Technology is a double-edged sword in parenting. Just as you worry about your babies safety, as a parent this worry does not diminish as your children get older and are faced with new challanges. Monitoring your child’s use of the family PC is simple enough, but supervision becomes more complicated when you’re dealing with smartphones. Fortunately, there are many smartphone apps that would help you keep your kids safe. Here are our five favourites.
Life360 Family Locator
Thanks to the wonders of GPS, apps like Life360 have made it possible to track your children’s location. But aside from its useful tracking feature, the app also comes with several other useful capabilities:
- It informs you of nearby safety areas like police stations, hospitals and fire departments.
- A check-in feature that allows your children to notify you that they’re fine and have arrived at their destination.
- Built-in chat for members of your Life360 family network.
- Look up sex offenders in your area.
FBI Child ID App
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has an official app for storing photos and identifying characteristics (e.g. nickname, height, weight, birthmarks) of your child. In cases of emergency, you can access and e-mail this information to the authorities, and provide police officers the details that they need right then and there.
The app also lets you call 911 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at a press of a button so there’s no need to manually dial the numbers. If you’re concerned about privacy, the FBI promises that the information about your child isn’t collected or stored, except if you provide it during an emergency.
Aside from its child protection tips, the app doesn’t really do anything directly to keep your children safe—it merely focuses on what to do when something happens. But if something does happen, the FBI app is quite useful. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that.
Sex Offenders Search
For only US$3.99, you can check if there are any sex offenders living in your area. The SOS app lets you search your neighbourhood, your current location, your child’s school or whatever other location. The app will then display a map that displays all registered sex offenders, each represented by a red marker.
Tap on any marker and the app would display the corresponding sex offender’s name, image, physical attributes, and prior convictions. Sure, there are other websites that provide the same information for less, but the information provided by the app is up-to-date.
Norton Safety Reminder
With the Norton Safety Reminder, you can supervise your child’s usage of Android smartphones or Kindle Fire tablets. The app lets you see the websites your kid visits and block them as necessary. A premier version shows you who and what your child is texting, determine who your kids can text with, and look at the apps installed on their device.
Of course, you don’t have to use all these features since they can be quite invasive, and could affect your relationship with your child. However, if it becomes necessary, controlling these details are possible.
Mobicip Safe Browser
For something more comprehensive when it comes to content control, you can use the Mobicip Safe Browser app. It can filter content depending on your child’s age, categorise websites to determine their suitability, analyse websites in real-time, scan YouTube filters, encrypt Wi-Fi hotspots, and monitor your child’s internet activity.
Best of all, the Mobicip browser looks and functions like Safari so your child would be able to use it right away. For US$4.99, you can use Mobicip on your iOS or Android device.