Boston Parents Guide: Top Parental Control Apps and Settings for 2024



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In today's digital age, ensuring your child's online safety is more crucial than ever. With the rise of cyber risks and the increasing amount of time children spend on their devices, parental control apps have become an essential tool for parents. These apps not only help monitor and restrict inappropriate content but also provide features like location tracking, screen time management, and more. In this guide, we will explore the top parental control apps and settings available in 2024 to help Boston parents make informed decisions.

Key Takeaways

  • Parental control apps include Aura, Bark, Net Nanny, Norton Family, Qustodio, and Screen Time, with prices ranging from free to $150.
  • These apps allow parents to block inappropriate content, monitor internet activity, limit device usage, and track their child's location.
  • Some apps, like Qustodio, offer advanced features such as monitoring phone calls and social media, and even include a panic button for emergencies.
  • Free parental control options include Family Link for iOS and Android, Parental Control for Windows 10, and Parental Control for YouTube and YouTube Kids.
  • Parental controls require active involvement from parents to be effective, including monitoring behavior and responding to alerts.

1. Qustodio

Qustodio is a comprehensive and well-known parental control app that offers a wide range of features to help parents monitor and manage their children's online activities. It provides excellent monitoring, filtering, and time limits, making it a top choice for many families.

Key Features

  • Monitor phone calls and social media activity
  • Track your child's location
  • Panic button for emergencies


Qustodio's extensive features ensure that parents can keep a close eye on their children's online behavior, helping to maintain family internet safety. The app's ability to track location and monitor social media makes it a versatile tool for modern parenting.

All in all, Qustodio is the best parental control app in 2024 — it provides excellent monitoring, filtering, and time limits, has tons of other helpful features, and is highly reliable.

2. Net Nanny

Net Nanny is a comprehensive parental control app designed to help parents manage their children's online activities. It offers a wide range of features to ensure your child's safety both online and offline. The app is known for its easy-to-use interface and excellent customer service.

Key Features

  • Content filtering: Net Nanny allows parents to block inappropriate websites and content, ensuring a safe browsing experience for children.
  • Screen time management: Parents can set time limits for daily device usage, helping to balance online and offline activities.
  • App management: The app provides the ability to approve or block specific apps on your child's device.
  • Location tracking: Keep track of your child's whereabouts in real-time.
  • Alerts and reporting: Receive detailed reports and alerts about your child's online activities.

Online Gaming Safety

Net Nanny also focuses on online gaming safety, allowing parents to monitor and control the games their children play. This feature helps in blocking violent or inappropriate games and managing the time spent on gaming platforms.

Net Nanny offers lots of parental control features to keep your child safe both online and offline. It has easy-to-use apps, great customer service, and robust content filtering options.

3. Norton Family

Norton Family is a robust parental control app designed to help parents monitor and manage their children's online activities. This comprehensive guide will walk you through its key features and benefits.

Key Features

Norton Family offers a range of features to ensure your child's online safety:

  • Web Supervision: Monitor the websites your child visits and block inappropriate content.
  • Time Supervision: Set time limits on your child's device usage to encourage a healthy balance.
  • Search Supervision: Keep track of your child's search queries to ensure they are accessing safe content.
  • Social Media Supervision: Monitor your child's social media activity to protect them from cyber threats.
  • Location Supervision: Track your child's location in real-time for added peace of mind.


Norton Family provides several benefits for parents:

  • Enhanced online safety: Protect your child from harmful content and cyberbullying.
  • Comprehensive monitoring: Gain insights into your child's online behavior and habits.
  • Customizable settings: Tailor the app's features to suit your family's needs.
A detailed safety plan can add security to your child's Internet experience.


Norton Family offers various pricing plans to fit different budgets. The app is available as a standalone product or as part of the Norton 360 Deluxe package, which includes additional security features for your devices.

Installation and Setup

Setting up Norton Family is straightforward:

  1. Download the app from the official website or app store.
  2. Create an account and set up profiles for your children.
  3. Customize the settings to match your family's requirements.
  4. Install the app on your child's devices and start monitoring.

Norton Family is an excellent choice for parents looking to ensure their children's online safety. Its comprehensive features and user-friendly interface make it a top contender in the realm of parental control apps.

4. Bark

Bark is a comprehensive parental control app that monitors texts, photos, videos, and 30-plus social media platforms and apps. It offers industry-standard parental control features and easy-to-use navigation, making it a top choice for parents.

