Today’s kids are exposed to technology from a very early age. They learn how to use computers, tablets and smartphones well before they learn how to talk or write.

The Internet provides a wealth of resources for fun and education; however, it also comes with a variety of safety risks, especially for young users. Children can inadvertently download malicious software, give out personal information to a stranger or access inappropriate content.

The good news is that there are many parental control apps you can use to keep your children safe while they use a mobile device.

These apps can be used to restrict access to certain websites, device functions or apps. Many of them also log all activity and can limit the amount of time spent using certain online services.

Here are some of the most popular mobile parental control apps that will help you keep your kids safe online.

Net Nanny

Net Nanny is one of the world’s most popular parental control software tools. It first appeared on the market in 1996. It was a simple program that blocked access to inappropriate websites on Windows. Since then, it’s been made available for a wide range of other platforms, including Android and iOS.

The mobile version can be installed on nearly all smartphones and tablets, including newer models of the Kindle Fire. It comes with a powerful Internet filter that you can customize based on 18 categories.

It gives you the ability to block access to websites containing content related to pornography, gambling, alcohol, drugs and more. Net Nanny also lets you create different profiles for your children. You can mask profanity, set certain websites on a custom blacklist and control the time spent using the device or specific apps.


Qustodio is a mobile parental control app that has received hundreds of positive reviews from users. It was also mentioned in some of the most prestigious technology publications. It works on all mobile devices running iOS or Android, as well as the Kindle and Nook tablets. There’s also a desktop edition for Windows and Mac OS X.

Just like many others, this app works on a freemium basis. You can download it for free and enjoy its basic features, with the option of upgrading to the premium version.

Qustodio has all the features you would expect from a parental control app. It includes the ability to block access to pornography and other inappropriate online material. You can monitor how much time your kids spend on social media services like Facebook and Instagram.

The app also allows you to set time limits for individual apps or access to the Internet in general and block certain apps from running on the device altogether.

Norton Family

Norton Family is an award-winning parental control app. It can help you make sure your kids enjoy the online world safely. The app can be installed on a variety of devices running Android and iOS, including the most popular smartphones and tablets. However, you should know that certain features, such as SMS monitoring, are only available in the Android version.

Norton Family is a complete protection suite for your kids. It comes with web, search, social media and time monitoring functions. The app also has a personal information protection feature. This can help stop your children from giving out sensitive information to strangers online and prevent identity theft.

This parental control app is included with Norton Security Premium. This is a comprehensive security suite that gives you everything you need to keep each PC and mobile device in your household safe from a variety of threats. If you use Norton Security Premium, you will get access to many additional security features. Those include industry-leading virus and malware protection, identity protection, global threat detection, automatic backups and 25 GB of cloud-based data storage space. If you’re unsure whether the app is right for your needs, Norton offers a free 30-day trial.


KidLogger is a free parental control app for both desktop PCs and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. This software has been downloaded and installed over 1,000,000 times by users all over the world and has received plenty of positive reviews on app stores and download portals.

There are many interesting features that come with KidLogger. For example, you can not only monitor usage of the web browser, but also chat apps like Facebook, Viber, Skype, etc. The software has a feature that lets you save every photo taken with the device’s camera, as well as take screenshots of video chats.

Another interesting functionality it has is the ability to track the amount of time spent by your child on each application and block access to certain mobile apps. You can set KidLogger to send you an activity report by email on a daily basis too.


PhoneSheriff is a filtering and parental control app for smartphones and tablets. Unfortunately, unlike many competing apps, there is no iOS or desktop version available yet. However, if you have an Android-powered smartphone or tablet device, you’ll be able to use it.

The PhoneSheriff app lets you set custom filtering and blocking parameters, so in addition to filtering content that is generally inappropriate for children, you can also add individual websites and apps to its blacklist. Other features include remote real time location tracking and locking, text message monitoring and blocking phone numbers from inbound or outbound phone calls.


While parental control apps can be effective at filtering out inappropriate content or helping you monitor the activity of your children when they use a mobile device, they don’t replace the need to have open and honest discussions with them about online safety and acceptable behaviors. For example, it’s always a good idea to tell your kids to let you know if someone is sending them messages that make them upset and to be careful when downloading new apps like games. The apps mentioned above are among the best in the industry and can be used as part of a comprehensive online safety strategy for your kids.

Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.