Parental Control Apps and Settings Your Kid Can’t Delete

Child taking selfie

Why would you want a parental control app that cannot be deleted? Picture this: You just spent an hour researching and setting up parental control settings on all of your child’s devices and apps, only to have your little digital native offspring around them in a matter of minutes. Sound familiar? 

A frustrating number of parental control settings are designed in such a way that kids can easily bypass or even change them, rendering them all but useless. Luckily, there are thoughtfully-designed options which allow parents to set boundaries and have the peace of mind that those boundaries won’t be duped.

How kids get around parental controls 

Here are a few of the ways kids get around parental controls:

  • Maneuvering around content filters by using the browser inside allowed apps. 
  • Setting up a virtual private network (VPN) to bypass restrictions set at the router level.  
  • Accessing the admin account if they’re able to figure out your password. (Tell the truth, is it the dog’s birthday?) 
  • Using commands to access the admin account on a Windows device or create a new admin account on a Mac.

Why parental controls are important

Why exactly is it so vital that parents find controls their kids can’t get around? 

Here are just a few of the benefits of parental controls: 

  • Monitor your child’s online activity: As you teach your child to be a good digital citizen, keeping an eye on how they use the internet helps guide that process and allows you to spot any problems before they spiral. 
  • Filtering out inappropriate content: Every family has different boundaries on what they’re okay with their child viewing. Parental controls allow you to set these limits. 
  • Block in-app purchases: Unless you want to be surprised when you get your credit card statement, this setting is key. 
  • Protect your child from online predators: Turning off chat on apps or limiting it to people your child knows minimizes their exposure to potential predators. 

Parental controls for better peace of mind

Nothing is foolproof, but the following options provide an extra layer of protection because they’re set and controlled from your device, not your child’s, making them much harder to bypass. Combining them with a strong password on your device and regular digital check-ins will give you the peace of mind you’re looking for. 

Apple Family Sharing

Why it’s a good choice: Parental controls are set on the parent’s Apple device and only the adult “organizer” can remove a child from that group. 

How to set up Apple Family Sharing:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Family
  3. Tap the Add Member button. 
  4. If your child doesn't have an Apple ID, tap Create an Account for a Child. If your child already has an Apple ID, tap Invite People. 
  5. Follow the onscreen instructions to set up parental controls.

Check out Apple’s guide to set up Family Sharing.

BrightCanary

Why it’s a good choice: BrightCanary parental monitoring is a little different from traditional parental controls. It uses advanced technology to scan your child’s online activity and alert you to any concerning content in text messages, social media, and more. BrightCanary runs on your phone, not your kid’s device, so you remain in the driver’s seat. Simply connect your child’s Google, YouTube, iCloud, or social accounts, and BrightCanary takes care of the rest.  

How to set up BrightCanary:

  1. Download BrightCanary to your phone.
  2. Click Set Up BrightCanary For Your Family.
  3. Create a parental account.
  4. Add your child. 
  5. Connect their accounts. 
  6. Customize what content you want to receive alerts about. 

Click here to learn more about how to set up BrightCanary.

Google Family Link

Why it’s a good choice: With Google Family Link, you aren’t just accessing or regulating your child’s account — you’re the one actually managing their account. You can set screen time limits, get location alerts, manage their data settings, and more. If your child already has an existing Google Account, you can still add the same layers of supervision, all controlled on your account, not theirs. 

How to set up Google Family Link:

  1. Download the Family Link app for iOS or Android
  2. Use the app to create a Google account for your child. 
  3. If your child is over 13 or already has their own Google account, use the app to add supervision to their existing account. 

Learn more about how to set up Google Family Link.

The bottom line

If you’re looking for a parental control app that cannot be deleted, opt for an app that runs on the parent’s device — and doesn’t require any extra software or apps on the child’s device. In some cases, adding a bunch of extra monitoring software to your child’s device can actually slow their phone down. Stick with the apps and settings you can control from your phone, and make sure to have plenty of chats and check-ins with your child along the way.

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