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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Best apps to put on kids’ phones to keep them safe online this summer

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Halfpoint Images/Getty Images
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

School systems are formulating reopening plans amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and families are reshaping their summer schedules to adhere to safety regulations. Parents balancing working from home with caring for school-aged kids need ways to keep their brood entertained.

Read more: Our favorite right back to school picks for 2020

With the surge in digital learning and not having the capability to visit friends personally, many children are spending more time on their phones and computers. The safety concerns for kids online haven’t lessened, but studying parental controls and safety apps might help bring some peace of mind to parents.

Here certainly are a few parental control apps we think are a good notion to consider putting on your child’s phone or computer.

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Read more: Best kids tablet for 2020: Amazon Fire, Apple iPad and more compared

Net Nanny

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Net Nanny/Screenshot by Shelby Brown

Net Nanny can be an app that uses AI to block questionable or dangerous content before your son or daughter sees it. The app can filter certain internet sites and monitors your child’s digital activity, and may also monitor and limit screen time. The software’s Family Feed feature can report what your son or daughter is searching online and what apps your child uses and may alert you to content such as pornography, weapons and drugs.

Net Nanny is compatible with Android and iOS, in addition to Windows, Mac and Fire. The computer software costs $55 per year to cover PC, Mac and mobile for a five-device family. Net Nanny now offers a $40 annual plan to cover one Mac desktop and a 20-device protection package for $90 per year.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Net Nanny now offers a dedicated filter to block coronavirus web sites and searches to help kids who might feel anxious.

Read more: 7 parental controls you need to use right now on your kid’s iPhone

Bark

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Bark is still another option for parents who desire to keep kids safe online. The app monitors texts and emails, along side YouTube and over 30 social media networks for dubious content your son or daughter might be searching or viewing. Bark sends parents alerts if it detects signs of cyberbullying, depression, online predators, adult content and much more. You may also decide which platforms you would like to monitor, if you want to give your son or daughter some privacy. The app recently launched a new screen-time management feature so parents can monitor their kids’ accounts in addition to set screen time limits from exactly the same app.

Bark features a seven-day trial offer and then costs $14 monthly ($99 annually) per family with iOS and Android devices. You can also subscribe to Bark Jr, their entry-level product, for $5 a month ($49 annually). Bark Jr focuses on screen time management, website filtering and location check-ins.

OurPact

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OurPact

The OurPact parenting app helps families balance screen time for free on iOS and Android devices. The app lets parents limit access to certain apps, filter websites, enable GPS monitoring, and schedule screen time and recurring activities like bed time. It also allows parents to block or grant internet and app access at anytime.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, OurPact said that it’s offering three months free access to premium features, normally $7 per month. Premium can manage up to 20 devices, keep tabs on most of the apps on your child’s device and mark as Always Blocked, Per Schedule and Always Allowed. Premium also enables a spendable screen time allowance, the family locator feature and geo-fence creator for alerts, text blocking and web filters.

Typically, OurPact’s base plan is free and offers one schedule, and five blocks and unlimited grants for starters device. OurPact also has a Plus policy for $2 monthly that offers unlimited schedules, and manual blocks and grants for 10 devices.

SafeToNet

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Kids will soon be communicating over devices during lockdown simply because they can’t see their friends. The SafeToNet app, that is now available on iOS and Android in the US, features a safeguarding keyboard powered by AI to judge, guide and advise a child instantly as they look for content and message the others. The app’s goal is to help the child be responsible and safe online without feeling like they do not have any privacy.

Parents defintely won’t be able to see what’s being written, but can view insights like the period when risky messages are sent and the top five apps employed by their child. SafeToNet can show what problems the child most struggles with too.

The computer software will flag certain messages if the AI detects bullying, abuse, aggression or sexting, for instance. SafeToNet provides the child an instant to pause before sending a message they can not take back. Plus, the app provides breathing exercises when anxiety is detected, lessons about self-esteem and an emotion diary.

To help throughout the pandemic, SafeToNet is offering is services free to families for the month of May.

Google Family Link

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Google/ Screenshot by Shelby Brown/

Google Family Link lets you create a Google account for your son or daughter (if they truly are under 13 years old) with access to most Google services, including Gmail and Photos. If your son or daughter is over 13, they have to consent to using Google Family Link. The app lets parents keep an eye on their kid’s Google account and guide them to age-appropriate content. Parents may also approve or deny which apps their kids want to down load. Family Link shows parents apps that teachers recommend, which parents can add directly to the child’s phone.

The service works with Chromebook, iOS and Android. It includes other parental controls such as screen time limits, locking the device for family time and location tracking.

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