picture of a parent and child using a smart device together

5 Apps Essential For Keeping Your Children Safe

In today’s digital world, children are more connected than ever before, accessing the internet through a variety of devices at ever younger ages. While the digital world offers endless opportunities for learning and exploration, it also poses significant risks, including exposure to online threats, cyberbullying, and inappropriate content. As caregivers, it's essential that we leverage technology to protect our children and promote their physical safety and well-being within the digital realm. 

Ethan Bennett, an app developer at Sonin, discusses five essential apps designed specifically to safeguard children in today's increasingly digital society.

Bark: Keeping Watch Over Digital Activities

Ethan reveals, ‘Bark is a powerful parental control app that monitors children's online activities across multiple platforms, including social media, messaging apps, and email.’ It uses advanced algorithms to detect potential dangers such as cyberbullying, online predators, and explicit content. With Bark, parents receive alerts and insights into their child's digital interactions, enabling them to intervene when necessary and foster a safer online environment.

Key Features:

  • Monitoring of social media, text messages, and emails for signs of cyberbullying or harmful content.
  • Alerts and notifications sent to parents when potential risks are detected.
  • Insights and recommendations for promoting digital safety and well-being.

Ethan’s Tip: Regularly review Bark alerts and engage in open conversations with your child about their digital experiences to address any concerns or issues promptly.

Life360: Ensuring Physical Safety Through Location Tracking

Life360 is a family locator app that provides real-time location tracking and communication features for families. It allows parents to create geofenced safe zones and receive notifications when their child enters or leaves these areas. Ethan states, ‘In addition to location tracking, Life360 offers driving safety features and emergency assistance options, ensuring parents can stay connected and respond quickly to any potential safety concerns.’

Key Features:

  • Real-time location tracking and geofencing for monitoring children's whereabouts.
  • Driving safety features, including speed alerts and crash detection.
  • Emergency assistance and panic button for immediate help in critical situations.

Ethan’s Tip: Set up geofenced safe zones for frequented locations such as home, school, and extracurricular activities to receive alerts when your child arrives or departs.

Messenger Kids: Safe and Secure Communication for Younger Users

Messenger Kids is a messaging app designed specifically for children under the age of 13, offering a safe and controlled environment for communication with family and friends. ‘Parents have full control over their child's contacts and can approve or block requests as needed,’ notes Ethan. Messenger Kids also includes built-in parental controls and safety features to ensure a positive and secure messaging experience for children.

Key Features:

  • Parental controls for managing contacts, setting screen time limits, and monitoring activity.
  • Safe and age-appropriate messaging features, including stickers, filters, and interactive games.
  • Reporting and blocking tools for addressing inappropriate content or interactions.

Ethan’s Tip: Regularly review your child's Messenger Kids contacts and conversations to ensure they are interacting safely and responsibly.

picture of a parent and child using a smart device together

FamilyAlbum: Safeguarding Precious Memories

FamilyAlbum is a private photo-sharing app designed for families to securely store and share photos and videos of their children. With FamilyAlbum, parents can create digital photo albums, share updates with family members, and preserve precious memories in a safe and controlled environment. The app prioritises privacy and security, ensuring that only authorised users can access and view shared content.

Key Features:

  • Secure photo and video sharing with family members and close friends.
  • Automatic organisation of photos by date and location for easy browsing and retrieval.
  • Built-in privacy controls to manage access and permissions for shared albums.

Ethan’s Tip: Use FamilyAlbum to document and share memorable moments with your child while maintaining control over who can view and interact with your family's photos and videos.

Net Nanny: Empowering Parents with Comprehensive Content Filtering

Net Nanny is a robust parental control solution that offers advanced content filtering and monitoring features to protect children from inappropriate online content. It allows parents to block access to specific websites, apps, and online services based on predefined categories or custom rules. Ethan explains, ‘Net Nanny also provides insights and reports on children's online activities, empowering parents to make informed decisions about their digital safety.’

Key Features:

  • Content filtering and blocking of inappropriate websites, apps, and online content.
  • Customizable settings and restrictions based on age, interests, and family values.
  • Reporting and monitoring tools for tracking children's online activities and identifying potential risks.

Ethan’s Tip: Regularly review Net Nanny reports and adjust filtering settings as needed to ensure that your child's online experiences align with your family's values and safety priorities.

Safeguarding our children in today's digital world requires proactive measures and the use of specialised tools and resources. Ethan concludes, ‘By leveraging technology wisely and implementing these five essential apps, parents and caregivers can protect their children from online threats, promote their physical safety and well-being, and foster a positive and responsible digital environment.’

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