5 Parental Controls made for the Digital Age

Woman Hands Working With A Laptop At Home

The internet is a nearly infinite source of content, some of which may not be safe or appropriate for children. Take a look at these five parental controls you can use to monitor your children’s online activity — and protect them from seeing something they shouldn’t.

Net Nanny

  •  About the software | Net Nanny is a software that lets you set up 18 filtering categories to block certain content from your child’s phone. With the app, you can control what websites and apps your kids are using while limiting the amount of time they are spending on their devices. Its parental control app is used primarily as a safe browser, whereas the Web interface is for controlling the software’s settings.
  • Features | The Net Nanny App Manager gives you the power to block specific browser content, such as gambling sites, violence, hate speech, alcohol and more.

Circle with Disney

  • About the device | Circle with Disney partners with the legendary entertainment company to manage your children’s internet usage. It involves a hardware device that connects to your home network, which you can manage through its accompanying app. With Circle with Disney, you can track and limit the amount of time spent on certain apps, even when your kids are outside the limits of your Wi-Fi network.
  • Features | In addition to limiting internet usage, you can filter what your kids are searching online and what websites they are accessing. You can also block ads, turn off your internet for periods of time and even set bedtimes.


  • About the service | TeenSafe is a monitoring service that allows you to keep an eye on your child’s smartphone use. It includes helpful reading materials, with expert advice on how to approach digital parenting. With the companion app, you can monitor social media accounts, phone location, call logs and more.
  • Features | Additional features include access to backlogs of messages sent and received through Whatsapp and Kik Messenger. You can also view your child’s web search and browsing history, along with a full list of his or her contacts.

DinnerTime Plus 

  • About the app | DinnerTime reminds children to put down their phones for meals and other important activities throughout the day. Simply download the app on your phone and all the kids’ devices for monitoring, app blocking, and detailed usage reports.
  • Features | Monitoring and app usage reports are in real time so you can know exactly what your kids are doing on their smartphones and other devices. You can set warning messages to display on your child’s device during timeouts, plus pre-schedule app and device restrictions during breaks, bedtimes, dinner time, and more. DinnerTime’s animated display of total usage time and remaining time allowed can help your children learn to budget their screen time independently.

Norton Family 

  • About the software | Norton Family is an antivirus software that offers parental control options on your desktop and mobile devices. It includes 47 website categories that you can easily block or set up time limitations for.
  • Features | Individual profiles can be set up for each child, with summarized usage reports for each member of the family. Keep an eye on things without restricting your older children’s freedom by setting up warnings that he or she is about to access inappropriate content — rather than blocking the sites outright.