Parental control apps to track your child’s smartphone habits

Apps to keep track of your kids

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - With the start of the school year looming, law enforcement says now is a great time to talk their kids about safety.

Good news: there is an app for that.

Bethany Byrd, a working mother of two, uses the app Life360.

It’s a GPS tracker that helps Byrd keep tabs on her 16-year-old son.

“Because every teenager tries to get away from mom and dad,” Byrd said.

With Life360, Byrd can locate her son without leaving her desk.

The app tracks her son’s whereabouts in real-time.

It even sends alerts when her son arrives at or leaves frequently visited locations, like school.

For a small fee each month, the app will even detect if your child gets in an accident, alert you if you they need roadside assistance and track their driving record.

Byrd said her goal isn’t to be a helicopter parent.

Instead, she’s focused on safety.

“It’s more just keeping us in the loop,” Byrd said. “I don’t want that mid-night phone call that every parent dreads when their kid turns 16.”

Byrd said apps like this help create a line of communication with her son, so that when he does leave home there’s less worry and more security.

“It’s all about guiding their steps more than trying to hold them down and keep them under your house forever,” Byrd said.

Other apps can actually monitor what your child is sending or looking at on their phone.

The app FamilyTime lets you control what apps your student downloads, track their calls and texts and even limit the time they spend on their phone.

The free version gives you access to a few features.

For a charge up to $69 you can access all of the premium features for a total of five devices.

Net Nanny is another parental control app.

It’s similar, but it also has a web filter that lets you cut out porn, weapons, drugs and other questionable content.

Net Nanny costs $55 per year for up to five devices.

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