting | Internet Filtering & Security | Parental Controls

In addition to parents and teachers, older kids such as teens would find many articles within these categories of interest. The categories names “Improve Your World” and “Stuff for Your Brain” contain many areas of interest for younger kids.  Parents and educators may want to direct their kids to read these articles as part of their education.

You can access our recent posts in the center column. To read an article, clicking the “read more” button. You’ll find sharing tools at the bottom of each post. As you scroll down, we feature a longer list or our more poplar articles, as well as posts related to internet security and online safety to the left of the page near the bottom. You’ll also see that there are articles written just for kids. To search for a specific article topic, our website search tool can be found near the bottom right of our website.

At the very bottom, you will find direct links to our individual search pages related to safe image search, wiki for kids and safe videos. Why would you use these? Basically, if a teacher wanted to post a ‘safe image search link’ on their teacher page, clicking this link below will bring them to the url that will always feature safe image search by default. The same goes for wiki for kids and safe videos.

We encourage you to browse our articles for helpful topics, and of course, bookmark Safe Search for Kids for strict filtering on Google – on every computer in your home or at school.

Covenant Eyes | Internet Filtering and Accountability

internet accountabilty and filtering

All software based internet filters block content to prevents kids from viewing harmful websites or downloading apps their parents don’t approve of.  Covenant Eyes does this as well, but has added features that encourages a culture of accountability through email reports disclosing internet use and sending them to an accountability partner.

This accountability relationship may include kids and their parents, or may strictly be among adult friends who are struggling with porn on the internet.  Therefore, Covenant Eyes is not just marketed to parents who want to protect younger internet users.

Unlike the history in your browser that can be deleted, Covenant Eyes keeps track of all user activity within the subscriber’s account.  It teaches safe browsing habits.  Just knowing that an extra set of eyes will see the search history on a daily or weekly basis help keeps family and friends responsible when surfing the internet, including Google.

It is these two facets that makes Covenant Eyes unique.  While most parental control software programs are set up to give parents all the control, Covenant Eyes can also be for adult users with accountability partners.  These adults have control of their own account and their accountability partners are sent reports of online activity, as well as changes made to restrictions and app downloads.  To further clarify, let’s recap that which may be confusing to those who are new to internet filtering and monitoring software;

Covenant Eyes has Two Distinct Features depending on the End User

  • It is just like your standard parental control software used by parents to monitor and restrict internet access for younger kids.  Age limits can be set according to age to give teens more freedom to make good choices online, but a certain level filtering and blocking is still implemented. This is controlled by the parent.
  • It is monitoring software for adults who want accountability with a friend or spouse*.  The account is opened by the adult user.   An accountability partner is added (or multiple partners) and email reports are sent to this partner or multiple partners of their internet activity.  The frequent of email reports is determined by the account holder.

The creation of the Covenant Eyes software program was based on the word covenant, which is basically an agreement one makes with another person about particular issue. In regards to internet safety, the agreement made with what people see online (covenant eyes).  The commitment is to stay away from harmful content online.  Later, Covenant Eyes was expanded to also provide complete internet blocking for kids.

Accountability and Internet Blocking

Both blocking and accountability is included in the full software download.  The difference is who owns the account.  For families with kids, the parents have the control.  For adults, they hold the account and have full access to the internet. They simply want to be accountable to others. It may be to fight a porn addiction or they are struggling with control issues over internet use.

*It has been recommended by many counselors of couples who are struggling with porn that your Covenant Eyes accountability partner is someone other than your spouse.  This sets up inequitable parental roles within the relationship.  All couples, married or not, should be focusing on open and honest communication about all aspects of their relationship without condescension. It can work better for each individual to set up accountability with a friend that both people in the relationship respect and trust.

If you are a parent with older teens, you may not even decide to block content.  You may want to teach self control.  Your teens actions will be greatly controlled by the strength of their accountability relationship with you as a parent.  When they are aware that the parent will be receiving email reports about online activity, it will teach good decision making and self control.

