The Best Parental Control Apps of 2024

Protect your children from inappropriate content and digital threats with our list of top-rated parental control apps.

Last Updated: June 2024

An Introduction to Parental Control Apps

Parental control apps are software downloads or applications that allow parents to filter the content children see online, over the phone, or over text messaging services.

After paying a monthly or yearly subscription fee, parental control apps can be easily downloaded onto most devices.

Common App Features

Although every parental control app will offer unique features, these are the most common:

  • 24/7 Content Monitoring: If a child comes across content that is considered harmful or suspicious, a parent is notified.
  • Screen Mirroring: Parents can see exactly what is showing on their child’s screen, often without their child knowing that they are being watched.
  • Website/App Blocking: Parents can restrict their children from accessing specific websites and applications.
  • Screentime Maximums: Parents can set limits on the amount of time their child spends on their devices, blocking device use after a limit is met. This feature can often be filtered for specific sites or apps: if your child loves a particular phone game, you can restrict them to a set amount of time to play per day.
  • Location Services: A child’s location can be pinpointed based on the location of their device.
  • Parental Control Hub: Parents have a “home base” feature to manage filters, alter notifications, and review the history of their child’s online interactions.

Why Parental Control Apps Matter

Parental control apps may serve a number of important functions:

  • Prevent Criminal Activity: Anyone could be speaking to your child on the internet. Bad actors can try and lure children to specific locations, have them give up vital personal information, or input credit card or bank information. Parental control apps can notify parents when suspicious interactions like this begin, stopping the interaction early before it becomes a problem.
  • Catch Bullying, Mental Illness, or Suicidal Ideation: Monitoring apps can read every text, message, or email a child sends and receives. If your child is going through a crisis, you might catch it over the internet.
  • Protect Innocence: The internet is full of violent, sexual, and offensive content. You can block access to the sites and apps featuring the kinds of videos, images, and text that make your child grow up too fast.
  • Ensure Physical Safety: Parental control apps can notify parents when a child enters or leaves a specific area, ensuring children are always in the places they should be.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Parental control apps typically work on contemporary smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops by most major manufacturers. When signing up for a parental control app, be sure to check the company website to review the app’s device compatibility.
Parental control apps can often monitor content from websites, apps, text messages, social media platforms, emails, and phone calls.
All of the parental control apps listed on our website are legitimate, vetted companies.
In most cases, parents are allowed to monitor their children’s devices as long as their children are not yet 18 years of age. If you’d like to monitor your children’s devices, but feel strange about doing so without their consent, consider opening a dialogue with your child about your reasoning to monitor their content.