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The best free parental control software for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android

The world has gone digital in every aspect, even homework (if you have kids). If your kids are young, it’s likely that you haven’t yet given them access to laptops or the family computer on their own. You’re probably not always able to keep an eye on what they’re doing on their screens, too.

Software for parental control can be useful in this situation. These programmed help protect your children from the dark web, and most are free and available for all OS systems. Learn more by continuing to read.

Built-in OS features

Providing your children age-appropriate technology is a great first step in ensuring their online safety. You can make use of parental control capabilities that are already included in the operating system when they have access to more broad computing devices. The parental controls for Windows and macOS offer parents the option to check thorough records and keep an eye on email exchanges, as well as an easy and appropriate way to limit online access and chat capability.

Microsoft Family Safety

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You must create a Family Safety account to use Windows. Afterwards, you can grant your children access to one or more child accounts that you have added to your family account.

This strategy offers a number of advantages despite the fact that it may be a little complicated. You can restrict any apps, games, or websites you choose after receiving activity reports for any online activity performed by the child account(s).

The amount of time the child spends using the account can also be restricted. Real-world safety features exist, such as the ability to follow your children’s whereabouts via the Microsoft Family Safety app (on iPhones and Android phones).

macOS built-in parental controls

The parental controls available in Apple’s macOS are numerous. You can establish limitations for items like movies, programmed, web content, and privacy using the Screen Time area of your Mac’s System Preferences in the most recent version of macOS, Yosemite. You can impose restrictions on a child’s gaming behavior using the parental controls in macOS, including whether or not they are permitted to use private messaging or play multiplayer games.

With iOS and iPadOS devices, you can also limit features like in-app purchases and make it necessary to enter a password before making a transaction.

By login into a child’s particular Mac account or by utilizing Family Sharing, a function that enables you to add your family members to a group and then remotely manage their accounts’ parental control settings from your own account, you can change these parental control settings.

Apps and extensions

Although Windows and macOS provide a respectable range of parental controls, they can’t handle everything by default. In a similar vein, setting up parental controls on mobile devices designed for kids can be difficult. Here are some programmed you can download that might be better suited to your specific objectives.

Qustodio (Windows/macOS/iOS/Android)

It only takes a few seconds to register for the free edition of Qustodio’s programmed thanks to its very simple and intuitive user interface. From the dashboard, you can control everything, including social media monitoring, individual internet usage time limitations, and even tracking text and phone activity on devices.

The software’s outstanding range of compatibility options includes support for Kindle, Chromebooks, Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Several functionality, however, such as application controls and location tracking, etc., are hidden behind pay walls. Also, the free version can only be used on one device, which reduces its utility. Although Qustodio has a terrific selection of functions, we wish more of them were free.

KidLogger (Windows, macOS, Android, and Linux)

If you want to remain stealthy, KidLogger is a great choice. KidLogger automatically records keystrokes, browser history, and application use instead of banning websites (it can also take a screenshot of your child’s screen automatically). The programmed automatically records any SMS messages by number and contact name once it is loaded on a smartphone.

Even though some of the features in the premium editions of KidLogger are downright intrusive, they add some zip to the service’s free version. KidLogger Professional has the ability to record WhatsApp messages and listen to your child’s phone chats. Linux, Windows, macOS, Android, and the app are all supported. Similar to Qustodio, a free account has restrictions. Your monitoring options with free KidLogger accounts are limited to five devices and a short log history.

FoxFilter (Google Chrome/Firefox/Edge add-on)

Users of FoxFilter have access to a number of blocking filters that are just based on specific keywords and websites. The sensitivity options for the add-on can be changed to scan body content, title, and URL. The type of content associated with each prohibited site is specified in the notice and alert choices that users can specify.

By adjusting your preferences, you may easily block entire categories of websites and apply parental control quickly. We advise using the parental control software’s default list of warning phrases if you’re new to using it.

By overusing or selecting the incorrect terms, you could mistakenly block all websites. Fortunately, FoxFilter users may get assistance by sending a brief email. Contact Inspired Effect for assistance if you need it.

What’s next?

The idea of parental control goes beyond just restricting your child’s computer access. Some websites must now be blocked on their mobile devices. You’re probably looking for ways to increase security on your kids’ phones and even gaming consoles as a result of new technology.

It is your duty as a parent to protect your kids from internet risks, and it is crucial to keep your technology secure. Your devices will remain secure and your credentials will be secured if you use the proper antivirus software and password managers.