Android Parental Control: 7 Ways to Protect your Child

Android ParentalControls

Every child seems to have a smartphone nowadays, and it can be difficult to shield them from the darker corners of the internet.

Then again, phones can be a major part of a child’s learning and development, so check our guide if you want to ensure that your child stays safe while they’re using your Android device.

We’ve listed some of the best apps and methods we’ve found to keep your child safe.

 
  1. Safe Browser Parental Control

    SB_Icon

    As we all know, the web can sometimes be a dangerous place. This app is a ‘cloud based web content filtering browser’, and there are lots of topics you can block so your child can browse the web safely.

    KSB_Eg

    However, you’ll only be able to use the app for 30 days before they want payment for their services, but at least this should be more than enough time to see if the app will be useful for you and your kids.

    Safe Browser Parental Control

    JOA Rating: 3 out of 5

  2. Kids Zone Parental Controls

    KZ_Icon

    This app will allow you to create a profile for your kid/s, and add relevant apps that only you can approve.

    Here’s a video that shows how easy it is to set up on your device;

    You can even set time limits, and they won’t be able to reboot the device to access anything more adult-orientated.

    It’s a decent option, and it only takes a few steps to set up on most devices. The reviews are decent, although it hasn’t been updated in a while.

    Kids Zone Parental Controls

    JOA Rating: 4 out of 5

  3. AppLock

    Applock_Icon

    If you want to keep your kids away from sensitive apps on your device, AppLock will do the job for you. It’s not made with children in mind, but it’s still a great way to lock off sections of your device if you’re passing it over to an infant.

    With over 100m downloads on the Play Store, it’s one of the most popular apps available, and it’ll never let you down. There are three types of account you can choose from;

    • Premium – Paid, premium features, no adverts
    • Ads – Free, premium features, adverts
    • Basic – Free, no premium features, no adverts

    If you want your child to be able to open specific apps and games, AppLock is an easy way to keep your files secure.

    AppLock

    JOA Rating: 5 out of 5

  4. Funamo Parental Control

    Funamo is a well-known parental control app, with a number of features that we’ll show below;

    Internet filtering:

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    • Patent-pending web filtering technology automatically blocks pornographic web sites.
    • Allow additional control by specifying web site blacklist, whitelist and keyword filtering.
    • Support whitelist-only mode which limits the web access to a pre-defined list of web sites

    Device monitoring:

    • Log the history of all calls, SMS/MMS messages, web site visits and applications.
    • Track the location history of your kid’s device in real time.
    • Synchronize contacts information from the device to the server.

    Application control:

    Funamo_Settings

    • Block protected apps; set time limits and daily time allowance for selected apps.
    • Application quarantine feature automatically blocks newly downloaded apps.
    • The device control feature blocks all apps and silences the device for school or bed time.

    Cloud-based solution:

    • Change device settings online and synchronize the changes to the device in real time.
    • No more emails! All device settings and history data are available online 24/7.
    • Work with all major web browsers, and optimized for mobile and PC browsers.

    However, a user has contacted us to tell us that Funamo was useless, because they could open Google or YouTube from within the browser, and nothing was blocked. It worked perfectly for another user that contacted us, so it’s up to you to see for yourself.

    Fun_Cindy

    The app comes with a free two-day trial, so you can always try before you buy.

    Funamo Parental Control

    JOA Rating: 5 out of 5

  5. Google Play App Filtering & Blocking In-App Purchases

    It’s every parent’s nightmare. Checking your bank account to see that your child has gone crazy with IAP’s. Luckily, you can set up password protection to stop this from happening.

    • Open the Play Store, and tap the Menu
    • Tap Settings, and tap Require authentication for purchases.
    • Select an option from the list, and enter your Google password.

    As well as restricting IAP’s, you can simply activate Parental Controls on the Play Store.

    • Open the Play Store app on your device.
    • Access the menu by tapping the three bars in the top left corner of the device.
    • Go down to Settings, and tap it.
    • Scroll down to User controls, and tap Parental Controls to open a new menu.                                                                                                                                         Parental_Controls
    • Hit the toggle, and you’ll be prompted to make a PIN for the parental controls.
    • You’ll have to confirm the code again.
    • Once this is done, you’ll have full control over what can be downloaded from the Play Store while Parental Controls are active.

    PC_2

    As you can see, the store has a number of decent ways to stop kids from downloading anything expensive or dodgy.

  6. Care4teen Parental Control (Free)

    C4T

    Care4teen gives you remote control to what your children are doing on the web. With GPS monitoring, you can also track their location and control what apps or games they play!

    More importantly, you can remotely see online reports of what your kids are doing at the care4teen.com website:

    • Remotes reports on phone calls made
    • Remote reports on texts sent and received
    • Remote reports on the websites visited
    • Remote reports on your kid’s location
    • Remote reports on applications and games launched

    Here are some of the features that you get with this amazing android parental control app.

    • Individual application blocking
    • Safe web browser

    With an average rating around 4.7, Care4Teen is a great way to monitor your kids from wherever you are.

    Care4teen - parental control

    JOA Rating 4 out of 5

  7. Further Reading

    It’s understandable if you want to learn more about keeping your children safe and happy while they’re on your device, so check the list below if you want a few articles that can help your child safe and happy.

How did this work for you?

