Parental control apps & software help parents know how their children are spending their time online. These apps and programs can be installed on PCs, tablets, and smartphones, which send reports to the parent's phone, including data on websites visited and total screen time.

Additionally, parental control apps for kids allow parents to track their child's physical location. Plus, these apps can be used to schedule and limit your child's screen time, ensuring they are paying attention in school and not exploring websites when they should be doing other activities.

Parental control apps give parents the access needed to understand better how their children spend their time online. According to a PEW Research Center survey about parental control apps, 39 percent of parents claim to use parental controls to help block, filter, and monitor their children's online activities. Of those parents who use parental controls, 16 percent claim to use them to restrict online activities on their teen's mobile devices.

Multiple parental control software and apps help you track your child's online activities. We have compiled a list of the top 10 parental control apps and software programs to help you determine the best option for you and your family.

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Continue reading to learn more about the different apps and programs available to help with parental controls:

1. mSpy

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mSpy is a powering solution to help monitor and safeguard your kids and other family members while online. The mSpy system monitors mobile messages, tracks location, and tracks app usage. mSpy also helps track websites visited using your child's mobile device.

Essentially, mSpy interprets the data from your child's phone and transfers it to your account. The program creates a complete report showcasing their activity, including social media, text messages, and call logs.

mSpy offers an annual and monthly subscription. Rates vary because only one device can be monitored per subscription. To monitor multiple mobile devices, you must establish various subscription accounts. mSpy is available for parents to download on Android devices and iOS devices.

2. Norton Family

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Norton Family is an affordable parental control software perfect for families with multiple devices and teaching their children through remote learning programs. Norton Family gives parents the insights they need when wanting to keep their children safe and focused when working online. The program generates a report with search terms and viewed videos. It also helps monitor their web activity, such as limiting searches to age-appropriate content and limiting screen time.

Norton Family is available for a $49.99 annual fee to access the program on unlimited devices. This parental control app and software is available for Android devices and iOS devices and Windows PCs.

Google Family Link
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Google Family Link is a free parental control app that works seamlessly with your G-Suite. This parental control app is free and available for Android, Chromebook, and iOD users. Google Family Link offers parents the basics of parental control app features, including screen time limits, location tracking, usage, and more. However, it is missing some key features that other premium parental control apps and software programs offer.

4. eyeZy

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Parents looking for an advanced smartphone monitoring app with state-of-the-art features to help monitor their child's phone will benefit from using eyeZy. This parental control app offers tracking of messages, internet searches, videos watched, and much more.

eyeZy is available for a monthly subscription. Monthly fees vary because you may have to get multiple subscription accounts. After all, eyeZy only allows one device for each subscription. This parental control app is available for use with Android devices and iOS devices.

5. Intego

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Intego offers parents everything needed to keep their family safe during their online activities. This app and parental control program is available only on Mac devices, offering bundled firewall protection, antivirus, online browsing protection, and parental control features.

Intego pricing varies between $39.99 and $119.99 for a one-year license, depending upon the number of devices you have connected with your account. You can connect one to five devices to your Intego account.

6. McAfee

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McAfee offers a robust parental control platform where they are in good hands with one of the most recognizable brands specializing in digital security. Parents love using McAfee because it is user-friendly and provides time management, app-blocking features, and geofencing capabilities. McAfee's parental control offers the solution parents seek when wanting to protect their children.

For one annual licensing fee of $49.99, you can include unlimited devices for monitoring. A monthly payment plan is also available. McAfee's parental control program is available for Android devices, iOS systems, and Windows PCs.

7. Bark

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Bark is a more popular parental control app and software program because of its user-friendly platform and state-of-the-art security and monitoring apps. This app offers parental control with the latest AI monitoring that proactively warns about potential cyberbullying and Internet-related issues and concerns. This app monitors over 24 social media platforms, has customizable alert settings, and allows you to set location alerts based on your child's phone location.

Bark averages between $5 and $14 per month, depending upon the level of protection you select, and can be used on unlimited devices. Bark is available for Android devices, iOS devices, and Amazon Fire devices.

8. Aura

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Aura is more than a parental control downloadable app to monitor your child's online activities. This app and software program also protects your child from identity theft. Aura has been rated high among parents looking for an all-inclusive app to help protect their children online. Aura offers AI-powered digital security on all your devices and protection against fraud, identity theft, and scams. Plus, subscribing to Aura provides you and your daily up to $5 million in identity theft insurance.

