We are well past the days when mobile phones used to be an exclusively adults-only device. Kids nowadays are known to spend considerable amount of time on their iPhones and tablets. As Internet accessibility has become easier over the years, it has led to parents worrying more about their kids activities, both off-line and on the Internet.
This is where a good parental control app can be of great use. Using such an app can help you keep a constant tab on your kids’ off-line and online activities. In fact, these apps have become an essential tool for anyone wanting to be constantly in the loop about their kids’ whereabouts.
But please keep in mind, you can’t assume that these apps will do everything on your behalf. They will deliver only if you adopt a comprehensive approach to ensure that your children behave responsibly whenever they go online. It implies that such tool should be complemented by counselling of your kids, about what’s permitted and what’s not. You should have a talk with them about your expectations from them, and make it pretty clear that you’ll be closely following their actions.
It is very critical to have such open line of communication between your children and yourself, to encourage them and to help them develop good online habits.
Parental Control App – What is it?
Setting appropriate limits and safeguarding the children are two very important responsibilities that come with parenting. In this regard, controlling your kids’ activities on the Internet is not very easy. However, there are many effective tools which can be used to accomplish this in a strategic manner. This is where a parental control app comes into the picture.
A parental control app can be described as a piece of software which helps in tracking your children’s mobile phone activities, and control what all they can access while using such devices. As a result, parents are able to manage the content viewed by their younger ones and limit their screen time as well. Such restrictions also protect kids from unwanted elements on the Internet.
Majority of parental control apps provide certain core functionalities, like call blocking & monitoring, geo-fencing, app blocking, screen time control, GPS location and more. The exact features offered may vary from provider to provider, but the basic purpose remains the same. These apps have proven to be a big hit amongst parents everywhere, and are working out as excellent cure for smartphone addiction.
There are several kinds of parental control apps sold in the market, both for iOS and Android devices, but not every product is worth using. It’s very difficult to control kids, even when you’re physically with them, leave alone when they’re left all by themselves with their mobile devices. So you can very well imagine the comprehensiveness that’s normally expected from such a product. To help you out, we have put together a well-researched list of 5 best parental control apps for iPhone and Android mobile devices available in the market today.
mSpy cell phone tracker has clearly emerged as the best choice for parental control app in the market over the years. It aids effective monitoring of your child’s mobile phone activities from a remote location, to ensure their safety, no matter where they may be. Over 1.5 million parents over the world use mSpy for actively monitoring their kids’ online activities, and to ensure their online safety. The app has proven instrumental in keeping children away from harmful online content and cyber bullying in 180+ countries.
How it works?
mSpy gathers all kinds of information from your kid’s mobile device, including call details, text messages, location etc., and uploads all the retrieved data to your mSpy account on the company’s cloud server. You simply need to log in to your mSpy account and access all this information through the Control Panel. This can be done by using any web browser on your desktop/laptop computer or smart phone.
mSpy – Safety and Privacy aspects
mSpy has been in the mobile phone spying market for more than a decade, and has earned a strong reputation for delivering the most secure monitoring apps to the market. The company lays a lot of emphasis on the privacy and security of its customers’ details as well as that of their loved ones. In fact, they claim that it’s their number one priority. mSpy uses the latest and cutting-edge encryption protocols to ensure that all the data stored on their servers stays completely safe. Even their team can’t access the retrieved data; only you can see it.
Why mSpy is considered the best parental control app
- It can be installed fairly easily and enables you to begin monitoring your kid’s mobile device in less than 10 minutes.
- The app stays completely invisible on the target device, working round the clock, in background mode.
- mSpy works as an affordable parental monitoring solution, allowing you to monitor your kid’s device for no more than $1 per day.
- All the data retrieved and stored on the mSpy server is encrypted and protected using the most advanced security protocols in the industry. The retrieved data can be accessed only by you and no one else.
- mSpy app retrieves the information from the target device every 5 minutes, to ensure that you stay most up-to-date about your kids activities
- The company provides round-the-clock support, in multiple languages, throughout the year.
Some of the main features of mSpy are:
- A complete check on the call history, allowing you to view all the outgoing and incoming calls, with call duration, timestamps and contact info
- A view of all the outgoing and incoming text messages; even the ones that have been deleted from the mobile device
- Tracking the mobile device using GPS location, and learn which all places it has been to
- Accessing all social media accounts including Facebook, Tinder, Instagram and more
- Easy access to chats on all well-known messenger apps including Telegram, Snapchat, Viber, WhatsApp, Hangouts, Skype, Line, Instagram, Kik, Tinder and more.
- Check the complete browser history of the target mobile device, including searches carried out in incognito mode
- Access all the media files including videos, photos and other forms of media stored or shared on the mobile device
- Get detailed info on installed applications, emails, calendar activity and more. Block any application that you don’t want your child to use.
