Best Parental Control Apps of 2024

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Range of Parental Controls: Depending on your child’s age, how they utilize technology, and your areas of concern, select a parental control app that keeps you informed about what your child is doing with the technology that’s at their disposal. Also, make sure they’re not gaining access to inappropriate content or communicating freely with strangers through online gaming, social media, email, or online chatting services.

Filtering Tools: Preventing a child from inadvertently accessing adult content, listening to music with explicit lyrics, or communicating with strangers are some of the ways parental control apps with advanced filtering and content-blocking capabilities can be useful.

“Good parental control apps should have content filtering, activity monitoring, and customization features based on age and maturity. Location tracking and usage time limits are essential for physical safety and balanced digital habits,” says Dr. Bidisha Sarkar, a pediatrician and child development specialist at ClinicSpots.

Ability to Set Time Limits: We all agree that it’s important to set limits on the amount of time children spend online and on gaming devices. However, different parental control apps implement time limits in various ways, so get one that’s intuitive and meets your needs in this regard.

“A screen time control feature is important to help parents set limits on device usage and ensure a healthy balance between online and offline activities,” says Connor Ondriska, co-founder and e-learning expert at SpanishVIP.

Ability to Track Location and Monitor Online Activities: Most parents want to know what they’re kids are doing online, and some even want to track their location (especially if they have younger children).

“It’s essential to consider features like geofencing and location tracking,” Ondriska says. “These features provide parents with tools for setting virtual boundaries. They can receive notifications when their child enters or leaves a designated area. This helps ensure their child’s safety, and enables parents to quickly respond if any unexpected situations arise.”

Easy of Use: Choose a parental control app that offers an intuitive user interface, explains how each feature is best used, and walks you through the initial setup process. Using the app or adjusting filters or settings improperly will make it less effective and/or allow your child to get around the controls.

Cross-Platform Compatibility: The best parental control apps should work across all of the devices that a parent and their child uses, from smartphones and tablets to laptop and desktop computers, smartwatches, gaming systems, and even smart TVs.

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