In addition to all the extras Aura offers, parents can trust typical parental control features are available, including content filters, website blocking, location tracking, and screen time limits.

For a monthly service fee of $37, you can protect five mobile devices on the same account. Aura is available for download on Android devices and iOS devices.

9. Qustodio

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Qustodio is a powerful parental control and monitoring solution to help protect almost all of your devices (based on the type of device). This parental control app features a well-designed, user-friendly interface, app blocking on desktops and mobile devices, comprehensive-time restrictions, device location tracking, and much more. This app helps you monitor your child's online activity while creating rules about what is and is not allowed. The Qustodio app will take care of the rest, blocking unapproved sites and reporting with detailed notes about what your child is doing online.

For about $54.95 to $137.95 per year, you can join Qustodio to monitor and protect between 5 and 15 devices. Qustodio is available for Android devices, iOS systems, Chromebook, Mac, Windows PC, and Amazon Fire devices.

10. Net Nanny

Net Nanny
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Net Nanny is one of the most established names in the parental control business, offering parents peace of mind knowing they are using software from a company with more than 26 years of experience. Net Nanny offers a user-friendly setup with custom web filters. You can limit screen times, block apps, and use essential geofencing tools.

Prices vary for Net Nanny depending on the number of devices you wish to monitor and if you pay monthly or annually for your membership. Net Nanny can monitor up to 20 devices per account. This parental control app and software program works with Android devices, iOS systems, Mac, Windows PC, and Amazon Fire devices.

Frequently Asked Questions About Parental Control Apps and Software

phone mockup with parental control app

What are parental control and monitoring apps?

Parental control apps make it possible for a parent to view and monitor their child's online activities. These programs help track browser history, block harmful and inappropriate websites, and track activity such as texting, instant messages, and social media posts.

How much should I expect to spend for a parental control and monitoring app?

Parental monitoring apps can range in price based on the devices you use, the number of devices, and the special features and functions you wish to have. Prices for parental control apps can range from free to hundreds of dollars annually.

How do parental monitoring and control apps work?

child with surprised phone, parent background using parental control app

Once a parental monitoring and control application is installed on your and your child's device, you can monitor their activity. Additionally, parental control apps allow you to control when they have internet access and track their texting, social media posts, and instant messaging activity.

At what age should I install a parental control or monitoring app on my child's phone?

Children are starting to be online more and getting early starts at young ages. Leaving them unprotected before going online could put them at risk of being exposed to threats such as grooming, cyberbullying, explicit material, or other inappropriate items available online. As a responsible parent, using a parental monitoring app is a must, and you should start using these types of apps the moment your child goes online on a family computer or with their own devices.

Should I install and use a parental monitoring control app on my child's phone without them knowing?

Installing a parental control and monitoring app or program on your child's phone without them knowing is not recommended. To avoid more conflict, it is best to discuss why you are installing the app and how they can be responsible when online. You could also discuss when the child might expect you to uninstall the app and explain what they can do to prove they will be responsible online.

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Being transparent about using parental control apps and software with your child is always best. Though discussing this with your child may feel uncomfortable, it is best to do so with their knowledge to ensure trust and continued open communication in your parent-child relationship.

When should I stop monitoring and tracking my child's online activity?

Every child is different and when you should stop monitoring your child's online activities depends upon their maturity and responsibility levels. However, as they get older, by about their mid-teens, it makes more sense to lighten up on the restrictions and allow your child some freedom online. But you know your child, so this is a question only you can answer based on your child's maturity and responsibility when going online.

Can parental control and monitoring apps and software protect my child from being targeted online?

Parental control apps and software can help protect your child from the many online threats, but they cannot guarantee complete safety. It is always best to speak with your child about the dangers and internet safety. Talk to them about setting various online behavior guidelines.

Does installing parental monitoring and control apps invade my child's privacy?

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It may feel like parental control apps invade privacy, but it is crucial for safety and privacy when your child starts various online activities.

If your child has a phone, tablet, or computer, it might be time to install a parental app or parental control softwares program. Before selecting a parental control or monitoring app, check out the top 10 apps and programs we listed above. We are sure you will find the perfect parental control app for you and your family's online protection needs. If you are looking for a more complete list of iPhone and android spying and monitoring apps you may want read this other post: Top Best iPhone Spying & Monitoring Apps (and How to Set Them Up)

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