- Record the screen activity on the target mobile device, to get a better idea about what your child is up to.
- Get a detailed record of all the outgoing and incoming mails on the phone
- Is compatible with any Android device, iPhone or iPad
How much mSpy parental control app cost?
mSpy Basic subscription
- 1 month subscription: $ 26.99
- 3 months’ subscription: $ 59.99
- 12 months’ subscription – $ 99.99
mSpy Premium subscription
- 1 month subscription: $ 69.99
- 3 months’ subscription: $ 119.99
- 12 months’ subscription: $ 199.99
mSpy Family Kit
With mSpy, you can also opt for a highly useful Family Kit package that allows you to monitor 3 devices simultaneously at a fairly reasonable:
- 6 months’ subscription: $ 119.97
- 12 months’ subscription: $ 167.97
Second on our list is FlexiSpy which pitches itself as the most powerful monitoring software for mobile phones, tablet PCs and computers, in the world. The company claims to help you learn everything happening on your children’s smartphone, showing you things that your kid won’t share with you, irrespective of where you may be. Once you install the FlexiSpy monitoring software on your kid’s mobile device, it will take complete control of it and send you constant updates about everything happening on it.
FlexiSpy allows you to remotely keep a tab on your kid’s Internet usage, online conversations, phone calls and more, enabling you to step in as soon as you notice any kind of risky or troublesome behaviour. All the information retrieved from the child’s device is uploaded to your FlexiSpy account, where you can access it using a web browser on your mobile device or computer.
Why Flexispy Is Considered One Of The Best Parental Control Apps?
You’d like everything to be the best when it comes to your children, hence, there is no point compromising when it comes to the parental control software. Other than mSpy, FlexiSpy is the parental control app of choice for a great multitude of parents across the world. With this app, not only do you get some very unique features, but also the expertise of a brand which has been into this space for more than a decade. When you use FlexiSpy, you receive:
- More details related to your children’s activities, who they are speaking to, what are the speaking about and what all they’re watching on their mobile devices.
- More monitoring features compared to any other similar product in the marketplace
- More device support, implying that you get the best parental control experience
- More customer support, ensuring that there is always someone to speak to if you run into any problems, or have any concerns or questions.
Some of the notable features of FlexiSpy are:
- Recording all the outgoing and incoming phone calls on the target device
- Live interception of outgoing and incoming phone calls on the target device, allowing you to listen into real-time calls, from wherever you may be.
- Recording of the conversations happening in the phone’s surroundings
- Recording of calls made from or received through popular IM apps including Hangouts, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger and Line.
- Instant listening to the target phone’s surroundings, in real-time, through your own mobile phone.
- Taking over the front and back cameras on the target mobile device, and secretly clicking pictures or recording videos through it.
- Sending invisible SMSes, also called spoof SMSes, from the target mobile device to any of the contacts in that mobile’s phone book.
- SMS deletion feature that automatically checks for SMS messages consisting of certain keywords, and then deletes them accordingly, before your child is able to see them.
- Instant SMS notifications to alert you whenever a call is made from or received on the target mobile device.
- Retrieval of all the messages received on or sent from various IM apps including Telegram, WeChat, Skype, Instagram, Kik, Snapchat, Hike, Facebook, QQ, Hangouts, Tinder, WhatsApp and Viber
- Geo-fencing to define certain areas where your kid is allowed and not allowed to go.
- Details of web browser activities, including web sites visited, online services user etc.
How Much Does Flexispy Parental Control App Cost?
FlexiSpy offers has a very flexible pricing structure for its parental control app, meant for mobile devices.
Lite package – $ 29.95 per month
Has basic monitoring features; best for parents on a budget
Premium package – $ 68 per month / $ 99 per quarter / $ 149 per annum
Ideal for all round mobile monitoring; comes with added features difficult to find in other similar monitoring apps
Extreme package – $ 199 per quarter / $ 349 per annum
Works best for parents in need of high-end monitoring features, especially parents who’re monitoring teenagers. It includes recording of every audio stream on the monitored mobile phone.
Special package – $ 19.99 per week
This special option is available for monitoring of iPhones; best for tethered iPhones.
Hoverwatch is another highly useful mobile phone spying tool that enables you to do almost all the tracking tasks which are facilitated by the top two parental control apps on our list, and then some more. You need to simply sign up for a free online account on the Hoverwatch website, by providing a valid email address, followed by signing up for an appropriate plan based on your needs. Thereafter, you can download and install the Hoverwatch mobile tracker on the target device. Once done the tracker will collect all the relevant data from the target device and offer it to you through your Hoverwatch online account. The app is actively used by more than 1 million people across the world.
