Best parental control apps for parents in 2023

parental control apps


The best part about the web is its wealth of information for your children to explore. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to use every tool. Peer harassment and the risk of encountering malicious actors online are two opposing aspects of online activities. These days, children and teenagers spend so much time online that it’s more challenging than ever to keep them safe which is why it is necessary for all parents to make use of parental control apps.

Nonetheless, it is important for children to feel safe. Sixty-two per cent of US teenagers polled by the Pew Research Center in May 2022 agreed with the statement, “people being able to feel welcome and secure online is more essential than people being allowed to share their thoughts freely online.” Parents can monitor their children’s online activities, conversations, and whereabouts by installing a parental control app on their smartphones, tablets, and other devices to help keep them safe.

Over five weeks, we evaluated five popular parental control applications to see which one was the most effective. We compared Qustodio Premium Small to Kaspersky Safe Kids, Mobicip Premium, Net Nanny, OurPact Premium+, and Mobicip Premium. The fact that Kaspersky Safe Kids could interface with our other security services contributed to its overall success in our tests.

Safe Kids by Kaspersky

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Kaspersky provides a whole spectrum of security services that Safe Kids is compatible with, allowing you to safeguard your entire tech environment with a single suite.

We downloaded the iOS software from the App Store for our kid’s iPad. Although we had to adjust a few settings on the device, we found installation and setup easy.

While not as intuitive as Qustodio’s UI, we found it reasonable and simple. Using the Kaspersky Safe Kids app, we have complete, around-the-clock access to location monitoring and geofencing.

Safe Search blocked improper results from appearing in searches performed on Bing, Google,, Yahoo, and Yandex. While our testing was limited to iOS, it should prevent improper websites from appearing in Android, iOS, and Windows search results. It also can restrict app access depending on age, using publicly available rating systems.

The choice to monitor what people are doing on social media can be programmed. Similarly helpful was the section labelled “Reporting” that appeared under each function and the “Advice for Parents” section on each function page.


  •  GPS monitoring
  • Instant notifications
  • Controlling your time in front of the screen
  • Secure Browsing of YouTube
  • To filter websites and mobile applications

Kaspersky Safe Kids may be downloaded on Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows computers. Kaspersky gives users a 30-day period to request a refund. For a total of $200 a year, or $15 per person per year (billed annually), you can have 20 devices under your control.

How to ensure your children’s internet safety

As the number of potential dangers to children, both online and off, increases, so do parental control programs’ range of features and powers. For maximum effectiveness, parental control applications should be used with a thorough discussion with your children about the need to be safe and secure online. Some precautions you should take when using the internet are:

  • First and foremost, watch what you put online. Whatever you publish on the internet will be there forever, and it might hurt your professional or personal reputation.
  • Recommended Methods Second, become familiar with the language. “SMS,” or short messaging services (often known as “texting”), and “phishing” have been combined to form “smishing.” Find out what phishing and smishing are and how to prevent falling for them. Kaspersky provides a helpful primer on smishing.
  • Recommended Methods 3. Frequently release new versions. Always ensure everyone in your household has installed the most recent software and security fixes.
  • Recommended Methods The fourth tip is to be mindful of where you get your data. If you’re researching, be sure the information you’re getting is from reliable sources.
  • The Mayo Clinic’s blog “Teens and social media usage: What’s the impact?” goes into greater detail on how you may help your adolescent use social media responsibly and mitigate some potential harms they may encounter. The following are some suggestions:
  • The first piece of advice is to confine yourself appropriately. The use of social media may be a distraction for teenagers, so it’s important to talk to them about how to manage it, so it doesn’t affect their daily lives. Recommend that teenagers develop a relaxing ritual before night that does not include using electronic media and banish any such devices from their sleeping quarters. Use yourself as an example by adhering to these guidelines.
  • Keep an eye on your teen’s online activity. Advise your adolescent that you will review their social media accounts often. Do it regularly, once a week at the very least. It’s important to see this through to the end.
  • Defend your position. Your adolescent should be discouraged from engaging in any gossip, rumour-spreading, bullying, or hurting someone else’s reputation. Have a conversation with your kid about the kind of content they should be posting on social media and whether or not they are safe to do so.
  • Promote regular, in-person social interaction. Those young people at risk for social anxiety should pay special attention to this.
  • My fifth piece of advice is to discuss various forms of online networking. Discuss how you use social media in your daily life. Please inquire about your adolescent’s experience with social media and the feelings it evokes. Remind your kid that the pictures they see on social media are often distorted or false.

The Mayo Clinic advises parents to see a doctor “if you suspect their kid is developing signs or symptoms of anxiety or sadness connected to social media usage.”

Methods used for the tests

Our first investigations revealed a plethora of various parental control applications. We narrowed the pool to five potential contenders and ensured they were all premium offerings.