Key Features

  • Monitors texts, photos, and videos
  • Supports over 30 social media platforms and apps
  • Easy-to-use navigation
  • Real-time alerts for potential issues

How It Works

Bark uses advanced algorithms to scan your child's online activity and sends real-time alerts for any potential issues. This allows parents to address problems before they escalate.

Pros and Cons


  1. Comprehensive monitoring
  2. Real-time alerts
  3. Easy-to-use interface


  1. Can be invasive for older teens
  2. Subscription-based model
Bark is an excellent tool for parents who want to stay informed about their child's online activities without being overly intrusive.

5. Aura

Aura is the first truly intelligent safety solution, protecting everything your family does online. With an easy-to-use, AI-powered platform that continuously adapts to evolving online risks, Aura mitigates threats before they become real problems. By focusing on preventative protection – leveraging our #1 rated identity protection services, automatically updating breached information, and more – Aura ensures your family's online safety.

Key Features

  • History Feature: Helps track your kids' online habits so you can spot overuse on apps and websites and see which sites they tried to access but were blocked.
  • Bonus Time Feature: Allows you to extend your kid’s daily time when you want to reward good behavior – or if you just need to finish cooking dinner.
  • Comprehensive Protection: Aura's all-in-one online safety platform protects families from financial fraud, identity theft, and other online threats.

Why Choose Aura?

Aura is a leader in identity theft protection. Now with its new family plan, it is offering parental control monitoring features, but it may fall short in some areas. However, its focus on preventative protection and continuous adaptation to evolving online risks makes it a strong contender for families looking to safeguard their digital lives.

Aura's History and Bonus Time features are now included in all Aura Family plans, as part of Aura's all-in-one online safety platform that protects families from financial fraud, identity theft, and other online threats.

6. Screen Time

Screen Time is a versatile parental control app designed to help parents manage their children's device usage effectively. It offers a range of features that make it easier to set screen time limits and ensure kids are engaging with age-appropriate technology.

Key Features

  • Set screen time limits: Parents can easily define how much time their children can spend on their devices each day.
  • App management: Control which apps your children can use and for how long.
  • Daily reports: Receive detailed reports on your child's device usage, helping you understand their habits and make informed decisions.
  • Bonus Time: Extend your kids' daily time online with Bonus Time when they need a little extra for homework or other activities.


Screen Time helps reduce daily clashes over device usage, fostering better communication between parents and children. By providing kids with information about their own screen time, it encourages self-regulation and responsible use of technology.

With the increasing amount of time children spend online, having a tool like Screen Time is essential for modern parenting. It ensures that kids are not only safe but also developing healthy digital habits.

How to Get Started

  1. Download and install the Screen Time app on your child's device.
  2. Create an account and set up profiles for each child.
  3. Configure the settings to match your family's needs, including setting screen time limits and managing app usage.
  4. Regularly review the daily reports and adjust settings as necessary to ensure your child is engaging with age-appropriate technology.

Google's Family Link is a free parental control app designed to help parents manage their children's digital activities. This app is particularly useful for children under 13 years old, as it allows parents to create Google accounts for them and supervise their online activities.

Key Features

  • Create Google accounts for children younger than 13 years old
  • Supervise the installation of apps on the child’s device
  • Manage screen time and set daily limits
  • Filter inappropriate content for children
  1. Download the Family Link app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
  2. Open the app and follow the on-screen instructions to create a Google account for your child.
  3. Link your child's device to your own using the Family Link app.
  4. Customize the settings to manage app installations, screen time, and content filters.

Family Link provides a balanced approach to digital parenting. While it gives parents control over their child's online activities, it also educates children about their own screen time. This dual approach helps in fostering a healthy digital environment for the entire family.

Family Link is a great tool for parents who want to ensure their children are safe online while also teaching them about responsible digital habits.

8. Footprints

Footprints is a versatile parental control app that not only allows you to locate your children but also provides a detailed history of all the places they have been. You can set limits to receive alerts if your child goes beyond a specified distance from home, such as 2 kilometers.

Key Features

  • Real-time location tracking
  • Location history
  • Customizable alerts for distance limits

How to Use Footprints

  1. Download and install the app from the app store.
  2. Set up your account and add your child's device.
  3. Customize the settings to receive alerts and view location history.

Benefits for Parents

Footprints offers peace of mind by allowing you to keep track of your child's whereabouts and ensuring they stay within safe boundaries. This app is particularly useful for parents who want to monitor their child's movements without being overly intrusive.