Hoverwatch is the creation of a company going by the same name, founded in the year 2002. It has been offering parental control and employee monitoring solutions for a long time. Though their main focus is business solutions, their parental control app is equally comprehensive and delivers credible results for a large number of parents throughout the world.
What makes Hoverwatch one of the best parental control apps?
Hoverwatch provides a wide range of parental control features that work pretty effectively in gaining a good control over the kids’ day-to-day activities, and get it counted amongst the best of such apps available in the market today. The company claims that their software has been installed on over 12 million devices across the world, which speaks volumes about its efficacy.
Some of the notable features of Hoverwatch are:
- Stealth mode operation, staying completely invisible to the kids, as they use the device
- Remote recording of all the outgoing and incoming calls remotely
- Detailed record of all the websites visited by the target user, including details such as the URLs visited and time & date of the visits.
- Tracking of all the messages sent or received through various IM apps, including Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Viber. This includes the ability to see the images, audio and videos exchanged in the IM conversations.
- Spying on the text messages, allowing easy viewing of all the outgoing/incoming SMSes.
- Secret tracking of the target device’s location irrespective of whether the GPS and Wi-fi are on or off.
- Periodic screenshots of the mobile device, providing a fair idea about the activities done at different times of the day.
- Tracking of To-do lists. While this may not be relevant in case of all the children, many teenagers are known to streamline their day-to-day activities using such lists. So, it can be helpful in their regard.
- Using front camera to take a selfie in complete stealth mode. The photo is clicked as soon as the person unlocks the device.
- Continuous tracking of the mobile device, even if the person replaces the SIM card on it. Furthermore, an instant notification will be sent whenever the SIM card is changed.
- Ability to track up to 5 different devices simultaneously, including laptops, personal computers and smartphones.
How Much Does Hoverwatch Parental Control App Cost?
Personal package – Allows for monitoring of 1 mobile device
- 1 month subscription: $ 24.95
- 3 months’ subscription: $ 59.95
- 12 months’ subscription: $ 99.95
Professional package – Allows for simultaneous monitoring of 5 mobile devices
- 1 month subscription: $ 49.95
- 3 months’ subscription: $ 99.95
- 12 months’ subscription: $ 199.95
iKeyMonitor positions itself as the ultimate monitoring app for parents. It’s a powerful and easy-to-use parental control app for both Android and iPhone devices, which enables parents across the world to monitor a whole lot of activities on their kids’ devices. Using this app you can monitor Snapchat, Facebook, WeChat, WhatsApp, the current GPS location, phone calls, visited websites, text messages and more. A large number of parents regularly use iKeyMonitor to protect their younger ones from cyber stalkers, cyber bullying, suicide/violence websites, online threats and sexual predators.
How iKeyMonitor is meant to be used?
In order to effectively use iKeyMonitor to keep a tab on your children’s activities and to guard them in every way possible, you must follow the below detailed three steps:
Monitor – This aspect involves constant monitoring of your child’s activities on their phone, including call logs, IM messages, locations, visited websites and more.
Control – As per this aspect, based on all the information gathered from the monitoring activity, you should set healthy blocking rules and time limits, for managing your child’s screen time.
Protect – This is about the eventual protection of your children from unwanted online elements including sexual predators, cyber bullies and inappropriate content.
What makes iKeyMonitor is one of the most sought after parental control apps?
The delivery of various effective features through an easy-to-use platform has made iKeyMonitor one of the best parental control apps in the market today. Some of the other aspects which make it stand-out include:
- The app supports multiple languages and has the capability to record keystrokes in the native language of the user.
- iKeyMonitor comes equipped with password protection, preventing unauthorised access from anyone including your children. You can even set iKeyMonitor as a system map on the target device, preventing unapproved uninstallation.
- Each sale of the product comes with a 30 days’ money back guarantee, allowing you to try it out, without any restrictions.
- The makers also provide a free-trial to every user, enabling you to gauge its efficacy prior to the purchase.
- You can view all the recorded logs on the device itself, or remotely through an online cloud account. Other ways include through email, online FTP and LAN access.
- The app provides actual screenshots from the device in the form of a slideshow.
- Anything entered into any app is recorded with the help of a virtual keypad.
Some of the notable features of iKeyMonitor are:
- Monitoring chat messages on popular Messenger apps like WeChat, Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, Kik, Line, Hangouts, Tinder, Snapchat, Telegram, Hike, Bumble, Signal and more
- Constant tracking of the whereabouts of your children using the GPS location feature on the mobile device. You receive an email alert as soon as the kid goes out of the geo-fenced zone.
- Recording of all the outgoing and incoming calls on the mobile phone, using the inbuilt call recorder.
- Setting of appropriate schedules on the target device, to define screen time.