All five applications we evaluated had to be compatible with Apple’s iOS system since we were using a MacBook Pro laptop running MacOS Monterey version 12 and a brand-new iPhone as our testing platform.

Before we began, we had to sign up for each app separately. Each program was successfully installed on our mobile devices and computers. Each app was tested for five weeks (one week for each app).

In our evaluations, we looked at how simple it was to get each one up and running, how intuitive it was to use, how well it was designed, and what kinds of features it included.

Our main priority was making the installation and configuration processes as simple as possible. The intricacy leads to annoyance, and the most incredible tools are the ones you’ll use there. Thereforeioritized, making them as simple as possible to use. This includes the dashboard designs and the reporting functions.

Next, we checked out how well they could keep tabs on your emails and texts. After that, we checked everything to do with the online, from social media tracking to web browsing habits to content banning. The solutions for limiting app downloads and adjusting screen time were compared across devices.

Since not all dangers may be found in cyberspace, we tested their geofencing features and call-blocking capabilities.

Mobicip Premium software

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To compare, we used the Mobicip Premium software, which costs $10 per month (paid yearly for $96) for 20 managed devices.

We signed up for Mobicip Premium on the Parent smartphone and added the second parent. Then, we install the Child app and app manager from the App Store to finish setting up our device.


  • App-based content filtering
  • Relationship finder
  • Computerized timer for limiting screen time
  • The Internet site blocker with social media monitoring capabilities

It was noticed that the Find My function on our iPhone had to be turned off and that mobile device management (MDM) was disabled. There was an option to either “monitor and manage” or “monitor” the gadget.

Social media monitoring, screen time management, and monitoring in Mobicip Premium were both quite effective. Its ability to ban apps, monitor and govern website content, and track users’ whereabouts impressed us. This app does not support geofencing, which we found out.

The extensive platform compatibility offered by Mobicip Premium was a big selling point for us. There are Android, Chromebook, iOS, Kindle, Mac OS X, and Windows


Mobicip Premium provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for both yearly and monthly subscriptions.

Twenty monitored devices at Net Nanny cost $130 ($90 per month) each year (paid yearly).

Net Nanny

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The user interface of Net Nanny, a SafeToNet firm, is cartoonish and fun for kids, including illustrations of parents and child-friendly wording.

The process of installation required two steps. We created a Parent account using the website’s web-based user interface. Next, we got the Child App for our kid’s phone. This took some digging into the Settings menu on the kid’s smartphone, where a VPN and mobile device management (MDM) was set up. We found it inconvenient as several of the links provided in the instructions were not active, necessitating manual entry into a new browser window.


  • Disabler for Mobile Apps
  • GPS receiver
  • Controlling your time in front of the screen
  • Web site blocker
  • Maintaining an eye on YouTube

Web content screening, time limits, app administration, and device health monitoring were all very effective. The ability to designate specific sites as “Always On” or “Always Off”, regardless of the content restrictions we selected, was really convenient.

We made quick work of filtering by using the extensive list of social networking sites provided. We uploaded our kids’ accounts and oversaw the installation using a dropdown menu in the top right corner of the Parent portal, where you can also handle inquiries and other account-related activities.

Priced at $90 a year to manage 20 devices (on sale for $55 per year to control 5 devices), the service will be well worth the investment if the business implements location tracking and geofencing.

Net Nanny may be downloaded on a wide variety of operating systems.


When you manage 20 devices with OurPact, you pay $100 per year (paid yearly) and get two free months.

To install the OurPact Premium+ software on our kid’s smartphone, we connected it via USB to the family computer and then downloaded the OurPact Jr. app. It gave us a way to stop our kids from erasing their management profiles and turn off the Find My function in our iPhone’s settings.

Its remote management features limited its usefulness, prevented and controlled the installation of applications, oversaw data backup, and supervised the device’s interaction with the internet.


  • App-based content filtering
  • Relationship finder
  • An Internet censor
  • Controlling your time in front of the screen
  • Assault on the capacity to send and receive text messages

We liked that we could adjust Screen Time to work with our kid’s routines. The option to watch our child’s screen in automatic periodic, on-demand or gallery mode was among its standout features. If you use Chrome or Safari on your computer, you may not be able to view such websites, which, depending on the situation, could be good or bad.

The geofencing and location tracking functions were handy. However, some users may need clarification on the interface’s abstract visuals, and it may take more effort than expected to set it up.

Both Android and iOS users may upgrade to OurPact Premium+. There is a free trial available for 14 days. From then on out, the cost to manage 20 devices is $10 per month (paid monthly) or, for a limited time, $100 per year (billed yearly) – a $20 discount.


Kids monitoring is a vital part of parenting at this age. While you do not want to infringe on their freedom, there is still the need for you as a parent to watch their online engagement, the content they are exposed to and what they do with their time online and offline. With the above software, you control your kids’ activities.

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