With Footprints, you can watch your child on CCTV and get hourly updates on their activities, making it easier to ensure their safety and well-being.

9. Parental Control for Windows 10

Windows 10 offers robust parental controls to help you manage your child's online activities and screen time. By setting up these controls, you can ensure a safer digital environment for your family.

Setting Up Parental Controls

To get started, you'll need to create an administrative account for yourself and a user account for your child. This allows you to manage and monitor their activities effectively.

Features of Windows 10 Parental Controls

  • Control access to your devices
  • Decide what games your child can play
  • Set a schedule to control daily computer usage
  • Manage which computer programs your child can use

Benefits of Using Windows 10 Parental Controls

Windows 10 parental controls are designed mainly to help parents monitor and control a child's online activities. This includes blocking inappropriate content and setting screen time limits.

For a comprehensive guide on how to install and configure these settings, check out the top 5 parental control apps for Windows in 2024 to monitor your kids' activity, control screen time, and block inappropriate content.

Additional Resources

For more detailed instructions, you can watch this video tutorial on managing user accounts and parental controls in Windows 10.

10. Parental Control for Youtube and Youtube Kids

YouTube is the greatest platform for audiovisual content in the world, and it also allows you to set up parental control so you can be sure that your child isn’t watching videos that are inappropriate for their age. If your child watches videos on their phone or tablet, you can download the YouTube Kids app, which is available for both Android and iOS. This application allows you to:

  • Control the amount of time your child spends on YouTube
  • Block undesired content
  • Ensure your child views videos appropriate for their age

How to Configure YouTube Kids

This YouTube parental control application is very simple to set up and has various functions. It allows you to create up to 8 profiles with different configuration options adapted to the age or maturity of each child. You can:

  • Set individual screen time limits
  • Block specific videos or channels
  • Monitor what your child is watching

How to Set Up Parental Controls on YouTube

YouTube has various options in their settings that allow you to set up parental control. Follow these steps to set up parental control in YouTube:

  1. Visit YouTube by typing in your navigator.
  2. Click the start button in the upper right of the screen.
  3. Log in to your Google account and you’ll be redirected to your Google account.
  4. Once logged in, look for the settings button on the left.
  5. In settings, click History and Privacy.
YouTube's built-in parental controls are Restricted Mode and YouTube Kids. These tools are essential for keeping kids safe on YouTube in 2024.

Ensuring your child's safety on YouTube and YouTube Kids is crucial. Discover effective parental control strategies to protect your kids online. For more tips and resources, visit our website.


In today's digital age, ensuring the safety and well-being of our children online is more crucial than ever. The variety of parental control apps available, such as Aura, Bark, Net Nanny, Norton Family, Qustodio, and Screen Time, offer a range of features from blocking inappropriate content to tracking your child's location. These tools, combined with best practices in digital parenting, can help create a safer online environment for your kids. However, it's important to remember that these apps are most effective when parents are actively involved in monitoring and guiding their children's online activities. By leveraging these technologies and staying engaged, parents can help their children navigate the digital world safely and responsibly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the top parental control apps available?

Some of the top parental control apps include Aura, Bark, Net Nanny, Norton Family, Qustodio, and Screen Time. Prices range from free to $150.

What features do these parental control apps offer?

These apps allow you to supervise your child's internet activity, block inappropriate content, limit device usage, authorize downloads, block device usage, and track your child's location, among other features.

Is there a panic button feature available in any of these apps?

Yes, Qustodio offers a panic button feature that allows your child to send you an alert in case of an emergency.

Are there any free parental control apps available?

Yes, there are free parental control apps available such as Family Link for iOS and Android, Parental Control for Windows 10, and Parental Control for YouTube and YouTube Kids.

How can parental control apps help keep kids safe online?

Parental control apps help keep kids safe by managing screen time, requiring permission to install apps, blocking inappropriate content, monitoring messages and activities, tracking location, and preventing app uninstallation.

Do parental control apps require active parental involvement?

Yes, parental control apps require active parental involvement to be effective. Parents need to monitor behavior and alerts and act on them proactively.

Can parental control apps prevent unauthorized purchases?

Yes, parental control apps can prevent unauthorized purchases by blocking kids from using credit cards without permission to buy in-app items and in-game currency.

Are parental control apps effective for older kids?

The effectiveness of parental control apps may decrease as kids get older. Experts believe there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but these apps are still a valuable resource, especially with increasing online risks.

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