- Easy recording of the target phone’s ambient sounds, in complete stealth mode.
- Instant email alerts whenever certain words are entered into the mobile phone.
- Tracking of web browser history, and retrieving pertinent records including the date, time, URLs visited and website titles.
- Periodic screenshots to get a good idea about the mobile activities
- A complete list of all the apps installed on the target device, and detection of any newly installed apps.
- Easy blocking of any unwanted app on the target device.
- A record of all the videos and images stored on the target device.
- A complete log of all the reminders, memos, notes, calendar details and contacts stored on the target device.
- Wi-Fi history view enabling you to learn when your child last connected their mobile device to a Wi-Fi network.
- Works with both non-rooted Android devices and non-jailbroken iPhones.
How much does iKeyMonitor parental control app cost?
iKeyMonitor has a free-of-cost basic version available on its official website that offers elementary level monitoring features. Nevertheless, you’re allowed to access premium on demand add-on features by making a payment of $ 9.99 for 3 days, or $ 16.66 for one month.
If you’d like to monitor more than one mobile device, you can gain comprehensive access to all its features by paying $ 9.9 per month, per device. However, there’s a catch, you’ll need to commit to monitoring of at least 20 devices in this case. It can be particularly useful if you can perhaps get a group of parents together, all of which can split the cost based on the number of devices they wish to monitor. Of course, you’ll need to look at the feasibility of this, both with regard to the technicalities involved as well as the practicality of use by multiple parents.
Cocospy claims to be a highly-efficient parental control, remote surveillance and tracking app which can help you stay clued into the online activities of people dear to you, whether it’s your kids or near ones. The app promises to help you track your kids’ app-usage, calls, messages and locations, from a remote device/computer, in a 100% discreet manner.
Why choose Cocospy parental control app?
- Every purchase of Cocospy is backed by their 60 day long money back guarantee, allowing you to ask for a refund if you’re not satisfied with the product.
- Cocospy is completely secure and reliable app. All the retrieved data is stored using cutting-edge encryption technologies.
- The app is already used by over a million people spread over 190+ countries
- The company offers excellent customer support, reachable 24 x 7, 365 days a year.
Can using Cocospy have any negative impact on the children?
Cocospy is actively used by over a million parents throughout the world. It functions both as an effective spying tool and a parental control solution. Hence, anyone wanting to monitor their kids’ mobile activities, to make sure they stay out of the harm’s way, will not be having any negative impact on their children when they use this app.
Having stated the above, the truth is that no kid likes being supervised! In fact, a lot of them would go any length to keep their online and off-line activities a secret. This is where a tool like Cocospy comes into the picture.
Some of the notable features of Cocospy are:
- Take a sneak peek into all the saved contacts on the target mobile phone and mark people that you consider suspicious
- Go through group and individual conversations on a wide variety of well-known IM apps including WhatsApp, Viber, Snapchat and Instagram.
- Check all the outgoing and incoming calls on the target phone, and go through each one of them along with their pertinent details such as phone numbers, timestamps and call durations.
- Go through the browser history on the target phone, along with the visit frequency and time stamps.
- Read all the text messages sent from or received on the target device, including the deleted messages.
- Track the location of your kids using the GPS functionality on their mobile phone, and learn when they enter and exit certain locations.
- Create a virtual geo-fence around your child, and receive immediate alerts upon its breaching. You can track locations in real-time and also go through the past location history.
- Cocospy claims to put the ‘Spy’ back into mobile phone spying, and carries out the entire monitoring activity in invisible mode.
How much does CocoSpy parental control app cost?
For monitoring Android mobile devices:
Basic package (applicable to 1 device)
- 1 month long license for $ 39.99
- 3 months’ long license for $ 59.99
- 12 months’ long license for $ 99.99
Premium package (applicable to 1 device)
- 1 month long license for $ 49.99
- 3 months’ long license for $ 69.99
- 12 months’ long license for $ 119.99
Family package (applicable to 3 devices)
- 1 month long license for $ 69.99
- 3 months’ long license for $ 99.99
- 12 months’ long license for $ 199.99
For monitoring of iOS mobile devices:
Premium package (applicable to 1 device)
- 1 month long license for $ 49.99
- 3 months’ long license for $ 79.99
- 12 months’ long license for $ 129.99
Family package (applicable to 5 devices)
- 1 month long license for $ 99.99
- 3 months’ long license for $ 199.99
- 12 months’ long license for $ 399.99
Please bear in mind, all CocoSpy mobile phone monitoring packages renew automatically upon expiry. Hence, if you’d like to discontinue its usage and cancel the subscription, you’ll have to do it manually. Interestingly, apart from all the popular payment methods, it’s one-of-kind product which you can pay for in Bitcoin as well!