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Conclusion

There are lots of apps you can use to moderate a child’s phone use on Android. Make sure to try out the trial versions of the apps before committing to anything, and have a look at everything they have to offer.

Hopefully, you’ll now be able to keep your Android device secure while it’s in the hands of children.

If we’ve missed an easy way to make an Android device childproof, or you have questions about one of the methods on this list, let us know in the comments below, or you can contact us via Facebook or Twitter.

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Comments (34)

  1. BIll Ingue on

    One app that actually works and can filter content and block apps is Qustodio. I’ve tried many of the others and they’re actually not just limited but in many cases don’t work. Their filters for porn are easily defeated by the least tech savvy kid and they don’t do much else. Pretty poor. I’d recommend Qustodio. I’ve tried Funamo, Care4teen and the others mention and have found that they’re all lacking in certain key areas. I’m surprised that this article recommends them: a little research shows their limitations.

    Download Qustodio and stop worrying 😉

    • Mrs. England on

      My kids could uninstall Qustodio in just a few minutes because it does not reload very soon after the phone is powered off and back on. Then they discovered that moving it back to the SD card removed it from uninstall protection. Also Tech support never contacted me back during my 7 day trial so that I could see if there was a solution to this MAJOR glitch. $40 for 10 devices seems pretty reasonable, but not to have to pay it every year until the kids are grown.
      What limitations are there with Funamo etc.? I am using it now, but only get to try for two days and I wish I could pay $20 for a family license instead of per child because I have 6 children and it would be nice to be able to cover all their devices without breaking the bank.

      • Kathy on

        I am also using Funamo and I am quite happy with it. I tried Qustodio and others, Funamo was the only one that worked for me. Another big problem with Qustodio is that you can easily bypass their filter using the incognito mode in the browser. Funamo prevents this with their own browser. I bought 4 licenses together and I emailed them asking for a discount. They are very reasonable. Kid place and kytephone are too restrictive. They change the whole user experience with an Android device. I could not get Care4teen to work when I tried it and I did not get any reply from their support. I have not tried it again lately because I already have Funamo. Hope it helps.

  2. on

    Hey Joe, thanks for your comment. I see Mobileminder’s app doesn’t have that much of ratings and user base. Did you had chance to use this app? If so, please let us know exactly what feature of theirs you love the most.

    • Sarah on

      Mobileminder works great, but it’s not free. And I can’t get the GPS location to work.

  3. snowhite10 on

    I downloaded the Care4Teen for my sons phone. Opened the “safe browser” and typed in the p-word to see what came up. A list of websites came up and if I clicked on one, then it said that the site is blocked. The descriptions were not blocked. And if I chose “images” view from the search results I saw a lot of super nasty stuff. This app does NOT block image searching! No good.

  4. mom_dont_spy_on_me on

    If your kid is not a moron rooting will bypass all this and is relatively easy to do. Also the play store is not the only place where you can install apps from so kids could just download the .apk file for the app and install it.

  5. lynn on

    Is there a parental control app that will still work even if my teen puts her phone in safe mode? The problem I am having is that once the phone is in safe mode my parental control app that i have downloaded doesn’t work. I need to continue to have apps and the web blocked during school time.

  6. Daniellia Conger on

    I need to know what cell phones apps protect against incognito in browser?

    • Judy on

      Hi Daniellia,
      Just to make sure I understood your question correctly, you are looking for apps that prevent someone from using the incognito feature? =-)

  7. Adam on

    It sucks big way that Android (which has been around for years) doesn’t have parental control embedded – like Windows !
    You need a dozen of apps, root and some uber-parent skills to limit or block smartphone / tablet usage but time restriction really never works.

    • Judy on

      Hi Adam,
      It would be great if Android had that, but you never know, it just might have it in the future if we complain to Google enough. =-)

  8. Cindy on

    Spent entire day yesterday instaling and setting up on tablet and it’s a disappointing sham. 1. The Funamo Browser will block things, but one can just pull up Google or Youtube within the Funamo Browser, and nothing is blocked. This is with the individual Google and Youtube security / blockers enabled. Nothing ever defines what is blocked; G and Y have no standards; I was able to pull up any and every-thing. 2. Hence, you are left with entering every conceivable word on your own; the word blocker does work. 3. I specifically wanted the monitoring capabilities, the ability to see, from another device, what is being searched, played, texts etc. HOW is this accomplishmed with Funamo??? 4. GPS tracking???

  9. Keith on

    What about Covenant Eyes? Anyone here have any experience with them?

    • Judy on

      Hi Keith,
      I haven´t but hopefully, someone who has will pitch in with their experience. The app is free, so at least, you won´t have to pay to give it a try. =-)

  10. GWEN SHEARON on

    Sprint offers “Sprint Mobile Control” I can lock & unlock my childs phone from mine. I can determine apps available while its locked (3 apps) I can determine who is available for texting or calling some locked. Know what apps where installed & who called or texted her at any time. I won’t leave sprint because they are the only ones to offer it. Plus Sprint family locator allows me to track her whereabouts & lets me know when she is at school or at home. Love it!

    • Judy on

      Hi Gwen,
      That sounds like a great service. It sure offers a lot and I´m sure that many parents are also happy with it as well. Thanks for sharing your experience, I´m sure that many will be tempted into trying it as well. =-)

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