If you are an adult seeking control over the internet within your own life, you still have freedom online.  For example, a site like YouTube may automatically be blocked.  This is a standard setting for parents who may want to prevent their younger kids from being on YouTube.  Therefore, you can change the settings to allow YouTube.  Your accountability partner(s) will see these changes in their email report but it won’t be something they would question since YouTube is not a pornographic website.

Accountability can also go both ways.  Friends may want to be accountable to each other, or a support group of friends.  Each member would have their own account and add multiple partners.  Here is what a typical Covenant Eyes account looks like after logging in through the app on your phone.  

Email reports are not cumbersome. Bad websites are highlighted to produce an easy to view history report of where a user has been online. Those keeping an eye on a users internet habits can also log in with limited access to see a recent history. Of course, this is not ideal for younger kids because you don’t want them stumbling on explicit material even by accident.  This is where you would want to employ complete parental controls.

Beyond the accountability option, Covenant Eyes still allows parents to block websites based on the age. This protects kids from being exposed to explicit material by mistake.  It comes preloaded with at set of obvious sites that should be blocked but may decide you don’t want a person to access a particular social media site or apps.

Basic Covenant Eyes Software Set Up

  • Covenant Eyes downloaded to a computer or smart phone.
  • Covenant Eyes keeps a complete and accurate record of all web usage.
  • Filtering, blocking  and Monitoring can be set up according to age.
  • Accountability Partners, selected by the user, receive reports by email about internet activity.
  • Unique dynamic scoring system highlights questionable sites, making the report easy to read.
  • When an accountability partner is removed, that partner previously set up to receive activity reports is notified.
  • Create Your Covenant Eyes Account

Screen Accountability

Covenant Eyes has responded to the growing need to their software to work as the internet privacy and security protocols evolve.  Therefore, they have redefined accountability as screen accountability.  Basically, it’s not as easy now to determine the content of a website based only on the url or written content on the page.

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Screen Monitoring:  The software periodically captures screenshots of screen activity and stores them securely.

Screenshot Analysis:  Advanced artificial intelligence analyzes those screenshots, on your device, for explicit imagery.

Screenshot Processing:  The software rates the images, blurs them to protect your privacy, then prioritizes them based on content.
Activity Reporting.   A report of concerning activity, circumvention attempts and other activity is sent to you and your ally.

Safe Search Kids recommends the use of parental control software to implement internet filtering. If you decide not to subscribe to internet filtering and blocking via software, we still encourage families to use Google Safe Search.  Just know that while filtered search engines such as ours do a great job of blocking offensive and dangerous websites, they only work while the child is using the safe search website to conduct searches.  A program such as Covenant Eyes is a tool that combines greater restrictions to internet access.  In either case, parental guidance on safe browsing behavior is always best to teach kids safe browsing habits.

If you have a computer gamer in the house, a parental control program is not the same as anti-virus software.  Many gamers complain of reduced speed while running anti-virus for protection and now there is a new solution to that problem.  It’s Performance + Security in One for gamer security.

Covenant Eyes Accountability Reporting

Covenant Eyes analyzes each website visited and blocks or allows them according to each user’s sensitivity settings. The parental control filter requires an ‘uninstall code’ in order to remove it from the computer. If the program is uninstalled, all users and accountability partners receive an email that the Covenant Eyes is no longer tracking usage.

As mentioned, you can choose to not have a lower level of filtering for older family members. At it’s most basic level, the software program instills positive browsing habits through accountability and reduces the risk of developing addictive behavior. Parents should also consider controls for very young children spending time online.

Simply create an Covenant Eyes account and download.  The software provides an economical solution to internet filtering for the entire family.  For adults, it offers freedom with the ability to set up accountability with trusted friends.   Typical adult users are those who choose to resist temptation on the internet by remaining accountable to a friend or spouse.

Give it a try and if you are not completely satisfied with how the program is working for you, simply request a refund within 30 days for a guaranteed 100% refund.

Download Covenant Eyes!

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